Paragraph Writing and MLA Lesson

Short Story Unit:
Theme Assignment Preparation
Proper Paragraph
Topic Sentence- Introduces
the reader to the main idea of
your paragraph. Note- indent
the first sentence of your
Supporting SentencesOffers the reader details,
examples and proof to support
the main idea of the
Concluding SentenceWraps up the paragraph and
restates the main idea from
the topic sentence.
Transitional Words and
 Transitions are words or
phrases that connect ideas.
 Transitions help the reader
clearly understand
relationships in your writing
such as time, space,
emphasis, example, contrast,
comparison, effect and
 In a proper paragraph,
transitions are incorporated to
create fluency in your writing
and to connect your
For example:
Firstly, Secondly, Lastly, Finally
For example, For instance,
Thus, As a result, Consequently
In addition to, Similarly
In contrast, Rather, Yet, But
Transitional Words and
MLA Format
General Guidelines:
Double space
Plain font (Ariel or Times New Roman)
Plain white 8 ½ x 11 paper
Margins = 1 inch on all sides
Indent the first line of every paragraph
using the “tab” key
Pages are numbered in the top, right-hand
corner, ½ “ from the top, and right justified.
Note- Put your last name followed by one
space and the number. Do not use
MLA Format
General Guidelines:
Do not create a title page.
In the upper left hand corner of your page
Name (first and last)
Teacher’s name (Ms. Efpatridis)
Course code (ENG 2D1)
Date (day of submission)
Note- Be sure to double space between each
piece of information.
Double space again. Do not underline or
italicize the title.
Double space between the title and the first
MLA Format
Notes on Style:
Be consistent with tense. Literary paragraphs/essays are normally written in the
present tense.
Do not use artificial phrasing such as “This quotation proves . . . “ or “This
will discuss . . .”
Use formal, standard English. Avoid slang or colloquialisms.
Do not use contractions. (e.g. use “do not” instead of “don’t”)
Do not use first person (I, me, us, we) unless your teacher gives you permission.
Do not address the reader directly as “you”.
Use italics for the titles of all books and movies.
Use quotation marks for all sub titles.
The supporting sentences of your
paragraph should follow the pointproof-analysis model.
Following the topic sentence of your
1. Point- raise a point in support of the
main idea.
2. Proof- provide proof in the form of
direct or indirect references to the
3. Analysis- analyze the point raised
and proof provided, relating the
information back to the main idea.
For example:
The Story of an Hour
Point: Mrs. Mallard is clearly in an unhappy
Proof: She admits that there has been a
“powerful will bending hers” (Chopin 38)
which attests to the dominating personality
of her husband.
Analysis: Throughout her life, Mrs. Mallard has
succumb to the will of her husband and lost
any sense of self.
Note- Write in the present tense, not the
past tense. Also, place an emphasis on
the analysis component. This is where
you showcase your learning and critical
Inserting Quotations
 Use quotation marks to begin
and end a direct quotation.
 In a direct quotation, the
words of the speaker are
quoted exactly, and the first
word of the quotation is
 Direct: Mrs. Mallard states
“Free! Body and soul free”
(Chopin 38).
 Both parts of a divided
quotation are enclosed in
quotation marks. The first
word of the second part of the
quotation is not capitalized
unless it begins a new
 Divided: “There would be no
one to live for during those
coming years,” says Mrs.
Mallard, “she would live for
herself” (Chopin 38).
Inserting Quotations
 Quotation marks are
never used with an
indirect quotation,
which reports the
meaning of the speaker
but not in direct words.
 Indirect: Mrs. Mallard
talks about freedom, in
particular, she exclaims
she is free in both her
mind and body (Chopin
MLA Format
Short quotations of 1 to 4 lines are
put into quotation marks and
included, double spaced, in the body
of the assignment.
They are introduced by a comma (,)
unless they are a continuation of a
body paragraph sentence; the
appropriate punctuation, or none at
all, is then used.
Quotations are followed by the
author’s last name and page
reference in parentheses, with no
punctuation included, except a period
after the closing bracket.
For example: (Chopin 38).
MLA Format
Always lead up to your quotation
by giving the speaker and the
situation. Do not assume that the
reader knows the exact part of
the story that you are quoting.
Always follow up your quotation
by commenting on, explaining,
applying, interpreting, or drawing
a conclusion from your quotation.
Do not leave the reader to do the
work! Never move on to a new
point or paragraph immediately
after the quotation.
 Do you have any
questions or