Country Reports

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lesson 32: Mismatch Problems

A common problem in student papers is a "mismatch" between a topic sentence and the evidence in that paragraph.

Consider these examples:

 

 
Mismatch Good Match
First, the food in France is delicious. According to the website French Cuisine, in most restaurants you can buy a meal for less than $10 U.S. dollars (Jones). First, the food in France is quite cheap. In fact, according to the website French Cuisine, in most restaurants you can buy a full meal for less than $10 U.S. dollars (Jones).
 

 

Can you see why the second example is better? In the first example, the topic sentence gives the reader an expectation that the paragraph is going to be about how delicious French food is. So when, instead, you start talking about prices, the result is awkward and the reader is put off by your writing (even if she may not exactly understand why).

In the second example, you have given the reader the expectation that she will read about prices, and when you fulfill that expectation, the result is writing that flows seemlessly. Your reader—whether she is fully concsious of it or not—thinks, "This writing is a pleasure to read because it is easy to understand."

Lesson Steps

 
1.

Do any of your paragraphs suffer from a "mismatch" problem?

If you find such a problem, either change your topic sentence or find a new piece of evidence.

2. Congratulations! You're done with this lesson.