How to Organize an Excellent Paragraph

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1. Start your paragraph with a topic sentence.

Topic sentence = a sentence that explains what you are going to write about.  It should have a subject, a verb, and a controlling idea.

2. Add supporting sentences.

Supporting sentences = more information about your topic.  One way to do this is to imagine your topic sentence as a question and then ask yourself:  How can I prove this is true?  What examples can I give?

3. End with a concluding sentence

Conclusion = an ending sentence that explains what your paragraph is about.

If you want to, you can add a concluding comment after the concluding sentence.

Find the topic sentence, supporting sentences, and concluding sentence in these paragraphs.

Winter

         Winter is my favorite season because I like the clothes, the food and the activities.  In the winter, I can wear a big coat and my favorite sweater.  When it's cold, I can eat hot foods and soup.  I can drink hot chocolate too.  Best of all, in the winter I can do a lot of activities.  I can play in the snow and make a snowman.  I can go skiing, ice skating, or stay at home by the fireplace.  That's why winter is my favorite season.

My Wonderful Sister

         My sister Doris is very friendly, patient, and smart.  She can make friends with anyone, because she is very funny.  Doris is friendly to everyone, so she has a lot of friends.  She is also very patient.  She can help children, even when they are crying.  If she has to wait at the grocery store, she doesn't get angry. She just starts to talk with the other customers.  Another great thing about Doris is that she is smart.  She studies a lot and gets good grades in school.  She is also very good at solving problems.  This is why Doris is a great sister.

American Food

         American food is fast, cheap, and tasty.  Some countries have food that takes a long time to make, but Americans like to eat food that is really fast, for example: hot dogs, hamburgers, and sandwiches.  American food is not too expensive, if you work in the U.S.   It is more expensive than in some countries and less expensive than in other countries, but I think it is pretty cheap.  Some people don't like American food, but I think it tastes good.  You can put ranch dressing on everything to make it taste delicious.  If you are looking for food that is fast, cheap, and tasty, you should try American food. 

Find the topic sentences, supporting details, and conclusion:

Tests

         I don't like tests.  Every time I take a test, I feel nervous.  When I study for a test, I don't know if I will be able to get a good grade.  I worry a lot about the test, so I can't sleep.  After the test is over, I worry about my grade.  When my teacher gives me my grade, I can't relax because I know I will have another test soon.  Tests give me a lot of stress. That's why I don't like tests.


This paragraph is missing the topic sentence.  Read the paragraph and choose the best topic sentence:

Cats

         _____________________________________________________________________

You don't have to take a cat for a walk every day like a dog.  Cats also know how to clean themselves, so you don't have to wash them.  If you want to go on vacation, you can leave some food for your cat and it will be okay.  A cat can sleep on your bed and keep you warm at night.  That is why cats are good pets.

A. Cats are very clean animals.

B A cat is a good pet.

C. Cats and dogs are good for children.

This paragraph is missing the concluding sentence. Read the paragraph and choose the best conclusion.

Halloween

         Halloween is a traditional American holiday.  Americans celebrate it every year on October 31.  Children dress in Halloween costumes and go trick-or-treating.  Adults have parties and decorate their homes.  The stores sell a lot of candy and things that are black and orange.  People eat donuts and drink apple cider.  They also carve pumpkins to make jack-o-lanterns.  _______________________________________________

A. Children love to eat candy on Halloween.

B. You can dress as a mummy, a witch, or a princess on Halloween.

C. These are the traditions of Halloween in America.

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