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Academic paragraphing Theresa Bell, Writing Centre Coordinator © Royal Roads University, 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "Academic paragraphing Theresa Bell, Writing Centre Coordinator © Royal Roads University, 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 Academic paragraphing Theresa Bell, Writing Centre Coordinator © Royal Roads University, 2013

2 1.Your academic writing should convince, educate, persuade, or otherwise impact your reader. 2.Academic writing uses an evidence-based approach that demonstrates your critical thinking on a topic. 3.Evidence that will convince your reader of your position is presented in the body paragraphs of the paper. Therefore: 4.Creating strong paragraphs is the best way to ensure that your points are clearly communicated. Considering academic paragraphing: 2

3 Is a series of sentences that are related, that focus on one topic, and that demonstrate your critical thinking on that topic Contains a topic sentence, an argument, supporting evidence-based research, your analysis of the connection between the argument and your research, a conclusion, and when appropriate, a transition Usually has no fewer than 4-6 sentences An academic paragraph: 3

4 Can be placed anywhere within a paragraph; however, placing a topic sentence at the beginning makes it easy for your reader to follow your train of thought. Topic sentences can also state the argument that will be proved within the paragraph. E.g., Border collies are great family pets because of their intelligence. Topic sentences 4

5 Research evidence Analysis of connection between evidence and claim Claim (assertion) Your demonstration of your critical thinking skills that answers “so what?” Your idea Other scholars’ work 5 Oreo cookie model

6 Personal experience: border collies anticipate commands and comprehend sentences Personal experience: border collies can retrieve items on command, herd family members, or stare strangers into submission. Published research: “While dogs ranked with the 2-year-olds in language, they would trump a 3- or 4-year-old in basic arithmetic” “The finding is based on a language development test, revealing average dogs can learn 165 words (similar to a 2-year-old child), including signals and gestures, and dogs in the top 20 percent in intelligence can learn 250 words.” “To find out which dogs had the top school smarts, Coren collected data from more than 200 dog obedience judges from the United States and Canada.” Border collies rate #1 on Coren’s list Bryner, J. (2009). Dogs are smarter than toddlers, IQ tests show. Retrieved from Research evidence 6

7 Analysis How does the evidence support your argument/claim? Why should your reader care about the evidence? Why does it matter? How does the evidence contribute to proving your thesis statement? Ensure your reader understands exactly what you’re thinking

8 Remind your reader of your paragraph topic sentence, your argument, and the connection between the contents of the paragraph and your thesis statement. E.g., These talents, if encouraged with proper training, can clearly add to the border collie’s contribution to a household. Conclusions 8

9 Transitions improve the flow of your document because they bridge sentences and paragraphs. E.g., However, it is not only the intelligence of the breed that makes the border collie a terrific family pet; border collies are also known for their outstanding loyalty. Transitions 9

10 Border collies make great family pets because of their intelligence. In a comparison of information from 200 dog obedience judges, Coren (as cited in Bryner, 2009) found that border collies were the most intelligent dogs (“Top dogs” section, para. 2). Certainly, the alert expression that is typical to the breed suggests considerable brainpower, but these dogs have both looks and smarts. In fact, “while dogs ranked with the 2-year-olds in language, they would trump a 3- or 4- year-old in basic arithmetic” (Bryner, 2009, para. 5). In my experience, border collies can seem to comprehend entire sentences, which is not surprising considering that “average dogs can learn 165 words (similar to a 2-year-old child), including signals and gestures, and dogs in the top 20 percent in intelligence can learn 250 words” (para. 2). The breed’s natural cleverness can be used in a variety of ways, including retrieving items on command, herding family members, or staring strangers into submission. (more research evidence and analysis) These talents, if encouraged with proper training, can clearly add to the border collie’s contribution to a household. However, it is not only the intelligence of the breed that makes the border collie a terrific family pet; border collies are also known for their outstanding loyalty. Conclusion Transition Topic sentence & argument Analysis Research evidence The draft paragraph 10

11 When reviewing your paragraphs, consider the following questions: Are the paragraphs logical? Are the ideas within the paragraph connected? Do the ideas/paragraphs build to your conclusion? Do the paragraphs reflect your thesis statement? Final thoughts on paragraphs 11

12   Ask a question:  (250) , ext  Call toll free in North America: and ask Reception to put you through to the Writing Centre Questions?


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