SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES KENYA METHODIST UNIVERSITY (NAIROBI CAMPUS) COURSE TITLE: COMMUNICATION SKILLS (COMM 111) COURSE INSTRUCTOR: AGNES W.M.THEURI PARAGRAPH WRITING A paragraph is a group of sentences developing a main idea. A key quality of an effective paragraph is unity . A unified paragraph sticks to one topic from start to finish, with every sentence contributing to the central purpose and main idea /topic sentence of that paragraph. But a strong paragraph is more than just a collection of loose sentences. Those sentences need to be clearly connected so that readers can follow along, recognizing how one detail leads to the next. A paragraph with clearly connected sentences is said to be cohesive . Transitional phrases facilitate cohesion. Characteristics of a good paragraph Good paragraphs are unified, coherent and well developed/appropriately organized, i.e have a logical pattern of organization such as chronological, spatial, emphatic, narrative, cause and effect, comparison-contrast, etc. . The topic sentence: it embodies the central thought of a paragraph. It is the main idea of a paragraph and it is most often stated at or near the beginning, although it may appear anywhere in the paragraph. When the main idea is stated early, it is sometimes also restated /using different words at the end to point out its importance. A good topic sentence tells the reader what you are going to discuss in the paragraph (the topic). It also establishes control so that you do not wander away from the basic purposes of your paragraph (it is the controlling idea) Supporting sentences: are supporting details to the topic sentence; facts and illustrations. / They should be relevant to the topic sentence. Concluding sentence: sums up the paragraph’s main idea or what has been said. Alternatively, it draws a logical conclusion from the main idea. Transitional words and phrases can help make our writing clear and cohesive. 89
Examples of transitional words/phrases/signals/cohesive devices Addition Transitions and also besides first, second, third in addition in the first place, in the second place, in the third place furthermore moreover to begin with, next, finally Cause-Effect Transitions Accordingly and so as a result consequently for this reason hence so then therefore thus Comparison Transitions by the same token in like manner in the same way in similar fashion likewise similarly Contrast Transitions but however in contrast instead nevertheless on the contrary on the other hand still yet Conclusion and Summary Transitions and so after all at last finally in brief in closing in conclusion on the whole to conclude to summarize Example Transitions as an example for example for instance specifically thus to illustrate Insistence Transitions 90
in fact indeed Place Transitions above alongside beneath beyond farther along in front nearby on top of to the left to the right under upon Restatement Transitions in other words in short in simpler terms that is to put it differently to repeat Time Transitions afterward
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