The paragraph

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The paragraph

  1. 1. The Paragraph The Paragraph - Prof. Julia I. Martínez 1
  2. 2. What is a paragraph?A paragraph is a basic unit of organization in writing in which a group of related sentences develops one main idea.The three parts of a paragraph:• The topic sentence• Supporting sentences• The concluding sentence The Paragraph - Prof. Julia I. Martínez 2
  3. 3. What is a paragraph?The first sentence of a paragraph is usually indented.The topic is the subject of the paragraph; it is what the paragraph is about.Often, it is necessary to restrict the topic, i.e., to narrow it down to a more specific topic. The Paragraph - Prof. Julia I. Martínez 3
  4. 4. Unity and coherenceA good paragraph has unity and coherence.• Unity: it means that you discuss only one main idea in a paragraph. The main idea is stated in the topic sentence and then each supporting sentence develops that idea. The Paragraph - Prof. Julia I. Martínez 4
  5. 5. Unity and coherence• Coherence: it means that your paragraph is easy to read and understand because1. Your supporting sentences are in some kind of logical order, and2. Your ideas are connected by the use of appropriate transition signals. The Paragraph - Prof. Julia I. Martínez 5
  6. 6. Unity and coherence• Unity: each sentence within a paragraph should relate to the topic and develop the controlling idea. If a sentence does not relate to or develop that area, it is irrelevant and should be omitted from the paragraph.• Coherence: a coherent paragraph contains sentences that are logically arranged and that flow smoothly (how well one idea leads to another). The Paragraph - Prof. Julia I. Martínez 6
  7. 7. The topic sentenceThe topic sentence states the main idea of the paragraph. It contains two elements:• The topic, which states the topic of the paragraph , and• The controlling idea/s, which are the areas of the topic that can be discussed completely in the space of one paragraph. The Paragraph - Prof. Julia I. Martínez 7
  8. 8. The topic sentenceThe topic sentence clearly states the topic and the controlling idea/s of the paragraph.It is usually the first sentence in the paragraph.It is the most important sentence in the paragraph, since it is a helpful guide to both the writer and the reader.Points to remember about a topic sentence:• It is a complete sentence.• It contains both a topic and a controlling idea.• It gives only the main idea, not specific details. The Paragraph - Prof. Julia I. Martínez 8
  9. 9. The topic sentenceThe topic sentence introduces the topic of a paragraph. In addition, it also serves to state an idea or attitude about the topic. This idea or attitude is called the controlling idea and controls what the sentences in the paragraph will discuss. The controlling idea should be clear and focused on a particular aspect.The topic sentence is usually placed at the beginning of the paragraph, i.e., it is generally the first sentence of the paragraph. The Paragraph - Prof. Julia I. Martínez 9
  10. 10. The topic sentenceThe two parts of the topic sentence:• The topic names the subject or main idea of the paragraph.• The controlling idea makes a specific comment about the topic, which indicates what the rest of the paragraph will say about the topic. It limits or controls the topic to a specific aspect of the topic to be discussed in the space of a single paragraph. The Paragraph - Prof. Julia I. Martínez 10
  11. 11. The topic sentenceTwo reminders about the topic sentence:• A topic sentence should be neither too general nor too specific. The reader of a paragraph wants to know generally what to expect in a paragraph but he/she does not want to learn all of the specific details in the first sentence.• Do not include unrelated ideas in your topic sentence. If you do so, your paragraph will lack unity. The Paragraph - Prof. Julia I. Martínez 11
  12. 12. The supporting sentencesThe suppporting sentences develop the topic sentence. They explain the topic sentence by giving reasons, examples, facts, statistics, and quotations, among other things. The Paragraph - Prof. Julia I. Martínez 12
  13. 13. The supporting sentencesThe supporting sentences are used to support the opinion or attitude expressed in the topic sentence. They usually back up, clarify, illustrate, explain, or prove the point made in the topic sentence. The Paragraph - Prof. Julia I. Martínez 13
  14. 14. The concluding sentenceThe concluding sentence signals the end of the paragraph. It also leaves the reader with important points to remember. The Paragraph - Prof. Julia I. Martínez 14
  15. 15. The concluding sentenceThe concluding sentence is helpful to the reader.It serves three purposes:• It signals the end of the paragraph.• It summarizes the main points of the paragraph.• It gives a final comment on your topic and leaves the reader with the most important ideas to think about. The Paragraph - Prof. Julia I. Martínez 15
  16. 16. The titleThings to remember when writing titles:• A title is not a complete sentence.• All important or content words are capitalised.• A title is not underlined.• A title is not enclosed in quotation marks.• A title is not followed by a period. The Paragraph - Prof. Julia I. Martínez 16
  17. 17. Writing an outlineBefore writing the paragraph, it is a good idea to write an outline. It is useful in two ways:• It provides a means for quickly checking your sentences to see if they deal with the topic, and• It serves as a guide for checking whether the sentences are logically arranged (the organisation of the sentences will depend on the topic and purpose of the paragraph). The Paragraph - Prof. Julia I. Martínez 17
  18. 18. General ReviewThe topic sentence is the most general and most important sentence in the paragraph. It:• introduces the reader to the topic of the paragraph;• states the main idea of the paragraph; and• focuses the paragraph. The Paragraph - Prof. Julia I. Martínez 18
  19. 19. General ReviewThe topic sentence contains controlling ideas that need to be explained, described and supported.The controlling ideas are words or phrases in a topic sentence that need further explanation. The Paragraph - Prof. Julia I. Martínez 19
  20. 20. General ReviewThe concluding sentence brings the discussion to a close. Different types of purposes for the concluding sentence:• To summarise the material in the paragraph;• To offer a solution to the problem stated in the paragraph;• To predict a situation that will result or occur from the statements made in the paragraph;• To make a recommendation concerning material presented in the paragraph;• To state a conclusion to the information given in the paragraph. The Paragraph - Prof. Julia I. Martínez 20

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