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Identifying Errors

Each of the topic sentences below is poorly written. A pull-down menu after each sentence lists the following possible problems with the topic sentence:

    Too general
    Too specific
    Announcement
    Negative statement
    Fact

Select the problem that you think best characterizes the topic sentence. After you make your selection, an answer box at the bottom of the page will give you feedback.

1. I like tennis.

Too general: CORRECT! This topic sentence is too general.
Too specific: INCORRECT. TRY AGAIN.
Announcement: INCORRECT. TRY AGAIN.
Negative statement: INCORRECT. TRY AGAIN.
Fact: INCORRECT. TRY AGAIN.

2. This paragraph will discuss the benefits of a healthy diet.

Too general: INCORRECT. TRY AGAIN.
Too specific: INCORRECT. TRY AGAIN.
Announcement: CORRECT! This topic sentence is an announcement.
Negative statement: INCORRECT. TRY AGAIN.
Fact: INCORRECT. TRY AGAIN.

3. The Subaru Forester has a 150-horsepower engine.

Too general: INCORRECT. TRY AGAIN.
Too specific: INCORRECT. TRY AGAIN.
Announcement: INCORRECT. TRY AGAIN.
Negative statement: INCORRECT. TRY AGAIN.
Fact: CORRECT! This topic sentence is a fact.

4. There are several reasons why you should drink eight glasses of water every day.

Too general: INCORRECT. TRY AGAIN.
Too specific: INCORRECT. TRY AGAIN.
Announcement: CORRECT! This topic sentence is an announcement.
Negative statement: INCORRECT. TRY AGAIN.
Fact: INCORRECT. TRY AGAIN.

5. Winters are cold in New England.

Too general: CORRECT! This topic sentence is too general.
Too specific: INCORRECT. TRY AGAIN.
Announcement: INCORRECT. TRY AGAIN.
Negative statement: INCORRECT. TRY AGAIN.
Fact: INCORRECT. TRY AGAIN.

6. People shouldn't smoke.

Too general: INCORRECT. TRY AGAIN.
Too specific: INCORRECT. TRY AGAIN.
Announcement: INCORRECT. TRY AGAIN.
Negative statement: CORRECT! This topic sentence is a negative statement.
Fact: INCORRECT. TRY AGAIN.

7. Monolingual dictionaries have one language, and bilingual dictionaries have two languages.

Too general: INCORRECT. TRY AGAIN.
Too specific: CORRECT! This topic sentence is too specific.
Announcement: INCORRECT. TRY AGAIN.
Negative statement: INCORRECT. TRY AGAIN.
Fact: INCORRECT. TRY AGAIN.

8. There are many people in Boston.

Too general: INCORRECT. TRY AGAIN.
Too specific: INCORRECT. TRY AGAIN.
Announcement: CORRECT! This topic sentence is an announcement.
Negative statement: INCORRECT. TRY AGAIN.
Fact: INCORRECT. TRY AGAIN.

9. Point-and-shoot cameras made after 1990 use 35mm film.

Too general: INCORRECT. TRY AGAIN.
Too specific: INCORRECT. TRY AGAIN.
Announcement: INCORRECT. TRY AGAIN.
Negative statement: INCORRECT. TRY AGAIN.
Fact: CORRECT! This topic sentence is a fact.

10. You can purchase French perfumes in expensive blue crystal bottles.

Too general: INCORRECT. TRY AGAIN.
Too specific: CORRECT! This topic sentence is too specific.
Announcement: INCORRECT. TRY AGAIN.
Negative statement: INCORRECT. TRY AGAIN.
Fact: CORRECT! This topic sentence is a fact.

11. Winter is a good season.

Too general: CORRECT! This topic sentence is too general.
Too specific: INCORRECT. TRY AGAIN.
Announcement: INCORRECT. TRY AGAIN.
Negative statement: INCORRECT. TRY AGAIN.
Fact: INCORRECT. TRY AGAIN.

12. I will tell you how to refinish an antique.

Too general:INCORRECT. TRY AGAIN.
Too specific: INCORRECT. TRY AGAIN.
Announcement: CORRECT! This topic sentence is an announcement.
Negative statement: INCORRECT. TRY AGAIN.
Fact: INCORRECT. TRY AGAIN.