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3.3: Writing Paragraphs (Exercises)

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    1. Select one of the following topics or choose a topic of your choice:
      1. Working part-time while attending college
      2. Health care reform
      3. Introducing a four-day work week
      4. Bringing pets to work
      5. Taking on-line classes
      Create a topic sentence based on the topic you chose, remembering to include both a main idea and a controlling idea. Next, write an alternative topic sentence using the same main idea but a different controlling idea. Explain how each fully developed paragraph might differ in tone and content.
    2. Group activity. Working in a small group, select a writing sample or academic essay that has a clear thesis. Examine each paragraph and identify the topic sentence, supporting sentences, and concluding sentence. Then, choose one particular paragraph and discuss the following questions:
      • Is the topic sentence clearly identifiable or is it implied?
      • Do all the supporting sentences relate to the topic sentence?
      • Does the writer use effective transitions to link his or her ideas?
      • Does the concluding sentence accurately summarize the main point of the paragraph?

      As a group, identify the weakest areas of the paragraph and rewrite them. Focus on the relationship among the topic sentence, supporting sentences, and concluding sentence. Use transitions to illustrate the connection between each sentence in the paragraph.

    3. Peer activity. Using the information you have learned in this chapter, write a paragraph about a current event. Underline the topic sentence in your paragraph. Now, rewrite the paragraph, placing the topic sentence in a different part of the paragraph. Read the two paragraphs aloud to a peer and have him or her identify the topic sentence. Discuss which paragraph is more effective and why.

    This page titled 3.3: Writing Paragraphs (Exercises) is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Barbara Hall & Elizabeth Wallace (GALILEO Open Learning Materials) .

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