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Tips for Writing a Paragraph
Characteristics of a good paragraph:

Process of Writing a Paragraph:

  1. Compose your topic sentence. Think of a topic and a controlling idea that will narrow the topic enough to support it well in one paragraph.
  2. Brainstorm supporting ideas. Choose 2 - 6 supporting ideas that do a good job supporting your topic sentence.
  3. Write your paragraph in topic outline form as follows. Don't actually write sentences in the outline, except for the topic sentence.

  5. Put your supporting ideas in a logical order.
  6. For each supporting idea, think of RENNS that further explain the idea. For balance, each supporting idea should have about the same number of RENNS.
  7. Think of a concluding sentence.
  8. Write your paragraph using sentences. Use the coherence strategies to make your paragraph easy to follow.
Here is an example done in class.
The students brainstormed and came up with a good topic sentence and supporting ideas:
Topic sentence: Choosing a college or university can be difficult.
Supporting ideas: 1. Good Location, 2. Affordability, 3. Good preparation for major

They then decided to order these supporting ideas according to importance, as shown in the outline below.

Next, they put this information into outline form and added some RENNS for each supporting idea.

Finally, the class wrote the paragraph using sentences and tried to make the paragraph coherent using different coherence strategies.
       Choosing a college or university can be difficult high school graduates. The most difficult part is finding a university that prepares them well for their future career. In order to get a good job, the curriculum that is taught must be thorough and up-to-date. In addition, the professors must be highly qualified and respected in their fields. Another difficulty in choosing a university or college is affordability. Students need to be able to pay not only the tuition fees but also the living expenses. Fortunately, some institutions might be able to offer scholarships if students cannot afford the fees. Of course, a good location is also very important when choosing a school. The environment should be safe and quiet to facilitate studying. Moreover, there should be possibilities near the school for part time or summer jobs related to major to provide some practical work experience. High school graduates should consider all of these points carefully so they can choose the most appropriate college or university for them.


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Tips for Writing a Paragraph by Dewey Litwiller is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.