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What is a paragraph?

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Super Geil

on 13 December 2013

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Transcript of What is a paragraph?

Paragraphs
What is a paragraph?
A paragraph is a group of sentences about one main idea. All of the sentences in a paragraph relate to the main idea.
The first sentence of a paragraph is always indented.

Ex.
Superheroes exist for a variety of reasons. They fight crime so that citizens may live in peace and without fear. Superheroes may also fight for a sense of accomplishment or due to personal issues. Without these upholders of justice, our cities would suffer.

The Topic Sentence
The topic of a paragraph is stated in one sentence—the topic sentence.

It may be developed by giving details or examples, or by telling an incident.

Every sentence in a paragraph should support the main idea expressed in the topic sentence.

The Concluding/Clincher Sentence
A clincher sentence or concluding sentence clinches the point made in the paragraph.

Restate the topic sentence in different words.

This SUMMARIZES the paragraph. No new ideas are
suddenly added.

Coherence in a Paragraph
Make sure to stick to the point: the ideas have a clear and logical RELATION to each other.

Put details or examples or incidents in logical order.
Chronological, in relation to each other, and in order of importance

Transition Words
When does one use transition words?

Firstly
, transition words are very important when you want your sentences to flow nicely. They basically connect one thought or sentence to the next. One should,
however
, take care not to overuse transition words;
after all
, less can be more.

Transition words are most effective when used to:
Reinforce an idea
moreover, furthermore, certainly, indeed
Make a smooth move from one idea to the next
on the other hand, however, interestingly
Concluding
in effect, ultimately, in this sense

Conclusion
Types of Paragraphs
The
narrative paragraph
tells a story.

The
persuasive paragraph
tries to convince the audience.

The
descriptive paragraph
describes something.

The
expository or explanatory paragraph
gives information or explains something.

Narrative Paragraphs
The narrative paragraph tells a story.

The topic sentence may be something like:

Shakespeare’s Macbeth tells the tragic tale of a good man whose immoral thirst for power ultimately leads to his corruption and downfall.

The paragraph would then go on to provide a number of key points regarding how his immoral thirst for power led to his corruption and downfall.

Persuasive Paragraphs
When would you want to persuade people?
The art of persuasion is highly important in the real world—maybe you want to convince a potential employer that you’re the right person for the job, or maybe you just want your parents to give you a raise in your allowance; alternatively, you might want to win an argument or a debate.

A good topic sentence for a persuasive paragraph might be something like this:
I am the perfect candidate for this position at your company due to my large skill-set and excellent attitude.

Descriptive Paragraphs
The descriptive paragraph does exactly what it sounds like: it describes something.
In essence, you’re
describing something and then talking about its key points, features, or functions.
Persuasive Paragraphs
Write a persuasive paragraph in which you attempt to convince your audience that they should participate in your favourite hobby (soccer, basketball, drawing, reading, shopping, eating, etc).

When preparing to write a persuasive paragraph, consider the following:
Topic: What or whom is the paragraph about? What's the main idea?
3 reasons for why/how this is the case.
Conclusion: Summarize the main idea.

Why is this important or significant?
When/where/why/how did it happen?
Descriptive Paragraphs
A descriptive paragraph might sound like this:

Your topic sentence may be something to the effect of:

Pencils are a useful tool in today’s society and
function in a variety of different ways. They are an essential tool for writing our thoughts down, of course. They also may be used to draw pictures. Lastly, one may tap one's pencil in a Morse Code sequence to convey information. In effect, pencils are integral with regards to various forms of communication, whether this is
accomplished through text, image, or sound.
The Topic Sentence
Remember this paragraph?

Until one hundred and sixty-five million years ago, Dinosaurs roamed the Earth.
They were fearsome and awe-inspiring reptiles, and so they were aptly named, given that their name means 'terrible lizard'. Some were carnivores whereas others were herbivores, and others yet were omnivores. They came in all shapes and sizes. Unfortunately, Dinosaurs are now extinct, but mankind continues to study and learn from these fascinating creatures to this day.
The Concluding/Clincher Sentence
Remember this paragraph?

Until one hundred and sixty-five million years ago, Dinosaurs roamed the Earth. They were fearsome and awe-inspiring reptiles, and so they were aptly named, given that their name means 'terrible lizard'. Some were carnivores whereas others were herbivores, and others yet were omnivores. They came in all shapes and sizes.
Unfortunately, Dinosaurs are now extinct, but mankind continues to study and learn from these fascinating creatures to this day.
Coherence in a Paragraph
An example of
incoherence
:

Batman is a caped crusader. Aquaman is cool, but I don't like his costume. No one likes Aquaman. Commissioner Gordon, who is with the local police, turned on the Bat Signal. Batman saved the day from The Joker yesterday. The Joker attacked Gotham City again. The Superman movie was better than the Green Hornet movie. Ultimately, Batman is cunning and resourceful, and therefore is the best superhero
in the Justice League.

Why would this be 'incoherent'?
The Topic Sentence
If you were going to write a paragraph about why your favourite food should be served for lunch at school every day, what would your topic sentence be?
The Concluding/Clincher Sentence
Write a concluding/clincher sentence for the following paragraph:

Dogs truly are man's best friend. They are energetic, friendly, and extremely loyal; even if all of your friends leave you, your dog will always stay by your side. They are also excellent when it comes to defending your home from burglars.

Remember that concluding sentences summarize the whole paragraph and restate the topic sentence in different words.

Transition Words
Insert transition words into the following paragraph to make it flow more nicely:

The Northampton Clown is a mysterious carnival figure who sometimes can be seen around the area of the same name. His true identity is unknown. He loiters around the streets in full costume with balloons in one hand and a teddy bear in the other. He has been a topic of interest for the last while among locals and small news outlets. One cannot always simply accept what the media reports about this man. It is important to check one's sources and keep an open mind. The citizens of Northampton have been terrorized by the clown for the past few months. Many still follow sightings of this strange entity with interest.


Transition Words
Here's an example of how one might go about using transition words. Of course, you wouldn't use all of these at the same time.

The Northampton Clown is a mysterious carnival figure who sometimes can be seen around the area of the same name. His true identity is unknown.
Curiously
, he loiters around the streets in full costume with balloons in one hand and a teddy bear in the other. He has been a topic of interest for the last while among locals and small news outlets. It must,
however
, be taken into account that one cannot always simply accept what the media reports about this man.
Therefore
, it is important to check one's sources and keep an open mind.
All the same
, the citizens of Northampton have been terrorized by the clown for the past few months,
though
many still follow sightings of this strange entity with interest.

Adversative transitions are used to signal conflict, contradiction concession, and dismissal.

Conflict
But, by way of contrast, while, however, yet, whereas, in contrast, conversely, on the other hand, still

Emphasis
Even more, above all, indeed, more importantly, besides

Concession
Even so, nevertheless, even though, however, despite this, granted, although, still, admittedly

Dismissal
Either way, in any case, all the same, at any rate

Replacement
At least, rather, instead


Narrative Paragraphs
A narrative paragraph usually tells a story or event that has some meaning or significance.

When preparing to write a narrative paragraph, consider the following:
What happened?
Why and how did it happen?
Why is this important or significant (to you)?
When and where did it happen?
Narrative Paragraphs
Think of someone who has really influenced you in
your life. Whom do you really look up to?
Write a narrative paragraph about how this person has
positively influenced your life.

Topic Sentence > 3 Reasons > Concluding Sentence

When preparing to write a narrative paragraph, consider the following:
Topic: What or whom is the paragraph about? What's the main idea?
3 reasons for why/how this is the case.
Conclusion: Summarize the main idea.

Why is this important or significant?
When/where/why/how did it happen?

The Topic Sentence
If you wrote a paragraph about why your favourite food should be served in the eatery at school, your topic sentence might be something like the following:

Seventy percent of the student body population in most schools do not enjoy eating regular cafeteria food.

Pizza has withstood the test of time as a meal that is both delicious and balanced in nutrition.

Ice cream is popular among most people: students,
teachers, and principals alike.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to
eat amazing food at school every day?
The Concluding/Clincher Sentence
Dogs truly are man's best friend. They are energetic and friendly, and extremely loyal; even if all of your friends leave you, your dog will always stay by your side. They are also excellent when it comes to defending your home from burglars.

A concluding/clincher sentence might be something like:

Without dogs, the world would be a much darker place.

Dogs really are the truest companions one can have.

It is safe to say that dogs are the most caring and loyal animals you will ever meet.




Essay Format
Now that you know about the anatomy of a paragraph, consider the anatomy of an essay. It usually appears to be something like this:

Introduction

Reason #1

Reason #2

Reason #3

Conclusion


Introductory Paragraph
There are two purposes for an introductory paragraph:
Get the reader's interest/attention.
Let the reader know what you will be writing about.

These are five common methods for starting an introduction of any kind:
1. Historical Review
2. Anecdotal
3. Surprising Statement
4. Famous Person
5. Declarative




Historical Review
Historical reviews are usually biographical sketches, particular events in history, or specific time periods/movements.

The historical review is brief so that it doesn't overpower the rest of the writing.

In 1922, Foster Hewitt was only 20 years old when he was assigned to announce the first radio broadcast of a hockey game by a radio station owned by the Toronto Star newspaper. Reporting on the game from a cramped glass box far above the ice, it was during this game that Hewitt first uttered his famous phrase, “He shoots; he scores!” After the broadcast, letters from listeners began pouring in; its popularity with listeners was unprecedented. Though officially a reporter, Hewitt began live broadcasting of hockey, lacrosse, sculling, motorboat and motorcycle races, sailing, football and baseball.

https://www.historicacanada.ca/content/heritage-minutes/foster-hewitt


Anecdotal
An anecdote is a story. You can begin your introductory paragraph with a related story that leads into the topic.

This is only a short story or an episode and not a full-blown story with a detailed setting, plot, and characters.

When I was young, I used to really enjoy watching cartoons-- The Magic School Bus, The Land Before Time, Pokemon, Digimon, you name it. Soon, however, anime was the next big thing, and as its popularity skyrocketed, I noticed an increasing number of people at my school wearing Inu-yasha t-shirts and Naruto headbands even when it wasn't Halloween. A few years later, the very same style was shunned and made fun of. Ultimately, the popularity of any given genre of media can shape the way people perceive themselves and others.

Surprising Statement
A surprising statement does exactly what it implies: it aims to surprise or shock the reader.

According to some infamous cannibals, human meat tastes like pork.


Famous Person
Some writers mention the name of a celebrity
or famous person (alive or dead) to catch the attention
of their readers.

They must have be related to the topic you're
writing about, of course.

The best male basketball player of all time isn't Michael Jordan, nor is it Dwayne Wade or Kobe Bryant; the one man who has truly showcased his talents in an excellent manner is Metta World Peace.

Nowadays, all sorts of celebrities use Twitter; even our Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, has been known to tweet from time to time. However, twitter also holds many advantages
and possibilities for the everyday user.
Transition Words
Why do I have to use transition words?

Smooth transitions are important in anything. Remember how one sentence is a single thought or idea? If we connect those ideas, we have coherence-- they sound more related that way.

In a hockey game, they don't stop the play when they switch players in or out; there's a smooth transition.





Persuasive Paragraphs
A persuasive paragraph might be something like this:

With the recent economic downturn and rising prices,
people in today's society are finding it more and more difficult to pay for things they need. Since I am just a student and have no job, this is even tougher for me. If I am not able to keep up with the increasing vending machine prices, I will go hungry and won't be able to focus in class. Also, my classmates depend on me for help and I often answer the teacher's questions, so not being able to get enough food would affect them as well. Therefore, a raise in my allowance would not only help me, but it would benefit everyone in the long run.


Descriptive Paragraphs
In a paragraph, describe the Double Big Mac.

Remember:
you are describing something and then talking about its key points, features, or functions.
Supporting Your Ideas
Now that you've got a topic sentence and a concluding sentence, you need some details to support your main idea.

Supporting details must:
Support the main idea in your topic sentence
Be relevant to the topic

Supporting Details
Topic Sentence: My favourite place to visit is the beach.

Which of the following would be included as supporting details?

The water is very warm even in the early summer.
There are carnival rides at the beach.
I don't like the hot dogs sold at the stand there.
I like playing in the sand.
The beach is never too crowded with people.
I like swimming in the waves and surfing.
I can stay up later in the summer.
When it rains, there isn't much to do at the beach.
I enjoy looking at birds.
There are sometimes great BBQs.




Supporting Details
Write at least five supporting details for the following topic sentence:
I possess all the qualities of a great friend.


Supporting Details
I possess all the qualities of a great friend.

Some supporting details may include:
I hang out with my friends.
I'm ready to listen if they need to talk.
I encourage others.
I include people when they're feeling left out.
I am honest with my friends.

What might be a good concluding sentence
for this paragraph?
Supporting Details
Topic Sentence:
Dogs are great pets.

Supporting Details:
Dogs are very loyal to their owners.
Dogs understand our speech.
They defend your home from intruders.

Concluding Sentence:
Dogs live up to their reputation as man's best friend.
The Topic Sentence
A topic sentence must be
GENERAL
enough to include all the ideas in the paragraph, but
LIMITING
enough to allow the writer to focus on specifics.



The Topic Sentence
For each of the following pairs of potential topic sentences, which one would be more useful in writing a paragraph?

Television is bad for you.
Television emphasizes too much violence.

Quebec City can be a fun place to visit.
There are many things to do in Quebec City during its annual Winter Carnival.

Everyone should play basketball.
Basketball is good exercise.

I like watching Jurassic Park.
Jurassic Park is both exciting and fun to watch.

Transition Words

Sam is one of the best players on the baseball
team.
For this reason,
Sam is a good athlete.
For instance,
Sam hit two home runs in the last game.
Furthermore,
when the pitcher throws the ball, Sam has a good eye and can determine where the ball will go in relation to the plate. Sam doesn't just run to first base faster than anyone on the team; he can pitch, hit and catch very well.
Consequently,
Sam is a very good player at first base or shortstop.
In addition,
Sam can read the pitcher well and knows
when he should attempt to steal a base.


The Concluding/Clincher Sentence
Think of ways you can restate the topic sentence.

Dogs are great pets.
Due to their intelligence, loyalty, and protective natures, dogs truly are man's best friend.

McDonald's is a top-notch fast food chain.
In this way, McDonald's is a great place to eat at because of its fast service, tasty burgers, and complementary smiles.

Jurassic Park is both exciting and fun to watch.
In effect, Jurassic Park excites its audience through
suspenseful sequences, humorous lines, and
well-animated creatures.

Next, we'll be talking about topic sentences.
http://www.flocabulary.com/thesis/
Essay Format
http://www.flocabulary.com/five-paragraph-essay/
Narrative Paragraphs
A narrative paragraph might look like this:

I have recently begun my teaching practice, but it
was not solely due to the desire to impart my knowledge and skills to others; as it is with many people, a particularly great teacher I once had truly brought out the best student in me, and this teacher was Mr. Severin, my ninth grade science teacher. He was enthusiastic about what he taught and was able to get along with both students and teachers of all ages, and we could tell that he cared. I had previously done terribly in all of my science classes, but because he was such a good teacher, I consistently got high marks. Ultimately, it was because of this teacher of mine that I found some enjoyment in school and was inspired to follow a similar line of work.

Declarative Paragraph
The declarative paragraph is a straightforward introduction.
There are no historical reviews, no surprising statements, no anecdotes, no quotations from or about famous people. This is a discussion that leads to further discussion about the topic.

Bullying has been and still is a major problem in our schools
today. In America alone, over a hundred and sixty thousand children miss school every day out of the fear of being bullied, and even then may suffer from cyberbullying as well. According to statistics in 2010, around 2.7 million students are bullied each year with around 2.1 million doing the bullying; in fact, about one in seven students throughout kindergarten to Grade Twelve is either a bully or a victim of one. Oftentimes, victims of bullies become bullies themselves. This is also true for students who act out violently among their peers because they are
mistreated at home.
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