Sometimes we say things and after we say them, we're like, "Yeah...yeah, that's right. That's exactly what I meant." We're happy with the point we got across.
Such was the case today. I had been tutoring a girl, and I was trying to show her how to write a more cohesive paragraph. As part of this exercise, I would write a topic sentence -- just a lone topic sentence -- then make her flesh out the idea in a paragraph.
Even though I thought that this exercise was pretty easy, she was stumbling a little bit. I mean, I'd say she was, like, 75 percent there, but every time she'd put pen to paper, she'd start to wander a bit with the supporting details, sort of go off course.
So I gave her the following piece of advice, and it was only as I was saying it that I realized that it was a tiny little gem. I told her, "When you write a topic sentence, you make a promise. You must fulfil that promise in the rest of your paragraph."
I thought that that was pretty cool.