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Writing Paragraphs A distinct division of written or printed matter that begins on a new, usually indented line, consists of one or more sentences, and.

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Presentation on theme: "Writing Paragraphs A distinct division of written or printed matter that begins on a new, usually indented line, consists of one or more sentences, and."— Presentation transcript:

1 Writing Paragraphs A distinct division of written or printed matter that begins on a new, usually indented line, consists of one or more sentences, and typically deals with a single thought or topic or quotes one speaker's continuous words. From Greek word, “paragraphos.” Means a line showing a break in sense or a change of speakers in a dialogue Presented by The Write Place © 2014 (Revised by C. Mohrbacher)

2 Workshop Goals Attendees should  Have a better idea about when to paragraph  Learn strategies for writing a unified paragraph  Better understand what makes a coherent paragraph  Learn methods for organizing paragraphs  Learn about how transitions contribute to a better paragraph

3 When to Paragraph Whenever you move from one major point to another. During the past fifteen years, I have also worked closely with writing centers, watching them evolve from places which emphasize skills and drills to places which provide sophisticated and supportive counseling about the range of writing processes. While my education is far from complete, I have learned what you too must know: that teaching writing is teaching re-writing. During that time, however, I have also learned that for novice writers, learning to re-write is an alien activity that doesn’t come easily.... In contrast, I am convinced that revision is the primary way that both thinking and writing evolve, mature, and improve (156). From “Responding to Texts: Provocative Revision” by Toby Fulwiler. St. Martin’s Handbook for Writing Tutors 3 rd ed. Eds. Christina Murphy and Steve Sherwood.

4 When to Paragraph (cont.) Whenever you move your readers from one time period or location to another. These classical rhetoricians all agree that style must include clarity, propriety, and elegance.... Aristotle, Cicero, and Quintilian defined style in terms of its functions. They generated taxonomies of stylistic devices and classifications of language levels which supported a perspective of style as a number of rhetorical enhancements and a level of gracefulness. Of the contemporary definitions of style, Richard Ohmann’s is one of the broadest—“A style is a way of writing” (135). Style, for Ohmann simply means that another writer would have written a particular work in a different way (3). From “Style, Definition, and the Teachable” (2000) by Carol Mohrbacher

5 When to Paragraph (cont.) Whenever you introduce a new step in a process or sequence. First she asked herself, “Is there a problem?” Her visit to Earl Grey only confirmed to her that the client had a problem that needed to be solved.... Second, she began answering the question, “What is the problem?” The RFP seemed to be suggestiong that Earl grey needed more office space.... Finally, she began thinking about what kind of proposal she would need to write. It seemed as though the people at Earl Grey had a pretty good grasp of their problem (25). From Writing Proposals: Rhetoric for Managing Change by Richard Johnson-Sheehan.

6 When to Paragraph (cont.) When you want to emphasize an important idea. He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation. He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands. He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions. From the Declaration of Independence

7 When to Paragraph (cont.) Every time a new person speaks (dialogue). He replied with some asperity, “It might surprise you what them beasts can pull through.” “When they get started?” she asked. “He smiled for a second. “Yes. When they get started. “Well,” said Elisa, “I think you’ll save time if you go back to the Salinas road and pick up the highway there” (362). From “The Chrysanthemums” by John Steinbeck in Literature: An Introduction to Reading and Writing 2 nd Compact Ed. Eds. Edgar V. Roberts and Henry E. Jacobs

8 When to Paragraph (cont.) To signal the end of your introduction and the beginning of your conclusion. Also, if it is as important to Sally as she says it is to establish a rapport with writers, did she do enough to call attention to what Portia did right in her essay?.... Did Sally recognize these qualities in Portia’s writing or was Sally blinded to them because she felt defensive and threatened? [End of the body of the essay; conclusion follows] Writing center sessions are dynamic and unpredictable events. Like a theatrical production, at any moment the plot can take a hairpin turn, leading writers and tutors to unexpected revelations or disastrous endings. There’s one major difference, though, between the theater and the writing center: in real-time sessions, there is no script (22). From A Tutor’s Guide: Helping Writers One to One 2 nd Ed. by editor Ben Rafoth.

9 How to Unify Paragraphs Develop a single idea. Use topic sentences that state the main idea of the paragraph.* Other sentences should support the idea expressed in the topic sentence. For support, use examples, data, or logical progression. *In some situations, you may not need a topic sentence. For example: if a topic is covered over the course of 2 paragraphs. Or in some narrative or descriptive paragraphs an explicit topic sentence may seem forced or artificial.

10 Example of Unified Paragraph (topic sentence at beginning—the most common method) ( I was a listening child, careful to hear the very different sounds of Spanish and English. Wide-eyed with hearing, I’d listen to sounds more than words. First there were English (gringo) sounds. So many words were still unknown that when the butcher or the lady at the drugstore said something to me, exotic polysyllabic sounds would bloom in the midst of of their sentences. Often the speech of people in public seemed to me very loud, booming with confidence. The man behind the counter would literally ask, “What can I do for you?” But by being so firm and so clear, the sound of his voice said that he was a gringo; he belonged in public society. --Richard Rodriguez, Aria: A Memoir of a Bilingual Childhood

11 Another Example (topic sentence at end) These sprays, dusts and aerosols are now applied almost universally to farms, gardens, forests, and homes— nonselective chemicals that have the power to kill every insect, the “good” and the “bad,” to still the song of the birds and the leaping of fish in the streams, to coat the leaves with a deadly film, and to linger on in soil—all this though the intended target may be only a few weeds or insects. Can anyone believe it is possible to lay down such a barrage of poisons on the surface without making it unfit for life? They should not be called “insecticides,” but biocides.” --Rachel Carson, “The Obligation to Endure”

12 Writing Coherent Paragraphs Organize paragraphs appropriately. Use transitional words and phrases between paragraphs and sentences, if necessary

13 Organizing Paragraphs Spatial order For example: top to bottom, near to far, room to room, inside to outside. Generally used for description. Chronological order or time sequence. Uses transitions such as: at first, then, yesterday, and later. Generally used for narrative, process, or procedure paragraphs. Logical order presents details or ideas in terms of their logical relationships to one another. For example: general to specific, specific to general, most important to least important Generally used for analyzing or developing an idea or argument.

14 Paragraph Without Transitions Napoleon certainly made a change for the worse by leaving his small kingdom of Elba. He went back to Paris, and he abdicated for a second time. He fled to Rochefort in hope of escaping to America. He gave himself up to the English captain of the ship Bellerophon. He suggested that the Prince Regent grant him asylum, and he was refused. All he saw of England was the Devon coast and Plymouth Sound as he passed on to the remote island of St. Helena. He died on May 5, 1821, at the age of fifty-two.

15 Paragraph With Transitions Napoleon certainly made a change for the worse by leaving hes small kingdom of Elba. After Waterloo, he went back to Paris, and he abdicated for a second time. A hundred days after his return from Elba, he fled to Rochefort in hope of excaping to America. Finally, he gave himself up to the English captain of the ship Bellerophon. Once again, he suggested that the Prince Regent grant him asylum, and once again, he was refused. In the end all he saw of England was the Devon coast and Plymouth Sound as he passed on to the remote island of St. Helena. After six years of exile, he died on May 5, 1821, at the age of fifty-two. --Norman Mackenzie, The Escape from Elba

16 Frequently Used Transitions To Signify Sequence or Addition again, also, besides, first...second...third, furthermore, In addition, moreover, one... another, too To Signal Time afterward, as soon as, at first, at the same time, before, earlier, finally, in the meantime, later, meanwhile, next, now, soon, subsequently, then, until To Signal Comparison also, by the the same token, in comparison, likewise, similarily To Signal Contrast although, but, despite, even though, however, in contrast, instead, Meanwhile, nevertheless, nonetheless, on the contrary, on one hand... on the other hand, still, whereas, yet, conversely

17 More Transitions To Introduce Examples for example, for instance, namely, specifically, thus To Signal the Narrowing of Focus after all, indeed, in fact, in other words, in particular, specifically, that is To Introduce Conclusions or Summaries as a result, consequently, in conclusion, in other words, in summary therefore, thus, to conclude, finally To Signal Concession to Another Perspective admittedly, certainly, granted, naturally, of course To Introduce Causes or Effects accordingly, as a result, because, consequently, hence, since, so, then, therefore

18 Finis Any Questions?


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