Uploaded by Nicole Gilliland

Sample TLQ Sentences Statements

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Attributes of an Effective TLQ
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It builds a bridge between the topic sentence (or last commentary) and the quote
It sets context, addressing the:
o Who
o When
o Where
o Situation
It moves smoothly between subjects and proof (evidence/CD)
It moves coherently between subjects and proof (evidence/CD)
It allows the writer to cut down on the size of quotes through explanation.
Can be one, two, three, even four sentences
Transitions always further the paragraph’s main idea
Keep the argument unified
Transitions rely on the situation, not just random
Sample TLQ Sentences Statements
Directions: For each topic sentence below, note if it is:
 Effective
 Ineffective
 Or somewhere in-between.
Also, using the guidelines of TLQ on the hand out provided to you earlier, please tell
me the specific reasons
 The TLQ IS effective
 The TLQ IS NOT effective
 Or why it is in-between.
Use as many reasons as apply.
Let’s try another set
1. Racism is central to the conflict of the novel, and is also central to TJ’s motivation in
telling his story. “The facts: I’m black, Japanese and White” (3).
This example is actually no example at all. There is no TLQ. The writer jumps from a
topic sentence to a quote. The effect is choppy, disorienting, and random.
2. Doubtless the first and most compelling reason TJ relates his story is as a heartfelt
and loving tribute to his father, as the novel’s title so clearly confirms. An illustration
of this tribute is clearly evidenced when TJ writes, “Hey Dad. You should have
been a whale” (56).
This TLQ starts out well enough: it includes an effective transition that smoothly moves
from the topic sentence through to the lead in. It is articulate and insightful. But all of
this is lost when it is undeveloped. This TLQ requires more context, more of an
explanation to smoothly and coherently move to this quote. An improved TLQ might
read:
Doubtless the first and most compelling reason TJ relates his story is as a heartfelt and
loving tribute to his father, as the novel’s title so clearly confirms. An illustration of this
tribute is clearly evidenced in TJ’s response to his father’s discussion of whales.
Here TJ’s Dad relates the animal’s uncanny ability to communicate over long
distances and speak to his family. It is then TJ turns to the one man who has loved
him unconditionally, and says “Hey Dad. You should have been a whale” (56).
3. To pinpoint a single reason TJ tells his story is near impossible, to identify the most
important is not near as difficult: racism serves as the central motivation behind TJ’s
account. This racism is clearly seen at the beginning of the novel with the quote
that talks about color, “...racist thought and action says far more about the
person they come from than the person they are directed at” (25)
Here again, the TLQ begins well, but it is burdened by faulty diction and a lack of
context. A simple nod to who, what, where, when would carry this TLQ to its full
potential. For example:
To pinpoint a single reason TJ tells his story is near impossible, to identify the most
important is not near as difficult: racism serves as the central motivation behind TJ’s
account. This racism is clearly seen at the beginning of the novel when the therapist
Georgia explains to a frustrated TJ the sad psychology behind racism. She notes,
“...racist thought and action says far more about the person they come from than
the person they are directed at” (25)
4. Perhaps the first, and arguably the most compelling reason, TJ relates this narrative is
to expose the cruelty of racism on the town’s most vulnerable citizens. For example,
when TJ writes about the mentally handicapped Chris Coughlin, he clearly
exposes his defenseless position as well as his victimization, he says, “So Barbour
has the jacket buttoned at the bottom and pulled down around Chris’s shoulders
so he can’t move his arms, and his nose is about an inch from Chris’s. I can’t
hear what he’s saying, but tears squirt out of Chris’s terrified eyes and his entire
body trembles” (4)
This is an effective bridge between the Topic Sentence and the evidence. It meshes well
in terms of ideas, context, and diction.
5. TJ tells his story because he must speak his truth. Truth for TJ is to overcome the
racism, abuse, and isolation that infect his town. Indeed, this truth is apparent
from at the start of the novel when TJ begins his story noting the power of
words. He writes, “In the end, write it down. Back it up and find the story” (1).
Again, this is an effective bridge between the Topic Sentence and the evidence. It
meshes well in terms of ideas, context, and diction. Much of the details and explanations
will be carried through the CM, or commentary.
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