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Lesson Four: Paragraphing


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Lesson Four: Paragraphing

  1. 1. Lesson Four Paragraphing
  2. 2. Objectives <ul><li>1. Understand the features of well-formed and coherent paragraphs </li></ul><ul><li>2. Gain a deeper understanding of how body paragraphs function in academic writing </li></ul>
  3. 3. A Brief History <ul><li>Latin: Paragraphus </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;A horizontal stroke drawn below the beginning of a line in which a break in sense occurs.&quot; </li></ul>
  4. 4. A Brief History <ul><li>English: Pilcrow (from ‘pylcraft’) </li></ul>
  5. 5. Objectives <ul><li>Modern English: Paragraph </li></ul><ul><li>“ A unit of writing focused on a single idea or topic.” </li></ul>
  6. 6. Elements of a Paragraph <ul><li>Unity </li></ul><ul><li>Coherence </li></ul><ul><li>Topic Sentence </li></ul><ul><li>Adequate Development </li></ul>
  7. 7. Elements of a Paragraph <ul><li>Unity </li></ul><ul><li>The entire paragraph should concern itself with a single focus. If it begins with a one focus or major point of discussion, it should not end with another or wander within different ideas. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Elements of a Paragraph <ul><li>Coherence </li></ul><ul><li>Coherence is the trait that makes the paragraph easily understandable to a reader. You can help create coherence in your paragraphs by creating logical bridges and verbal bridges. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Elements of a Paragraph <ul><li>Logical Bridges </li></ul><ul><li>The same idea of a topic is carried over from sentence to sentence </li></ul><ul><li>Successive sentences can be constructed in parallel form </li></ul>
  10. 10. Elements of a Paragraph <ul><li>Verbal Bridges </li></ul><ul><li>Key words can be repeated in several sentences </li></ul><ul><li>Synonymous words can be repeated in several sentences </li></ul><ul><li>Pronouns can refer to nouns in previous sentences </li></ul><ul><li>Transition words can be used to link ideas from different sentences </li></ul>
  11. 11. Elements of a Paragraph <ul><li>A Topic Sentence </li></ul><ul><li>Regardless of whether you include an explicit topic sentence or not, you should be able to easily summarize what the paragraph is about. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Elements of a Paragraph <ul><li>Adequate Development </li></ul><ul><li>The topic should be discussed fully and adequately. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Elements of a Paragraph <ul><li>Some methods to make sure your paragraph is well-developed: </li></ul><ul><li>Use examples and illustrations </li></ul><ul><li>Cite data (facts, statistics, evidence, details, and others) </li></ul><ul><li>Examine testimony (what other people say such as quotes and paraphrases) </li></ul><ul><li>Use an anecdote or story </li></ul>
  14. 14. Elements of a Paragraph <ul><li>Some methods to make sure your paragraph is well-developed: </li></ul><ul><li>Define terms in the paragraph </li></ul><ul><li>Compare and contrast </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluate causes and reasons </li></ul><ul><li>Examine effects and consequences </li></ul><ul><li>Analyze the topic </li></ul><ul><li>Describe the topic </li></ul><ul><li>Offer a chronology of an event (time segments) </li></ul>
  15. 15. Transitions <ul><li>Transitions </li></ul><ul><li>Transitions are usually one or several sentences that &quot;transition&quot; from one idea to the next. Transitions can be used at the end of most paragraphs to help the paragraphs flow one into the next. </li></ul>
  16. 16. New Paragraph? <ul><li>How do I know when to start a new paragraph? </li></ul>
  17. 17. New Paragraph? <ul><li>You should start a new paragraph when: </li></ul><ul><li>When you begin a new idea or point. New ideas should always start in new paragraphs. </li></ul><ul><li>To contrast information or ideas. Separate paragraphs can serve to contrast sides in a debate, different points in an argument, or any other difference. </li></ul>
  18. 18. New Paragraph? <ul><li>You should start a new paragraph when: </li></ul><ul><li>When your readers need a pause. You would create a break if the paragraph becomes too long or the material is complex. </li></ul><ul><li>When you are ending your introduction or starting your conclusion. Your introductory and concluding material should always be in a new paragraph. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Body Paragraphs <ul><li>Body Paragraphs </li></ul><ul><li>Supporting evidence (think: courtroom) </li></ul><ul><li>Valleys and hilltops </li></ul>
  20. 20. Elements of a Paragraph <ul><li>1. </li></ul>
  21. 21. Elements of a Paragraph
  22. 22. Elements of a Paragraph <ul><li>1. </li></ul>
  23. 23. Elements of a Paragraph <ul><li>1. </li></ul>
  24. 24. Methods of Guiding <ul><li>Methods of using supporting evidence and guiding your reader through the valleys and hilltops: </li></ul><ul><li>Exposition </li></ul><ul><li>Interpretation </li></ul><ul><li>Signposts </li></ul>
  25. 25. Methods of Guiding <ul><li>Exposition: </li></ul><ul><li>“ Discourse designed to convey information or explain what is difficult to understand.” </li></ul><ul><li>facts / individual bits / evidence </li></ul>
  26. 26. Methods of Guiding <ul><li>Interpretation: </li></ul><ul><li>“ To explain or tell the meaning of something.” </li></ul><ul><li>inductive / deductive reasoning </li></ul>
  27. 27. Methods of Guiding <ul><li>Signposts </li></ul><ul><li>Signposts are internal aids to assist readers; they usually consist of several sentences or a paragraph outlining what the article has covered and where the article will be going. </li></ul>
  28. 28. Exposition <ul><li>The most important material for exposition is source material. How do we effectively incorporate source material into our body paragraphs? </li></ul>
  29. 29. Using Sources <ul><li>1. Use your sources as support for your insights, not as the backbone of your paper. </li></ul>
  30. 30. Using Sources <ul><li>2. Summarize (condense a text by stating the main ideas in your own words) and paraphrase (say the same thing in a different way) much more often than you use direct quotes (same words as the original, in quotation marks). </li></ul>
  31. 31. Using Sources <ul><li>3. Don't use direct quotes as fillers but because the author says something so aptly or dramatically that a paraphrase would lose that power. Or, if you're analyzing the language of a passage. </li></ul>
  32. 32. Using Sources <ul><li>4. Explain direct quotes. Readers have to know why you include source material where you do. </li></ul>
  33. 33. Using Sources <ul><li>5. If multiple sources say the same thing, summarize what they say and put a few key names in brackets at the end of the sentence. </li></ul>
  34. 34. Using Sources <ul><li>5. When you do use direct quotes, the most fluid way to integrate them is to incorporate key words right into your text. </li></ul><ul><li>Example: </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;We can see this change when Othello calls his wife a 'strumpet' (4.2.81) . . . .&quot; </li></ul>
  35. 35. Elements of a Paragraph <ul><li>6. Don't summarize plots of primary sources. Assume your audience has read the work. Only explain as much as you need in order to establish context for an example. </li></ul>
  36. 36. Example Body Paragraph I <ul><li>It is in within this context that Tess was written and it is within this context that we find its characters trying to define themselves. In trying to type Tess’ spirituality, the reader is immediately confronted with difficulty because of her lack of education. The difficulty of this task is realized when she is juxtaposed against Mr. Clare, who is easily typed by the narrator, as well as other characters, as being an Evangelical. His two most defining characteristics are that he is of the Low Evangelical sort and that he is earnest in his pursuit of Evangelicalism and spreading the word. </li></ul>
  37. 37. Example Body Paragraph I <ul><li>Nearly every time the reader is given a description of Mr. Clare by the narrator or another character, he is characterized in this way. Mr. Crick offers the first description of him as being “the earnestest man in all Wessex… the last of the old Low Church sort” (134). The narrator describes him as “an Evangelical of the Evangelicals, a Conversionist…” (183). And this description is confirmed over and over again throughout the novel. </li></ul>
  38. 38. Example Body Paragraph I <ul><li>The narrator and other characters are able to type him with ease because he is an educated, self-reflexive individual. Because of his education, Mr. Clare is associated with the likes of Wycliff, Huss, Luther, and Calvin; he is typed as ‘a spiritual descendent in the direct line’ of these men. The reader is told that he loves Paul of Tarsus, likes St. John, hates St. James, and has mixed feelings about Timothy, Titus, and Philemon (183). Mr. Clare is educated and well-read enough to know what he believes as well as what he likes and dislikes in theology. </li></ul>
  39. 39. Example Body Paragraph II <ul><li>But whether Tess knows whether her principles are High, Low, or Broad, Angel must nevertheless attempt to place her into one of these movements if she is going to be presentable to his educated family as anything other than a milkmaid. In doing so, Angel also asks the reader to think of her in terms of this debate. An admittedly difficult task because even Tess does not even know herself and this creates “confused beliefs,” so Angel takes what he knows of her and tries to place her into one of these movements (200). </li></ul>
  40. 40. Example Body Paragraph II <ul><li>His assessment is that Tess is “Tractarian as to phraseology, and Pantheistic as to essence” (200). In other words, Angel believes that Tess is Pantheistic at her core, but this Pantheism finds its manner or style of expression in Tractarianism. But this is only Angel’s assessment of Tess and the reader must not take its accuracy for granted. Thus, the following question must be answered: Does the text support this assessment? If it does, how are these two ideologies reconciled together? </li></ul>