Topic sentences for IELTS – how to extend a simple topic sentence

Why topic sentences are important

Topic sentences are important because they tell the reader – the examiner – what the paragraph is about, and a good one makes it easy for the examiner to decide your paragraph has a clear central topic.

Task 2 C&C BS7

Band Score 7 Cohesion and coherence

In the previous post  here I wrote a simple topic sentence for paragraph 1 for this question.

What is the paragraph about?

In other words, what is the main idea?

It's about reasons why people change their jobs.

My simple, default topic sentence was

There are various reasons why people change their jobs.

From this, I'm going to build a high band score topic sentence.

The supporting ideas in this paragraph are

Some people change their jobs because they choose to.

Some people change their jobs because they need to.

How can you add these supporting ideas to the topic sentence above?

Here are some more topic sentences from the previous post.  I've extended all of them to indicate the supporting ideas.  In some cases, I had to turn the sentences around, as in the first one about obesity.

Obesity is on the rise for reasons related to people's poor diets and a lack of physical exercise.

People change their jobs for various reasons, the most important of which are to get a wider range of experience and to get a higher position.

Online shopping is advantageous to consumers for two main reasons, namely convenience and cost.

Raising the price of petrol will reduce traffic congestion because fewer people can afford to drive a car.

Mankind has made great progress in two main areas, namely in technology and healthcare.

or

Mankind has made great progress in the fields of technology and healthcare.

 

High level cohesion

If you indicate the supporting ideas in the topic sentence, you then have the option to refer to in the next sentence, like in these examples:

Mankind has made great progress in the fields of technology and healthcare.    With regard to the former, [...]  

Obesity is on the rise for reasons related to poor diets and a lack of physical exercise.  With regard to the former. [...]   

I would then typically write a couple of sentences about each of the supporting ideas.  Here's an example, of a paragraph I wrote about reasons why people change their jobs:

A note on grammar

We now have high band score topic sentences which do two things:

  • they tell the examiner what the main idea is
  • they outline the supporting idea in simple terms

These topic sentences also allow you to refer back to them later in the paragraph to help your score for C&C.

In order to write a topic sentence like this you need to understand noun phrases and noun clauses.   You can find more about noun clauses and noun phrases here

For more on Task 2 see here

For Task 2 introductions, see here

For Task 2 topic sentences, see here

For Task 2 paragraph building, see here

I have high band score model answers for sale here


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