Presentation on theme: "Writing good paragraphs"— Presentation transcript:
1 Writing good paragraphs Caroline MalthusTe Puna Ako Learning Centre
2 Each paragraph develops one aspect of a topic What’s a paragraph?Each paragraph develops one aspect of a topicA paragraph consists of a number of sentences
3 The TOPIC SENTENCE makes clear what the paragraph is about Other sentences in the paragraph develop or explain the main idea
4 Other sentences in a paragraph may… Give further detailExplainGive examplesGive evidenceSentences need to support, clarify, develop the main idea
5 Topic sentence: main idea More specific explanation examples
6 In academic writing a paragraph often has three distinct parts In academic writing a paragraph often has three distinct parts. The sentence that states the topic and the focus of the paragraph (the topic sentence) is usually found at the beginning. It gives the reader a clear idea of what the paragraph will be about. The supporting sentences develop and expand the topic, containing details, explanation, examples and/or supporting evidence that is directly relevant to the topic. These sentences need to be sequenced in a logical order so that the reader can easily follow the writer’s ideas. Two examples of common ways to sequence information are chronological and hierarchical. Words and phrases, such as ‘also’, ‘so’ and ‘for example’ show the relationships between ideas and help the flow of ideas. At the end of the paragraph there is sometimes a concluding sentence which sums up the key idea for the reader.
7 Order of sentences:Sentences in a paragraph need to be relevant to each otherThe order needs to be logical e.g.SequenceGeneral / specificComparison / contrastOrder of importance
8 Describe Explain Compare Contrast Support Persuade and… We use paragraphs to:DescribeExplainCompareContrastSupportPersuadeand…
9 It is often said that people need to drink 6-8 glasses of water per day to stay healthy and well-hydrated. However it is hard to find solid scientific evidence to support this claim (Valtin, 2002). Valtin points out that food contains some fluid, and also says it is not clear whether a range of different beverages can be consumed in place of water. A study by Le Bellego et al. (2010) compared a number of surveys aimed at investigating people’s actual fluid intake. They found it hard to compare conclusions because of differences in the ways the surveys were conducted. A later study (European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), 2010) has concluded that guidelines on adequate intake of fluid need to consider factors such as type of fluid, environmental factors, energy output, age and health status. Clearly the topic is more complicated than the everyday advice suggests.
10 Example of paragraph notes Topic = role of nurses –> changed since Uni education –> affected practice & image of nursesSupporting information - previously seen as ‘helper’ –> quote Stevens 1992, p. 202- now part of expanded team –> develop more specialized knowledge; more effective collaboration –> see Duffy et al 1989 - greater role in diagnosis, treatment and prevention b/c stronger theory base taught in Unis
11 Link paragraph to paragraph Link paragraphs through the essayThink of topic sentences as a skeleton that show the ‘bones’ of your assignment
12 If you extract all the topic sentences from your piece of writing and list them, they should read as an outline of your argument through the whole piece of writing.The topic sentences throughout your assignment will be key elements in your overall structure, like the main bones in the skeleton which provide the basic framework for the human body.Echoing key terms from the question can make it clear to the lecturer that you are on the right track.Your topic sentences should also link closely to the question you have been asked, or the topic you are writing on.
13 The topic sentences throughout your assignment will be key elements in your overall structure, like the main bones in the skeleton which provide the basic framework for the human body. If you extract all the topic sentences from your piece of writing and list them, they should read as an outline of your argument through the whole piece of writing. Your topic sentences should also link closely to the question you have been asked, or the topic you are writing on. Echoing key terms from the question can make it clear to the lecturer that you are on the right track.
14 Other resources:Unitec Moodle, Te Puna Ako Learning Centre, Academic Writing, Essay Example Massey University. (2012). Sample Essay. Retrieved from ple‑essay‑1.php