Paragraph Development


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  • Paragraph Development

    1. 1. Jackie Elliott University of South Florida
    2. 2. <ul><li>par·a·graph     (pār'ə-grāf')    n.   A distinct division of written or printed matter that begins on a new, usually indented line, consists of one or more sentences, and typically deals with a single thought or topic or quotes one speaker's continuous words (Paragraph) . </li></ul><ul><li>A group of sentences or a single sentence that forms a unit (Lunsford and Collins). </li></ul><ul><li>A brief article, notice, or announcement, as in a newspaper (Paragraph) . </li></ul>
    3. 3. <ul><li>Paragraph development can be a scary process; especially if a person is unfamiliar with the writing process. The first thing we had to do was determine what a paragraph was. It used to be believed that a paragraph was at least 5 sentences, half a page, etc. We now know that a paragraph is not determined by the number of sentences but by how that paragraph flows. </li></ul>
    4. 4. <ul><li>Unified – All of the sentences in a single paragraph should be related to a single main idea (often expressed in the topic sentence of the paragraph). </li></ul><ul><li>Clearly related to the thesis - The sentences should all refer to the central idea, or thesis, of the paper (Rosen and Behrens). </li></ul><ul><li>Coherent - The sentences should be arranged in a logical manner and should follow a definite plan for development (Rosen and Behrens). </li></ul><ul><ul><li>& </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Well-developed - Every idea discussed in the paragraph should be adequately explained and supported through evidence and details that work together to explain the paragraph's controlling idea (Rosen and Behrens). </li></ul>
    5. 5. <ul><li>Controlling idea and topic sentence(s) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The expression of the main idea, topic, or focus of the paragraph in a sentence or a collection of sentences. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Learning how to turn in homework assignments on time is one of the most valuable skills that college students can take with them into the working world (Paragraphs). </li></ul></ul></ul>
    6. 6. <ul><li>Explanation of controlling idea </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The writers explanation of his thinking about the main topic, idea, or focus of the paragraph. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Though the workforce may not assign homework to its workers in the traditional sense, many of the objectives and jobs that need to be completed require that employees work with deadlines. The deadlines that students encounter in the classroom may be different in the content when compared to the deadlines of the workforce, but the importance of meeting those deadlines is the same. In fact, failure to meet deadlines in both the classroom and the workforce can have serious consequences (Paragraphs). </li></ul></ul></ul>
    7. 7. <ul><li>Example </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The example serves as a sign or representation of the relationship established in the idea and explanation portions of the paragraph. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>For example, in the classroom, students form a contract with the teacher and the university when they enroll in a class. That contract requires that students complete the assignments and objectives set forth by the course’s instructor in a specified time to receive a grade and credit for the course. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Accordingly, just as a student risks failing in the classroom if he/she does not meet the deadline for a homework assignment, so, too, does that student risk termination in the workforce. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(Paragraphs) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    8. 8. <ul><li>Explanation (of example) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The reasoning behind why you chose to use this/or these particular examples as evidence to support the major claim, or focus, in your paragraph. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>When a student fails to complete assignments by the deadline, the student breaks her contract with the university and the teacher. This often leaves the teacher with no other recourse than to fail the student and the university with no recourse than to deny the student credit for the course. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A former student’s contract with his/her employer functions in much the same way as the contract that student had with his/her instructor and with the university in a particular course. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(Paragraphs) </li></ul></ul></ul>
    9. 9. <ul><li>Completion of paragraph’s idea or transition into next paragraph </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A review for your reader about the relevance of the information that you just discussed in the paragraph, or a transition or preparation for your reader for the paragraph that follows. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Developing good habits about turning in assignments now will aid your performance as a future participant in the working world (Paragraphs). </li></ul></ul></ul>
    10. 12. <ul><li>Gibaldi, Joseph. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 6th Edition. New York: The Modern Language Association of America, 2003. </li></ul><ul><li>Kennedy, X.J., Dorothy M. Kennedy and Jane E Aaron. The Bedford Reader. 7th Edition. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2000. </li></ul><ul><li>Lunsford, Andrea and Robert Collins. The St. Martin's Handbook. 5th Ed. New York: St. Martin's, 2003. </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Paragraph.&quot; 2004. The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. 7 December 2008 <>. </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Paragraphs.&quot; 1998-2007. The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill . 7 December 2008 <>. </li></ul><ul><li>Rosen, Leonard and Laurence Behrens. The Allyn and Bacon Handbook. 4th Edition. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 2000. </li></ul>*Majority of this Presentation Borrowed from The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill