How To Write A Paragraph
An "A"--I want an "A" in this class!
I need a date. How come no one finds ME adorable?
Why can't I find a job? What is wrong with these people?
If you have ever made these kinds of statements but have been unclear as to how accomplish these tasks, then you are in the right place.
Writing is the key. Knowing how to write effective paragraphs will send you shooting up the grading scale of life and make the experience much more enjoyable. Being able to express oneself clearly and concisely in writing (and speaking) is not only the key to success in a classroom, but it is the key to success in life. Verbal and written skills make us not only more attractive to our instructors but to a partner and a boss. We are rewarded with As, dates, and jobs.
Employing the four steps in the writing process ( think, pre-write, write, revise), MLA format, and the paragraph model, students will chose a topic and a paragraph type (definition, classification, description, compare and contrast), and write a paragraph (topic sentence, proof , closing sentence).
A paragraph is comprised of a group of sentences that are organized and coherent in order to prove one central controlling idea (topic sentence) and is a complete unit of thought. A paragraph has three parts: a topic sentence, the body of the paragraph (proof), and the closing sentence. The topic sentence is one sentence that introduces the statement that the body of the paragraph will prove and directs the logical order of the sentences. The body sentences must specifically develop and prove the topic sentence. The closing sentence restates the topic sentence to remind the readers what the paragraph has proven.
Follow the directions in this sequence precisely, click on every link, and complete all assignments before proceeding to the next section.
Think: Look at each of the four different types of paragraphs (definition, classification, description, compare and contrast) and select one. As you are analyzing each paragraph type, start thinking about a topic that would best fit one of the four types. Make a definite decision regarding your paragraph type and your topic and email them to your instructor for approval.
Pre-write: Freewrite for five minutes non-stop about your topic. Write down ANYTHING that comes to your mind about your topic. This is a right-brained activity, so don't worry about form yet--just write. Now, it is time to construct the paragraph model (left brain).
Write: Now it is time to turn on your computer. Set up your paper using MLA format. Using your paragraph model as a guide (road map), begin writing your paragraph. Do not start revising--in this step in the writing process, you write and worry about revising (and editing) in the next step.
Revise: Now it is time to take your paragraph and move it from a rough draft to a final draft (to be graded). Once you have completed revising your paragraph, it is time to submit the entire process to your instructor. Turn in the following items in the following order: final draft, rough draft, model, freewrite, paragraph type and topic email confirmation.
I have listed some websites that I thought would be helpful in constructing a paragraph.
- The University of North Carolina offers a very helpful website that describes the process of constructing an effective paragraph: 〈http://www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb/handouts/paragraphs.html〉.
- The University of Ottowa has a model for ho.html>.w to construct a paragraph: 〈http://www.uottawa.ca/academic/arts/writcent/hypergrammar/paragrph.html〉.
- I have listed the link that offers students suggestions in writing a research paper because I thought it might have some helpful information in constructing paragraphs: Dr. LaMay's Research Paper Comments.
- I am also listing a general links page for the same reason 〈http://drlamay.com/links.htm〉.
The entire process must be completed and submitted in order to receive credit for this assignment (final draft, rough draft, model, freewrite, paragraph type and topic email confirmation).
Congratulations! You have learned that writing is a step by step process, and that by following a prescribed order of assignments, it is possible to complete a complex task in smaller increments. We never get away from paragraphs; they follow us to essays, research papers, and speeches. Now, it is time to take a break from writing and go and enjoy some of nature's gifts.