the-paragraph.pdf -...

This preview shows page 1 - 3 out of 22 pages.

JOHNSONCOUNTYCOMMUNITYCOLLEGEWRITINGCENTERTheParagraph:Unity,Order(Emphasis),CoherenceDefinitionAparagraphisagroupofclosely-relatedsentenceswhichdealwithanddeveloponeidea.Thefirstsentenceofaparagraphusuallyintroducestheidea;itiscalledthetopicsentence.Allwritingofanylengthis,asyouknow,dividedintoparagraphs,andthefirstlineofanewparagraphisindented.StructureBythestructureofaparagraphismeantthebuildingorcompositionofit.Thedefinitionofaparagraphindicatesthatthesentencesmustberelated;theymusthaveaparticularstructure.Thisstructureisdeterminedbytherelationshipoftheideas,anditisbyconstructingtheparagraphproperlythatyoudeveloptheidea.Todevelopanideaistounfoldorrevealit.Forinstance,whensomeoneasksyouhowtodoamathematicalproblem,youexplaintheprocessbygivingthestepsinorder.Thelastsentenceofyourexplanationis,ofcourse,thelaststepoftheproblem.Thedevelopmentofanideainaparagraphfollowsthesameprocedure.Thetopicsentencemayinformthereaderthatwashingacockerspanielisaratherdifficultprocess.Fromthatpointyouproceedintheorderinwhichyouwouldifyouwere,infact,washingadog.Thefinalsentenceshouldbringtheparagraphtoacompleteend;thatis,itmustleavethereaderfeelingthatyouhavetoldhimallyouhavetosay.Suchanendingmaybe:“Nowthedogiscleanandshiny,allready,inhisopinion,togooutandrolloverinthedirt.”Ifyoufollowthismethodofdevelopingyouridea,yourparagraphwillbewell-organized.Notonlywillyourparagraphbewell-organized,itwillhaveoneofthemostimportantqualitiesofallparagraphs:COHERENCE.Coherencemeans“astickingtogether.”Acoherentparagraphhasallthesentencessowellarrangedthatnotonecouldbeinterchangedwithanother.Forexample,intheparagraphaboutwashingthecockerspaniel,youwouldnotputtheinstructionsaboutbrushingthedogaheadofthoseaboutdryinghim.Allfactsfollowinacoherentparagraph.EverygoodparagraphmusthaveUNITY.Unitymeans“oneness.”Thatis,aparagraphmustdealwithonlyoneidea.Intheparagraphaboutwashingacockerspaniel,youmightfeelthatyoushoulddescribethewayyourdogbehaveswhenyouwashhim;thisdescriptionbreakstheunityofyourparagraph.Althoughitmightbeentirelyappropriatetoexplainhowyoucontrolthedoginthebath,thatisnottheplacetotellastoryaboutyourdog.Whenyoufinishyourparagraph,lookitoverandcrossoutanysentencethatisnotdoingitswork–whichisdevelopingthetopicsentence.Thethirdandlastrequirementofawell-constructedparagraphisEMPHASIS.Emphasismeans“force”or“stress.”Youmayhaveafairlywell-organized,coherent,unifiedparagraphthatislackinginemphasis.ThemainideaoftheparagraphmustbestressedinC:\DocumentsandSettings\blove.JCCC-EMPLOYEE\Desktop\WritingCenter\PARAGRAPHHANDOUT_Unity_Order_Coherence.docRevisedJanuary18,2005
2everysentence.Itmustnotbehiddeninamassofuselessdetailsandunnecessaryexplanations.Forinstance,youshouldtellwhatkindofsoapisbestforwashingacockerspaniel,butyoushouldnotdescribethesoapordiscussthekindsofsoapthatwillnotdo;suchfactsweakentheemphasisofyourparagraph.Youcanbesurethatyouarestressingthemainideabykeepingthesamesubjectineverysentence,wheneverthisispossible.Intheparagraphaboutwashingthecockerspaniel,thesubjectofeachsentencecouldbe“you”understood.

Upload your study docs or become a

Course Hero member to access this document

Upload your study docs or become a

Course Hero member to access this document

End of preview. Want to read all 22 pages?

Upload your study docs or become a

Course Hero member to access this document

Term
Spring
Professor
Baker
Tags
English, It, Writer, topic sentence, engineer

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture