1.6 Writing Paragraphs from Successful College Composition.pdf

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Successful College Composition - Section 1.6Successful College Composition| 241.6 Writing ParagraphsImagine reading one long block of text, with each idea blurring into the next. You arelikely to lose interest in a piece of writing that is disorganized and spans many pageswithout breaks. Paragraphs separate ideas into logical, manageable chunks, each
Successful College Composition| 25paragraph focusing on only one main idea and presenting coherent sentences tosupport that one point. Because all the sentences in one paragraph support the samepoint, a paragraph may stand on its own. For most types of informative or persuasiveacademic writing, writers find it helpful to think of the paragraph analogous to an essay,as each is controlled by a main idea or point, and that idea is developed by anorganized group of more specific ideas. Thus, the thesis of the essay is analogous tothe topic sentence of a paragraph, just as the supporting sentences in a paragraph areanalogous to the supporting paragraphs in an essay.In essays, each supporting paragraph adds another related main idea to support thewriter’s thesis, or controlling idea. Each related supporting idea is developed with facts,examples, and other details that explain it. By exploring and refining one idea at a time,writers build a strong case for their thesis. Effective paragraphing makes the differencebetween a satisfying essay that readers can easily process and one that requiresreaders to mentally organize the piece themselves. Thoughtful organization anddevelopment of each body paragraph leads to an effectively focused, developed, andcoherent essay.An effective paragraph contains three main parts:a topic sentencebody, supporting sentencesa concluding sentenceIninformativeandpersuasivewriting, thetopic sentenceis usually the first sentenceor second sentence of a paragraph and expresses its main idea, followed by supportingsentences that help explain, prove, or enhance the topic sentence. Innarrativeanddescriptiveparagraphs, however, topic sentences may be implied rather than explicitlystated, with all supporting sentences working to create the main idea. If the paragraphcontains a concluding sentence, it is the last sentence in the paragraph and reminds thereader of the main point by restating it in different words. The following figure illustratesthe most common paragraph structure for informative and persuasive college essays.Paragraph Structure Graphic OrganizerTopic Sentence (topic + comment/judgment/interpretation):Supporting Sentence 1:Supporting Sentence 2:Supporting Sentence 3:Supporting Sentence 4:Successful College Composition - Section 1.6
Successful College Composition| 26Supporting Sentence 5:Supporting Sentence 6:Concluding Sentence (summary of comment/judgment/interpretation):*Note: The number of supporting sentences varies according to the paragraph’s purpose andthe writer’s sentence structure.

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