There are several things we need to notice when we write a paragraph

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Writing Paragraph
There are several things we need to notice when we write a paragraph (description,
cause-effect, narration, comparison-contrast):
1. Topic sentence
2. Supporting sentences
3. Development of single focus
4. Organization of logical and cohesive sentences
I. Topic Sentence
Look at the following sentences:
a. Swimming is fun. (too general)
b. I swim laps for 30 minutes every morning. (too specific)
c. Exercising every morning has several positive effects on my health. (not too general
and not too specific)
Analyzing topic sentence
For each statement below, underline the topic and draw a circle around the focus.
1. Mahatma Gandhi was an influential leader.
2. E-mail is a great way to stay in touch with your family and friends.
3. The clothes we wear often reflect a lot about our personality.
4. The Japanese subway system is very efficient.
5. Television commercials are often insulting women.
6. My older brother is a perfectionist.
7. The laws on child abuse should be strictly enforced.
8. Being a twin has both advantages and disadvantages.
9. The new shopping mall has brought many economic benefits to our community.
10. Golf is a difficult sport to master.
Evaluating topic sentences
Discuss whether the following topic sentences are good or not because they are either too
general or too specific. Rewrite the improved topic sentences!
1. My round-trip plane ticket to Ankara, Turkey, cost over $950.
2. The topic of this paragraph is learning new things.
3. American music reflects the native music of many of its immigrant groups.
4. Everyone needs hobby.
5. American music is the subject of this paragraph.
6. The first published collection of African-American music, Slave Songs of The
United States, appeared in 1897.
7. Vacations are very expensive.
8. Russian is a difficult language to learn.
9. Learning how to write in English can be a frustrating experience for many foreign
10. The Chinese language has over 50.000 characters.
Writing Topic Sentences
Write a topic sentence for each of the paragraphs below!
Most often, they keep them for pleasure and companionship. In fact, many people
consider their pet to be part of the family. In addition to their value as loved and loving
companions, pets serve practical purposes, such as protecting homes and property,
destroying insects, and even providing means of transportation. They may also serve as
emotional outlets for the elderly or the childless. Recently, the benefit of pet-facilitated
psychotherapy has been demonstrated. Finally, some people keep pets for their beauty
or rarity or, in the case of birds, for their songs.
For instance, climate affects the kinds of clothes we wear an even the colors we
choose to wear. Since it affects the kinds of crops we can grow successfully, it
influences our eating habits. Architecture is also affected by climate. Engineers and
architects must think about climate when they make decision about the construction,
materials, design, and style of buildings. Even our choices in transportation are
determined by the climate in which we live. Climate also plays a big part in economic
development. A climate that is too hot, too cold, or too dry makes farming, industry, and
transportation difficult and slows down economic development.
3. ____________________________________________________________________
We were there for two weeks, and not a day went by without something unusual
happening. On our second day a boa constrictor swam right in front of us while we were
rafting down the Rio Claro. Another day, spider monkeys threw branches at us deep in
the rain forest. Hiking on the primitive trails in Corcovado National Park, we saw brilliant
scarlet macaws and toucans with huge yellow beaks. Whenever we look at the pictures
from our trip, we all agree that it was the most exciting one we have ever taken.
Writing Topic Sentence
Write a topic sentence based on the following topics.
1. Smoking cigarettes .
2. The spread of AIDS .
3, The average Indonesian teenager .
4. Global warming .
5. Pollution .
Evaluating Support
Par 1: My chemistry course is very difficult and time consuming. The professor doesn’t
seem to realize that chemistry isn’t the only course we’re taking. He gives lots of
homework and too much reading. The worst thing is that his lecturers are really boring.
I’m not interested in chemistry, so I hate reading the textbook. I know I’m not the only
student complaining about this course.
Par 2: My chemistry course is very difficult and time consuming. First of all, we’re
responsible for two labs every week, which means a minimum of ten hours a week in the
lab. To make matters worse, the professor gives at least three tests per month. The
questions are very tricky, and we have to memorize long, complicated formulas. Finally,
the reading load is also quite heavy – as much as twenty-five pages a night. I often
spend all my free time doing the required reading.
a. Which paragraph provides more specific support?
b. What four supporting details does the author include in that paragraph?
Analyzing Paragraph for Single Focus
As you read it, decide which sentences do not belong in the paragraph because they do not
support the topic sentences. Cross out the irrelevant sentences.
Every year on New Year’s Eve, the city of Boston hosts a community celebration
called First Night so people can celebrate the new year together. Boston was the first
city in the United States to launch a special event to celebrate New Year’s Eve. First
Night attracts over 1,5 million people. For the $20 cost of a first night button, people gain
general admission to many different events. Boston is the higher education capital of the
United States. The two largest universities within the city itself are Boston University and
Northeastern University, and in nearby Cambridge are Harvard University and
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The evening begins with a grand costumed
parade around the Boston Common and ends at midnight with fireworks over Boston
Harbor. In between, there are more than 250 performances of international music,
dance, and theater, as well as puppetry and many films to choose from. Boston is also
host to the well-known Boston Marathon, which is run in April. Two hundred cities and
towns in the United States, Canada, Australia have now launched celebrations like the
one in Boston for New Year’s Eve.


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