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Copy of Paragraph Structure: the Hamburger Method

A Prezi on Paragraph Writing

RWLC Prezi

on 25 January 2013

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Transcript of Copy of Paragraph Structure: the Hamburger Method

Paragraph Structure:
the Hamburger Method I'll have what
he's having! Today we will be talking about an easy-to-remember method for structuring paragraphs.

Why do you think it is important to organize your paragraphs?

How do you normally set up your paragraphs? Here's an easy way to think about paragraph structure. We're using a hamburger analogy to
illustrate how you can organize a paragraph.

The top bun is like your TOPIC SENTENCE.

The bottom bun is like your CONCLUDING SENTENCE.

The stuff in between
is everything else:
-Details The topic sentence is usually the first sentence. It introduces what your paragraph will be about. A topic sentence acts as a preview. It lets your readers know what you will be focusing on. It should be scaled to fit the paragraph.

For instance, the sentence, "Star Wars is a good movie," is much too large, but the sentence, "Luke Skywalker is my favorite character from the Star Wars series," is specific enough for one paragraph. Let's spend a couple minutes generating more topic sentences. Here are a few topic sentences that need improving: 1. Beethoven was born in 1770.

What's wrong with this topic sentence? How do you think we could improve it? 2. Technology is great.

What's wrong with this topic sentence? How can we improve it? Now that the main idea is stated in the topic sentence, we need to construct the body of the paragraph. This section will contain the reasons, examples, and illustrative details. This section will take up the bulk of the paragraph and should be filled with interesting and illustrative points.

Just as you wouldn't want a bland hamburger, you don't want bland points. Within the body, you will want to provide reasons to show that your main point is true.

You also want to include some examples to illustrate what you mean more clearly. As you can see, Luke Skywalker is clearly the best because of ... Let's look at this example paragraph. My bedroom expresses who I am. I have a nice bed in the corner of my room, and it has many pillows on it. I have pretty statues and trophies on my bookcase as well as colorful ribbons. On my wall are posters and postcards from all over. I am proud of my extensive movie collection and show it off to anyone who comes over. Once my friends enter my room, they know just the type of person I am. What do you think of this paragraph?

How can it be improved? As you can see, it is important to include specific, concrete details so that you effectively get your point across.

You might have also noticed that vague words such as "pretty" and "nice" don't actually SHOW the reader anything. Another word to avoid is "good."

"Good" can mean SO MANY THINGS. What are some words we can use instead of "good" to better capture our meaning? If you had to write a paragraph about someone close to you...

What would your topic sentence be?

What details and examples could you include? The concluding sentence is the last sentence of the paragraph and wraps everything up. To: Luke Your last task is to effectively bring your paragraph to a close. Some of the ways you can do this are to:

-restate your main point
-summarize your supporting points
-supply a profound, funny, or reflective thought. Topic sentence: Luke Skywalker is my favorite character in the Star Wars series.

Possible concluding sentences:

-I just wouldn't love Star Wars as much without Luke Skywalker.

-Because of his determination, growth and skills, Luke Skywalker will forever be my favorite character. Look back to the topic sentence you created earlier. How could you end that paragraph? Final Thoughts

Remember, this is not the ONLY way to write a paragraph, but it's a useful guide to start with.

What's most important is that you remember to:

-start with a single main point
-fill your paragraph with illustrative reasons, examples and details
-effectively close your paragraph. The end
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