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Mosaic 1 Writing, 4/e
Laurie Blass
Meredith Pike-Baky

New Challenges

Identifying Main Ideas and Supporting Ideas

Choose the best topic sentences for each paragraph and write the number in the blank. Then make a list of the supporting ideas.


1. Brazil is a great place to spend a year as an exchange student.
2. Spending a year as an exchange student changed my whole life.
3. Every student should visit another country.

          _______________________________________ When I was 17 years old, I applied to be an American Field Service exchange student. I was very proud and excited when I was chosen, but I never realized how much that year would influence the rest of my life. From the moment I got off the plane in Rio de Janeiro, I felt like a new person. At first I was nervous about speaking Portuguese, but the Brazilians soon helped me to feel at ease. Before I left my home, I had been shy and quiet. In Brazil I became much more confident and outgoing. Most importantly, I had thought I would become an engineer. In Brazil I learned to love music and realized I wanted to become a professional musician.


1. Traveling abroad can be very stressful if you aren't used to it.
2. Many people enjoy foreign travel and go away every chance that they get.
3. Although many people find traveling to foreign countries exciting, people like me should never leave home.

          ____________________________ I have traveled to Mexico, England, Germany, and Japan. I must admit that I am nervous all of the time while I am away. I cannot relax until the airplane lands in Chicago, where I live. It's not that I don't like foreigners. I have several friends from other countries. And it's not that I hate foreign food. My husband and I often eat out at ethnic restaurants at home. However, I just do not feel comfortable on foreign soil. I am always afraid of making mistakes and offending people. Even when I know the language, as I did in England, I still get confused with the money, the transportation system, and all the different ways of doing things. My husband is a great traveler. He loves every minute he spends out of the country, but I'm afraid from now on he'll have to go alone.