Paragraph Breakdown Every paragraph needs three different components when you make an argument. It needs to contain your initial claim, which is often your topic sentence. Then, you need evidence that proves your claim. This evidence is usually a quotation from the text you’re writing about or facts or statistics from an outside source. Lastly, you need an explanation that explains how the evidence you’ve included actually supports your claim. This is an essential step, but it is a step that authors often leave out because they expect the reader to simply follow the author’s logic. Practice identifying the type of each sentence in the paragraphs below. Red = the argument or claim you’re making Blue = the quotation that provides evidence to support your claim Purple = explanation of how the quotation supports your claim (how the blue proves the red) Birk and Birk aim to prove that all language we encounter, particularly that found in print, “has already been selected and shaped, intentionally or unintentionally, by the mind of the communicator” (395). Their essay is divided into six sections each describing a different method of shaping language.
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