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Brainstorming Exercise
Brainstorming is the process of writing (or listing) as many ideas as possible for a specific topic. During brainstorming, do not evaluate the ideas; you can evaluate whether to keep or discard ideas at a later time.

In each text box below, brainstorm the topic. Write as many ideas as possible in a two-minute period. You may want to separate each idea with a comma. Usetwo minutes for each text box.

Example: outdoor careers: road construction, landscaping, logging, builders, roofers, forest ranger, life guard

1. Brainstorm family rituals and traditions.

2. Brainstorm types of fears (phobias).

3. Brainstorm names of American heroes.

4. Brainstorm inventions within the last ten years.

Topic Sentence and Concluding Sentence
Read each paragraphcarefully. Answer the questions after each paragraph. Write your answers in the text box. Use complete sentences for your answers.
Each sentence is numbered at the beginning of the sentence.

Paragraph 1
(1) Whales, one of nature's largest mammals, can be divided into two categories. (2) Baleen whales are one kind of whale. (3) Baleen whales have a type of keratin called baleen that hangsin their mouths and sifts food from the ocean waters. (4) Baleen whales can consume up to 9,000 pounds of fish a day. (5) The toothed whale is the other type of whale. (6) The toothed whales have teeth instead of baleen. (7) They gnaw and chew on their meals. (8) Like the baleen whales, the toothed whales consume large portions of food each day. (9) Though many varieties of whales exist in ouroceans, they are all categorized according to whether they have baleen or teeth inside their gigantic mouths.

1. Which sentence is the topic sentence? Is it an effective topic sentence? Why or why not?

2. Which sentence is the concluding sentence? Does it echo the topic sentence? Explain.

Paragraph 2:
(1) The letters WWW do not stand for the "Wide World of Wrestling" as hooked wrestlingfans may guess. (2) Nor do they stand for something, such as widow, related to a world war. (3) The letters WWW refer to the World Wide Web, more commonly referred to simply as the Web. (4) As millions of people worldwide access the Web on a regular basis, the letter W in triplicate is typed millions of times on a daily basis. (5) Many web site addresses begin with the letters WWW, which basicallyindicate to the user that he or she will enter the World Wide Web in order to locate the web address. (6) Technology has made the three letters WWW into possibly the most frequently used and most commonly known letter pattern in the world.

3. Which sentence is the topic sentence? Is it an effective topic sentence? Why or why not?

4. Which sentence is the concluding sentence? Does it echo thetopic sentence? Explain.

Topic sentences are like small thesis statements. They state the main idea of the paragraph. The rest of the paragraph must expand, describe, or prove what the topic sentence states in some way. Topic sentences make a point and give reasons or examples to support it.
 
Similar to a thesis statement a good topic sentences states the main idea (an interesting subject),and then adds what you want to say about the topic (your specific feeling about it).
 
 
An interesting subject |
+ your specific feeling about it |
= a good topic sentence |
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
Your specific feelings could include: |

precautions | To survive at Camp Green Lake the campers in Tent D must take several precautions. |
advantages | There areseveral advantages to being the leader of Camp D. |
reasons for | Clyde Livingston was Stanley's hero for a number of reasons. |
the causes of or the effects of | Bad luck followed Elya Yelnuts everywhere as a result of breaking his promise to Madame Zeroni. |
the steps for | By following these simple directions you can make nail polish from rattlesnake venom. |
the way to or the method |...
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