Topic sentences



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Topic sentences
Look at the plans that we wrote for the two essays in stage 3 of this website and the introductions that we have written and write a topic sentence for the first paragraph after the introduction.
Exercise
In the light of a number of recent high profile complaints about invasion of privacy, critically assess whether the press should continue to be self-regulating.
As you can see from the plan of this essay and from the introduction below, we are going to start the essay by arguing what appears to be the simplest part of the argument that affects those who don’t hold public office and for whom there is no obvious reason to hold them accountable for their actions in their private lives, before moving onto the more complex case of those who do hold public office. Taking private individuals as the subject of our first paragraph, write a topic sentence.
Introduction
The role of the press in revealing information about matters that members of the government might prefer to be kept secret is vital to a modern democracy in holding ministers accountable for their actions. But over recent years we have seen invasions of privacy that appear just to satisfy the public’s desire for sensational revelations about the private lives of both public and private figures. Clearly, what’s in the public interest is not the same as what interests the public. However, there may be good reasons to argue that these revelations perform a valuable social function in helping the community to define its shared values more clearly by revealing the double standards of prominent people, whether they are private or public figures.
Answer:
Of course, your answer will be different from mine, but it should have a good transition that ties it in with the introduction and a sentence that picks up a topic from the structure we have laid out in the introduction as the plan of the essay.
As this makes clear, cases in which it is most difficult to justify invasions of privacy are those that involve private individuals, who hold no public responsibility, so there is no obvious reason why we should want to hold them accountable for their actions.
Exercise
Is democracy always compatible with individual freedom?
As we make clear in the introduction, the structure of this question is dictated by the two ways in which we understand the concept of democracy and within our discussion of each one we must consider the issues from the perspectives of the two senses of freedom: negative and positive. In the plan we have broken the essay down into these two parts: the first half will deal with democracy in the narrow sense, while the second will deal with the broad sense. Therefore, starting with the narrow sense, write the topic sentence for the first paragraph after the introduction.
Introduction
The simple answer to this question is that democracy necessarily entails freedom. By definition, it is a system of government that reflects the will of the people and, as people will not voluntarily enslave themselves, governments respect the freedom of the individual. But we understand the concept of democracy in different ways. In the narrow sense it is merely a system of government, a mechanism for decision-making, whereas in the broad sense it is a type of society embracing social ideals designed to liberate the individual from social and political constraints. Both appeal to different senses of what we mean by freedom: the negative sense as freedom ‘from’ restraints, particularly the power of government, and the positive sense, in which the individual is liberated to explore his full potential through the power of government.
Answer:
As with the first exercise, write a topic sentence with a good transition that ties the sentence in with the introduction and picks up a topic from the structure we have laid out in the introduction as the plan of the essay.
Although both of these senses of democracy aim to promote the freedom of the individual, the narrow sense does this by limiting the power of government, which it sees as the major threat to individual freedom.


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