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WRITING IV (BING4209): Initiation 2

Let’s start with paragraphing. The first thing on which you need to focus is how to make a good
paragraph. Read the following tips very carefully and try to understand them.

Good Paragraphing

(Extracted from materials available in a web-site and developed by Sherri Wahrer)

Knowing how to create well-developed, unified paragraphs is a part of the drafting process that is often
taken for granted...especially at the initial stages, where you focus more on getting your ideas written
down on paper. Eventually, you need to be able to organize those ideas effectively, and how to write
good paragraphs. Below are some tips to bear in mind regarding paragraph construction.

1. Begin each paragraph with a topic sentence -- what specific idea or argument will the paragraph
discuss? State it clearly at the beginning! For instance, if you're composing an essay on various factors
that influence children (and your arguments include music, upbringing, television viewing, and the
school environment), introduce each argument at the beginning of its own paragraph: 'One factor that
can influence children is music preference.'

2. Once you've nailed down your topic sentence, spend the rest of the paragraph developing points
related to that sentence only.

3. Good paragraphs focus on point a piece. Don't try to include several points in the same paragraph;
they'll all get lost in the jumble, and your reader will have a harder time focusing on each and
distinguishing its importance. For example, if you're writing a paper about the effects of music,
upbringing, television viewing, and the school environment on children, dedicate a single, well-
developed paragraph to each of the four factors; that way, they all receive equal attention and stand
out as independent ideas.

4. Use transition words and phrases in between paragraphs and within them to help guide your reader
and connect your ideas. Some examples of transitions include the following: therefore, as a result,
likewise, however, although, because, since, on the other hand, instead, for example, first, next, lastly,
in addition to, and moreover. See page 197 in your module for a more complete listing of possible

5. In the larger scheme of things ('things' being your essay!), cluster paragraphs on similar ideas (i.e.
arguments supporting your thesis) together and in the most logical way. For example, if you want to
build up to something, save the most important information for last, and get the smaller, less important
information out of the way first.

6. If you integrate a counter-argument into your paper in paragraph form, it's often a good idea to
separate it from the paragraphs that support your thesis (tossing it in among paragraphs that argue the
opposite has the potential to seriously disrupt a sound organizational pattern).

Materi Pengayaan 2
raphing, 3 Feb. 2018)

Paragraphing is part of the visual presentation of your essay or assignment along with
punctuation, spelling, double spacing, page numbering etc. However, unlike all the above which
are mechanical and fairly easily checked for problems (since simple rules can be applied to
them), paragraphs can require a considerable amount of thought and effort to get right. However
a well-paragraphed essay signals a careful, organised writer (a good way to pick up marks!)
and so it is worth making sure that you have done everything you can to improve them.

Why is paragraphing important?

What is the point of paragraphing? Why not just write our ideas in one long stream? Why not
write each sentence starting on a new line?

Basic principles to paragraphing

There are some basic principles to paragraphing. Some of these apply to the visual impact on
the reader, others to the content. Both aspects are important.
Visual impact

1. A new paragraph is signalled by starting a new line AND either indenting slightly OR
leaving a blank line. Choose one style and stick to it throughout your essay. See the
diagrams below for examples of each type.
2. One sentence is not a paragraph in academic writing. It is possible to find one sentence
paragraphs in magazine articles and novels but good academic style does not have one
sentence paragraphs.
3. An average paragraph should be between 4 and 7 sentences long and should take up
about 2/5 of the page (i.e. you should aim to have about 2 and a half paragraphs per
page). This is an AVERAGE and so it will not matter if you occasionally have a slightly
longer or shorter paragraph. Introductions and conclusions particularly tend to be
shorter than the other paragraphs in an essay.
4. A consistent length to your paragraphs shows the effort you have made to make your
essay easier for your reader to grasp. It is therefore another good way to pick up marks.


1. A paragraph contains a 'packet of information'. Each paragraph in your essay should

therefore have a different packet so that you are not repeating yourself.
2. The 'packet of information' is more than one sentence can contain, but is less than your
total essay. It should have a single point that is developed with some or all of the
following: examples, quotations, references, definitions, explanations or (more rarely in
academic writing) anecdotes.
3. Ideally your paragraphs will build up, one upon the other, each packet of information
helping to develop your argument one stage further.
4. Although it may be clear to you how two paragraphs are linked, it is important to make it
clear to your reader what the connection is.
5. A guiding principle for both sentences and paragraphs is that shorter is better than
longer. When a paragraph starts to take up more than half a page, stop and see how you
could say what you want to say in two or may be three paragraphs instead.
6. Typical features of the average paragraph are: a topic sentence (usually the first one)
which sums up what the paragraph will be about, often linking it to what has gone
before; development sentences which explain or illustrate the point; a concluding
sentence which hints at how the next paragraph will carry on.

Materi Pengayaan 3

Improve Your Paper by Writing Structured Paragraphs

(, 3 Feb. 2018)

In academic writing, effective paragraphs serve as building blocks to construct a complex

analysis or argument. Paragraphing helps readers to understand and process your ideas into
meaningful units of thought.

What do paragraphs do?

Imagine reading this page without paragraph breaks. Paragraphs create order and logic by
helping your reader recognize the boundaries where one point ends and another begins.

How long should a paragraph be?

In a first draft, it may make sense to set a goal for length. For example, you can set a goal of
writing four to six sentences per paragraph: in that number of sentences you can announce an
idea, prove that idea with evidence, and explain why this evidence matters by linking it to the
overall goal of your paper.

In the final version of your paper you may have a shorter paragraph or two. Short paragraphs
call a lot of attention to themselves, so they can effectively emphasize a point. Too many short
paragraphs, however, may indicate that your ideas are not developed with evidence and analysis.

You'll generally read and write longer paragraphs in academic papers. However, too many long
paragraphs can provide readers with too much information to manage at one time. Readers need
planned pauses or breaks when reading long complex papers in order to understand your
presented ideas. Remember this writing mantra: "Give your readers a break!" or "Good
paragraphs give one pause!"

Kinds of sentences in a paragraph

Thinking about paragraphs rigidly in terms of length may lead to formulaic writing. Instead, as
you revise your draft think about how each sentence is functioning in your paragraph, and
whether your paragraph has sufficient functional sentences to make its point.

Transition sentences guide your reader smoothly from the topic of the preceding paragraph into
the topic of your new paragraph. Writers sometimes begin with a transition sentence before
introducing the topic of the new paragraph.

A topic sentence states the main idea of a paragraph. Beginning a paragraph with a topic
sentence ensures your reader recognizes early in the paragraph what larger idea the paragraph is
going to demonstrate. Expert writers may not introduce the topic until the middle or end of the
paragraph, and often imply their topics without ever writing a topic sentence.

Body sentences develop the topic of the paragraph. These sentences work to analyze data or
quotations, describe a text or event, set up a comparison, showcase evidence, and sometimes they
enumerate the logical points for readers to give them a sense of a paper's bigger picture. In body
sentences, you need to consider how much quoted data or evidence will demonstrate or prove
your point.

Linking sentences relate back to the paper's main argument by showing how the idea of that
paragraph matches the overall goal of the paper.

Concluding sentences may bring a section to its end before you move on to a new section of the

Some sample paragraphs

Undergraduate art analysis

Notice how the writer develops the idea in the body sentences, as promised in the first sentence,
and concludes her paragraph by offering a keen, close observation of specific details.

In order to understand how Manet's work echoes or communicates with Titian's, one must first
consider the similarities between their paintings. To begin with, both take a nude woman as the
subject. More than that, however, Manet directly copies the composition of Titian's Venus; the
overwhelming similarity in color and the figures' arrangement in each painting prove this. Both
women are lying in the same position with their heads on the left-hand side of the canvas. Both
women have their left leg crossed over the right. Both women have flowers and accessories.
Other key elements unite these paintings, as well: the arrangement of the sheets on the bed; the
green curtains; the servants; and the small animal at the foot of the bed. All these features clearly
indicate that Manet echoes Titian. If one stopped at the similarity in the composition, it would
appear that both paintings communicate the same thing; both would be a celebration of the
beauty of the human figure, and Manet's voice would have added nothing new to the
conversation; it would have no additional meaning besides venerating the masterful work of
Titian. (Used with permission.)

Undergraduate literary analysis

In this paragraph from a 2012 Lewis Prize-winning English essay, UW–Madison undergraduate
Abby Becker organizes her sentences savvily. She first transitions her reader into her topic, then
introduces the source of evidence for that paragraph before analyzing that source and returning to
the topic with the new critical perspective that her analysis suggests.

In order for a political or social revolution to occur, connections must be formed. More means of
communication lead to more opportunities to make connections. In Dos Passos' The 42nd
Parallel, J. Ward Moorehouse focuses on making business connections but never forms any
relationships. He explains at a party that "he had come down in a purely unofficial way you
understand to make contacts" (249). In business and politics, making contacts denotes an
impersonal, removed way of dealing with people. This type of communication does not result in
connections. Moorehouse's connections are for his own political personal gain. There may be a
connection but no insight or true relationship. Moorehouse views people as a tool to advance his
own business and political agendas demonstrating that connections with people are often made
out of selfish, egotistical motives.

Magazine profile

From a September 2006 The Atlantic article, by Marshall Poe, describing Jimmy Wales,
Wikipedia, and collaborative knowledge. Notice how the first sentence introduces a
philosophical issue that the body sentences define and link to both Wikipedia and Wales's own

Wales was an advocate of what is generically termed "openness" online. An "open" online
community is one with few restrictions on membership or posting-everyone is welcome, and
anyone can say anything as long as it's generally on point and doesn't include gratuitous ad
hominem attacks. Openness fit not only Wales's idea of objectivism, with its emphasis on reason
and rejection of force, but also his mild personality. He doesn't like to fight. He would rather
suffer fools in silence, waiting for them to talk themselves out, than confront them. This patience
would serve Wales well in the years to come.


From Spontaneous Gestures Influence Strategy Choices in Problem Solving (2011). UW-
Madison Psychology Professor Martha Alibali et al. present empirical research on how children
use physical gestures to acquire mathematical problem-solving knowledge. Notice the clarity of
expression in the first paragraph's topic sentence: the writer provides sufficient set-up to prepare
readers for the data which comes at the end of each paragraph.
We predicted that participants in the gesture-allowed condition would be less likely than
participants in the gesture-prohibited condition to generate the parity strategy, because the
availability of gesture would promote use of perceptual-motor strategies instead. This was indeed
the case; the proportion of participants who used the parity strategy on at least one trial was .74
in the gesture-allowed condition and .91 in the gesture-prohibited condition, _2(1, N = 85) =
4.17, p = .04 (Fig. 1). Once they generated the parity strategy, most participants (89%) used it on
all subsequent trials.

Mechanical engineering

From Mounting methodologies to measure EUV reticle nonflatness (SPIE Proceedings 7470,
2009), by the lab of UW–Madison Professor Roxanne L. Engelstad. Notice how Battula et al.
signal the practical consequence of their findings and also suggest that another result would be
possible depending on further research.

Unfortunately, to map the entire reticle with a single measurement, a 12 in. beam expander is
needed. With such a large optical system, the expander must be held rigidly, not allowing it to tip
or tilt. Since the UW-CMC mount must remain vertical to be effective, it cannot be used in this
scenario. Consequently, the application of this mount is limited. Thus, a number of new designs
have been proposed by industry to address the alignment issues and provide for other options,
such as automated handling. Three of these designs are described and evaluated in the following

Literary studies

From Dorothy West's Paradise: A Biography of Class and Color (2012), by UW–Madison
Professor Sherrard-Johnson. Notice how the first two sentences give crucial background
information in order to set up the topic sentence.

In Contested Waters: A Social History of Swimming Pools in America, Jeff Wiltse examines how
U.S. swimming pools were transformed from interracial single-sex spaces in which class and
gender were more important than race to "leisure resorts, where practically everyone in the
community except black Americans swam together." His study then follows what he calls the
second social transformation—"when black Americans gained access through legal and social
protest" and "white swimmers generally abandoned them for private pools." The various
iterations of West's story, which discuss the span from 1950 to 1980, fall between these two
moments in social and legal history. I am particularly intrigued by how the national history of
segregated bathing areas informs the local, particular event described by West. Does the
exclusion of blacks from the high beach parallel the segregation of public pools? In the early
twentieth century, public bathing spaces were notoriously violent. The Chicago Riot in 1919 was
touched off when white bathers threw rocks at black teenagers who had drifted into a white
beach on Lake Michigan. Northerners' use of pools during the Progressive era reinforced class
and gender but not racial distinction. Working-class folk did not swim with the upper classes, but
they were not as concerned about color. Following the Great Migration, the concerns about
intimacy and sexuality that have always been latent in conversations about public space (in
particular the public space of the pool) were directed at blacks. The peculiar democracy of the
beach—in bathing suits it is more difficulty to determine class‐worked against black Americans.
Wiltse marks this shift between the years of 1920 and 1940. The social changes that took place
during this period shape West's complex politics. (26)

Legal writing

Former UW–Madison School of Law Professor Arthur F. McEvoy wrote this model paragraph as
part of a memorandum on effective writing. Notice that each of the body sentences illustrates and
develops the main idea or topic sentence.

The ideal paragraph contains five sentences. The topic sentence almost always comes first and
states as clearly as possible the point that the paragraph makes, just as the first sentence of this
paragraph did. The three middle sentences of the paragraph follow the topic sentence in some
rational order and substantiate it with examples, analysis, or other kind of development; if
written clearly, middle sentences may employ conjunctions or subordinate clauses to put across
complex ideas without breaking the basic form. Every well-written paragraph ends with a
"clincher" sentence that in some way signals completion of the paragraph's point and places it in
context, either by restating the topic sentence, relating the topic back to the thesis of the writing
as a whole, or by providing a transition to the paragraph that follows. While good style may
require a writer to vary this basic form occasionally, the five-sentence model captures the
Platonic essence of the paragraph and most effectively accomplishes its purpose, which is to
state a single idea, in sequence, discretely and comprehensively.

Materi Diskusi 2

Paragraph Structure

Di dalam Diskusi 2 ini, mari kita berlatih melihat sebuah tulisan atau essay yang ditulis dalam
beberapa paragraf. Kepada Anda akan disajikan sebuah tulisan yang susunan paragrafnya sudah
diacak. Tugas Anda adalah menyusun kembali paragraf yang sudah diacak itu menjadi sebuah
paragraf yang baik yang menggambarkan alur cerita yang baik.
Latihan 2:

Read each of the following paragraphs very carefully. The paragraphs in the text about organs market
have been jumbled. Now, rearrange them to make a well-organized paragraph structure. The first one
has been done for you as an example.

On April 12, 2001, the front page of The Boston Globe ran the headline "How a Mother's Love Helped
Save Two Lives." The newspaper told the story of Susan Stephens, a woman whose son needed a kidney
transplant. When the doctor learned that the mother's kidney was not compatible, he proposed a novel
solution: If Stephens donated one of her kidneys to a stranger, her son would move to the top of the
kidney waiting list. The mother accepted the deal, and soon two patients had the transplant they were
waiting for.

Many economists believe that there would be large benefits to allowing a free market in organs. People
are born with two kidneys, but they usually need only one. Meanwhile, a few people suffer from
illnesses that leave them without any working kidney. Despite the obvious gains from trade, the current
situation is dire: The typical patient has to wait several years for a kidney transplant, and thousands of
people die every year because a kidney cannot be found. If those needing a kidney were allowed to buy
one from those who have two, the price would rise to balance supply and demand. Sellers would be
better off with the extra cash in their pockets. Buyers would be better off with the organ they need to
save their lives. The shortage of kidneys would disappear.

Such a market would lead to an efficient allocation of resources, but critics of this plan worry about
fairness. A market for organs, they argue, would benefit the rich at the expense of the poor because
organs would then be allocated to those most willing and able to pay. But you can also question the
fairness of the current system. Now, most of us walk around with an extra organ that we don't really
need, while some of our fellow citizens are dying to get one. Is that fair?

The ingenuity of the doctor's proposal and the nobility of the mother's act cannot be doubted. But the
story raises some intriguing questions. If the mother could trade a kidney for a kidney, would the
hospital allow her to trade a kidney for an expensive, experimental cancer treatment that she could not
afford otherwise? Should she be allowed to exchange her kidney for free tuition for her son at the
hospital's medical school? Should she be able to sell her kidney so she can use the cash to trade in her
old Chevy for a new Lexus?

As a matter of public policy, people are not allowed to sell their organs. In essence, in the market for
organs, the government has imposed a price ceiling of zero. The result, as with any binding price ceiling,
is a shortage of the good. The deal in the Stephens case did not fall under this prohibition because no
cash changed hands.