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Helping creating a few good topic sentences

  1. Mar 26, 2015 #1
    I know this is mainly a site for scientific discourse. But anyone good at writing English herer? I have this paper coming up and my teacher is extremely specific about word choice, tense(s), "to be" verbs and more of those types of things. So my topic of the paper "Geothermal energy" I must define what it means through the lens of an elderly couple seeking a new heating system. So I have my introduction out of the way, which I think sounds pretty good. But now working towards the body paragraphs. I want to talk about how geothermal power is clean, but I don't know what I could write for a topic sentence other than the plain "Geothermal provides clean energy" the second paragraph topic sentence would be "Geothermal power provides sustainable energy" and finally "Geothermal power provides affordable energy" all three of these sound like they suffer from the same plain and purposeful pose. How could I re-write them to really make them stand out and more effective?

    Thank you
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 26, 2015 #2

    Evo

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    Staff: Mentor

    Does the couple have access to cost effective geothermal energy? Maybe you could write "Unfortunately, we don't have access to cost effective geothermal energy", we could never recoup the cost to install it". This is the case in some areas. Show you really researched it.

    http://blogs.scientificamerican.com...4/18/is-a-geothermal-heat-pump-right-for-you/
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2015
  4. Mar 26, 2015 #3
    Since you ask about English, I have to say this sentence here is a mess.
     
  5. Mar 26, 2015 #4
    They do if they used a heat pump installation.
     
  6. Mar 26, 2015 #5

    Evo

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    Not necessarily, read the article I posted, they would never recoup the cost in their lifetime.You should make the paper factual. Even the figures in that article are optimistic, I had a 9,000 sq foot house and my largest monthly bill was for air conditioning one month for $300, and that was during a record breaking heatwave.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2015
  7. Mar 26, 2015 #6
    What about geothermal power from geysers and hot springs. Not through heat pumps but if power plants were set up. Maybe that should be my claim then? just not sure how to go about it.
     
  8. Mar 26, 2015 #7

    Evo

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    Over geysers and hot springs is more cost effective for warming.

    I'm just yanking your chain, if it's just a grammar exercise, feasibility isn't important. Interesting to learn about though.
     
  9. Mar 26, 2015 #8
    Well, back to the formulating part. Any ideas how I could re-word those topic sentences?
     
  10. Mar 26, 2015 #9
    "Geothermal power is clean."
    "Geothermal power is sustainable."
    "Geothermal power is affordable."
     
  11. Mar 26, 2015 #10
    Oh funny... although even that wouldn't be acceptable by the given criteria. I can't use "to be" verbs here
     
  12. Mar 27, 2015 #11
    No humor intended. It's intended to be readable.

    If your teacher has prohibited the verb "to be," that tells me this assignment isn't meant to be expository writing, but something more literary, which makes your choice of subject kinda strange.
     
  13. Mar 27, 2015 #12
    I think your teacher recommends against using sentence structures such as:
    "Clean energy is provided by geothermal power"

    Try this,
    "In the clash of energy for clean and green as the new mean extreme, geothermal energy reigns supreme."
    Well maybe not.

    Instead,
    'Tired of dealing with dirty energy day in and day out. Are you having to scrub your smoke stack over and over again without getting your energy clean? Are you ashamed of your neighbors whispering and pointing fingers at the state of your energy? Don't you wish there was something you could do?
    Well wish no more. You can solve all your energy problems. Your energy will come out spotless, with no more stains as a mark of imperfection. Your neighbors will envy you and wonder how you did it. All you have to say is "Geothermal power."
    ( Seven out of 10 energy producers recommend geothermal power )"

    OK. I tried. Sorry.
     
  14. Mar 27, 2015 #13
    I see what you mean. It's probably not a prohibition of the verb "to be." It's an avoidance of the passive voice.
     
  15. Mar 27, 2015 #14
    I agree on that. Passive tense will lose emphasis along the way.

    As an aside, (I should have mentioned) poster stated teacher requested the topic is " for an elderly couple".
    I tried to exemplify a writing style for a chosen audience, probably not the best examples but...
    The first could be for the motor-head type.
    The second could be as an ad for the sleepy late night infomercial viewer.
     
  16. Mar 28, 2015 #15

    jim hardy

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    2016 Award

    It'd be worth finding this book
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Elements_of_Style

    maybe your library has it?

    I'll suggest elderly folks would be more concerned with "Is it reliable, quiet, low maintenance and easy to clean ?"
     
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