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Writing a Well-Developed Paragraph. What does “well-developed” even mean? “Well developed” means that every idea discussed in the paragraph is adequately.

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Presentation on theme: "Writing a Well-Developed Paragraph. What does “well-developed” even mean? “Well developed” means that every idea discussed in the paragraph is adequately."— Presentation transcript:

1 Writing a Well-Developed Paragraph

2 What does “well-developed” even mean? “Well developed” means that every idea discussed in the paragraph is adequately explained and supported with evidence and details that work together to prove the paragraph’s controlling idea.

3 Step 1: The Topic Sentence The topic sentence is the controlling idea of the paragraph. It is what everything in the paragraph is about. When you write a paragraph about literature that is not a part of a larger essay, please mention the title and author in the topic sentence. Example: “In Julia Alvaraz’s In the Time of the Butterflies, Dede Mirabal’s greatest weakness is her inability to speak her mind honestly.”

4 Step 2: Evidence Evidence is simply the textual support that you use to prove your point. It should consist of a direct quote you find in the text which proves your point. Remember that you must introduce your text support, so that your reader can follow your thinking. Don’t forget to include a parenthetical citation for each quote. Evidence When the gringa dominicana journalist asks Dede for an interview, Dede thinks, “But this is March… Doesn’t she have seven more months of anonymity?” (Alvarez 3). However, Dede still agrees to the interview. When the journalist asks about Virgilio Morales, Minerva’s special friend, Dede snaps back at her, claming that Lio was a special friend of hers too. Then she thinks to herself, “There she has said it, so why doesn’t it feel good?” Fighting with her dead sister over a beau, my goodness” (Alvarez 66). When Dede begins to think about the revolution, Jaimito urges her to compromise. Dede responds, “’I see,’ … already beginning to compromise with the man she was set to marry” (Alvarez 79).

5 Step 3: Explanation After every quote, you need an explanation to explain exactly how the quote that you chose proves your point. Evidence When the gringa dominicana journalist asks Dede for an interview, Dede thinks, “But this is March… Doesn’t she have seven more months of anonymity?” (Alvarez 3). However, Dede still agrees to the interview. When the journalist asks about Virgilio Morales, Minerva’s special friend, Dede snaps back at her, claming that Lio was a special friend of hers too. Then she thinks to herself, “There she has said it, so why doesn’t it feel good?” Fighting with her dead sister over a beau, my goodness” (Alvarez 66) When Dede begins to think about the revolution, Jaimito urges her to compromise. Dede responds, “’I see,’ … already beginning to compromise with the man she was set to marry” (Alvarez 79). Explanation This shows that Dede doesn’t really want to do the interview, but she can’t speak her mind, so she ends up having to relive her sisters’ deaths for the interview. It is shown here that Dede never expressed her true feelings for Lio, therefore she still harbors some resentment in her heart that Minerva developed a stronger relationship with him. If she had spoken her mind, this problem would not exist. When Ded says this, it shows that she disregards her beliefs about the revolution, simply because Jaimito asks her to do so. She does not speak her mind, but does as her husband says instead.

6 Step 4: The Closing Sentence The closing sentence simply wraps up what you have said in the paragraph before, in a different way than stated in the topic sentence. Evidence When the gringa dominicana journalist asks Dede for an interview, Dede thinks, “But this is March… Doesn’t she have seven more months of anonymity?” (Alvarez 3). However, Dede still agrees to the interview. When the journalist asks about Virgilio Morales, Minerva’s special friend, Dede snaps back at her, claming that Lio was a special friend of hers too. Then she thinks to herself, “There she has said it, so why doesn’t it feel good?” Fighting with her dead sister over a beau, my goodness” (Alvarez 66). When Dede begins to think about the revolution, Jaimito urges her to compromise. Dede responds, “’I see,’ … already beginning to compromise with the man she was set to marry” (Alvarez 79). Explanation Dede doesn’t really want to do the interview, but she can’t speak her mind, so she ends up having to relive her sisters’ deaths for the interview. Dede never expressed her true feelings for Lio, so she still harbors some resentment in her heart that Minerva developed a stronger relationship with him. Dede disregards her beliefs about the revolution, simply because Jaimito asks her to do so. Ultimately, Dede Mirabal misses out on several opportunities and ends up unhappy due to the fact that she avoids speaking up for herself.

7 Step 5: Wording and Transitions Once you have your topic sentence, evidence, and explanations, your paragraph is practically written! You may have to tweak your wording a little to ensure that your paragraph flows clearly. Don’t forget to add transitions between different pieces of evidence (such as: in addition, secondly, finally, etc.) to keep things flowing smoothly. Practice reading your paragraph out loud if you’re unsure about the flow.

8 MLA Reminders Place a heading in the upper left-hand corner (Name, Teacher, Class, Date). Create a header in the upper right-hand corner (Last Name and Page #). Double-space the entire paper and use 12-point Times New Roman font. Include an MLA citation for the book: Alvaraz, Julia. In the Time of the Butterflies. Chapel Hill: Algonquin Books, Print. Use parenthetical citations after quotes within the paragraph: “It started with Patria wanting to be a nun” (Alvaraz 11).

9 Other Reminders Avoid first person in a literary response (no “I”, “me”, “we”, “us”, you, etc.) Try to stay in the present tense. Be sure to proofread and use the spell checker!


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