Identifying the Topic of a Paragraph

Identifying the Topic of a Paragraph

Parlindungan Pardede

The topic of a paragraph is the subject of the whole paragraph. It is the one thing the whole paragraph is about. Usually, the topic of a paragraph can be expressed in two or three words. To find the topic of a paragraph, ask yourself this question: What is the one thing the author is discussing throughout the paragraph? Look at the following examples:

There are many reasons why students go to college. Some of them attend college to enjoy the social life offered by a university campus. Others go to college because their best friends are going. Still others go because their parents expect them to. There are also a few students who attend college because they do not want to find jobs and support themselves. But there seems to be an increasing number of students who attend college to become better educated and better prepared for a meaningful career.


In this example, the author is discussing one topic—reasons why students go to collegethroughout the paragraph. Notice that all sentences talk about this topic.

Determine the topic of each paragraphs below.

  1. The first unique characteristic of the present day students is that they are team oriented. They enjoy interaction with each other. They appreciate the opportunity of experiencing small groups discussing and analyzing readings or assignments. They also like sharing their expertise on subjects and helping their peers. Howe and Strauss, two experts in educational field, emphasized that the today’s students ”learn in groups, deliver presentations in groups and get graded in groups; they review each other’s homework and supervise each other’s behavior”.  
  1. Blended learning, which combines the best of face-to-face instruction and computer-mediated instruction, offers six potential benefits First, blended learning presents pedagogical richness. Some blended learning systems, for instances, are designed to let learners go through three phases: online self-paced learning to acquire background information, face-to-face learning lab focused on active learning and application experiences instead of lecture, and online learning and support for transferring the learning to the workplace environment. Second, blended learning opens access to knowledge. Third, blended learning facilitates social interaction. Fourth, blended learning facilitates personal agency. Fifth, blended learning offers cost-effectiveness and provides an opportunity for reaching a large, globally dispersed audience in a short period of time with consistent, semi personal content delivery. Finally, blended learning provides ease of revision.
  1. One of the characteristics of a good teacher is friendliness. To be friendly does not mean the teacher should be the “buddy” of students. The teacher-student relationship should be kept intact. To be friendly means greeting students with a smile and handshake. It also means offering a tap on the back as needed. To be friendly does not mean that a teacher should never use a firm tone of voice or reprimand her students. Instead, it is important to remember to have a pleasant outlook rather than a sour outlook throughout the day. A teacher’s friendliness will make students learn joyfully.

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