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What is a Paragraph?

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by

Barbi McLain

on 3 November 2011

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Transcript of What is a Paragraph?

What is a paragraph? building blocks of papers! Definition: a series of sentences about one main idea or point a paragraph typically starts with a point and then provides the specific details to support and develop that point Some say that a paragraph should be 5 sentences long, but this is a just a formula! Instead- a paragraph should be as long as it takes to complete the task! Each task is different! It depends on the type of paragraph you're writing and the context in which you are writing! Regardless of the task, you will typically have 4 goals in writing: 1) Make a point

2) Support the point

3) Organize the support

4) Write error-free sentences Types of Paragraphs Description
Example
Narration
Process
Classification
Cause & Effect
Comparison and Contrast
Definition
Argument Narration: Tell a story. Go chronologically, from start to finish. One North Carolina man found quite a surprise last year while fishing in the Catawba River: a piranha. Jerry Melton, of Gastonia, reeled in a one pound, four ounce fish with an unusual bite. Melton could not identify it, but a nearby fisherman did. Melton at first could not believe he had caught a piranha. He said, "That ain't no piranha. They ain't got piranha around here." Melton was right: the fish is native to South America, and North Carolina prohibits owning the fish as a pet or introducing the species to local waterways. The sharp-toothed, carnivorous fish likely found itself in the Catawba River when its illegal owner released the fish after growing tired of it. Wildlife officials hope that the piranha was the only of its kind in the river, but locals are thinking twice before they wade in the water. One North Carolina man found quite a surprise last year while fishing in the Catawba River: a piranha. Jerry Melton, of Gastonia, reeled in a one pound, four ounce fish with an unusual bite. Melton could not identify it, but a nearby fisherman did. Melton at first could not believe he had caught a piranha. He said, "That ain't no piranha. They ain't got piranha around here." Melton was right: the fish is native to South America, and North Carolina prohibits owning the fish as a pet or introducing the species to local waterways. The sharp-toothed, carnivorous fish likely found itself in the Catawba River when its illegal owner released the fish after growing tired of it. Wildlife officials hope that the piranha was the only of its kind in the river, but locals are thinking twice before they wade in the water. Description: Provide specific details about what something looks, smells, tastes, sounds, or feels like. Organize spatially, in order of appearance, or by topic. On one corner of my dresser sits a smiling toy clown on a tiny unicycle--a gift I received last Christmas from a close friend. The clown's short yellow hair, made of yarn, covers its ears but is parted above the eyes. The blue eyes are outlined in black with thin, dark lashes flowing from the brows. It has cherry-red cheeks, nose, and lips, and its broad grin disappears into the wide, white ruffle around its neck. The clown wears a fluffy, two-tone nylon costume. The left side of the outfit is light blue, and the right side is red. The two colors merge in a dark line that runs down the center of the small outfit. Surrounding its ankles and disguising its long black shoes are big pink bows. The white spokes on the wheels of the unicycle gather in the center and expand to the black tire so that the wheel somewhat resembles the inner half of a grapefruit. The clown and unicycle together stand about a foot high. As a cherished gift from my good friend Tran, this colorful figure greets me with a smile every time I enter my room. Process: Explain how something works, step by step. Perhaps follow a sequencefirst, second, third. The problem of hairballs that have already formed in cat’s fur can be solved by proper brushing. In order to brush your cat’s hairballs, you’ll need two kinds of brushes: a wide-teeth wipe and a metallic one. The former will help you dissolve and, partially, remove tightly knotted hairballs without causing any pain or discomfort to your cat. The latter, used subsequently, will remove excess of loose puffy hair and decrease the possibility of reoccurrence the next day. Once brushing is over, make sure to polish your cat’s fur all over his body with the help of a clean, cotton, or woolen cloth. Cause and Effect: focuses on a problem or issue, examining what brought it about and what its consequences are. In recent decades, cities have grown so large that now about 50% of the Earth's population lives in urban areas. There are several reasons for this occurrence. First, the increasing industrialization of the nineteenth century resulted in the creation of many factory jobs, which tended to be located in cities. These jobs, with their promise of a better material life, attracted many people from rural areas. Second, there were many schools established to educate the children of the new factory laborers. The promise of a better education persuaded many families to leave farming communities and move to the cities. Finally, as the cities grew, people established places of leisure, entertainment, and culture, such as sports stadiums, theaters, and museums. For many people, these facilities made city life appear more interesting than life on the farm, and therefore drew them away from rural communities. In recent decades, cities have grown so large that now about 50% of the Earth's population lives in urban areas. There are several reasons for this occurrence. First, the increasing industrialization of the nineteenth century resulted in the creation of many factory jobs, which tended to be located in cities. These jobs, with their promise of a better material life, attracted many people from rural areas. Second, there were many schools established to educate the children of the new factory laborers. The promise of a better education persuaded many families to leave farming communities and move to the cities. Finally, as the cities grew, people established places of leisure, entertainment, and culture, such as sports stadiums, theaters, and museums. For many people, these facilities made city life appear more interesting than life on the farm, and therefore drew them away from rural communities. Compare and Contrast: shows differences and/or similarities between two subjects My hometown and my college town have several things in common. First, both are small rural communities. For example, my hometown, Gridlock, has a population of only about 10,000 people. Similarly, my college town, Subnormal, consists of about 11,000 local residents. This population swells to 15,000 people when the college students are attending classes. A second way in which these two towns are similar is that they are both located in rural areas. Gridlock is surrounded by many acres of farmland which is devoted mainly to growing corn and soybeans. In the same way, Subnormal lies in the center of farmland which is used to raise hogs and cattle . . . . Definition: more than a dictionary definition, this paragraph often consists of detailed explanations to help explore the definition or reasons why the definition matters A defense mechanism is an action or a form of thought that helps a person cope with an unpleasant emotion or idea. An example of a defense mechanism, and probably the most common, is denial. If a person is angry with a friend and feels bad about those feelings, he or she might deny those feelings altogether, asserting that everything is alright. On the other hand, a person might cope with these feelings by claiming the friend is angry with him, which would be a defense mechanism called projection. One way to get rid of unpleasant feelings is to associate them with someone else. Other defense mechanisms include rationalization, displacement, and regression. Use excessively, rather than helping people cope, defense mechanisms are obstacles to working through problems and issues that make a person unhappy. Argument: develop an arguable thesis and support it with credible evidence In the essay, “Is Google Making Us Stupid?”, author Nicholas Carr argues that the structure of the internet is affecting the way our minds work, spreading our attention thin and all but eliminating our ability to deeply focus. He uses several historical examples to show how new technologies have, in the past, biologically altered the way that humans’ minds function, and speculates that internet usage is turning us into “jet ski” thinkers (skimming along the surface), whereas once we were “deep sea divers.” I think that Carr is pointing out an important phenomenon of behavior that has been increasing in recent years, and I agree that it may, overtime, have effects on the way in which we read and understand information. I would argue, however, that it is not the “skimming activity” itself that is at the root cause of this change. While Carr looks at the medium of the internet itself as the culprit, I think that it is the recent cultural valuation of “multitasking” that is the root cause of our increasing inability to “dig deep” and focus in on texts. American culture, in particular, seems to value efficiency above all else, and often celebrates those people who can split their attention and accomplish multiple things at once. Whether this “splitting” has a fragmenting effect (one in which our ability to discern and understand what we are reading/doing is adversely affected) or will eventually allow our brains to become more nimble at accomplishing multiple tasks simultaneously is yet to be determined. But, with our very minds at stake, it seems more important than ever, as we Google our way to the answers, that we ask the right questions.
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