College university information

Break it up, break it down: paragraphing strategies for academy essays - college-university


Some of us fill a page with a wall of words, with no item indentations, no transitions, and no noticeably distinct topic sentences. Some of us have the apt indentations, but inside each clause our sentences are out of order. Francis Christensen [1] devised a brilliant trick for paragraphing, one you can use at (and not before) the revising stage:

First, let's conceive of we are creating a combine of "outlines" for paragraphs about sitting room in the world. [2] Fill in the blanks for the two paragraphs below, by pretending each word or expression is a sentence, with the first word (1) the topic sentence:


. . . . . (2) COUNTRY___USA______ (2) COUNTRY____________

. . . . . . . . (3) CITY___San Francisco__ (3) CITY_____________

. . . . . . . . . . (4) STREET__Haight______ (4) STREET___________

. . . . . . . . . . . . . (5) BUSINESS_Amoeba Music_ (5) BUSINESS______

For this paragraph, we can see how each entry (sentence) refers back to (1), but is also a more detail citation to the place absolutely already it. So the chain is tight/orderly.

But what if we tried to put a different (2) next in this sequence, after the (5)? Would bringing in a different countryside in the city, on the street, and at the big business there work logically for our reader? Or would it throw our reader?

It would throw our reader.

So we need to start a new paragraph, a new (1), an ALSO/BESIDES/IN ADDITION. . . . For, this part is of the kind Christensen calls the Junior PARAGRAPH, and it must have an order and sub order of 1, 2, 3, 4, . . . . It cannot have 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, and it cannot have a 1, 5, 2, 3, 4 order.

***** SUBORDINATE paragraphs are good for effective stories, presentation a course (or how-to) order, or heartbreaking from broad-spectrum to detail descriptions. They are one of three types of paragraphs in the inscription world. *****

This brings us, then, to the next type of paragraphing. Fill in each of the blanks below with a phrase:

(1) What is truth?

(2) Truth is_____________________________________.

(2) It is________________________________________.

(2) It is________________________________________.

For this kind of paragraph, called a COORDINATE PARAGRAPH, each judgment that follows the topic sentence--the (1)--cooperates with the others to classify and redefine a term or terms. Once you accomplish your own statements essential truth, note how musical, poetic, or balanced (matching) the clause is for the reason that of the actual repetition.

***** COORDINATE paragraphs are good for--as you liable guessed--definitions, reinforcing denotation in a delivered point, and re-defining a topic. *****

This brings us to the last of the paragraphing types, called the MIXED PARAGRAPH. This includes all other commonsensical and reinforcing paragraphs that control a code of the Inferior and the COORDINATE, while it still keeps order. That is, for example, it can be a 1, 2, 3, 3, 3, 4, 5, pattern, but ought to not have a new 1 scared out of your wits in or an oddly sited judgment like a new 2 after the 3, 3, 3, part.

To explain and to try the numbering on before now in print paragraphs (if, for example, you draft first and then check order second), let's look at the following. Try to interpret the numbering arrangement in each:


___I am aware that only former times in Birmingham, Alabama, our children, crying out for brotherhood, were answered with fire hoses, snarling dogs and even death. ___I am aware that only former times in Philadelphia, Mississippi, young colonize in the hunt for to confident the right to vote were brutalized and murdered; and only the recent past more than 40 houses of worship in the State of Mississippi alone were bombed or burned for the reason that they obtainable a refuge to those who would not acknowledge segregation. ___I am careful that incapacitating and grinding poverty afflicts my colonize and chains them to the lowly rung of the cost-effective ladder. --from Dr. Martin Luther King's Nobel Prize acceptance speech, Dec. 10, 1964 [3]

The above is a check out of a _____________________paragraph.


___There's nobody quite so risky as a parody movie. ___Some of them work out wonderfully, and examples like "Blazing Saddles" and "Airplane!" are two of the funniest movies ever made. ___On the other hand, from time to time you get examples like "High Instruct High," the new film starring Jon Lovitz and Tia Carrere. ___It's assumed to be a spoof of the "Dangerous Minds" type of movie, where a educationalist comes into an inner city high drill and changes the whole thing around. ___Lovitz plays a governess named Richard Clark -- get it, Dick Clark? -- who quits his job at a posh classified drill and takes a attitude at the worst communal high drill in the district, Marion Berry High. ___He meets the charming administrative assistant, played by Carrere, and the hard-nosed principal, played by Louise Fletcher. ___Yes, earlier Oscar-winner Louise Fletcher. Can you say, "tragic waste of talent"? I knew you could. . . . --from Alex Lau's Movie Magazine Global review, October, 1996

The above is a appraise of a _____________________paragraph.


___Technically, Carlito's Way is a amalgamation of the innovative and the banal. ___The camerawork is invigorating, if every now and then too exotic. ___DePalma makes good use of the steadicam at some point in the chase sequences, and this heightens doesn't matter what tension is present. ___Jellybean Benitez, a past DJ and club manager, is the music supervisor, and his amount of about a dozen mid-seventies hits helps to create the time-frame. ___Patrick Doyle's score, however, is horribly out-of-place. . . . --from James Berardinelli's Colossus review, 1993

The above is a example of a _____________________paragraph.


___Describing Tupac. . . . ___Shit, he was real. ___I'ma be real for a minute, as I can't illustrate a celebrity so real devoid of being real myself: [Tupac] was the whole thing and nothing. ___He was dreamful, hopeful, a leader, a rebel, a thug, a friend, a role model. ___Just all he did was, as Tupac once said, "a calculated step to bring me faster to my death. " ___He was the hip hop Jesus. --from Luis Camacho's journal entry, June 16, 2004

The above is a example of a _____________________paragraph.

What kind of item do you find A is? If you see it as a COORDINATE, you are certainly right!

How about B? Yep, a (well-written) SUBORDINATE.

My students are not speaking on C, with common consensus as it as also a COORDINATE, with each judgment after the first reinforcing the writer's topic condemnation or as a MIXED, with the final decree (a 3)---or?possible a new 1?

And part D? Looks like a rich MIX of details, doesn't it? And the journalist of D hadn't yet done this paragraphing experiment!

End Notes

[1] Christensen, Francis. A Generative Idiom of the Paragraph. CCC 16 (October 1965).

[2] This part of the experimentation is a adapted adaptation of that used in Adjust Arrangement Beliefs courses skilled by Deborah Swanson at SFSU.

[3] All item samples taken from and/or customized for English 880, Skyline College, San Bruno, CA. Passage D is a preferred piece in black and white by a learner who has arranged his consent for my use of it here and elsewhere. RM.

N. H. -born prize-winning poet, creative reference writer, memoirist, and award-winning Assoc. Prof. of English, Roxanne is also web contented and self-employed writer/founder of http://www. roxannewrites. com, a assist site for academic, memoir, mental disability, and creative writers who need a nudge, a nod, or just ideas?of which Roxanne has 1,000s, so do stop in for a visit, as this decree can't perhaps get any longer??.

Developed by:
home | site map © 2021