Structure and/or Methodology, the essays main sections (structure why they come in that order (structural principle). How the author plans to draw the necessary conclusions from the information available (methodology). The Thesis Statement (usually a single sentence). Its premise (the general claim about the information available). Its conclusion (the consequences of the first claim). Not every essay contains every element in precisely this order, but most good essays cover all of them, either explicitly or implicitly.
Paragraph Writing Exercises
The Introductory paragraph, the Introductory paragraph, the paragraph that begins an essay causes students the most trouble, yet carries the most importance. Although its precise construction varies from genre to genre (and from essay to essay good introductory paragraphs generally accomplish the same tasks and follow a few basic essay patterns. I have listed some of them below, but keep in mind that what follows are guidelines, not immutable templates. Tasks: The introductory paragraph to a short essay usually attempts to do three things: Introduce the topic with some indication of its inherent interest or importance, and a clear definition of the boundaries of the subject area. Indicate the structure and/or methodology of the essay, often with the major sections of the essay or its structural principle clearly stated. State the thesis of the essay, preferably in a single, arguable statement with a clear main clause. Not every essay does all three in the first paragraph, and the degree to which an essay declares its structure or methodology may vary widely, depending on how necessary that information will be to the readers. Sometimes, the entire first paragraph will serve no other purpose than to generate interest in the subject or raise a question, leaving the other tasks for the second paragraph. However, this kind of opening requires a lot of skill, and you can lose your readers in the second and third paragraphs if do not make your purpose clear. Patterns: The standard pattern for an introductory paragraph follows the order of the tasks outlined above. Below is an outline of that pattern, written as if it were the first section of a formal outline of the entire essay: I: Introduction, the topic, its boundaries, why it is interesting.
The northern cod fishery in Canada is closed indefinitely. . In Newfoundland more than 20,000 fishermen and fish processors were abruptly put out of work in 1992 when the really government shut down the Grand Banks. Here, the transition alludes to the entire preceding section about New England fishing. . Although Cramer managed this transition in a single sentence, transitions between large sections of an essay sometimes require entire paragraphs to explain their logic. Proofreading Paragraph Transitions At some point in your editing process, look at the end of each paragraph and see how it connects to the first sentence of the paragraph following. . If the connection seems missing or strained, improve the transition by clarifying your logic or rearranging the paragraphs. . Often, the best solution is cutting out a paragraph altogether, and replacing it with the right one.
In this transition by kori quintana in an article about radiation and health problems, the connection between the paragraphs resides in the common empire term of "my family what I did not know when I began researching the connection between radioactivity and genetic damage was that. Hailing from Utah, the state known for its Mormon population's healthy lifestyle, my family has been plagued with a number of seemingly unrelated health problems. The first paragraph outlines the origins of quintana's research into the connection between radiation exposure and disease, and ends with the revelation that her own family had been affected by radiation. . The next paragraph discusses her family's health history. . Each has its own singular purpose and topic, yet the first paragraph leads to the topic of the second through a common term. Paragraph transitions can expand the range of discussion as well as narrow it with an example, as quintana's transition does; this selection from an article by deborah Cramer on the ecological impact of the fishing industry shows how a single instance of overfishing indicates. It has yet to recover. The propensity to ravage the sea is by no empire means unique to new England. .
Conjunctive adverbs and Transitional Phrases, conjunctive adverbs modify entire sentences in order to relate them to preceding sentences or paragraphs; good academic writers use many of them, but not so many that they overload the page. Here is a list of some of them, courtesy. The Brief Holt Handbook: accordingly also anyway besides certainly consequently finally furthermore hence however incidentally indeed instead likewise meanwhile moreover nevertheless next nonetheless now otherwise similarly still then thereafter therefore thus undoubtedly, transitional phrases can perform the same function: in addition in contrast for example. Implied or Conceptual Transitions, not every paragraph transition requires a conjunctive adverb or transitional phrase; often, your logic will appear through a word or concept common to the last sentence of the preceding paragraph and the topic sentence of the following paragraph. For example, the end of a paragraph by Bruce catton uses a demonstrative adjective, "these to modify the subject of the topic sentence so that it will refer to a noun in the last sentence of the preceding paragraph: When Ulysses. Grant and Robert. Lee met in the parlor of a modest house at Appomattox court house, virginia. A great chapter in American life came to a close. These men were bringing the civil War to its virtual finish.
Paragraph Punch: An Interactive online paragraph Writing
And the process was remarkably effective. Indeed, mummies several thousand years old have been discovered nearly intact. Their skin, hair, teeth, fingernails and toenails, and facial features are still evident. Their diseases in life, such as smallpox, arthritis, and nutritional deficiencies, are still diagnosable. Even their fatal afflictions are still apparent : a middle-aged king died from birthday a blow on the head; a child king died from polio. The paragraph is now much more coherent.
The organization of the information and the links between sentences help readers move easily from one sentence to the next. Notice how this writer uses a variety of coherence devices, sometimes in combination, to achieve overall paragraph coherence. Paragraph Transitions, paragraph Transitions, paragraphs represent the basic unit of composition: one idea, one paragraph. However, to present a clear, unified train of thought to your readers, you must make sure each paragraph follows the one before it and leads to the one after it through clear, logical transitions. Keep in mind that adequate transitions cannot simply be added to the essay without planning. . Without a good reason for the sequence of your paragraphs, no transition will help you. . Transitions can be made with particular words and phrases created for that purpose-conjunctive adverbs and transitional phrases-or they can be implied through a conceptual link.
The process was remarkably effective. Sometimes apparent were the fatal afflictions of the dead people: a middle-aged king died from a blow on the head, and polio killed a child king. Mummification consisted of removing the internal organs, applying natural preservatives inside and out, and then wrapping the body in layers of bandages. Though weak, this paragraph is not a total washout. It starts with a topic sentence, and the sentences that follow are clearly related to the topic sentence. In the language of writing, the paragraph is unified (i.e., it contains no irrelevant details).
However, the paragraph is not coherent. The sentences are disconnected from each other, making it difficult for the reader to follow the writer's train of thought. Below is the same paragraph revised for coherence. Italics indicates pronouns and repeated/restated key words, bold indicates transitional tag-words, and underlining indicates parallel structures. The ancient Egyptians were masters of preserving dead people's bodies by making mummies of them. In short, mummification consisted of removing the internal organs, applying natural preservatives inside and out, and then wrapping the body in layers of bandages.
Paragraph Examples narrative, persuasive, descriptive
If my reader cannot instantly know what this is, then my sentence is ambiguous and misleading. Also, do not rely on essay unclear pronoun references to avoid responsibility: " They say that." Parallelism Music in prose is often the result of parallelism, the deliberate repetition of larger structures of phrases, even clauses and whole sentences. We urge you to read the guide's section on Parallelism and take the accompanying quiz on recognizing parallel form (and repairing sentences that ought to use parallel form but don't). Pay special attention to the guided tour through the parallel intricacies within Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. Coherence devices in Action In our section on writing the Argumentative essay, we have a complete student essay cry, wolf" at the bottom of that document) which we have analyzed in terms of argumentative development and in which we have paid special attention to the. Look at the following paragraph: The ancient Egyptians were masters of preserving dead people's bodies by making mummies of them. Mummies several thousand years old have been discovered nearly intact. The skin, hair, teeth, fingernails and toenails, and facial features of the mummies were evident. It is possible to diagnose the disease they suffered in life, such as smallpox, arthritis, and nutritional deficiencies.
Unless it is overworked and obtrusive, repetition lends itself to a sense of coherence (or at least to the illusion of coherence). Remember Lincoln's advice: you can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time. In fact, you can't forget Lincoln's advice, because it has become part of the music of our language. Remember to use this device to link paragraphs as well as sentences. Pronoun Reference Pronouns quite naturally connect ideas because pronouns almost always refer the reader to something earlier in the text. I cannot say "This is true because." without buy causing the reader to consider what "this" could mean. Thus, the pronoun causes the reader to sum up, quickly and subconsciously, what was said before (what this is) before going on to the because part of my reasoning. We should hardly need to add, however, that it must always be perfectly clear what a pronoun refers.
(also called conjunctive adverbs or adverbial conjunctions ) accompanied with a simplified definition of function (note that some devices appear with more than one definition addition again, also, and, and then, besides, equally important, finally, first, further. A word of caution: do not interlard your text with transitional expressions merely because you know these devices connect ideas. They must appear, naturally, where they belong, or they'll stick like a fishbone in your reader's craw. (For that same reason, there is no point in trying to memorize this vast list.) On the other hand, if you can read your entire essay and discover none of these transitional devices, then you must wonder what, if anything, is holding your ideas together. Practice by inserting a tentative however, nevertheless, consequently. Reread the essay later to see if these words provide the glue you needed at those points. Repetition of key words and Phrases The ability to connect ideas by means of repetition of key words and phrases sometimes meets a natural resistance based on the fear of being repetitive. We've been trained to loathe redundancy. Now we must learn that catching a word or phrase that's important to a reader's comprehension of a piece and replaying that word or phrase creates a musical motif in that reader's head.
Using transitional tags, transitional tags run the gamut from the most simple the little conjunctions: and, but, nor, for, yet, or, (and sometimes) so to more complex signals that ideas are somehow connected the conjunctive adverbs and transitional expressions such as however, moreover, nevertheless,. For additional information on conjunctions, click. The use of the little conjunctions especially and and but comes naturally for most writers. However, the question whether one can begin a sentence with a small conjunction often arises. Isn't the conjunction at the beginning of the sentence a sign that the sentence should have been connected to the prior sentence? But often the initial conjunction calls attention to the sentence in an effective way, and that's just what you want. Over-used, beginning a sentence with a conjunction can be distracting, healthy but the device can add a refreshing dash to a sentence and speed the narrative flow of your text.
Paragraph Writing Lesson Plan, outline, teaching Basic
The most convincing ideas in the world, expressed in the most beautiful sentences, will move no one unless those ideas are properly connected. Unless readers can move easily from one thought to another, they will surely find something else to read or turn on the television. Providing transitions between ideas is largely a matter of attitude. You must never assume that your readers know what you empire know. In fact, it's a good idea to assume not only that your readers need all the information that you have and need to know how you arrived at the point you're at, but also that they are not quite as quick as you are. You might be able to leap from one side of the stream to the other; believe that your readers need some stepping stones and be sure to place them in readily accessible and visible spots. There are four basic mechanical considerations in providing transitions between ideas: using transitional expressions, repeating key words and phrases, using pronoun reference, and using parallel form.