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1.1: Relevance of Ideas

This resource was written by Jaclyn M. Wells.
Last edited by Allen Brizee on August 7, 2009 .

This resource deals with relevance of ideas.

Relevance of Ideas

A good paragraph should contain sentences that are relevant to the paragraph’s main subject and point. While the topic sentence sets up the main idea, the rest of the sentences provide details that support or explain this main idea. If you see a sentence that does not seem to relate to the topic sentence, it is probably irrelevant.

Sometimes, writers include details that only generally relate to a paragraph’s subject. You may have written this way in your own compositions. To avoid this in your test writing, think about your paragraph’s main subject and about the point you wish to make about this subject. Thinking about the point you wish to make will help you cut the sentences that relate generally to your subject, but do not specifically support your point.

On the GED, you may be asked to eliminate irrelevant sentences from paragraphs. To spot these irrelevant sentences, think about the paragraph’s subject and point. Thinking about the subject will help you cut sentences that do not relate to the paragraph’s subject. Thinking about the main point will help you cut sentences that relate generally to the paragraph’s subject but not necessarily to the point being made about the subject.

Relevance of Ideas Exercise

In the following paragraph, one or more of the sentences may be irrelevant. Read through the paragraph and decide what sentences you would get rid of.

Exercise is really good for one’s physical and mental health. It is proven that aerobic exercise is good for the heart, which is very important to overall health. I used to run every day, but now I go to dance classes to get my aerobic exercise. Strength training is important for maintaining muscle mass and improving bone density. Both muscle mass and bone density can decrease as we age, so improving them through strength training is important. My grandmother broke a hip last year because her bones were so fragile. All kinds of exercise have been shown to relieve depression, anxiety, and stress.

Click here for exercise answers.

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