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The Paragraph.

Discusses basic paragraph structure.
by

Ryan Rague

on 3 December 2012

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Transcript of The Paragraph.

The Expository Paragraph Although some people feel that Bill Cosby is too perfect of a parent, I think if I could choose anyone in the world to be my father, it would be Cosby. One reason is that when I was little, I never had the right kind of discipline. My dad was either too strict or not strict enough. Bill Cosby always seems to show just the right amount of concern, and yet he is not afraid to discipline or punish someone. Also, most the times that he has to correct his children, he disciplines them in a manner that makes sense and works. His children benefit from the way Bill Cosby handles their situation. They have to suffer the consequences if they do something wrong, but Cosby doesn't ever just punish; he always talks the problem out. A third reason why Bill Cosby would be my choice as a father is because he is able to be strict with his children when it is necessary, and he is also able to laugh and enjoy life with them. My father was very strict and usually not able to have fun with me. I think it is very important for parents to be able to spend plenty of leisure time with their children and really let them know that they enjoy their children. With all the characteristics obvious in Bill Cosby, I think he would be a terrific parent to have. The paragraph is a series of sentences developing one topic. The paragraph has several parts: -Topic sentence -KEY IDEAS that support the topic sentence -Concluding sentence The Topic Sentence What is it? Supporting Sentences (Key Ideas) Reasons, details, facts, or examples that support the topic sentence expressed in a single sentence. Without these, there is nothing to support the topic. Concluding Sentence Concluding sentences restate the topic sentence using different words and summarize the paragraph. To establish unity, the concluding sentence should LINK back to the topic sentence. Conclusion sentences DO NOT, let me repeat, DO NOT raise new topics. In the next slide, describe how the topic sentence and the conclusion sentence are similar. Well-written paragraphs have unity and coherence. Unity
&
Coherence Unity
-Every sentence in a paragraph should support the main idea expressed in the topic sentence.

Main Idea sentence sentence sentence Conclusion Sentence Coherence
Rule 1: Stick to the point. The supporting sentences have a clear and logical relation to each other. See the handout on transitions in the RESOURCE FOLDER of My Big Campus. Looks simple, right? Expository paragraphs are paragraphs designed to give information or explain something. For example... -An overview of President Lincoln's life -A detailed examination of why I'm your favorite teacher... ;) -A list of tips for success -A description of your morning routine -A reflection of learning experiences -A detailed examination of why I'm not your favorite teacher... :( ONE TOPIC! A paragraph is one idea fully expressed. Not two, not three, not forty-seven, ONE. Your topic should be specific enough to be explored in a single paragraph. -Example/evidence sentences that support key ideas Although some people feel that Bill Cosby is too perfect of a parent, I think if I could choose anyone in the world to be my father, it would be Cosby. One reason is that when I was little, I never had the right kind of discipline. My dad was either too strict or not strict enough. Bill Cosby always seems to show just the right amount of concern, and yet he is not afraid to discipline or punish someone. Also, most the times that he has to correct his children, he disciplines them in a manner that makes sense and works. His children benefit from the way Bill Cosby handles their situation. They have to suffer the consequences if they do something wrong, but Cosby doesn't ever just punish; he always talks the problem out. A third reason why Bill Cosby would be my choice as a father is because he is able to be strict with his children when it is necessary, and he is also able to laugh and enjoy life with them. My father was very strict and usually not able to have fun with me. I think it is very important for parents to be able to spend plenty of leisure time with their children and really let them know that they enjoy their children. With all the characteristics obvious in Bill Cosby, I think he would be a terrific parent to have. A sentence introducing a single topic that will be explored in the rest of the paragraph. Topic Sentence: Although some people feel that Bill Cosby is too perfect of a parent, I think if I could choose anyone in the world to be my father, it would be Cosby. What is the topic of this paragraph? What can we expect the rest of this paragraph to be about? Bill Cosby? Nope. Not specific enough. The author would choose Bill Cosby to be his/her father. Bill Cosby? Nope. Not specific enough. Why the author would choose Bill Cosby to be his/her father. Topic: I would choose Bill Cosby to be my dad. Support 1 Support 2 Support 3 Right type of disciplinarian Discipline is appropriate Healthy balance of discipline and fun Example Sentences These sentences elaborate or expand on the key ideas. If I say Bill Cosby is the right kind of disciplinarian, I need to explain why. If I say apples are better than oranges, I need to explain why. If I say writing paragraphs is pointless, I need to explain why. Stay on topic. Don't start talking about butterflies and then switch to what you had for lunch. Rule 2: Put reasons, details, facts in logical order using TRANSITIONS (words signaling the switch from one idea to the next). Arrange supporting sentences in chronological order or by order of importance (least to greatest)! How to Write the Expository Paragraph Topic Sentence: A single sentence expressing what the rest of the paragraph will be about. Do not say something like this: In this paragraph, I will talk about.... (For a list of different ways to begin a paragraph, check out the "Topic Sentence Help" in your RESOURCE FOLDER on My Big Campus.) Example: Although some people feel that Bill Cosby is too perfect of a parent, I think if I could choose anyone in the world to be my father, it would be Cosby. Supporting Sentences (Key Ideas) #1: Support your topic sentence with a key idea. Begin with a transition. Arrange chronologically or in order of importance (weakest to greatest) One reason is that when I was little, I never had the right kind of discipline. Example: Example/Explaining Sentences: Write 2+ sentences that explain or elaborate on your support. (Tell why. Explain what you mean. Provide an example or two.) My dad was either too strict or not strict enough. Bill Cosby always seems to show just the right amount of concern, and yet he is not afraid to discipline or punish someone. Example: Supporting Sentences (Key Ideas) #2: Support your topic sentence with a key idea. Begin with a transition. Arrange chronologically or in order of importance (weakest to greatest) Tips: Also, most the times that he has to correct his children, he disciplines them in a manner that makes sense and works. Example: Example/Explaining Sentences: Write 2+ sentences that explain or elaborate on your support. (Tell why. Explain what you mean. Provide an example or two.) His children benefit from the way Bill Cosby handles their situation. They have to suffer the consequences if they do something wrong, but Cosby doesn't ever just punish; he always talks the problem out. Supporting Sentences (Key Ideas) #2: Support your topic sentence with a key idea. Begin with a transition. Arrange chronologically or in order of importance (weakest to greatest) A third reason why Bill Cosby would be my choice as a father is because he is able to be strict with his children when it is necessary, and he is also able to laugh and enjoy life with them. Example/Explaining Sentences: Write 2+ sentences that explain or elaborate on your support. (Tell why. Explain what you mean. Provide an example or two.) My father was very strict and usually not able to have fun with me. I think it is very important for parents to be able to spend plenty of leisure time with their children and really let them know that they enjoy their children. Conclusion Sentence: Write a conclusion sentence that restates--not repeats--your topic sentence. It does not introduce new information! Consider using one of the following words or phrases to begin your conclusion: all in all, in conclusion, to sum up, certainly, in fact, truly, clearly, obviously, definitely, or surely. Avoid using phrases such as: as I have have said, as I proved, and as you can see. With all the characteristics obvious in Bill Cosby, I think he would be a terrific parent to have. Example: Example: Example: Example: Step One Step Two Step Three Step Four Step Five Step Six Step Seven Step Eight Almost done! Before submitting, be sure to... Revise your paragraph to make sure you've structured it according to the outline in the previous slide Check for Forbidden 15 and remove any of these words in your paragraph Read your paragraph aloud. If you notice yourself making a mistake while reading, make sure there isn't a problem with sentence structure (syntax). Have someone else proofread your work and make suggestions. Finally, when all the above has been done, you can submit! The Expository Paragraph
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