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An LSCC Learning Center Self-Paced Tutorial Writing Effective Paragraphs Composing: Creating Topic Sentences and Supporting Sentences.

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Presentation on theme: "An LSCC Learning Center Self-Paced Tutorial Writing Effective Paragraphs Composing: Creating Topic Sentences and Supporting Sentences."— Presentation transcript:

1 An LSCC Learning Center Self-Paced Tutorial Writing Effective Paragraphs Composing: Creating Topic Sentences and Supporting Sentences

2 What is a Paragraph? Definition A group of related sentences that develop one main idea Three concepts for good paragraphs Unity: one idea per paragraph Development: sufficient detail (good writing is 25% ideas & 75% details!) Coherence: understandable, easy to follow (logical order, effective transitions)

3 Anatomy of a Paragraph Topic Sentence Usually first—want to use the norm for the paragraph assignments Contains TWO PARTS Topic Controlling Idea Body The details which make your topic sentence vivid to the reader, that prove your point

4 Sample & Exercise Identify the topic sentence and supporting details in the following paragraph from Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings : The summer picnic gave ladies a chance to show off their baking hands. On the barbecue pit, chickens and spareribs sputtered in their own fat and in a sauce whose recipe was guarded in the family like a scandalous affair. However, every true baking artist could reveal her prize to the delight and criticism of the town. Orange sponge cakes and dark brown mounds dripping Hershey’s chocolate stood layer to layer with ice-white coconuts and light brown caramels. Pound cakes sagged with their buttery weight and small children could no more resist licking the icings than their mothers could avoid slapping the sticky fingers.

5 Sample & Exercise The topic sentence and supporting details: The summer picnic gave ladies a chance to show off their baking hands. On the barbecue pit, chickens and spareribs sputtered in their own fat and in a sauce whose recipe was guarded in the family like a scandalous affair. However, every true baking artist could reveal her prize to the delight and criticism of the town. Orange sponge cakes and dark brown mounds dripping Hershey’s chocolate stood layer to layer with ice- white coconuts and light brown caramels. Pound cakes sagged with their buttery weight and small children could no more resist licking the icings than their mothers could avoid slapping the sticky fingers.

6 Topic Sentences Pete’s sloppiness is a terrible habit. Pete’s sloppiness is an endearing quality. Elise’s dirty kitchen is a sign of her cooking skills. Elise’s dirty kitchen makes me want to call the health department. Identify the TOPIC and CONTROLLING IDEA in each

7 Topic Sentences The TOPIC and CONTROLLING IDEA: Pete’s sloppiness is a terrible habit. Pete’s sloppiness is an endearing quality. Elise’s dirty kitchen is a sign of her cooking skills. Elise’s dirty kitchen makes me want to call the health department. How would the paragraphs be different?

8 Steps in Writing a Good Paragraph Follow this order for sure success: Narrow the topic Draft the topic sentence Generate DETAILS for the body Select and drop details Arrange in a plan or outline Time to draft…..

9 Topic Sentence Exercise The key to a good topic sentence is to narrow the topic first. For example: general topic is good food Narrow the topic to Mexican food Controlling idea is Las Fuentes has great lunch specials Topic sentence: For an excellent and inexpensive Mexican lunch, you cannot beat Las Fuentes.

10 Generating Details for the Body For an excellent and inexpensive Mexican lunch, you cannot beat Las Fuentes. What details do we need? Consider menu Consider prices Consider what “excellent” implies

11 Select and Drop Details Which of the following details would NOT support the topic sentence (For an excellent and inexpensive Mexican lunch, you cannot beat Las Fuentes.) Combination plates cost $5.00 Service is fast A margarita is $7.00 Daily specials Friendly waiters Located in a shopping mall Free chips and salsa Established 1965

12 Select and Drop Details Which of the following details would NOT support the topic sentence? (For an excellent and inexpensive Mexican lunch, you cannot beat Las Fuentes. Combination plates cost $5.00 Service is fast A margarita is $7.00 Daily specials Friendly waiters Located in a shopping mall Free chips and salsa Established 1965

13 Arrange in a Plan or Outline For an excellent and inexpensive Mexican lunch, you cannot beat Las Fuentes. Combination plates cost $5.00 Service is fast Daily specials Friendly waiters Free chips and salsa Once you decide the order, how difficult will drafting be?

14 The Paragraph For an excellent and inexpensive Mexican lunch, you cannot beat Las Fuentes. This great little restaurant has become a regular stop in my week. Most importantly, the combination plates only cost $5.00. Add fast service and daily specials with even more discounts, and you can see why it’s my favorite place for lunch. The waiters are among the friendliest I’ve ever encountered, and if you run low on the free chips and salsa, they’ll bring you more in a hurry.

15 And now, it’s your turn Use these tips to help draft your paragraph Save all prewriting and drafts in case you need to turn them in with the final version If you need help: See your instructor during office hours Visit the Learning Center Thanks to Jacklyn Pierce for sharing this instructional Power Point with us


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