ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Focus Sentence

Updated on March 14, 2013
The focus sentence focuses the reader's attention on the subject of the paragraph.
The focus sentence focuses the reader's attention on the subject of the paragraph. | Source

By Joan Whetzel

Essays and term papers, like any nonfiction writing, require sentence and paragraph structure that make following the writer's theme seem effortless. Paragraphs should be reasonably short, so readers don't lose interest by getting bogged down in overloaded paragraphs that drone on forever. Each essay or term paper paragraph must also begin with a topic sentence.

Defining the Focus Sentence

An essay or term paper's first paragraph introduces the paper's topic. In the same way, the first sentence introduces the topic of the paragraph. In the introductory paragraph, the topic sentence is referred to as a thesis statement, which is the statement that announces the topic for the whole paper. In subsequent paragraphs, the topic sentence for each paragraph is called the focus sentence because it focuses the reader's attention on what will be discussed in that paragraph.

The focus sentence frequently makes an assertion which needs to be backed up with "evidence." That's what the rest of the paragraph is for, to supply supportive arguments that back-up the focus sentence. In the same manner, all the paragraphs in the body of the essay or term paper become back-up -the supporting arguments - for the thesis statement made in the introductory paragraph and the thesis statement.

The focus sentence has the following purposes:

· It summarizes the information contained in the paragraph.

· It links the paragraph to the title, to the introductory paragraph, and to the paper's thesis.

· It alludes to at the supporting evidence that follows in the paragraph.

· It provides the topic discussed in the paragraph.

· It determines the arrangement of the paragraph

· It unites the paragraph topic with the essay topic and the with the other paragraphs.

Supporting the Focus Sentence

Sometimes the topics sentence will appear part way through the paragraph or even at the end of the paragraph (to recap the paragraph's contents, as many concluding paragraphs are written). However, the focus sentence usually appears at the beginning of the sentence. Since each paragraph discusses a single sub-topic of the essay's theme or thesis, it has at least some space to elaborate on that sub-topic. The remaining sentences in each paragraph all refer back to the focus sentence, and should be organized logically. In much the same way, the paragraphs in the body of the paper support the main thesis and must be arranged logically.

How to Write Focus Sentences

Writing a first class focus sentence commences with a good understanding of the essay thesis or theme as well knowing how to break down the topic into its main ideas, which will become the topic of individual paragraphs. The second most important skill is to be able to state that topic or paragraph theme in one's own words. This is the essence of focus sentence writing. The steps for organizing and writing the essay or term paper are the same for writing each paragraph. When trying to figure out the focus sentence for each paragraph, try the following:

1. Brainstorm ideas for the main ideas of each paragraph, listing all applicable words and phrases.

2. Choose the best words and phrases for each focus sentence, the ones that best describe the main idea of each paragraph.

3. Make a simple outline for each paragraph. The Roman Numeral I represents the introductory paragraph, and the Roman Numerals II, III, IV, and V for paragraphs I the body of the essay and the concluding paragraph.

4. The heading listed next to each Roman numeral will become the focus sentence for that paragraph, while the letters and Arabic numbers represent the supporting evidence and the details and examples that will flesh out the paragraph.

The only thing left, is to write those paragraphs beginning with the focus sentence and fleshed out with the supporting evidence. A bit of editing and writing the final draft completes the writing process. Having well-written focus sentences make any essay or term paper more focused on the paper's main thesis or theme.

Bibliography

Blue, Tina. Essay or term paper I Say. The Structure of the Developmental Paragraph.

http://essay or term paperisay.homestead.com/focus.html

Hacker, Diane. A Writer's Reference. Third Edition. Boston: Bedford Books at St. Martin's Press, 1995.

Turner, Dorothy. University of Ottawa. Writing Topic Sentences

http://www.arts.uottawa.ca/writcent/hypergrammar/partopic.html

Gale Schools. How to Write a Topic Sentence.

http://www.galeschools.com/research_tools/src/write_topic.htm

Indiana University. Paragraphs and Topic Sentences.

http://www.indiana.edu/~wts/pamphlets/paragraphs.shtml

English for University. How to Write Good Topic Sentences.

http://englishforuniversity.com/?page_id=1126

Derr, Marcia and Kathleen McKeown. University of Pennsylvania. Using Focus. http://acl.ldc.upenn.edu/P/P84/P84-1065.pdf

Writing, Colorado State University. Example Focus Sentences.

http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/teaching/rhet-terms/pop3b.cfm

Capital Community College. Writing Topic Sentences for Paragraphs.

http://www.ccc.commnet.edu/sensen/part3/sixteen/techniques_topic.html

Academic Writing. Topic Sentences.

http://www.academic-writing.net/essay or term paper/topic_sentences.htm

Sentence Focus Introduction

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      A well researched Hub, you have made excellent points here and a hub for every writer.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)