Paragraph Structure

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PARAGRAPH STRUCTURE

Good paragraph construction depends mainly on a) thinking through each idea so that you develop it logically and clearly, and b) then guiding the reader through your thought processes by using appropriate joining expressions. This means making the sentences fit together properly.

Most paragraphs are composed of three parts.
I. Introduction: gives background information or provides a transition; should include the topic sentence (expresses the main idea to be developed within the paragraph)

TASK1: Look at the topic sentences below and discuss what kinds of information you would expect to follow. 1) The government of the United States of America consists of three main branches. 2) The world-wide increase in road transport is a serious threat to the natural environment. 3) Deforestation has a direct effect on food supplies.

4) There is a mistaken idea that, because of pocket calculators, children no longer need to learn how to do basic arithmetic.

TWO REMINDERS:
1. A topic sentence should be neither too general nor too specific. If it is too general, the reader cannot tell exactly what the paragraph is going to discuss. If it is too specific, the writer may not have anything left to write about in the rest of the paragraph. Examples:

- American food is terrible (too general) - American food is tasteless and greasy because Americans use too many canned, frozen, and prepackaged foods and because everything is fried in oil or butter (too specific) - American food is tasteless and greasy (good) 2. Do not include too many unrelated ideas in your topic sentence; if you do, your paragraph will not be unified.

II. Body: follows the introduction; discusses the idea using facts, arguments, analysis, examples and other information

The sentences within a paragraph need to be connected to each other in such a...
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