Strategies for college writing sentences paragraphs essays

The sentences are in the wrong order for a conclusion paragraph. Match the statements to the correct sentence type.

Making the Writing Process Work for You

Some students who enrol in university studies have difficulties with their writing skills. Discuss the reasons for this problem and critically assess the effectiveness of university intervention writing programs. The main causes of student difficulty appear to be that secondary school assessment has a different focus from university expectations and that universities are increasingly attracting mature age students who may require an update on their skills. In response, universities invest considerable capital into well-run programs that effectively assist students to overcome their writing problems.

To conclude, university students who are experiencing difficulty with their academic writing skills will require assistance to reach their academic potential. These conclusion sentences are in the incorrect order. Academic Skills Self-paced Tutorials. Key words: thesis statement, summary, transitional words, premise, key points. Exercise 1: Understanding the stages of a conclusion paragraph Click or hover over the conclusion paragraph to see an analysis of its structure and how the conclusion matches the set question.

Exercise 2: Sentence types in conclusion paragraphs Read the following question and the sample conclusion paragraph. This basic format is valid for most essays you will write in college, even much longer ones. For now, however, Mariah focuses on writing the three body paragraphs from her outline.

In college writing, using a topic sentence in each paragraph of the essay is the standard rule. However, the topic sentence does not always have to be the first sentence in your paragraph even if it the first item in your formal outline. When you begin to draft your paragraphs, you should follow your outline fairly closely. After all, you spent valuable time developing those ideas. However, as you begin to express your ideas in complete sentences, it might strike you that the topic sentence might work better at the end of the paragraph or in the middle.

Try it. Writing a draft, by its nature, is a good time for experimentation. The topic sentence can be the first, middle, or final sentence in a paragraph.


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When the purpose of the assignment is to persuade, for example, the topic sentence should be the first sentence in a paragraph. When you organize information according to order of importance, the topic sentence may be the final sentence in a paragraph. All the supporting sentences build up to the topic sentence. Chronological order may also position the topic sentence as the final sentence because the controlling idea of the paragraph may make the most sense at the end of a sequence.

When you organize information according to spatial order, a topic sentence may appear as the middle sentence in a paragraph. An essay arranged by spatial order often contains paragraphs that begin with descriptions.

A Place to Begin: What is a Paragraph?

A reader may first need a visual in his or her mind before understanding the development of the paragraph. When the topic sentence is in the middle, it unites the details that come before it with the ones that come after it. As you read critically throughout the writing process, keep topic sentences in mind. You may discover topic sentences that are not always located at the beginning of a paragraph.

For example, fiction writers customarily use topic ideas, either expressed or implied, to move readers through their texts. In nonfiction writing, such as popular magazines, topic sentences are often used when the author thinks it is appropriate based on the audience and the purpose, of course. A single topic sentence might even control the development of a number of paragraphs. For more information on topic sentences, please see Chapter 6. Developing topic sentences and thinking about their placement in a paragraph will prepare you to write the rest of the paragraph. The paragraph is the main structural component of an essay as well as other forms of writing.

Each related main idea is supported and developed with facts, examples, and other details that explain it. By exploring and refining one main idea at a time, writers build a strong case for their thesis. To grab attention or to present succinct supporting ideas, a paragraph can be fairly short and consist of two to three sentences. A paragraph in a complex essay about some abstract point in philosophy or archaeology can be three-quarters of a page or more in length.

As long as the writer maintains close focus on the topic and does not ramble, a long paragraph is acceptable in college-level writing. In general, try to keep the paragraphs longer than one sentence but shorter than one full page of double-spaced text. Journalistic style often calls for brief two- or three-sentence paragraphs because of how people read the news, both online and in print.

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Blogs and other online information sources often adopt this paragraphing style, too. Readers often skim the first paragraphs of a great many articles before settling on the handful of stories they want to read in detail. In such cases, you should divide the paragraph into two or more shorter paragraphs, adding a topic statement or some kind of transitional word or phrase at the start of the new paragraph. Transition words or phrases show the connection between the two ideas.

In all cases, however, be guided by what you instructor wants and expects to find in your draft. To build your sense of appropriate paragraph length, use the Internet to find examples of the following items.


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Copy them into a file, identify your sources, and present them to your instructor with your annotations, or notes. As she does, you should have in front of you your outline, with its thesis statement and topic sentences, and the notes you wrote earlier in this lesson on your purpose and audience. Reviewing these will put both you and Mariah in the proper mind-set to start.

Mariah chose to begin by writing a quick introduction based on her thesis statement. She knew that she would want to improve her introduction significantly when she revised.

How to Write a Good Paragraph ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Right now, she just wanted to give herself a starting point. You will read her introduction again in Section 8. She could have started directly with any of the body paragraphs. You will learn more about writing attention-getting introductions and effective conclusions in Chapter 9.

With her thesis statement and her purpose and audience notes in front of her, Mariah then looked at her sentence outline. She chose to use that outline because it includes the topic sentences. The following is the portion of her outline for the first body paragraph. The roman numeral II identifies the topic sentence for the paragraph, capital letters indicate supporting details, and arabic numerals label subpoints. Mariah then began to expand the ideas in her outline into a paragraph. Notice how the outline helped her guarantee that all her sentences in the body of the paragraph develop the topic sentence.

If you write your first draft on the computer, consider creating a new file folder for each course with a set of subfolders inside the course folders for each assignment you are given. Label the folders clearly with the course names, and label each assignment folder and word processing document with a title that you will easily recognize.

The assignment name is a good choice for the document. Then use that subfolder to store all the drafts you create. When you start each new draft, do not just write over the last one. Instead, save the draft with a new tag after the title—draft 1, draft 2, and so on—so that you will have a complete history of drafts in case your instructor wishes you to submit them.

In your documents, observe any formatting requirements—for margins, headers, placement of page numbers, and other layout matters—that your instructor requires. Study how Mariah made the transition from her sentence outline to her first draft. First, copy her outline onto your own sheet of paper.

How to Write a 5 Paragraph Essay | Time4Writing

Leave a few spaces between each part of the outline. Mariah continued writing her essay, moving to the second and third body paragraphs. She had supporting details but no numbered subpoints in her outline, so she had to consult her prewriting notes for specific information to include. Your final sentence should uphold your main idea in a clear and compelling manner.

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Be sure you do not present any new information in the conclusion. When writing an essay for a standardized test, outline your essay and get through each paragraph as quickly as possible. Think of it as a rough draft. When your time is up, a complete essay will score more points than an incomplete essay because the evaluator is expecting a beginning, middle and an end. If you have time to review your essay before your time is up, by all means do so! These interactive writing classes build basic writing skills, explain essay types and structure, and teach students how to organize their ideas.

Types of Essays on Standardized Tests When you begin to write your essay for a standardized test, you must first decide what type of essay you are being asked to write. The best way to tackle the introduction is to: Describe your main idea, or what the essay is about, in one sentence. You can usually use the essay writing prompt or question to form this sentence.


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Develop a thesis statement, or what you want to say about the main idea. When the writing prompt is a question, your thesis is typically the answer to the question.