A paragraph is: A distinct division of written material that begins on a new, usually indented line, consists of one or more sentences, and typically deals with a single thought or topic. Three Qualities of the Academic Paragraph Unity: focuses on one main idea 2. Coherence: parts are clearly related 3. Development: main idea is supported with specifics
Use topic sentences to rhetorical effect. • Topic Sentence at the Beginning: Readers will see your point immediately; subsequent sentences will build on your topic sentence, which serves as an introduction • Topic Sentence at the End: Specific details lead up to the general statement of the topic sentence. Creates suspense and a sense of cause and effect. • Topic Sentence at the Beginning and End—State your topic sentence at the beginning and then refer to it in a slightly different form at the end. The echo adds emphasis. • Topic Sentence Implied—Use if the topic+comment is so obvious, your readers can infer it from the content of the paragraph.
Organization and Development: Using spatial order Paragraph takes a tour, beginning at one point and moving from near to far, top to bottom, etc. Good for descriptive paragraphs
In winter the warehouse is cold and damp. There is no heat. The large steel doors that line the warehouse walls stay open most of the day. In the cold months, wind, rain, and snow blow across the floor. In the summer the warehouse becomes an oven. Dust and sand from the runways mix witht the toxic fumes of fork lifts, leaving a dry, stale taste in your mouth. The high windows above the doors are covered with a thick, black dirt that kills the sun. The men work in shadows with the constant roar of jet engines blowing dangerously in their ears.
Organization and Development: Using chronological order A series of events arranged according to time.
Soon after the spraying had ended there were unmistakable signs that all was not well. Within two days dead and dying fish, including many young salmon, were found along the banks of the stream. Brook trout also appeared among the dead fish, and along the roads and in the woods birds were dying. All the life of the stream was stilled. Before the spraying there had been a rich assortment of the water life that forms the food of salmon and trout — caddis fly larvae, living in loosely fitting protective cases of leaves, stems or gravel cemented together with saliva, stonefly nymphs clinging to rocks in the swirling currents, and the wormlike larvae of blackflies edging the stones under riffles or where the stream spills over steeply slanting rocks. But now the stream insects were dead, killed by DDT, and there was nothing for a young salmon to eat.
Organization and Development: Using logical Order Details arranged to reflect certain logical relationships between parts of the whole. Logical Patterns of Development: • Illustration: supporting main idea with concrete examples and/or good reasons • Definition: using a paragraph to define a concept or term • Comparison and Contrast: compare and contrast various aspects of the topic or compare and contrast the topic with something else • Cause and Effect: explore cause and effect relationship associated with your topic • Problems and Solutions: open with a statement of a problem and then offers a solution in the sentences that follow • Analogies: make a comparison that explains an unfamiliar thing in terms of a familiar one
The tragic hero is typically on top of the wheel of fortune, half-way between human society on the ground and the something greater in the sky. Prometheus, Adam, and Christ hang between heaven and earth, between a world of paradisal freedom and a world of bondage. Tragic heroes are so much the highest points in their human landscape that they seem the inevitable conductors of the power about them, great trees more likely to be struck by lightning than a clump of grass. Conductors may of course be instruments as well as victims of the divine lightning: Milton's Samson destroys the Philistine temple with himself, and Hamlet nearly exterminates the Danish court in his own fall.
A Well-Developed Paragraph… Holds reader’s interest and explores topic fully; uses examples, evidence, details to add vibrancy and specificity to the paragraph.
No such thing as “human nature” compels people to behave, think, or react in certain ways. Rather, from the time of our infancy to our death, we are constantly being taught, by the society that surrounds us, the customs, norms, and mores of our distinct culture. Everything in culture is learned, not genetically transmitted. Imagine a child in Ecuador dancing to salsa music at a warm family gathering, while a child in the United States is decorating a Christmas tree with bright, shiny red ornaments. Both of these children are taking part in their country’s cultures. It is not by instinct that one child knows how to dance to salsa music, nor is it by instinct that the other child knows how to decorate the tree. No such thing as “human nature” compels people to behave, think, or react in certain ways. Rather, from the time of our infancy to our death, we are constantly being taught, by the society that surrounds us, the customs, norms, and mores of our distinct culture. A majority of people feel that the evil in human beings is “human nature.” However, the Tasaday, a “Stone Age” tribe discovered not long ago in the Philippines, do not even have equivalents in their language for the words hatred, competition, acquisitiveness, aggression, and greed. Such examples suggest that everything in culture is learned, not genetically transmitted.