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Paragraphs to Compositions. Language Network Ch. 14. Compositions. A composition is a longer piece of writing that consists of at least several paragraphs. Like a paragraph, a composition has an overall purpose, which may be to describe, to narrate, to explain, or to persuade.

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paragraphs to compositions

Paragraphs to Compositions

Language Network Ch. 14

  • A composition is a longer piece of writing that consists of at least several paragraphs.
  • Like a paragraph, a composition has an overall purpose, which may be to describe, to narrate, to explain, or to persuade.
  • We will focus primarily on expository (informative) compositions.
the parts of a composition
The Parts of a Composition
  • The Introduction
    • Begins the composition and tells what the composition is about. The most important part is the thesis statement, which gives the overall composition a purpose.
  • The Body
    • Presents ideas that support and expand on the thesis statement.
  • The Conclusion
    • Winds up the composition. It might restate the main idea, state the significance of the topic, or call readers to take a course of action.
creating a thesis statement
Creating a Thesis Statement
  • Develop a Controlling Idea
    • Decide on a purpose for your composition (sometimes this is assigned to you).
    • Think about what angle of your topic you would like to explore.
    • Jot down a sentence that summarizes what you want to say. This is your controlling idea.
  • Focus your thesis statement.
    • Begin with a draft, and decide if it is too broad or too narrow, which can make a composition more difficult to write.
effective introductions
Effective Introductions
  • An introduction should present the thesis statement and capture your reader’s attention. Try the following:
    • Start with an Anecdote (a brief story)
    • Use a Quotation (a repetition of someone’s exact words)
    • Make a Surprising Statement
    • Ask a Question (but make it engaging!)
the body unity
The Body: Unity
  • A composition has unity when ideas appear in separate paragraphs and all of those ideas support the thesis statement.
  • Try the following to achieve unity:
    • Write your thesis statement.
    • List your main ideas, along with supporting details for each one.
    • Check to see that each main idea supports the thesis statement.
    • Check that each supporting detail supports the appropriate main idea.
the body unity1
The Body: Unity
  • Create topic sentences for each paragraph using the main ideas.
  • Write paragraphs that support each topic sentence.
  • To break up long paragraphs, try to:
    • Look for changes in focus.
    • Look for events or steps.
    • Look for unnecessary information.
the body coherence
The Body: Coherence
  • A composition has coherence when its parts appear in logical order and flow smoothly from one to the next. To create a good flow, use the following transitional methods:
    • Transitional words and phrases, such as “later,” “that night,” and “then.”
    • Repeated phrases
    • Transitional sentences
writing the conclusion
Writing the Conclusion
  • The conclusion of your composition leaves a final impression with the reader. Use one of the following types of conclusions:
    • Restate the Main Idea
      • This is like a miniature summary of your composition.
    • Call for Action
      • Suggest or urge someone to do something about an issue.
    • State the Significance
      • Emphasize the importance of your topic to the reader.
a tip for writers
A Tip for Writers
  • You don’t have to write a composition from beginning to end.
  • Some writers find it easier to start with a conclusion, and go from there.
  • Many writers will write the body paragraphs first, and then write an introduction and conclusion.