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Writing Class » Paragraphs

Paragraphs Paragraphs

Paragraphs    

In our third writing unit we will be reviewing how to write paragraphs.  We will also be writing our own paragraphs.

 A paragraph is a group of sentences that tell about a single idea.

 A paragraph consists of a topic sentence, supporting details, and a concluding sentence.

  • The topic sentence tells the reader the main idea of a paragraph.  It is usually the first sentence, but sometimes it's found in the middle or the end of a paragraph.  Sometimes, the topic sentence can be more than one sentence.
  • The supporting sentences give details or support about the main idea.  These sentences do not talk about other topics, but stay focused on supporting the main idea.
  • The concluding sentence sums up the paragraph or gives a closing thought to bring the paragraph to a clear end. 

 

       I had a wonderful time when I visited my grandparents’ farm last weekend.    

Topic sentence

First, Grandma let me milk one of the cows.  After that, Grandpa took me out to plow a field on his tractor.  He even let me sit in the driver’s seat when the engine was off.  On Sunday, we went fishing after doing all the farm chores.

Supporting Details

I hated to leave the farm when the weekend was over.

Concluding Sentence

 There are different kinds of paragraphs.  They are either narrative, descriptive, expository, or persuasive.

  • A narrative paragraph tells a story, presenting events in the order that they happened.
  • A descriptive paragraph tells what a person, a place, or thing, or an idea is like.
  • An expository paragraph gives directions or explains information.
  • A persuasive paragraph presents reasons, arguments, and opinions to win over the reader to a certain point of view.

 Good writers organize paragraphs so that readers can easily understand them.  Common ways to organize paragraphs are: time order, location order, order of importance, cause-effect order, and comparison-contrast order. 

  • Time order paragraphs tell the events in the order in which they happened.

From America Will Be

     By the late 1700s, some Quakers spoke out against slavery.  In the late 1700s, some leaders of the American Revolution argued that slavery did not belong in a nation where “all men are created equal.”  By the 1830s, more and more Americans believed that slavery should end.  These people were called abolitionists.

  • Location order paragraphs describe a place.  They may describe things from moving from top to bottom, from left to right, or in a circle.

from Danny the Champion of the World by Ronald Dahl

     The filling station itself had only two pumps.  There was a wooden shed behind the pumps that served as an office.  There was nothing in the office except and old table and a cash register to put money into.

  • Order of importance paragraphs begin with the least important idea and move towards the most important idea.

from Lincoln: A Photobiography by Russell Freedman

     While the North was free soil, it was hardly a paradise for blacks.  Racial prejudice was a fact of everyday life.  Most Yankee states had enacted strict “black laws.”  In Illinois, Lincoln’s home state, blacks paid taxes but could not vote, hold political office, serve on juries, testify in court, or attend schools.  They had a hard time finding jobs.  Often they sold themselves as “indentures” for a period of twenty years – a form of voluntary slavery – just to eat and have a place to live.

  • Cause-Effect Order paragraphs talk about the cause of events and the effects of events.  In other words why an event happened and what happened.  The writer might begin with the cause and then describe the effects or might begin with the effects and then the cause.

from “Blood”

     When a blood vessel in the skin is cut, some blood leaks out.  However, platelets soon clump together at the break in the blood vessel.  The platelets give off a substance that causes a tangle of sticky fibers to form.  Platelets, fibers, and trapped blood cells clump together to form a clot…. The clot seals the break in the blood vessel.  The bleeding stops.

  • Comparison-Contrast Order paragraphs introduce something new by comparing or contrasting it with something the reader knows already.  These paragraphs also can show how two things are similar and/or different.

from Scott Foresman Science

     The owl’s wing is somewhat like your arm.  It has the same three parts – the hand, the lower arm, and the upper arm.  The owl can bend its upper arm the way you can bend your upper arm.  The owl flaps its large wings to lift itself into the air.

 To review paragraphs.                                        To complete a paragraph tutorial & quiz.

 To practice descriptive paragraphs.                    

 To see another strategy for writing a paragraph.







Mrs. Travis' Classroom
Dorchester County Public Schools
Choptank Elementary
1103 Maces Lane
Cambridge, Maryland 21613