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Sentences and Paragraphs
Transcript of Sentences and Paragraphs
Types of Sentences
Make sure to take excellent notes!
The Four Basic Sentence Types
A simple sentence contains one independent clause and no dependent clauses.
Ex: Shawn tutors.
Benita teaches young children acrobatics after school.
A compound sentence contains two or more independent clauses and no dependent clauses.
Ex: Shawn tutors, and he helps students learn math.
A complex sentence contains one independent clause and one or more dependent clauses.
When we visited,
Mrs. Brodsky shared her memories of working in a shipyard during World War II.
Mr. Ruiz was a photographer
until he was drafted
What makes a good paragraph?
Unity: A topic sentence states the main idea of the paragraph. All sentences contain related information that supports the topic sentence.
Coherence: All sentences connect to one another smoothly and logically.
Example of a Good Paragraph
You may have seen a movie in which some unlucky character is slurped down into quicksand. But could that really happen? Quicksand exists, but it's not quite as scary as the movies make out. Quicksand is sand that has so much water in it that it acts like a fluid and cannot support as much weight as usual. If the trapped person tries to lift out one foot, the other foot sinks deeper. A person could even sink in to her waist. However, it's impossible to sink entirely below the surface. Thus, the main danger with quicksand is that it's hard to get out if someone isn't there to help.
The topic sentence
Related information sentences (details about topic)
The concluding sentence.
Makes a statement; always ends with a period.
Ex: I see something weird in that tree. It looks like a baseball.
Shows strong feeling; always ends with an exclamation point.
Ex: I see hornets flying out! I'm getting out of here!
Asks a question; always ends with a question mark.
Ex: What do you think it is? Is it a hornet's nest?
Tells or asks someone to do something; usually ends with a period but may end with an exclamation point.
Ex: Please don't get too close to it.
Compound Sentences continued...
Independent clauses can be joined by a comma and a coordinating conjunction or by a semicolon. (There are always exceptions, however)
Ex: Some children have no books
volunteers can hold book drives for them.
for but and nor or so yet
Shall we watch?
Writing a Topic Sentence
1. Decide what your main point will be.
2. Write a sentence that states your main point and gives information about the subject.
3. Look for ways to make the topic sentence interesting and engaging.
Ex: I'm going to tell you about James Armistead.
No on suspected that James Armistead was a spy.
Which sentence is the better topic sentence? Why? Write down which one and why.
Unity: Supporting the Big Idea
Unity means that each sentence contains information that supports your topic sentence. As you write, try to stay focused on the topic sentence.
Early one morning, a bear came down out of the mountains into our yard.
It was as big as a car. It snacked on food scraps from three cans of garbage in our shed. Last week we had a raccoon in our shed. Dad built that shed itself.
Finally, it left.
What details are off topic in this paragraph? How can we fix them?
Write the edits down in your notes.
Coherence: Making Connections
To give your paragraphs coherence, use words that connect sentences to one another so your readers easily can see how one idea leads to the next.
Don't buy a backpack unless it fits you and will last a long time. The seams shouldn't be single row stitches. They should be zig-zag stitches. They are better. The zippers should be covered by flaps. The pack should rest on your hips. Your homework shouldn't get wet when it rains.
Before you buy a backpack, you should make sure it fits you and will last a long time. First, check the seams to be sure they are zig-zag stitched and not single-row stitched. This is because zig-zag stitches hold together longer. Next, check that the zippers are covered by flaps so your homework doesn't get wet when it rains. Finally, make sure the pack fits you. The bottom of the pack should rest comfortably on your hips.
Read these next two paragraphs
and determine which one is more
coherent--which one flows better
than the other and how?
you buy a backpack, you should make sure it fits you and will last a long time.
check the seams to be sure they are zig-zag stitched and not single-row stitched. This is because zig-zag stitches hold together longer.
check that the zippers are covered by flaps so your homework doesn't get wet when it rains.
make sure the pack fits you. The bottom of the pack should rest comfortably on your hips.
Which one is better?
Great job. Example 2 is better. The connecting words help the reader follow the process.
Write a paragraph in response to this question:
Why does Francisco say he hasn’t earned his own cotton sack yet? (p. 72)
Do not forget the format of a well-structured paragraph. Refer to your notes!