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Class 4 Fall 2015

Page history last edited by Jane Asher 8 years, 7 months ago



I will be out of the country until Monday night and will not able to respond to your emails until Tuesday.



Missing Contracts








In Class Today:

Paragraphing (CWH Ch.5) 

Writing Process (WOW Ch. 3) 

Paragraph Activity (WOW pg. 39, Activity 3.1) 

Discuss Reflection Essay Process and Organization (Discovering Ideas, WOW pgs. 39-42) 


Rhetoric Recap

-major terms and ideas







WOW Ch. 3/ Handbook Ch. 5


What is a paragraph?

A paragraph is a collection of related sentences dealing with a single topic. Learning to write good paragraphs will help you as a writer stay on track during your drafting and revision stages. Good paragraphing also greatly assists your readers in following a piece of writing. You can have fantastic ideas, but if those ideas aren't presented in an organized fashion, you will lose your readers (and fail to achieve your goals in writing).

The Basic Rule: Keep one idea to one paragraph

The basic rule of thumb with paragraphing is to keep one idea to one paragraph. If you begin to transition into a new idea, it belongs in a new paragraph. There are some simple ways to tell if you are on the same topic or a new one. You can have one idea and several bits of supporting evidence within a single paragraph. You can also have several points in a single paragraph as long as they relate to the overall topic of the paragraph. If the single points start to get long, then perhaps elaborating on each of them and placing them in their own paragraphs is the route to go.

Elements of a paragraph

To be as effective as possible, a paragraph should contain each of the following: Unity, Coherence, A Topic Sentence, and Adequate Development. As you will see, all of these traits overlap. Using and adapting them to your individual purposes will help you construct effective paragraphs.



Unity: a paragraph with unity develops one, and only one controlling idea. To ensure unity, edit out any stray ideas and do not go off topic with your writing.


Topic sentences state the main idea of the paragraph, and the other sentences in the paragraph support that idea.



pg. 65: Testing for Unity


  • What is the topic sentence?
  • How does this paragraph lack unity?
  • How would you fix this paragraph?



Using Topic Sentences: (pg. 64/65 in handbook)



Writing Coherent Paragraphs (pg. 66)

A paragraph is coherent when all its sentences clearly relate to one another. You can create coherence by arranging details according to an organizing principle, by using transitional words and phrases, by using parallel structure, and by repeating key words and phrases.


1. Arranging Details (pg. 67)

spatial order

chronological order

logical order (fill in the gaps between ideas)


2. using Transitional words and phrases (pgs. 67-69)


3. using parallel structure


Parallelism: the use of matching words, phrases, clauses, or sentence structure to emphasize similar ideas


Where have we seen this tactic?



A solid paragraph is also well developed

What does this mean?


Paragraphing Practice


Prompt: In order for college students to be successful, they must______________________________.


Your task: create a topic sentence that would pave the way for one unified, coherent, and well-developed paragraph.

Tips: choose something specific to discuss--1 solid reason (this is only a paragraph)

choose a topic that you'll be able to develop with examples and support


Example Topic sentence:

In order for college students to be successful, they must learn to become good students.

What is the problem with a topic sentence like this?

How can we fine tune this?

What would we include in this paragraph?



Volunteers to share 


Image result for success in college


Moving from Topic Sentence to Solid Paragraph


This is an outline: Topic Sentence. [Transition], + support idea #1. Example. [Transition], + support idea #2. Example. [Transition], + support idea #3. Example. Concluding sentence.


This is an example:

     Successful college students carefully manage their study time. [First], they set aside time each day to complete their homework. Many teachers assign approximately two hours of homework for every hour of class time. Successful students block out that much homework time in their daily schedules. [Second], successful students schedule time for long-term projects. Often students need several weeks to complete a project. Motivated students will break the project into small steps and work an hour or two each day until the project is complete. [Most importantly], successful students schedule adequate study time for tests. Good students do not wait until the night before the test to begin studying. They study the material each day, and they allow several hours to review the day before the test. Successful college students know the value of time management.



WOW ch. 3: Writing Process

From Paragraph to Essay


Now, let's use this topic (what it means to be a successful college student/how to achieve success in college) to think about developing a short essay

Step 1: Invention (discovering ideas)

pages 40-41: Mapping, Charting, Listing, Free writing, Questioning


Brainstorming Ideas to Include in this essay/Listing all the possible topics to include


  • Habits for successful college students
  • What to do/what not to do


Ask Questions: 

Is success in college determined only by grades?

If a student graduates, does that mean that he/she is successful?

What role does one's day-to-day life play in his/her academic experiences?

Is success the same for everyone, or is it more of an individual measure?

What role does one's family play in fostering successful college students?


In such essay, there is no way to include EVERYTHING and to examine all possible angles of this broad topic, so you need to narrow your focus a bit by creating a specific thesis statement that explains exactly what you plan to cover in this essay. 


A good thesis statement will usually include the following four attributes:

  • take on a subject upon which reasonable people could disagree
  • deal with a subject that can be adequately treated given the nature of the assignment
  • express one main idea
  • assert your conclusions about a subject




Develop a thesis statement that would serve as a road map for a short essay

It should state your position about what it means to be a successful college student





Student Examples 

Using thesis/controlling idea to organize a short essay (paragraphing)


Practicing what you learned:




·         Read WOW pgs. 61-71 

·         Complete  Reflection Essay (Objective: apply Paragraph rules from CWH Ch. 5 and information from WOW Ch. 3). 

Brainstorm/List ideas/ask questions

Narrow your scope

In the beginning of your essay, begin with a controlling idea that responds to the prompt and organize the rest of your essay based off of this controlling idea

Use Writer’s Checklist (WOW pg. 54) as a guide 

Use MLA format (WOW pg. 55) 

Keep the rhetorical tools in mind as you write (artistic appeals, audience awareness)


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