Paragraphs

Content:

  1. Overview of The Paragraph
  2. The Main Sentence
  3. Writing Supporting Details
  4. Writing Conclusions
  5. Transitions in Paragraphs

A story is made up of paragraphs. A paragraph is made up of a series of sentences. A paragraph has a main idea or topic. The sentences in a paragraph all relate to that main idea. Think of a paragraph as a burger.

Generally, you have a topic sentence for a paragraph. Everything that is to be stated in a paragraph is stated in one sentence. Most time this topic sentence is place in the beginning of a paragraph. However, it is possible to find the topic sentence at the end of a paragraph.

Writing a paragraph is easy. Start with the topic sentence, then write the supporting sentences and finally the conclusion. Develop your topic sentence carefully, include facts, anecdotes, reasons or explanations, and figures of speech.

Here is an example of a paragraph:

SATURDAY morning was come, and all the summer world was bright and fresh, and brimming with life. There was a song in every heart; and if the heart was young
the music issued at the lips. There was cheer in every face and a spring in every step. The locust-trees were in bloom and the fragrance of the blossoms filled the air. Cardiff Hill, beyond the village and above it, was green with vegetation and it lay just far enough away to seem a Delectable Land, dreamy, reposeful, and inviting.

From The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

Here’s another example

I have learned many facts about owls. First, most owls are nocturnal which means they hunt at night. Next, owls cannot move their eyes in the socket so they must turn their entire head. Finally, the smallest owl is the Elf Owl which is 6 inches long and has a wingspan of 15 inches. Owls are very interesting birds.

What have you observed about this paragraph. It flows smoothly, one sentence into the next. There are a number of words that can help you connect your sentences.

Some of these are: first, next, finally, afterwards, however, nevertheless, in the same way, meantime, for example, in addition to, therefore, presently, shortly after, but, and, or, and eventually.

Practice Exercise:

Write a paragraph using the hamburger organizer below on opening a birthday present. When you are finished consider if you have:

  1. A topic sentence that is clearly stated,
  2. Supporting sentences that help you develop your topic sentence, and
  3. There is flow of your sentence.

Use the writing rubric below to guide you as you write.

Below is a video on how to write a good paragraph.

Video: How to write a good paragraph