Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 29th 2013 Contents B28
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, May 29, 2013
(2) Writing the perfect paragraph
One way in which good paragraph writing can be
achieved is through Process Writing. It is very hard
for the teacher to concentrate on both the grammar
and the organization errors on a student paper and
still not discourage the student with those red
marks all over the paper. Instead, it is suggested
that the students should be able to comment on
and edit their own paper to a certain extent. The ad-
vantages of such an approach would be raising
awareness of the student and reducing the work-
load of the teacher.
The exercises that are organized below, are done in
such a way that the students will concentrate on
only one thing (e.g. organization, grammar, vocabu-
lary choice, etc.) at a time. For each type of mistake,
the information is repeated and then a writing exer-
cise about it is provided. For each type, the student
first sees the original writing. Then, he corrects the
writing by rewriting it and then checks the teacher-
corrected version in the answers at the end of the
tutorial The teacher-corrected version is only a sug-
gestion. There may be many ways to correct a mis-
take. The examples given here are all original
beginner level papers.
Here are the contents:
1. ORGANIZATION OF THE PARAGRAPH
A. Unity: It means that all the sentences refer to the
main idea, or the topic of the paragraph.
Exercise 1: The original student paper:
In a unified paragraph, we expect all the sentences to be
about the main idea of the paragraph. The main idea in
this paragraph is "the description of your house". If we
examine the paragraph, we see that some sentences do
not describe the house, such as:
In weekdays I arrive home at five o'clock and I have
Then I do my homework and go to bed.
I had a computer but now it doesn't work.
Now, (i) Rewrite the main idea of the example para-
graph so that it covers all the sentences the student
Main Idea: ___________________________________
(ii) Rewrite the paragraph, leaving out all the unneces-
B. Coherence: It means that the sentences should be
organized in a logical manner and should follow a
definite plan of development.
Exercise 2: The original student paper:
First, let's see the order of the ideas:
1. Where the house is
2. Type of the house
3. The location
4. The rooms in the house
5. The fact that he lives with his parents
6. The garden
The paragraph is well organized until he says he lives
with his parents. It looks like this idea interrupted his
description of the house. It should be put somewhere
else in the paragraph. Now, in the lines below rewrite
the paragraph in the correct order.
C. Faulty Start:
Here are some ways to bore your readers to death
(!) when starting a paragraph/an essay:
You can start with:
1. a nonsense sentence:
E.g. I want to talk about X.
2. a cliche :
E.g. X plays a great role in our lives.
X is a very important issue in today's world.
Here is an example:
How do we understand that "I want to talk about
friendship." is a nonsense sentence? If we leave the
nonsense sentence out, the content and meaning of
the paragraph does not change.
Exercise 3. Now: Rewrite the paragraph, leaving out all
the nonsense sentences.
D. Lack of Topic Sentence: Topic sentence is the
main idea, your attitude, your evaluation of some-
Having no topic sentence is bad both for the writer
and the reader. First, the reader has to read the en-
tire paragraph to get to the point. Here, the example
is one paragraph long. What if the example was a
paper of 2-3 pages? This is one side. Lack of a topic
sentence also causes the writer to drift away from
the topic. He loses control over the writing. He may
write 3 sentences about one controlling idea and 1
for the other which causes an imbalance within the
Exercise 4: Try to write only a topic sentence for this
TOPIC SENTENCE:- _______________________________
E. Development of the ideas: It means that every
idea discussed in the paragraph should be ade-
quately explained and supported through evidence
We generally believe that people would easily under-
stand us when we write. Unfortunately, our use of
language may not be perfect and our ideas may be
different. If we want our ideas to be understood, we
need to explain them and give specific examples of
each. Listing our ideas is never enough. See the
If we list the ideas, here is what we get:
A friend must:
• criticize when necessary
Exercise 5: The list and the paragraph are the same
length because the ideas in the paragraph are also
listed without explanation. This means, the ideas are
not developed. It also lacks a topic sentence. Let's write
Continued on next page
I live in a flat with my family. We have two bedrooms
and a living room. We have a garden and we have
some flowers there. In weekdays I arrive home at five
o'clock and I have lunch. Then I do my homework and
go to bed. I had a computer but now it doesn't work. I
have a brother and a sister and I think I am very lucky
to live with them. Sometimes our relatives visit us.
Our flat becomes very crowded sometimes but I like it.
I live in a house in Mayaro. It isn't old or modern. It's a
normal , wooden house. We can say it is near the sea. It
takes about 10 minutes to go to the sea side on foot.
We have one bedroom, one living room. We also have
two other rooms, too. We use them as a dining room.
Naturally, we have a kitchen, a bathroom, and a toilet. I
live with my parents. And our house has a little garden;
my parents spend their time there to grow vegetables
I want to talk about friendship. Friends can change
your life. So, you must know who is a real friend. Firstly,
your friend must understand you and of course, you
must understand him/her, too. I think, another impor-
tant point in today's world is that in a friendship there
must be confidence. You mustn't tell lies to each other.
In addition, you must say everything about yourself. I
think these are important for a friendship. If you have a
friend like this, you don't break up with him/ her be-
cause a real friend is not found easily.
I hate lies. I always try not to tell lies and I want that
from my friends, too. I think it is the most important
behavior. I can believe everything my friends say. In ad-
dition, a good friend must say his ideas to me firstly. I
mean, he shouldn't talk about me with other people.
Especially about the bad thing, he doesn't have to talk
because it might be wrong. Secondly, a good friend
must help me. He must do his best. He should ask help
from me too. If we solve problems together, our friend-
ship will be better and it will become stronger. Thirdly,
the talking time is important. I can talk with my friends
for a long time, and during that time I must be happy.
That's why we should like the same things. In conclu-
sion, trust is the basics of a friendship.
First of all, a friend mustn't tell lies. He must always tell
me the truth and he must be honest because if there is
honesty between two friends, their relationship will
last until death. In addition to honesty, helping or being
near a friend on a bad day is very important. Another
point to consider is that he must criticize me if I make a
Links Archive May 28th 2013 May 30th 2013 Navigation Previous Page Next Page