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UCQ

Writing Style

Topic Sentence Exercise

Which of the following sentences would you use as a topic sentence for the following paragraph?
a) Transactional leadership focuses on the reward-punishment system to accomplish organizational goals.
b) Autocratic leadership is a form of transactional leadership in which the leader makes all the decisions.
c) In some contexts, a transactional or autocratic leadership style is preferred over styles that are more democratic.
 
________ [Topic sentence a, b, or c? ] ________. It can be effective in finishing work that requires specific deadlines, which can have a positive influence on staff (Author, 2012). Transactional and autocratic leaders make all the decisions, which works well in conditions that require fast action such as emergency situations (Author & Author, 2016). This style of leadership also allows policies to be implemented quickly because staff are not voting on decisions as would be done under a more democratic leadership style (Author et al., 2011). A significant weakness is that it does not promote communication or teamwork, which can consequently affect staff satisfaction and the relationship (Author, 2012).  
 
The correct answer is “c”: “In some contexts, a transactional or autocratic leadership style is preferred over styles that are more democratic.” The evidence given in the paragraph supports this topic sentence as it deals with the benefits (“fast action”) as well as gives example contexts (“emergency,” “policy”). 
Choice “a” is not correct because autocratic leadership is not mentioned in the topic sentence and because the “reward-punishment system” is announced but not discussed in the paragraph.
Choice “b” is not correct because it is stating a general fact about autocratic leadership, and the paragraph is about more than decision-making.
 
Thank you to UCQ nursing student, Khalid Mohamed Hashim (2018) who has allowed his text to be adapted for this lesson.
 
More Information
"Paragraphs and Topic Sentences," University of Ottawa  
"Using Topic Sentences,"  University College