2.4 Paragraphs

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This sentence summarizes for the reader what the paragraph is all about, usually by restating the main idea or offering a conclusion. If you choose to use some of the recommendations provided by Garner, as I described earlier, you might use the sentences you created for each idea in your outline. I also talked about paragraphs, their structure, the use of transitions to ensure a smooth flow and the importance of outlining.

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In this final lesson of module two, I will talk about paragraphs. I will review the parts of a paragraph, and an approach to organizing your paragraphs. I will also talk about transitional phrases which assist with making your sentences flow from one to the next. The final piece of this module will be a brief discussion on outlining your paragraphs. There are three basic parts to a paragraph. There’s the topic sentence, which is the first sentence in a paragraph. A topic sentence introduces the main idea of the entire paragraph and is sometimes called the controlling sentence. Because it gives the writer direction on where the discussion, within that paragraph should go. Following the topic sentence, are the supporting sentences, which expand on your topic sentence. Supporting sentences comprise the main body of your paragraph, and there are likely to be more than one. In fact, there will probably be at least three or four. The last sentence in your paragraph is the closing sentence. This sentence summarizes for the reader what the paragraph is all about, usually by restating the main idea or offering a conclusion. Not all paragraphs have to contain these three basic parts. But these parts serve as a good guideline in creating cohesive paragraphs. This, too, is likely to be a reminder for you. But a reminder that is worth your time. Understanding the three basic parts of a paragraph ensures that your writing is clear and focused. As you organize the paragraphs in your document, there are a few general concepts to keep in mind. First, keep your main idea central. Before you begin writing any business document, you have a central idea that you wish to impart. If you’re writing a proposal for example, your main idea might be that this machine is the best choice for the needs that we’ve defined. Keep this idea in mind and eliminate information that does not support your main idea. Second, decide how to best explain your main idea. As a start, decide what facts or topics best support your idea and present them in logical order. Third, use transitional phrases to take the readers forward. Transitional phrases help the document to flow from one thought or idea to the next. Transitional phrases accomplish quite a few things in order to keep the flow of your writing smooth from one sentence to the next. Use of words such as then, at that point, afterward, as soon as, since, then, finally, establish a time sequence. You can establish time and place using transitional phrases such as there, in back, in the rear, at the center. If you need to add a point but it doesn’t fit nicely in the preceding sentence, you can use and, further, also, or moreover. If you wanna underscore a point, use words like above all, equally, important, indeed. And if you wanna concede a point use although, admittedly, doubtless, of course, whereas, or yet. If you want to return to your point you would use, even so, nevertheless, nonetheless, or still. If you wanna provide an example of something describing the preceding sentence you might use, for example, in particular, hence, or it follows. If you want to provide a reason, and you can set up contrast words like yet, conversely, despite, on the other hand. And finally to set up a conclusion you could use, so, as a result, In conclusion, on the whole, to sum up. I highly recommend creating an outline before writing your document. If you choose to use some of the recommendations provided by Garner, as I described earlier, you might use the sentences you created for each idea in your outline. Your supporting details should be organized chronologically, or if there is no chronology to your subject matter, put your supporting details in order of complexity, or in order of importance. As you look at this out, outline, you might notice the absence of topic sentences or concluding sentences. This is because, they shouldn’t be written until the content of each paragraph has been determined. Since the topic sentence introduces the content, and the concluding sentence summarizes it. In this module, we looked at the mechanics of writing your document. We talked about careful selection of words in order to avoid incorrect word choice. Avoid incorrect word form or incorrect meaning. I reviewed the parts of a sentence and the types of sentences, as well as the importance of parallel form and using punctuation to clarify your point and make your sentences easier to read. I also talked about paragraphs, their structure, the use of transitions to ensure a smooth flow and the importance of outlining. Now, check your understanding with the quiz for this unit.

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