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Paragraph Writing S1 : The idea of the paragraph

University Hassan II Mohammedia

Faculty of letters Department of English English studies

Writing Paragraphs        Kesbi

Paragraph Writing S1 : The idea of the paragraph
Paragraph Writing S1 

I.  The idea of a paragraph


A paragraph is a group of sentences about one idea.  Sentences in the paragraph develop or contribute to that idea.


Exercise A.  Read the paragraph below.  Then write the idea of the paragraph and three supporting details.


            Though he had only three months of formal education, Thomas Alva Edison affected the lives of millions of people.  Edison is best known for the electric light, but he invented other well-known devices such as the phonograph and the stock ticker.  Most people are not aware that Edison also developed a cement mixer and a storage battery.  The next time you use a typewriter, thank Thomas Edison for improving that useful machine.

Paragraph idea: ………(1)………………

Supporting Details: …(3)……………


Exercise B  Write three supporting details for each paragraph idea below.

1.      Sports that interest me and the reasons why

2.      Life with a single parent

3.      Summer vacation plans


II.                Topic sentences


A topic sentence is a statement of the controlling idea of a paragraph.


Exercise A  In each pair of sentences, there is a topic sentence and a supporting detail.  Find and underline the topic sentence.

1.      I pull on my boots and throw my raincoat.  I have a job to do every time it rains.

2.      There are over thirty-five breeds of horses.  The Morgan horse is a unique American breed.

3.      Women have swum in races for many years.  Helen held a dozen swimming records.

4.      Brazil’s official language is Portuguese.  Brazil has an interesting culture and history.

5.      I do not understand many weather terms.  What is a windchill factor?

6.      My brother Bill is active in winter sports.  His favourite sport is ice fishing.

7.      Many cities in this country have nicknames.  San Francisco is “The City by the Golden Gate.”

8.      Wisconsin produces much of the area’s corn.  Parts of the Midwest are called the “Corn Belt.”

9.      Joggers must wear well-made shoes.  The shoes should give you firm support.


Exercise B  Write four details for each of the topic sentences below.  Write the supporting details in sentence form.

1.      Newspaper stories are often inaccurate.

2.      Every university should have a cafeteria.

3.      Small economy cars are better than large cars. 


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