In what section of the paragraph does the writer have the most positive attitude?
Of all the jobs I have held so far, serving as a summer intern in my congressman's local office was the most gratifying. I gained some important insights into how a legislator interacts with his constituency, and what the needs and opinions of that constituency are. This fascinating job, although not salaried, seems so much more worthwhile than the one I held briefly in a fast-food establishment. Even though the latter position helped my bank account, it seemed repetitious and boring, as well as physically exhausting. The real low point of my "career" was the summer I was a baby-sitter three mornings a week for two spoiled and rambunctious children under five years of age. By noon, when their mother returned, I was a wreck--physically, emotionally, and mentally. I wasn't that much richer, either!
To reinforce what has been pointed out, the topic sentence is always the one to contain the most important idea of a paragraph. As such, the main idea of the student's internship is stated: working as a summer intern in a congressman's office; and, the opinion follows: it has been the most gratifying. The topic sentence also sets the tone of the paragraph.
The next sentence is the first supporting sentence which reinforces the positive tone of the topic sentence: the student gained some important insights.
After this sentence, which is equally as positive as the topic sentence, the others that follow act as supporting sentences by providing examples of the negative experiences that the students have had with other jobs, thus reinforcing by contrast why the summer intern job was his/her "most gratifying." So, the negative serves to emphasize the positive tone of the beginning of the paragraph.
It would appear that the writer has the most positive attitude in the first half of the paragraph. The first two sentences in particular exhibit a lack of negativity which is lacking in the rest of the excerpt. In the first two sentences, the writer tells the reader clearly what the "most gratifying" job he has ever had is, and gives reasons why. He or she states that, in the position as a summer intern for a congressman, he or she was able to get a good insight about how a legislator interacts with his constituency, and what the needs of that constituency are.
In the third sentence of the paragraph, the writer calls his job as a summer intern "fascinating" and "worthwhile," continuing his tone of positivity, but it is clear that this sentence also serves as a transition into a different focus, one that will address the deficiencies of the other positions he or she has held. The rest of the paragraph is devoted to revealing information about two other jobs the writer has held that were not good experiences for him or her; one of these jobs was working in a fast-food establishment, and the other involved babysitting. The writer gives specific reasons why neither of those jobs measure up to the job as summer intern.
It seems quite clear to me that the writer has a positive attitude at the start of the paragraph but then changes to a much more negative attitude by the end of the paragraph. During the time that the author is talking about his or her unpaid internship, the tone of the paragraph is positive. When the writer discusses the paid job, the tone is negative.
In order to see this, all you have to do is to look at the words that the writer uses. The summer internship is described as "worthwhile," "gratifying," and important. By using those words, the author is conveying a much more positive attitude than he or she does later in the paragraph.