Presentation on theme: "Constructing Paragraphs and Using Evidence. Textbook-Style Paragraph Topic sentence—general statement of the main point of the paragraph (analogous."— Presentation transcript:
Constructing Paragraphs and Using Evidence
Textbook-Style Paragraph Topic sentence—general statement of the main point of the paragraph (analogous to the argument in an essay) Elaboration, discussion, evidence, examples, and so on Conclusion and transition to the next paragraph
Support for Arguments One image for a good argument is a roof held up by columns or a table with legs. The roof is the general argument, and the columns are the supporting reasons and evidence. evidence.
Providing Coherence Make sure the basic structure works. If the paragraph contains a major shift from one topic to the next, it may need to be revised completely. Sometimes sentences need to be taken out. Repeat some key words; don’t overuse the thesaurus.
Providing Coherence (cont.) Be consistent with pronoun use and point of view. Don’t shift from “I” to “you” to “they” for the same point of view. Don’t overuse “There are” and “It is” locutions. Use active voice verbs. Active: Maria threw the ball. Passive: The ball was thrown by Maria.
Transitions Use transitional devices, such as sentences which look back at preceding subjects and then announce a shift to the next topic. Use signal words as transitions. Your text and many websites offer help with this. UNC’s Writing Center: http://www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb/handou ts/transitions.html
Background Information What you need to know: In all U.S. states, the age at which people can legally drink alcoholic beverages in public is twenty-one. In fact, the legal drinking age is established by each state, but states gave in to financial pressure from the federal government and set the age at 21 in the 1980s. However, there are still varying state standards about what is permitted in the home.
Introductory Paragraph: Argument Essay Topic Sentence: The state of Illinois should not lower the legal drinking age. Instead, more should be done to prevent teenagers from drinking, especially drinking to excess and then driving.
Reasons Teenagers in particular can be injured by drinking alcohol because their bodies and brains are still growing and changing (National Institute on Drug Abuse [NIDA]). In addition, teenagers are especially vulnerable to peer pressure and the influence of a culture which presents getting drunk as a way to have fun. So teenagers may find it harder than adults to resist drinking to excess.
Reasons (cont.) Perhaps the most important reason for not allowing teenagers to drink legally involves their ability to drive legally at eighteen or younger. Young drivers are responsible for many automobile accidents because they lack mature judgment; scientific research shows that humans’ brains are still developing while they are in their twenties (NIDA). Thus, allowing teenage drivers to drink alcohol legally would only increase the number of accidents caused by these inexperienced, easily distracted drivers.
Works Cited National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). National Institute of Health. NIDA for Teens: The Sara Bellum Blog. August 25, 2009. September 10, 2009. Web.
Supporting Facts and Logic All of these assertions should be supported by specific information from credible sources and research. “Everybody knows” is not helpful. Writers should not jump to conclusions, engage in hasty generalizations, or stereotype. In other words, do not assume that one instance or example proves all members of a group are the same. That one example may not be typical or representative of the entire group.
Personal Experience as a Source Use personal experience and examples but ALWAYS be aware that you should not carry that thinking out too far. Remember you want to present yourself as a reasonable person. Conclusion: One example may certainly prove something but it does not prove everything! Always allow for exceptions and different circumstances.