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Chapter 9 Learning about Paragraphs

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Derek Roche

on 15 September 2012

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Transcript of Chapter 9 Learning about Paragraphs

photo credit Nasa / Goddard Space Flight Center / Reto Stöckli What is a paragraph? Chapter 9 Learning about Paragraphs A paragraph is a section of text focused on a main idea, that is usually part of a longer piece of writing. Paragraphs show readers that you are moving from one idea to another Paragraphs make it easier for readers to get to where writers want you to go. The overall point of the paragraph Main Idea What are the parts of a paragraph? The sentence that the main idea is stated in. Topic Sentence Exercise 1 1. He turned and looked back at the stand of raspberries. The bear was gone;the birds were singing; he saw nothing that could hurt him. There was no danger here that he could sense, could feel. In the city, at night, there was sometimes danger. You could not be in the park at night, after dark, because of the danger. But here, the bear had looked at him and had moved on and-this filled his thoughts-the berries were so good.
Gary Paulsen, Hatchet 2. Like lots of kids her age, eight-year-old Auralea Moore plays baseball, swims, and skis. She also has a favorite plaything: a 19-inch doll named Susan, who was handcrafted to look like her. Auralea was born with spina bifida, a birth defect that has left her paralyzed from the waist down. Her look-alike doll, equipped with a pair of blue and silver "designer" braces, helps her remember that although she may be handicapped, she is definitely not out of the action.
A Doll Made to Order," Newsweek 3. Personally, I thought Maxwell was just about the homeliest dog I'd ever seen in my entire life. He looked like a little old man draped in piece of brown velvet that was too long, with the leftover cloth hanging in thick folds under his chin. Not only that, his long droopy ears dragged on the ground; he had sad wet eyes and huge thick paws with splayed toes. I mean, who could love a dog like that, except my brother Joji, aged nine, who is a bit on the homely side himself.
Yoshiko Uchida, A Jar of Dreams Look for the main idea in each of the following paragraphs by looking for a topic sentence and by studying the paragraph's details. Remember that the main idea is the overall point of the paragraph. If the paragraph has has no topic sentence, write the main idea of the paragraph in your own words, using details from the paragraph. If the the section has a topic sentence write it down. Identifying Main Ideas and Topic Sentences Exercise 2 1. The bottle of nail polish can cost as little as a dollar and last for months, depending on how much you use. You can find it in every color in nature and any unnatural color you can imagine. Best of all, if you get tired of a color, you can easily change it. For each of the following paragraphs, write a topic sentence that communicates the main idea. Writing a Topic Sentence 2. This movie is packed with action. I have never seen so many chases and explosions before. It also has an important lesson about friendship. The two main characters always look out for each other. Maybe the best thing about it is the music. The soundtrack will certainly be a bestseller. 3. First, you need some supplies. These include a roller or brush, a ladder tall enough to reach the roof, and enough paint to cover the whole house. You should have already scraped off the old paint. Start at the top of a section and work your way down to avoid dripping wet paint on a finished part. Supporting sentences are the details that expand on, explain, or prove a paragraphs main idea. These details can include sensory details, facts, or examples.
Sensory details are what we experience through our five senses-sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell.
Facts give information that can be proved true by direct observation or by checking a reliable reference source.
Examples give typical instances of an idea.
Supporting Sentences Exercise 3 1. The time I spent with my friends on Saturday nights is my favorite time of the week. 2. My dream is to spend two days in a shopping mall. 3. One person's actions can make a difference in the lives of others. 4. When I feel hungry, I can just imagine my favorite meal. When you write a paragraph, you have to collect details that support your main idea. You can practice with the following topic sentences. List at least two details to support each topic sentence. Collecting Supporting Details Once you have written a topic sentence and developed well-organized details that support you main idea, the only thing left to do is to wrap it all up. Some writer use a clincher sentence, also known as a concluding sentence. Notice how the last sentence of the following paragraph pulls together the preceding information by echoing the topic sentence. The Clincher Sentence Helping the homeless helps the community. When homeless people are given housing assistance and job training, they can become our neighbors, co-workers, and friends. Not only do they find work and learn to support themselves, but they also pay taxes and share their skills with others. Every person we help out of homelessness is one more person who can enrich our neighborhood and community. Although many paragraphs have no clincher sentence, you may want to use one to cement your main idea in readers' minds. For each of the following short paragraphs, write a sentence that can serve as its clincher, wrapping up the information presented in the paragraph, but not repeating it. Developing a Clincher Sentence Exercise 4 1. Eating food in the library is a bad idea. Crumbs get on the floor and between pages when you eat, even if you are careful. These tiny bits of food may be impossible for you to see, but insects know they are there and will raid the books to find them. These insects will eventually harm the pages. 2. Computers have made getting information faster and easier. Almost all schools use them now, and they are very helpful in doing homework or typing papers. Before computers were available, most students had to do research by going to libraries, which might not be open. Now students can use computers any time of the day in their own homes or at a friend's house.
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