Friday, June 10, 2005

What is a Paragraph?

A paragraph is a group of related sentences all about the same main topic.

A good paragraph has unity.

  • All sentences relate to the same main idea.
  • All sentences support each other

A good paragraph has organization.

  • Ideas follow some kind of logical pattern.
  • Ideas might be set in time order.
  • Ideas might be set in spatial order.
  • Ideas might be set in order of importance.
  • Ideas might be set to logically follow one after another.

Three Kinds of Paragraphs

There are three main kinds of paragraphs.

  1. Narrative Paragraph: this paragraph tells a story, a part of a story, or tells something that happened.
  2. Descriptive Paragraph: this paragraph uses words to create a picture of something and often appeals to the senses.
  3. Explanatory Paragraph: this paragraph might tell how something is done, how to do something, or it might explain exactly what something is.

Exercise #1

Read the following opening and closing sentences that belong to different paragraphs. Decide what kind of paragraph each would fit.

  1. 1. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich has several layers.........As you can see, it's easy to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
  2. 2. The wind blew ice cold against his face......Shivering uncontrollably, Jon was sorry he had forgotten to fill the gas tank in his car.
  3. 3. On Monday, several students got lost on the way to school.....The rest of the school would always remember how long those hours had been.
  4. 4. Baseball is a sport requiring both good hitting, throwing and running skills....Clearly baseballs players must be good athletes.
  5. 5. Crisp, hot, cheesy pizza is the most mouth watering food in the world....Pizza sets my stomach into a happy frenzy.

Exercise #2

Add details in between each opening and closing sentence above to write five paragraphs showing different methods of development.