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  1. 1. Writing Effective Paragraphs A Learning Enhancement Center Workshop
  2. 2. <ul><li>This workshop is designed to give students a better understanding of the basic structure of the paragraph. </li></ul><ul><li>We will cover the structure of a paragraph including the topic sentence, support sentences, and strategies for developing the main idea of a paragraph.  </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Knowledge of the paragraph's structure and form will help you learn to write more coherent, unified, and well-developed paragraphs. </li></ul>
  4. 4.  Paragraph Checklist <ul><li>1. Make sure every paragraph has a main idea. </li></ul><ul><li>2. Relate each sentence to the main idea of the paragraph. </li></ul><ul><li>3. Arrange ideas in a clearly understandable order. </li></ul><ul><li>4. Link sentences by using pronouns, and by relating words, phrases, or ideas. </li></ul><ul><li>5. Support ideas with examples. </li></ul><ul><li>6. Describe to make a point. </li></ul><ul><li>7. Compare and contrast to develop an idea. </li></ul><ul><li>Harbrace College Handbook , 12th Edition </li></ul>
  5. 5. Sentences in a Paragraph <ul><li>1. Topic Sentence </li></ul><ul><li>The topic sentence: </li></ul><ul><li>a. announces the subject or topic </li></ul><ul><li>b. makes a statement about that topic that all other sentences in the paragraph prove or support </li></ul><ul><li>c. limits what the author can say in the paragraph about the subject - the controlling idea </li></ul><ul><li>d. establishes a contract with the reader that the author must honor </li></ul><ul><li>e. of all the paragraph's sentences, makes the most general statement about the subject </li></ul>
  6. 6. Sentences in a Paragraph cont’d… <ul><li>2. Detail or Support Sentences </li></ul><ul><li>  Detail or support sentences answer the following questions about the subject: </li></ul><ul><li>  WHY? - reason </li></ul><ul><li>WHEN? - time </li></ul><ul><li>WHERE? - place </li></ul><ul><li>HOW? - condition, circumstance, or situation </li></ul><ul><li>  or they may </li></ul><ul><li>EXPLAIN </li></ul><ul><li>DEFINE </li></ul><ul><li>PROVIDE an EXAMPLE </li></ul>
  7. 7. Sample of Topic Sentence (1) and supporting sentences (2-6): <ul><li>(1) The old horror movies attempted to create an atmosphere of terror; modern movies ignore atmosphere and focus on blood and gore. (2) In the early films starring Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi, the right atmosphere was created by the sound of wild screams in the background. (3) Open windows revealed a pair of shadowed eyes or the weird smile of a madman. (4) Modern films concentrate on filling the screen with buckets of blood, and the audience doesn't hear screams anymore; instead, it witnesses brutal murders. (5) The old shots of wild eyes and crazy smiles are gone. (6) Now there are long close-ups of someone being stabbed to death. </li></ul><ul><li>Flemming. Reading For Results 3rd ed. </li></ul>
  8. 8.  Writing a Topic Sentence <ul><li>The following exercises are samples of supporting sentences. Please use the information given above to create an appropriate topic sentence to complete a paragraph. </li></ul><ul><li>Exercise 1: </li></ul><ul><li>a. Some fires are caused by careless people tossing matches out of car windows. </li></ul><ul><li>b. A few are started when lightning strikes a tree. </li></ul><ul><li>c. Some result from campers who fail to douse cooking fires. </li></ul><ul><li>d. The majority of forest fires are deliberately set by arsonists. </li></ul><ul><li>Topic Sentence: </li></ul>
  9. 9.   Writing a Topic Sentence cont’d… <ul><li>Exercise 2: </li></ul><ul><li>a. We had to wait a half hour even though we had reserved a table. </li></ul><ul><li>b. Our appetizers and main courses all arrived at the same time. </li></ul><ul><li>c. The busboy ignored our requests for more water. </li></ul><ul><li>d. The wrong desserts were delivered to us. </li></ul><ul><li>Topic Sentence: </li></ul>
  10. 10. Writing a Topic Sentence cont’d… <ul><li>Exercise 3: </li></ul><ul><li>a. My phone goes dead at certain times of the day. </li></ul><ul><li>b. When I talk long distance, I hear conversations in the background. </li></ul><ul><li>c. The line to the phone service center is busy for hours. </li></ul><ul><li>d. My telephone bill includes three calls I never made. </li></ul><ul><li>Topic Sentence: </li></ul><ul><li>Langam. English Skills 4th ed. </li></ul>
  11. 11. 15 Guides for Creating a Paragraph <ul><li>  1. Think of a topic. </li></ul><ul><li>  2. Think about the topic. </li></ul><ul><li>  3. Think more about the topic. </li></ul><ul><li>  4. Pre-write about the topic. </li></ul><ul><li>  5. Let pre-writing rest; then read pre-writing. </li></ul>
  12. 12. 15 Guides for Creating a Paragraph <ul><li>  6. Throw our anything that does not relate directly to the topic. </li></ul><ul><li>  7. Create a general statement or point of view you want to express to your audience about the topic. </li></ul><ul><li>8. Determine whether the items in your pre-writing support your point of view. Discard those that don't. </li></ul><ul><li>  9. Arrange or group pre-writing in an order. </li></ul><ul><li>  10. Construct sentences using the ideas from your pre-writing that will support a general statement about your topic. </li></ul>
  13. 13. 15 Guides for Creating a Paragraph <ul><li>  11. Arrange the sentences in paragraph form. </li></ul><ul><li>  12. Determine whether the sentences are in logical order. If they are not, then rearrange them. </li></ul><ul><li>  13. Read paragraph aloud, then let it rest. </li></ul><ul><li>  14. Read paragraph again. </li></ul><ul><li>  15. Make changes in word choice and word order if necessary. </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>After all this work, you’ll probably have a good paragraph. Congratulations! </li></ul>
  15. 15. Resources Available: <ul><li>Harbrace College Handbook , 12th ed. </li></ul><ul><li>Tangan, English Skills with Readings , 2nd ed. </li></ul><ul><li>Fitzpatrick, Rusica; The Complete Paragraph Workout Book </li></ul><ul><li>Foresman, Handbook for Writers , 4th ed. </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>The Learning Enhancement Center is designed to serve the students of CCC. We are eager to be a facilitator of successful learning. Please let us know what your needs are, and we will design ways to meet them. Thank you for attending this workshop. </li></ul>