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Chapter 7. Paragraphs Plus > Build Me Up, Buttercup: Supporting Sentences - Pg. 74

Paragraphs Plus 74 Writer's Block Implied topic sentences are usually not the best choice for an unsophisticated audience. These readers are apt to lose patience with your subtlety. 3. 4. American football comes from a British game called "rugby." Football is a more popular game than baseball, even though baseball is called "America's pastime." Choices 1 and 3 are too narrow to state the topic; they're details rather than a general, overall statement. Choice 4 is also a loser because it contains information that isn't included in the para- graph. The winner is Choice 2, because it best states the main idea of the passage. Try again. Egypt, a long, narrow, fertile strip of land in northeastern Africa, is the only place in the world where pyramids were built. Back then, all the water for the land and its people came from the mighty Nile River. Natural barriers protected the land from invaders. Around 300 B.C.E. , when kings and other high Egyptian officials authorized the building of the first pyramids, these natural barriers protected the land from invaders. Deserts to the east and west cut off Egypt from the rest of the world; to the south, dangerous rapids on the Nile blocked invaders. Delta marshes lay to the north. This circle of isolation allowed the Egyptians to work in peace and security. In addition, great supplies of raw materials were needed to build the pyramids. Ancient Egypt had an abundance of limestone, sandstone, and granite, all quarried close to the banks of the Nile. Egypt's most precious resource--the great Nile River--provided the means to transport the rocks to the building sites. 1. 2. 3. 4. The pyramids were built by the great kings around the year 300 B.C. The pyramids were not worth the human cost, measured in enormous suffering, deprivation, and death. Nature has made Egypt easy to defend from conquest. Ancient Egypt's unique combination of resources helped make the pyramids a reality. Choices 1 and 3 are out, because they're details, not the main idea. This makes them too narrow. Choice 2 is also incorrect, because the information it contains distorts the meaning of the paragraph. The best choice is 4, since it alone states the paragraph's focus. Build Me Up, Buttercup: Supporting Sentences Okay, so you've stated your main idea in your topic sentence. Now, deliver the goods--the sup- porting sentences that make your point, explain your ideas, describe your subject, or tell your story. Without adequate support, a paragraph just goes around in a circle, saying the same thing over and over. In effect, it says nothing.