Writing Paragraphs Introduction

Academic Writing

Writing paragraphs

Introduction

Academic writing is divided into paragraphs. If your writing is one continuous piece of text, it will be very difficult for any reader to follow your argument. Therefore your written work needs paragraphs. Written work is divided into paragraphs in a meaningful way. A paragraph is a group of sentences that develop one topic or idea. The topic of one paragraph should follow logically from the topic of the last paragraph and should lead on to the topic of the next paragraph. For that reason it would be unusual to start a paragraph with a name. The paragraphs have different functions, but all develop an idea – that is, they add information, explanation, examples and illustrations to the central theme or idea until the theme is fully developed. Every paragraph has a structure. It is not just a random collection of sentences. The parts that make up the text are related in meaningful ways to each other.

Example 1

Look at the following paragraph.

There is currently an ongoing debate in primary education about the role of classroom assistants within schools. For example, it is becoming more common for classroom assistants to participate more in the strategic decision making process (Green, 2013). However, it is not clear whether this trend might have an adverse effect on the ability of teachers to deal directly and effectively with pupil related issues. It may be that this change of focus will have negative consequences as Brown (2011) suggests.

Certain features of the paragraph can be observed. 1. The first sentence provides an overview of the paragraph. This overview will be thematic or topic based and would not usually start with  a name.. This is sometimes called a Topic Sentence. The rest of the paragraph gives more detail.

There is currently an ongoing debate in primary education about the role of classroom assistants within schools. For example, it is becoming more common for classroom assistants to participate more in the strategic decision making process (Green, 2013). However, it is not clear whether this trend might have an adverse effect on the ability of teachers to deal directly and effectively with pupil related issues. It may be that this change of focus will have negative consequences as Brown (2011) suggests.

See: Topic 2. Signalling phrases are used to connect the other parts of the paragraph to the first sentence.

There is currently an ongoing debate in primary education about the role of classroom assistants within schools. For example, it is becoming more common for classroom assistants to participate more in the strategic decision making process (Green, 2013). However, it is not clear whether this trend might have an adverse effect on the ability of teachers to deal directly and effectively with pupil related issues. It may be that this change of focus will have negative consequences as Brown (2011) suggests.

See: Signalling 3, The sentences usually start with known information and then go on to provide new information.

There is currently an ongoing debate in primary education about the role of classroom assistants within schools. For example, it is becoming more common for classroom assistants to participate more in the strategic decision making process (Green, 2013). However, it is not clear whether this trend  might have an adverse effect on the ability of teachers to deal directly and effectively with pupil related issues. It may be that this change of focus  will have negative consequences as Brown (2011) suggests.

See: Flow 4. The sentences are connected together by cohesive links.

There is currently an ongoing debate in primary education about the role of classroom assistants within schools. For example, it is becoming more common for classroom assistants to participate more in the strategic decision making process (Green, 2013). However, it is not clear whether this trend might have an adverse effect on the ability of teachers to deal directly and effectively with pupil related issues. It may be that this change of focus will have negative consequences as Brown (2011) suggests.

See: Cohesion 5. These cohesive links may make use of anaphoric nouns.

There is currently an ongoing debate in primary education about the role of classroom assistants within schools. For example, there is a growing trend for classroom assistants to participate more in the strategic decision making process (Green, 2013). However, it is not clear whether this trend might have an adverse effect on the ability of teachers to deal directly and effectively with pupil related issues. It may be that this change of focus will have negative consequences as Brown (2011) suggests.

See: Anaphoric Nouns 6. Claims are supported by evidence.

There is currently an ongoing debate in primary education about the role of classroom assistants within schools. For example, there is a growing trend for classroom assistants to participate more in the strategic decision making process (Green, 2013). However, it is not clear whether this trend might have an adverse effect on the ability of teachers to deal directly and effectively with pupil related issues. It may be that this change of focus will have negative consequences as Brown (2011) suggests.

See: Citation

Example 2

Correlation is a statistical technique that is used to measure and describe a relationship between two variables. Usually the two variables are simply observed as they exist naturally in the environment – there is no attempt to control or manipulate the variables. For example, a researcher interested in the relationship between nutrition and IQ could observe (and record) the dietary patterns for a group of preschool children and then measure IQ scores for the same group. Notice that the researcher is not trying to manipulate the children’s diet or IQ, but is simply observing what occurs naturally. You also should notice that a correlation requires two scores for each individual (one score from each of the two variables). These scores normally are identified as X and Y. The pairs of scores can be listed in a table, or they can be presented graphically in a scatterplot. In the scatterplot, the X values are placed on the horizontal axis of a graph, and the V values are placed on the vertical axis. Each individual is then identified by a single point on the graph so that the coordinates of the point (the X and V values) match the individual’s X score and Y score. The value of the scatterplot is that it allows you to see the nature of the relationship.

(F. J. Gravetter and L. B. Wallnau (1996). Statistics for the behavioral sciences, pp. 500-501)

Exercises

Try these exercises: Exercise 1 & Exercise 2

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References