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www.dunya.edu.af
Dunya Institute for Higher
Education
www.dunya.edu.af
How to Write
an
Effective Paragraph
www.dunya.edu.af
What is a Paragraph?
• Definition
– A group of related sentences that develop one
main idea
• Three concepts for good paragraphs
– Unity: one idea per paragraph
– Development: sufficient detail (good writing is
25% ideas & 75% details!)
– Coherence: understandable, easy to follow
(logical order, effective transitions)
www.dunya.edu.af
Anatomy of a Paragraph
• Topic Sentence
– Usually comes first
– Contains TWO PARTS
Topic Controlling Idea
• Body
– The details which make your topic sentence
vivid to the reader, that
– prove your point
www.dunya.edu.af
Sample & Exercise
• Identify the topic sentence and supporting details in
the following paragraph:
Although most people believe that man’s best friend is a
dog, I think it should be a cat.
Cats have been used as pets since the time of the
pharaohs in Egypt. They have been found in countries all
over the world. Obviously, cats have been the favorites
of man for hundreds of years. I suppose cats are so well
liked because they are gentle, friendly and easy to take
care of.
www.dunya.edu.af
What’s missing?
• He collects books that were written over a
hundred years ago. But he is also interested in
the best sellers of today. If I ever need to get
him a present, I know I can always please him
by buying him a book.
www.dunya.edu.af
He collects books that were written over a hundred years
ago. But he is also interested in the best sellers of today. If
I ever need to get him a present, I know I can always
please him by buying him a book.
• Which of the following topic sentences is
the best one for the above paragraph?
• A. Reading is fun.
• B. Books are my father’s hobby.
• C. My father was a main influence in my
life.
www.dunya.edu.af
What’s missing?
• The most beautiful flower is the rose because
it comes in so many different colors. Another
beautiful flower is the daisy which sometimes
grows wild. Spring flowers like tulips,
daffodils, and crocuses are also very pretty.
www.dunya.edu.af
The most beautiful flower is the rose because it comes in so
many different colors. Another beautiful flower is the daisy
which sometimes grows wild. Spring flowers like tulips,
daffodils, and crocuses are also very pretty.
• Which of the following topic sentences is the best
one for the above paragraph?
• A. Don’t you just love spring?
• B. The rose is the most loved flower the world
over.
• C. There are many lovely flowers to consider for
your garden.
www.dunya.edu.af
What’s missing?
• First, Canada has an excellent health care
system. All Canadians have access to medical
services at a reasonable price. Second,
Canada has a high standard of education.
Finally, Canada’s cities are clean and efficiently
managed.
www.dunya.edu.af
First, Canada has an excellent health care system. All
Canadians have access to medical services at a reasonable
price. Second, Canada has a high standard of education.
Finally, Canada’s cities are clean and efficiently managed
• A. Canada is our friendly neighbor to the
north.
• B. There are three reasons why Canada is
one of the best countries of the world.
• C. Choose Canada as a great place to
vacation.
www.dunya.edu.af
• Pete’s sloppiness is a terrible habit.
• Pete’s sloppiness is an endearing quality.
• Elise’s dirty kitchen is a sign of her cooking
skills.
• Elise’s dirty kitchen makes me want to call the
health department.
• Identify the TOPIC and
• CONTROLLING IDEA in each
Topic Sentences
www.dunya.edu.af
Topic Sentences
• The TOPIC and CONTROLLING IDEA:
• Pete’s sloppiness is a terrible habit.
• Pete’s sloppiness is an endearing quality.
• Elise’s dirty kitchen is a sign of her cooking
skills.
• Elise’s dirty kitchen makes me want to call the
health department.
• How would the paragraphs be different?
www.dunya.edu.af
Connecting Sentences Within the
Paragraph
Transition Words
Chronological
Order
First
Meanwhile
Later
Afterwards
Finally
Space Order
Next to
In front of
Beside
Between
Behind
In order of
importance
However
Furthermore
As a result
In fact
Yet
www.dunya.edu.af
www.dunya.edu.af
Steps in Writing a Good Paragraph
Follow this order for sure success:
– Narrow the topic
– Draft the topic sentence
– Generate DETAILS for the body
– Select and drop details
– Arrange in a plan or outline
– Time to draft…..
www.dunya.edu.af
Topic Sentence Exercise
• The key to a good topic sentence is to narrow
the topic first.
• For example: general topic is good food
– Narrow the topic to Mexican food
– Controlling idea is Las Fuentes has great lunch specials
– Topic sentence:
• For an excellent and inexpensive Mexican
lunch, you cannot beat Las Fuentes.
www.dunya.edu.af
Generating Details for the Body
• For an excellent and inexpensive Mexican
lunch, you cannot beat Las Fuentes.
– What details do we need?
• Consider menu
• Consider prices
• Consider what “excellent” implies
www.dunya.edu.af
Select and Drop Details
• Which of the following
details would NOT support
the topic sentence
(For an excellent and
inexpensive Mexican lunch,
you cannot beat Las
Fuentes.)
• Combination plates cost
$5.00
• Service is fast
• A margarita is $7.00
• Daily specials
• Friendly waiters
• Located in a shopping mall
• Free chips and salsa
• Established 1965
www.dunya.edu.af
• Which of the following
details would NOT support
the topic sentence?
(For an excellent and
inexpensive Mexican lunch,
you cannot beat Las
Fuentes.
• Combination plates cost
$5.00
• Service is fast
• A margarita is $7.00
• Daily specials
• Friendly waiters
• Located in a shopping mall
• Free chips and salsa
• Established 1965
Select and Drop Details
www.dunya.edu.af
Arrange in a Plan or Outline
• For an excellent and inexpensive Mexican lunch,
you cannot beat Las Fuentes.
• Combination plates cost $5.00
• Service is fast
• Daily specials
• Friendly waiters
• Free chips and salsa
• Once you decide the order, how difficult will
drafting be?
www.dunya.edu.af
The Paragraph
• For an excellent and inexpensive Mexican lunch,
you cannot beat Las Fuentes. This great little
restaurant has become a regular stop in my week.
Most importantly, the combination plates only
cost $5.00. Add fast service and daily specials
with even more discounts, and you can see why
it’s my favorite place for lunch. The waiters are
among the friendliest I’ve ever encountered, and
if you run low on the free chips and salsa, they’ll
bring you more in a hurry.
www.dunya.edu.af
Types of Paragraphs
• The narrative paragraph
– Tells a story
• The persuasive paragraph
– Tries to convince the audience
• The Descriptive paragraph
– Describes something
• The explanatory paragraph
– Gives information or explains something

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How to write an effective paragraph

  • 3. www.dunya.edu.af What is a Paragraph? • Definition – A group of related sentences that develop one main idea • Three concepts for good paragraphs – Unity: one idea per paragraph – Development: sufficient detail (good writing is 25% ideas & 75% details!) – Coherence: understandable, easy to follow (logical order, effective transitions)
  • 4. www.dunya.edu.af Anatomy of a Paragraph • Topic Sentence – Usually comes first – Contains TWO PARTS Topic Controlling Idea • Body – The details which make your topic sentence vivid to the reader, that – prove your point
  • 5. www.dunya.edu.af Sample & Exercise • Identify the topic sentence and supporting details in the following paragraph: Although most people believe that man’s best friend is a dog, I think it should be a cat. Cats have been used as pets since the time of the pharaohs in Egypt. They have been found in countries all over the world. Obviously, cats have been the favorites of man for hundreds of years. I suppose cats are so well liked because they are gentle, friendly and easy to take care of.
  • 6. www.dunya.edu.af What’s missing? • He collects books that were written over a hundred years ago. But he is also interested in the best sellers of today. If I ever need to get him a present, I know I can always please him by buying him a book.
  • 7. www.dunya.edu.af He collects books that were written over a hundred years ago. But he is also interested in the best sellers of today. If I ever need to get him a present, I know I can always please him by buying him a book. • Which of the following topic sentences is the best one for the above paragraph? • A. Reading is fun. • B. Books are my father’s hobby. • C. My father was a main influence in my life.
  • 8. www.dunya.edu.af What’s missing? • The most beautiful flower is the rose because it comes in so many different colors. Another beautiful flower is the daisy which sometimes grows wild. Spring flowers like tulips, daffodils, and crocuses are also very pretty.
  • 9. www.dunya.edu.af The most beautiful flower is the rose because it comes in so many different colors. Another beautiful flower is the daisy which sometimes grows wild. Spring flowers like tulips, daffodils, and crocuses are also very pretty. • Which of the following topic sentences is the best one for the above paragraph? • A. Don’t you just love spring? • B. The rose is the most loved flower the world over. • C. There are many lovely flowers to consider for your garden.
  • 10. www.dunya.edu.af What’s missing? • First, Canada has an excellent health care system. All Canadians have access to medical services at a reasonable price. Second, Canada has a high standard of education. Finally, Canada’s cities are clean and efficiently managed.
  • 11. www.dunya.edu.af First, Canada has an excellent health care system. All Canadians have access to medical services at a reasonable price. Second, Canada has a high standard of education. Finally, Canada’s cities are clean and efficiently managed • A. Canada is our friendly neighbor to the north. • B. There are three reasons why Canada is one of the best countries of the world. • C. Choose Canada as a great place to vacation.
  • 12. www.dunya.edu.af • Pete’s sloppiness is a terrible habit. • Pete’s sloppiness is an endearing quality. • Elise’s dirty kitchen is a sign of her cooking skills. • Elise’s dirty kitchen makes me want to call the health department. • Identify the TOPIC and • CONTROLLING IDEA in each Topic Sentences
  • 13. www.dunya.edu.af Topic Sentences • The TOPIC and CONTROLLING IDEA: • Pete’s sloppiness is a terrible habit. • Pete’s sloppiness is an endearing quality. • Elise’s dirty kitchen is a sign of her cooking skills. • Elise’s dirty kitchen makes me want to call the health department. • How would the paragraphs be different?
  • 14. www.dunya.edu.af Connecting Sentences Within the Paragraph Transition Words Chronological Order First Meanwhile Later Afterwards Finally Space Order Next to In front of Beside Between Behind In order of importance However Furthermore As a result In fact Yet
  • 16. www.dunya.edu.af Steps in Writing a Good Paragraph Follow this order for sure success: – Narrow the topic – Draft the topic sentence – Generate DETAILS for the body – Select and drop details – Arrange in a plan or outline – Time to draft…..
  • 17. www.dunya.edu.af Topic Sentence Exercise • The key to a good topic sentence is to narrow the topic first. • For example: general topic is good food – Narrow the topic to Mexican food – Controlling idea is Las Fuentes has great lunch specials – Topic sentence: • For an excellent and inexpensive Mexican lunch, you cannot beat Las Fuentes.
  • 18. www.dunya.edu.af Generating Details for the Body • For an excellent and inexpensive Mexican lunch, you cannot beat Las Fuentes. – What details do we need? • Consider menu • Consider prices • Consider what “excellent” implies
  • 19. www.dunya.edu.af Select and Drop Details • Which of the following details would NOT support the topic sentence (For an excellent and inexpensive Mexican lunch, you cannot beat Las Fuentes.) • Combination plates cost $5.00 • Service is fast • A margarita is $7.00 • Daily specials • Friendly waiters • Located in a shopping mall • Free chips and salsa • Established 1965
  • 20. www.dunya.edu.af • Which of the following details would NOT support the topic sentence? (For an excellent and inexpensive Mexican lunch, you cannot beat Las Fuentes. • Combination plates cost $5.00 • Service is fast • A margarita is $7.00 • Daily specials • Friendly waiters • Located in a shopping mall • Free chips and salsa • Established 1965 Select and Drop Details
  • 21. www.dunya.edu.af Arrange in a Plan or Outline • For an excellent and inexpensive Mexican lunch, you cannot beat Las Fuentes. • Combination plates cost $5.00 • Service is fast • Daily specials • Friendly waiters • Free chips and salsa • Once you decide the order, how difficult will drafting be?
  • 22. www.dunya.edu.af The Paragraph • For an excellent and inexpensive Mexican lunch, you cannot beat Las Fuentes. This great little restaurant has become a regular stop in my week. Most importantly, the combination plates only cost $5.00. Add fast service and daily specials with even more discounts, and you can see why it’s my favorite place for lunch. The waiters are among the friendliest I’ve ever encountered, and if you run low on the free chips and salsa, they’ll bring you more in a hurry.
  • 23. www.dunya.edu.af Types of Paragraphs • The narrative paragraph – Tells a story • The persuasive paragraph – Tries to convince the audience • The Descriptive paragraph – Describes something • The explanatory paragraph – Gives information or explains something