Writing a Well-Developed Paragraph

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Writing a Paragraph
Paragraphs:
 Consist of one or more sentences about a single
thought
 Usually have more than one sentence
 Never have more than one idea. (Sentences must be
related to the main idea.)
Example of an Effective Paragraph
Personally, I think that people are less likely to be courteous to others
these days. There are several reasons why this is so. One such reason is
that there are simply more people, and so we may feel as though we
must interact when we simply don't want to. A survey conducted in
2009 indicated that 87% of Americans feel forced to deal with others
more than ever before (Smith 43). Another reason why discourtesy
seems to be on the rise is the increasingly fast pace of our lives. “People
are trying to juggle more than ever before and simple courtesies are
often neglected in an effort to save time” (Jensen 22). And lastly, we are
less courteous and respectful to one another perhaps because we see so
many models for rude behavior, especially in television and movies “In
shows like ‘The Simpsons’ rude behavior is commonplace and
acceptable” (Lipton 10). Discourtesy is clearly an increasing problem
that needs a solution.
Elements of an Effective Paragraph
Topic Sentence (generates interest and states the main idea):
Personally, I think that people are less likely to be courteous to
others these days.
Transition to Preview of Supports: There are several reasons
why this is so.
Details - First Point and Support (introduces Main Point #1
and gives information and examples with citation) One
such reason is that there are simply more people, and so we may
feel as though we must interact when we simply don't want to. A
survey conducted in 2009 indicated that 87% of Americans feel
forced to deal with others more than ever before (Smith 43).
http://www.odessa.edu/dept/english/mjordan/1301sampleparagraphs.htm
http://www.mce.k12tn.net/reading/paragraph_unit/lesson1.htm
Writing a Paragraph
Details – Second Point and Support (introduces Main Point #2 and
gives information and examples with citation) Another reason why
discourtesy seems to be on the rise is the increasingly fast pace of our
lives. “People are trying to juggle more than ever before and simple
courtesies are often neglected in an effort to save time” (Jensen 22).
Details - Third Point and Support (introduces Main Point #3and
gives information and examples with citation) And lastly, we are
less courteous and respectful to one another perhaps because we see so
many models for rude behavior, especially in television and movies “In
shows like ‘The Simpsons’ rude behavior is commonplace and
acceptable”(Lipton 10).
Concluding Sentence (restates the topic sentence and often leaves
the reader with something to think about: Discourtesy is clearly an
increasing problem that needs a solution.
Writing a Paragraph
Part of a Paragraph
Reason
Example
Topic Sentence
To generate interest
States the main idea
Personally, I think that people are less likely to be
courteous to others these days.
Introduces Main Point #1 and gives information or
examples
One such reason is that there are simply more
people, and so we may feel as though we must
interact when we simply don't want to. A survey
conducted in 2009 indicated that 87% of Americans
feel forced to deal with others more than ever
before. (Smith 43)
Introduces Main Point #2 and gives information or
examples
Another reason why discourtesy seems on the rise
is the increasingly fast pace of our lives. “People are
trying to juggle more than ever before and simple
courtesies are often neglected in an effort to save
time” (Jensen 22).
Details
Third Point and Support
Introduces Main Point #3 and gives information or
examples
And lastly, we are less courteous and respectful to
one another perhaps because we see so many
models for rude behavior, especially in television
and movies “In shows like ‘The Simpsons’ rude
behavior is commonplace and acceptable.” (Lipton
10).
Concluding Sentence
Restates the topic sentence
Often leaves the reader with something to think
about.
Discourtesy is clearly an increasing problem that
needs a solution.
Details
First Point and Support
Details
Second Point and Support
Example of a Poor Paragraph
1It
is a fact that capitole punishmint is not a deterrent to crime. 2Statistixs
show that in stats with capital punishment, murder rates are the same or
almost the same as in stats without capitole punishmint. 3 Besides, I just
don’t agree with it and it is more expensif to put a person on death row than
in life imprisonment because of the costs of maximum securitee.
4Unfortunitly, capital punishment has been used unjustly. 5Statistics show
that every execution is of a man and that nine out of ten are black. 6So
prejudise shows right through.
Problems with this paragraph:





Spelling errors in sentences 1,2, 3 and 6
Personal opinion in sentences 3 and 6
Citations are missing from sentence 2, 3 and 5
There is a shift of focus from the main idea that “capital punishment is not a deterrent to crime” in
sentences 3, 4, 5 and 6 (off-topic)
There is no concluding sentence which should restate in some way that capital punishment does not reduce
crime rates.
http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/paragraphs.htm
Citations – MLA Style
In-Text Citations:
In MLA style, referring to the works of others in your text is done by
using what is known as parenthetical citation. This method involves
placing source information in parentheses after a quote or a
paraphrase.
Ex. 1: Wordsworth stated that Romantic poetry was marked by a
"spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings" (263).
Ex. 2: Romantic poetry is characterized by the "spontaneous overflow
of powerful feelings" (Wordsworth 263).
Ex. 3: Wordsworth extensively explored the role of emotion in the
creative process (263).
MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite sources within the
liberal arts and humanities.
http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/02/
Citations – MLA Style
The citations in these examples tell readers that the
information in the sentence can be located on page
263 of a work by an author named Wordsworth. If
readers want more information about this source, they
can turn to the Works Cited page, where, under the
name of Wordsworth, they would find the following
information:
Wordsworth, William. Lyrical Ballads. London: Oxford
U.P., 1967. Print
Citations – MLA Style
Sources will be listed at the end of each on-line posting . You will use an online citation website which will convert your sources into MLA style. So a
posting will look like this:
Personally, I think that people are less likely to be courteous to others these days. There are several
reasons why this is so. One such reason is that there are simply more people, and so we may feel as
though we must interact when we simply don't want to. A survey conducted in 2009 indicated that
87% of Americans feel forced to deal with others more than ever before (Smith 43). Another reason
why discourtesy seems to be on the rise is the increasingly fast pace of our lives. “People are trying to
juggle more than ever before and simple courtesies are often neglected in an effort to save time”
(Jensen 22). And lastly, we are less courteous and respectful to one another perhaps because we see so
many models for rude behavior, especially in television and movies “In shows like ‘The Simpsons’
rude behavior is commonplace and acceptable.” (Lipton 10). Discourtesy is clearly an increasing
problem that needs a solution.
"Blueprint Lays Out Clear Path for Climate Action." Environmental Defense Fund. Environmental Defense
Fund, 8 May 2007. Web. 24 May 2009.
Clinton, Bill. Interview by Andrew C. Revkin. “Clinton on Climate Change.” New York Times. New York
Times, May 2007. Web. 25 May 2009.
Dean, Cornelia. "Executive on a Mission: Saving the Planet." New York Times. New York Times, 22 May
2007. Web. 25 May 2009.
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