Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Power Writing - Writing effective paragraphs

Today, we will look into ways of elaborating an idea in a paragraph.

What is a paragraph?
A paragraph is made up of sentences.

What is a good paragraph?
A good paragraph has a clear topic sentence and it is well supported or elaborated. This means that the paragraph has one main idea and a few supporting details.

Look at the following paragraph:

According to a newspaper report, snatch thieves are
getting more violent. Some of the criminals have resorted
to slashing their victims with knives before escaping with
their victims’ bags. On May 18, a woman was attacked
by two men on a motorcycle while she was walking home
from work at night.

1. What is the main idea of this paragraph?

2. What are the supporting details?

3. There are many ways to support your topic sentence such as giving examples, explaining by giving reasons, stating facts or statistic, or giving further descriptions.

What method did the writer use to support the main idea?

4. Now, it is your turn to write a good paragraph (add three or four more sentences) with the following topic sentences. The first one has been done for you.

a. I like hot and spicy dishes. ( give examples and a reason)

I like hot and spicy dishes such as asam laksa and chicken curry. I also cannot resist a hot bowl of tomyam, a sweet and sour dish. These dishes never fail to lift up a dull and boring day.

b. Playing computer games is a good pastime. (explain or give reasons)

c. Homework is a waste of time. ( explain)

d. School life can sometimes be very boring. ( give examples)

e. Cigarette smoking is hazardous to health. (give facts)

f. Boys should learn how to cook. (give reasons)

g. I dislike people who cannot keep a secret. (describe or give examples)

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