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Writing good paragraphs Caroline Malthus Te Puna Ako Learning Centre.

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Presentation on theme: "Writing good paragraphs Caroline Malthus Te Puna Ako Learning Centre."— Presentation transcript:

1 Writing good paragraphs Caroline Malthus Te Puna Ako Learning Centre

2 Whats a paragraph? Each paragraph develops one aspect of a topic A paragraph consists of a number of sentences

3 The Topic Sentence 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 detail Explain Give examples Give evidence Sentences 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. 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 writers 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 other The order needs to be logical e.g. Sequence General / specific Comparison / contrast Order of importance

8 We use paragraphs to: Describe Explain Compare Contrast Support Persuade and…

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 peoples 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 nurses Supporting information - previously seen as helper –> quote Stevens 1992, p now part of expanded team –> develop more specialized knowledge; more effective collaboration –> see Duffy et al greater role in diagnosis, treatment and prevention b/c stronger theory base taught in Unis

11 Link paragraph to paragraph Link paragraphs through the essay Think of topic sentences as a skeleton that show the bones of your assignment

12 1. 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. 2. 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. 3. Echoing key terms from the question can make it clear to the lecturer that you are on the right track. 4. 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 assignments/sam ple essay 1.php


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