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Unit I: Writing Mechanics. Writing Paragraphs. The Paragraph. group of sentences that are about one central idea, called the topic. The topic is the first sentence of the paragraph. This sentence is called the topic sentence. Types of Paragraphs.

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Unit i writing mechanics

Unit I: Writing Mechanics

Writing Paragraphs

The paragraph
The Paragraph

  • group of sentences that are about one central idea, called the topic.

  • The topic is the first sentence of the paragraph. This sentence is called the topic sentence.

Types of paragraphs
Types of Paragraphs

  • 1. Descriptive Paragraph – Writer provides details on a subject: holiday, sports-car, etc.

  • 2. Narrative Paragraph – Writer tells a (very) short story or tells the reader about a real-life event.

  • 3. Explanatory Paragraph – Writer explains a difficult concept or procedure.

  • 4. Instructive Paragraph – Writer provides detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to accomplish some task.

  • 5. Summary Paragraph – Writer summarizes the main points of a larger written work.

  • 6. Opinion Paragraph – Writer tries to convince reader of their claim by using facts to support the claim.

Paragraph unity and coherence
Paragraph Unity and Coherence

  • Paragraph Unity - Every supporting sentence stays on topic and focusses on the main idea.

  • Unit is achieved by careful planning in the pre-writing stage.

  • Paragraph Coherence - Sentences flow into one another instead of being separated by periods and sounding staccato.

  • Coherence is achieved through the use of complex sentences and conjunctions.

Good vs bad opinion paragraphs
Good Vs. Bad Opinion Paragraphs

  • Good Opinion paragraphs rely on FACTS to back up its argument.

  • I think there were three reasons why Pacman was the most played computer game of the 1980s. First of all, it is a game played by both boys and girls. A Gallup poll indicates that both men and women like it for the skill involved. Secondly, Pacman received new coverage in magazines such as Maclean’s and Saturday Night. Because of that coverage, many occasional players tended to want to try Pacman. Finally, it is a game with many levels of difficulty. The amateur can feel happy making it through one round ; the experienced player enjoys the new challenges of later rounds. Perhaps never again will a single computer game like Pacman capture so much public attention.

Good vs bad opinion paragraphs1
Good Vs. Bad Opinion Paragraphs

  • Bad Opinion paragraphs use personal opinions to support its argument.

  • Pacman was the most popular game of the 1980s because it’s the best game. Pacman is never boring. Sometimes the driving games can get boring if you’ve played them a while. Defender is never boring, but then it’s hard to understand at first and you can lose a lot of money just figuring out how to move your ship and what the attackers can do. You can tell right away what to do in Pacman. Lots of other games are just imitations of Defender, but there is no other games like Pacman. That’s why Pacman is the most popular game.

The rest of the sentences
The Rest of the sentences.

  • Once the topic is established, the following sentences should be used to elaborate it (flesh it out) or to support it with details and examples.

  • A good rule of thumb in grade eight is: Write the topic sentence, and then write 5-6 supporting sentences. Finally, write a summary sentence to close off your paragraph for a total of 7-8 sentences.

How to organize your supporting sentences
How to Organize Your Supporting Sentences

  • Logical Order - Order points from: most important to least or vice versa; general to specific or vice versa; most familiar to least or vice versa; simplest to most complex or vice versa. Used in persuasive paragraphs.

  • Time Order - Order points according to when they happen. Used in narrative paragraphs.

  • Spatial Order - Order points according to how they exist physically in space compared to each other. Used in descriptive paragraphs.

Example of a good grade 8 paragraph
Example of a Good Grade 8 Paragraph

  • Animals are not the only organisms that occupy very specific niches. Did you know that countless numbers of micro-organisms inhabit the human body? You could say that each part of your body is its own ecosystem. Most of these micro-organisms are not harmful and the different species that inhabit the skin, the mouth, and the digestive tract are your constant companions.

Checklist for creating well written paragraphs
Checklist for creating well-written paragraphs:

  • · Does the paragraph cover one main idea? · Is this main idea clearly presented in the topic sentence, or at least very clear? · Does each sentence in the paragraph support the point made in the topic sentence? · Is the paragraph organized in a logical way? · Do the sentences flow smoothly from one to another? · Is the main idea sufficiently developed with examples, details, arguments, statistics and/or facts?

The bad paragraph
The Bad Paragraph

  • The bad paragraph normally has one key problem. It goes off-topic.

  • To make sure this doesn’t happen with your paragraph map out your supporting details, what order you want them in and check to make sure they support your topic sentence.

An example of a bad paragraph
An Example of a Bad Paragraph

  • People who suffer from "winter blues" may be suffering from S.A.D.-seasonal affective disorder. The classic symptoms include depression, mild anxiety, fatigue, withdrawal from social situations, overeating, a craving for sweets and carbohydrates, oversleeping, and a lack of energy, enthusiasm, and concentration. The craving for sweets, of course, is likely to lead to weight gain, which can be another problem. The symptoms of S.A.D. peak in the winter months, when the days are shorter and provide less sunshine. Winter days are colder, too, especially in the northern climates, and a person has to wear extra clothing. People who suffer from the disorder should try to get as much exposure to light as possible, especially outside, though bright indoor lighting and a sunny vacation can help too.

Don t forget
Don’t Forget…

  • Paragraphs are almost always indented at the beginning.

  • A single paragraph should have a closing sentence, which again summarizes the topic idea of the paragraph.

  • A paragraph in an essay should end with a transition sentence which connects the main ideas of the previous paragraph, to the next paragraph.

Checking over your paragraphs
Checking Over Your Paragraphs

  • 1. Make sure your paragraph has a topic sentence.2. Make sure your supporting sentences focus on the main idea.3. Make sure you have a closing sentence.4. See if your paragraph is interesting.

Closing sentence
Closing Sentence

  • Remember to summarize your topic sentence again (but in different words).