Almost every part of our lives is directed by rules and regulations. We learn to play games by them, drive our cars by them, and govern ourselves by them. Rules have necessarily been established to help us talk with each other and to express ourselves in written form. Most people pattern their speech and writing after these rules. Those who don’t are often misunderstood.
The real purpose of learning the rules and regulations of grammar is to learn to express ourselves clearly so that other people can understand what we are trying to say or write. We have already studied most of the rules. Now we are going to apply them.
Remember what a sentence is? A sentence is a group of words expressing a complete though. It contains at least a subject and a verb.
Do you know what a paragraph is? A paragraph is a group of sentences working together to explain or describe a single topic. It is usually short, but must be long enough to make the topic clear. Details, reasons, or examples in paragraphs are arranged in a logical manner, and the amount and kinds are left up to the writer. Each detail, however, is related to the single topic. Look at the topic and the details that support it in the following paragraph:
There is a saying, “After the wreck comes the reckoning.” If you were involved in an automobile accident, however minor, at any time in your life, you know that the reckoning wasn’t easy. Even if there were not doctor bills or lawsuits to worry about, you probably found that there were questions to be answered, official forms to be filled out, property damage to be paid for, and perhaps days and weeks of irritating delay and inconvenience. Multiply all the details of you accident by several million, and you will realize that the task of reckoning last year’s history of automobile smashups was both difficult and distressing.
In the preceding paragraph the first sentence attracts your attention and makes you want to continue reading. The listing of the various details (bills, damage, inconvenience, etc.) helps to further stimulate the reader’s attention and maintain interest.
In order to write a good paragraph, the following qualities should be acquired:
1. Look with an observing eye – accurately describe the details you see
2. Select the right words to tell what you see.
3. Develop the ability to share you experiences through the correct use of words.
4. Keep to the point
THE TOPIC SENTENCE
The topic sentence expresses the central though of the paragraph. The first sentence in paragraph is usually the topic sentence. Sometimes it is repeated in a summary sentence to conclude the paragraph. Occasionally, for a particular effect, experienced writers prefer to place it at the end of the paragraph. But wherever it is placed, the topic sentence should catch the reader’s interest so that he or she will want to continue reading.
After the topic sentence, the paragraph is developed by using other sentences to expand the topic sentence. Your ideas should be presented in a sensible, concise, and natural order. Each sentence should present additional details and keep to the point.
Writing Topic Sentences
The most important sentence in a paragraph is the topic sentence. It states in general terms what the paragraph is all bout. Choose ten of the fifteen suggestions for paragraph topics listed below and write ten topic sentences.
1. a hamburger without onions ______________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________
2. a forest fire ___________________________________________________________