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Forming a Focus

Minilesson Print

Forming a Focus

illustration of squirrel looking through a telescope
© Thoughtful Learning 2015

Quality writing begins with a strong focus statement. Your focus statement gives your writing direction. A focus helps you know what to say about your topic. A lack of focus leaves your readers unsure what point you are trying to make.

Here's a simple formula you can use to form a focus statement. This statement can become the topic sentence in a paragraph or the thesis statement in a formal essay.

Topic (who or what you are writing about)

+ Focus (the part or feeling you want to highlight)


= Focus Statement

Here are some examples of the formula in action with different forms of writing.

Persuasive Writing

Our school (topic) should make an effort to become more environmentally friendly (focus).

Explanatory Writing

Flying fish (topic) are unique in many ways (focus).

Narrative Writing

My last trip to the doctor (topic) was one I'll never forget (focus).

Your Turn Use the formula to create focus statements for the following topics. Note: The focus is up to you.

  1. Recess
  2. Cooperation
  3. Water pollution
  4. Fire hydrants
  5. Spring

From page 46 in Writers Express

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