Paragraph_Unity

Paragraph_Unity - ESL 3202/3302 Haring Paragraph Unity by...

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ESL 3202/3302 Haring Paragraph Unity by Richard Nordquist “Consider the postage stamp," advised humorist Josh Billings. "Its usefulness consists in the ability to stick to one thing until it gets there.” The same might be said about an effective paragraph. Unity is the quality of sticking to one idea from start to finish, with every sentence contributing to the central purpose and main idea of that paragraph. A topic sentence contains the main idea upon which a paragraph is developed. In a unified paragraph, all of the supporting sentences serve to: - illustrate - clarify the main idea set forth in the topic sentence. - explain The best way to demonstrate the importance of unity is to show how the intrusion of irrelevant information can disrupt our understanding of a paragraph. The original version of the following passage, taken from The Names: A Memoir , by N. Scott Momaday, vividly illustrates how people in the Pueblo of Jemez in New Mexico prepare for the Feast of San Diego. We've upset the unity of Momaday's paragraph by adding one sentence that's not directly connected to his main idea. See if you can spot that sentence. The activity in the pueblo reached a peak on the day before the Feast of San Diego, November twelfth. It was on that day, an especially brilliant day in which the winter held off and the sun shone like a flare, that Jemez became one of the fabulous cities of the world. In the preceding days the women had plastered the houses, many of them, and they were clean and beautiful like bone in the high light; the strings of chilies at the vigas had darkened a little and taken on a deeper, softer sheen; ears of colored corn were strung at the doors, and fresh cedar boughs were laid about, setting a whole, wild fragrance on the air. The women were baking bread in the outdoor ovens. Here and there men and women were at the woodpiles, chopping, taking up loads of firewood for their kitchens, for the coming feast. Year round, the artisans of Jemez, known internationally for their crafts, would create beautiful basketry, embroidery, woven cloths, exquisite stone sculpture, moccasins, and jewelry. Even the children were at work: the little boys looked after the stock, and the little girls carried babies about. There were gleaming antlers on the rooftops, and smoke arose from all the chimneys.
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