A Guide to Good  Paragraph Writing Ms. Ratliff English and Literature
Author’s Purpose <ul><li>Before you begin writing, you must figure out what the purpose of the paragraph is. </li></ul><ul...
Writing to Persuade… <ul><li>Persuade  means to try to convince someone to think the same way you do. </li></ul><ul><li>Ex...
Writing to Inform… <ul><li>Inform  means to give someone information about something. </li></ul><ul><li>Examples: </li></u...
Writing to Entertain… <ul><li>Entertain  means to amuse someone. </li></ul><ul><li>Examples: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fiction...
Writing to Share Feelings… <ul><li>Sharing feelings means to tell the reader what you are thinking. </li></ul><ul><li>Exam...
Types of Paragraphs <ul><li>Descriptive </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A descriptive paragraph is meant to  entertain . </li></ul><...
Types of Paragraphs <ul><li>Expository </li></ul><ul><ul><li>An expository paragraph is meant to  inform . </li></ul></ul>...
What is a Paragraph? <ul><li>A paragraph consists of one or more sentences discussing a  single  thought. </li></ul><ul><l...
Structure of a Paragraph <ul><li>First Sentence:  Topic Sentence </li></ul><ul><li>Purpose of a topic sentence? </li></ul>...
Structure of a Paragraph <ul><li>Second Sentence:  Support Sentence  (1) </li></ul><ul><li>Purpose of a Support Sentence? ...
Structure of a Paragraph <ul><li>Fourth Sentence:  Support Sentence  (3) </li></ul><ul><li>Purpose of a Support Sentence? ...
How do I make it interesting? <ul><li>Topic Sentences and Concluding Sentences </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You must hook the rea...
How do I know when to start a new paragraph? <ul><li>Start a new paragraph when </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You begin a new idea...
How do I transition ideas within a paragraph or among paragraphs? <ul><li>Use transition words! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Exam...
What should I avoid? <ul><li>Try not to use the same word at the start of a sentence more than twice in one paragraph! </l...
Sample Paragraph <ul><li>St. Therese was many things, but most of all, she was a caring sister and daughter.  Therese did ...
Judge the Paragraph <ul><li>1. What is the main idea of this paragraph? </li></ul><ul><li>2. What is the concluding senten...
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Paragraph Writing

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Paragraph Writing

  1. 1. A Guide to Good Paragraph Writing Ms. Ratliff English and Literature
  2. 2. Author’s Purpose <ul><li>Before you begin writing, you must figure out what the purpose of the paragraph is. </li></ul><ul><li>Are you writing to </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Persuade? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Inform? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Entertain? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Share Feelings? </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Writing to Persuade… <ul><li>Persuade means to try to convince someone to think the same way you do. </li></ul><ul><li>Examples: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Advertisements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Newspaper editorials </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Posters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Junk mail </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Writing to Inform… <ul><li>Inform means to give someone information about something. </li></ul><ul><li>Examples: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>News reports </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Research papers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>School Newsletters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Instructions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Maps </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Graphs </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Writing to Entertain… <ul><li>Entertain means to amuse someone. </li></ul><ul><li>Examples: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fictional stories </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Comics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Poems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Jokes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Riddles </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Writing to Share Feelings… <ul><li>Sharing feelings means to tell the reader what you are thinking. </li></ul><ul><li>Examples: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Journals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Diaries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Letters </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Types of Paragraphs <ul><li>Descriptive </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A descriptive paragraph is meant to entertain . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It tells what the subject looks, sounds, feels, tastes, and/or smells like by using vivid imagery. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Narrative </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A narrative paragraph is meant to entertain . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It tells a story. </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Types of Paragraphs <ul><li>Expository </li></ul><ul><ul><li>An expository paragraph is meant to inform . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It provides information or explains a subject. Or, it gives steps and shows how to do something. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Persuasive </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A persuasive paragraph is meant to persuade . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It proves your belief or feeling about something. </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. What is a Paragraph? <ul><li>A paragraph consists of one or more sentences discussing a single thought. </li></ul><ul><li>For English and literature classes, your paragraphs must ALWAYS be 5-7 sentences . </li></ul><ul><li>A paragraph should never have more than one idea. The sentences must be related to the main idea. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Structure of a Paragraph <ul><li>First Sentence: Topic Sentence </li></ul><ul><li>Purpose of a topic sentence? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To generate interest </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To state the main idea </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Structure of a Paragraph <ul><li>Second Sentence: Support Sentence (1) </li></ul><ul><li>Purpose of a Support Sentence? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Introduces the main point # 1 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gives information or examples </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Third Sentence: Support Sentence (2) </li></ul><ul><li>Purpose of a Support Sentence? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Introduces the main point # 2 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gives information or examples </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Structure of a Paragraph <ul><li>Fourth Sentence: Support Sentence (3) </li></ul><ul><li>Purpose of a Support Sentence? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Introduces the main point # 3 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gives information or examples </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Fifth Sentence: Concluding Sentence </li></ul><ul><li>Purpose of a Concluding Sentence? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Restates the topic sentence in new way. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Leaves the reader with something to think about or wanting more. </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. How do I make it interesting? <ul><li>Topic Sentences and Concluding Sentences </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You must hook the reader with a topic sentence and leave the reader thinking and wanting more with a concluding sentence! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Examples: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Rhetorical question- A question that makes someone think, rather than respond. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Imagery- Creating a picture in the reader’s mind by making the reader see, hear, taste, smell, or touch what is being described. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  14. 14. How do I know when to start a new paragraph? <ul><li>Start a new paragraph when </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You begin a new idea. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Your reader needs a pause (try not to have paragraphs over seven sentences). </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. How do I transition ideas within a paragraph or among paragraphs? <ul><li>Use transition words! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Examples: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>First, second, third, etc. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Last, finally, most of all </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Overall, in conclusion </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>For that reason, therefore </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Additionally, also </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Can you think of any other transition words??? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  16. 16. What should I avoid? <ul><li>Try not to use the same word at the start of a sentence more than twice in one paragraph! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reading the same word over and over is distracting. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Do not change verb tenses! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Write all sentences in either present tense or past tense, not both. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Never start or end a paragraph with the following: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This is how I feel about …. OR I will tell you about …. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Now you know about … OR This was the story of … </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>These types of sentences are known as “filler” sentences. They serve no purpose but to take up space. They are not interesting, and they do not provide any information. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Sample Paragraph <ul><li>St. Therese was many things, but most of all, she was a caring sister and daughter. Therese did little deeds to help her sisters and father. She put her family first by helping out with chores. Therese would clean for her family, and she would never complain. How many sisters and daughters can say that they lived their lives like St. Therese lived hers? </li></ul>
  18. 18. Judge the Paragraph <ul><li>1. What is the main idea of this paragraph? </li></ul><ul><li>2. What is the concluding sentence? </li></ul><ul><li>3. What do you notice about the first line of the </li></ul><ul><li>paragraph? </li></ul><ul><li>4. Do all the sentences in the paragraph </li></ul><ul><li>support the main idea? </li></ul><ul><li>5. What is the first main point? Second main </li></ul><ul><li>point? Third main point? </li></ul><ul><li>6. What transition words are used? </li></ul><ul><li>7. Does the starting word of a sentence repeat more </li></ul><ul><li>than twice? </li></ul>
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