Gathering Ideas: Before you start writing a paragraph, you must gather ideas. Once you select the topic and determine the purpose of the paragraph, you are ready to generate ideas. By generating ideas, you can then select the ones you will use in your paragraph. There are some pre-writing activities that you should try before writing a paragraph or essay. These are writing talk, free-writing, brainstorming, clustering, and outlining. Writing talk: Think about your topic and say it out loud to yourself.
This is a brain exercise which helps inspire you. Talk freely about the topic and write down ideas on a paper.
These ideas will generally create interest in the reader. Free-writing: This is very good to let your hand and brain go by writing about the topic for about 10 minutes without stopping. Don’t worry about grammar, spelling, punctuation or organization. Once you finish this activity, your writing will have a mixture of good ideas and other ideas that you don’t even know why are there.
Don’t worry, that is the purpose. This way you can go back, read what you wrote and select what you will include in your paragraph. Brainstorming: This is a thinking exercise which also helps a lot in generating ideas.
You just think about your topic and list all the ideas that come to your mind in no specific order. Don’t write complete sentences or worry about any kind of mistakes. You will do this later when you decide which ideas you will use in your draft. Clustering: This activity is more organized because you will think with the help of a diagram. As in all of the other activities, you don’t worry about grammar, spelling or correct use of words. The purpose of this activity is to narrow a broad subject into a more manageable topic. Writing Writing is a process. As any other process, it can be developed, learned and mastered.
As a process, it involves steps; if you follow them you can become a successful writer. It is also important to know your punctuation, capitalization and spelling rules and have the necessary vocabulary and grammar skills to develop your thoughts in writing. Anyone can write because we are alive, we have past experiences, and we have people around us who provide us with their experiences. All we need is the desire to write about all the things we have in our minds. If you follow these steps, it will be much easier to write. Steps: Select a topic (what/who you will write about) Brainstorm about the topic to see which ideas come to your mind.
Free-writing, write without stopping Use clustering to help you think about the topic. Select the ideas you want to include in the paragraph. List the ideas in order. Make an outline Write a topic sentence (paragraph) or thesis statement (essay). (idea about the topic) Write the supporting evidence needed to prove your topic sentence. Write the closing sentence to give closure to your message. Revise your paragraph for organization. Edit your paragraph for spelling, use of proper grammar, capitalization, and punctuation. Write the final draft. Write a title; give it a name. Revising your paragraph
When you revise your paragraph or essay, you check the organization of ideas. You should ask yourself how you have organized your paragraph(s). There are basic guidelines that you should follow: 1. Revise after you have written your first rough draft. (borrador) 2. When you finish writing the first rough draft, take a few minutes for a break. This will allow you to look back at what you wrote with a fresh mind. 3. Be sure that you have written the paragraph double or triple spaced, so you have space for corrections or changes. 4. Once you start reading what you wrote, underline your topic sentence.
This is done so you can be sure it is there. 5. Continue reading your paragraph and check for the following: a. Does each sentence follow a logical order? b. Are similar ideas together? c. Are there transitional words, time signals, or connectors? d. Is each sentence related to the topic? e. Throw out any sentence that is irrelevant. f. Are your sentences interesting enough for the reader? g. Are you repeating words too often? h. Do you have a topic sentence, supporting evidence and a concluding sentence? i. Do you understand what you wrote; is the message easy to follow? 6.
If you answer any of the above questions negatively, you must go back and make the necessary corrections. Editing Editing is checking your paragraph(s) for spelling, correct grammar usage, punctuation, capitalization and proper use of English. In other words, is my paper presentable? Is it as correct as it should be? Follow these simple guidelines and you will successfully edit anything you write. 1. Once you finish writing, be sure to take a break from writing. If you have enough time, you can take a day off. If not, take at least a few minutes. This will clear your mind and you will be rested when checking for errors. . Read out loud, this way you can hear yourself. 3. Check your verbs for subject-verb agreement; make sure they match in number, and also check for the correct tense. 4. Check for pronoun reference/agreement. Pay special attention to the following: it, this, they, their, and them. Be sure that every pronoun replaces a noun and that it agrees in person and number. 5. Check for parallel structure: pay especial attention to the following: and, or, not only… but also, either… or, neither… nor, both… and. Items connected by these words (adjectives, nouns, phrases, etc. ) must be in the same grammatical form. . For spelling, use the dictionary, especially for confusing words. 7. Apply punctuation rules. (included in module) 8. Apply capitalization rules. (included in module) 9. Check for correct use of English. Be sure you don’t have any slang (very informal words and phrases used by any class, profession or set of people) or jargon (specialized vocabulary of a particular profession, trade or group). Capitalization Rules Capitalization rules are important to apply when you write because the way you capitalize shows how well you express yourself. This is not shown when we speak, but in writing it is essential.
Capitalize the first word in every sentence. Examples: Mary travels around the world every time she has an opportunity. The hospital was closed because of the fire. Inter American University is a great university. 2. Capitalize the pronoun I. The personal/subject pronoun, I first person singular is always capitalized. It does not matter its position in the sentence. It could be at the beginning of the sentence which will also follow rule #1, or anywhere in the sentence. Examples: I like to sing and dance in my free time. Jackie and I went to Disney last summer. Everyone left for the beach; I stayed because I must finish my presentation. . Capitalize names of particular persons or places. Examples: Mary, Peter, Sam, James the Lions Club Inter American University the Golden Bridge Jose De Diego High School 4. Capitalize school subjects if they are names of languages or followed by a number. Examples: Mary is studying history and French. My favorite class is Math1200. I take English, Spanish, biology and Chemistry 1103. 5. Capitalize “north, east, south, west” only when they indicate parts of the country. Examples: I lived in the East for ten years. The Northeast of the United States is usually cold.
The Western part of Puerto Rico is full of beautiful beaches. 6. Capitalize titles of people when they are followed by the name. Examples: Mother Theresa, Uncle James, Aunt Jennie, Professor Smith, Doctor Williams Governor Stevens, Police Superintendent Alvarado 7. Capitalize titles of high national or state officers even if they are not followed by the name (referring to the person, not the position) Examples: The new Puerto Rican Governor is working hard for his people. The Secretary of State has many responsibilities. Senator Munoz is loved by the people in his district. 8.
Capitalize the title of a person if it is used in place of the name. (This rule generally occurs in direct address). Examples: Mom, call me tonight. Auntie and I are going to New York. Is there a test next week, Professor? 9. Capitalize the first, last, and all important words in a title; do not capitalize prepositions or articles, unless they are in the first or last position. . Examples: The Star Wars In the Deep Ocean My Great Love for Him 10. Capitalize words referring to Deities. Examples: Catholicism, Buddhism, Protestantism 11. Capitalize days of the week, months of the year and holidays.
Examples: Monday, Saturday, December, March, New Year’s Eve, Halloween, Christmas Punctuation Rules Punctuation marks are like signals to your readers. They indicate where a thought ends, when to pause, when ideas are connected together and when there is an exclamation among others. All these signals are used in speaking almost automatically. In writing, they must be used correctly, so the readers can really understand the message. . This is the most common and known of all. It is used in the following situations: 1. at the end of a sentence to end the thought Examples: Maria bought many groceries.
Many people went to vote for the new president. 2. after initials Examples: Michael J. Williams, Mary K. Richards, Juan J. Caban, Progreso St. 3. after most abbreviations of titles of people Examples: Mr. Mrs. Dr. Prof. Commas are very useful to separate elements in a sentence. You separate the elements to make your thoughts more simple and manageable for the reader. Use a comma for the following: 1. between words, phrases, or clauses in a series (three or more items). Examples: I bought a car, a house, and an airplane today. She loves to play pool, go to the beach , and sleep late. . between the day and year in a date Example: December 23, 2001 3. between a road, a city, and a state Example: I live on 57 Broadway Street, San Diego, California. 4. to begin a direct quotation Example: Anthony said, “Tomorrow will be my fifth anniversary. ” 5. at the end of a direct quotation Example: “My dish is lasagna,” declared Mary. 6. to indicate an interruption in a thought Because I didn’t see the red traffic light, I, therefore, had a terrible accident. 7. with some interjections Example: Oh dear, where did I park my car? Wow, what a beautiful sunset! 8. in direct addresses
Examples: Ah, remember, son, I will always love you. Jack, don’t forget the research for next week. 9. after introductory words, such as, time signals Example: Next, clean the surface with a clean cloth. 10. to enclose a title, a name, or initials Example: Mr. Wilson, M. D. , said that he will see you next week. 11. before a coordinating conjunction that joins two independent clauses Example: My sister cleaned her house, and I sat to wait for her friends. 12. after a dependent clause or phrase that is followed by an independent clause Example: Because I did not have any money for the gift, I stopped at the ATM. 3. to separate adjectives which give the same kind of information about one noun Example: The heavy, black, leather skirt is beautiful. 14. after the greeting and closing in a friendly letter Examples: Dear Friend, Sincerely, Love You, 15. In a compound sentence to separate the two complete thoughts. Examples: The teacher announced a test, and everyone was scared. There was no class, so the students went to the beach. Semicolons are used in a sentence that is not simple or because you have already used commas to separate items. Use a semicolon for the following: 1. n compound sentences to join independent clauses which do not have a coordinating conjunction (but, and, so because, nor, or, for, yet) Examples: Last week, there was a terrible accident; four people were killed. The students did not show up; the teacher left. 2. before transitional expressions such as however, therefore, accordingly, consequently and, moreover linking two complete thoughts (place a semicolon before and a comma after the transitional expression) Examples: I was very tired when I got the flu; therefore, I simply slept for days. John is the most responsible person I know; moreover, he really enjoys his life. . to separate items in a series when the items already include commas Example: The friends I invited to dinner were Mike, my best friend; Jane, the his girlfriend; and Gin, my girlfriend. Use a colon for the following: 1 after the greeting in a business letter (a comma is also accepted) Examples: Dear Sir: Dear Mr. Williams: Dear Dr. Padilla: 2. between hours and minutes Examples: Wow, it is late; it is 12:15 P. M. The class is at 7:00 o’clock. 3. before lists in sentences Example: Do not forget to bring to class the foIlowing materials: a writing pad, a dictionary, a binder, and a good pen. . between the chapter and the verse in biblical references Example: Genesis 1:18 5. to represent the word “to” in a ratio Examples: 10:1 15:3 The odds for horse number 1 in the race are 10:1. Use parentheses for the following: 1. to enclose extra information which serves as an explanation Examples: From chapter 7 (pages 56-59), read and answer the questions for Monday. Go to my office (at the end of the hall) and bring me my books. 2. to enclose an abbreviation or acronym that goes after its full name Examples: The Department of Education (DOE) has a new secretary.
Inter American University (IAU) has many students. 3. to enclose an added sentence that is inside another sentence Examples: Mary (she was the most nervous person in the roon) is getting married soon. The professor (Prof. Williams thinks he is the best. ) was absent yesterday. Use a dash for the following: 1. to show that there is a break of thought in a sentence Examples: My best friend – she’s also my sister’s best friend – is moving next to my house next month. The lost money – found at the end of the street – had been there all day. 2. to introduce a list of items Examples:
The children need many things for their camping trip – a flashlight, mosquito repellent, a tent, towels, and a sleeping bag. I bought all the necessary materials for the writing class – a writing pad, white out, a black pen, a dictionary, a portfolio and pencils. 3. after an unfinished sentence Examples: Then I took the stick and hit the stranger with all my force, but he – After the movie, everyone went to my house, and we – Use quotation marks for the following: 1. to enclose any exact words of a speaker included in your writing. Examples: Mr. Williams said, “I hate to see you doing nothing. “
My mother just called, and said, “You better get here, now. ” “Love your country before anything else,” he said, “no matter what. ” (Use capital letter if the quotation is a complete thought; use lower case if it is part of a complete thought) 2. to indicate words or phrases introduced by expressions such as labeled, marked, signed, or entitled Examples: I read the poem, “Sweet Love”. The package labeled, “Fragile” was my favorite. 3. Use quotation marks to indicate words used ironically, with reservations, or in some unusual way. Examples: Her “love” for him was greater than anything. The athlete really looks “healthy”.
Use the apostrophe in the three following situations: 1) to form possessives of nouns Examples: Maria’s car is very expensive. The girl’s room is very comfortable. 2) in contractions, to show the omission of letters Examples: I don’t like going to the beach when it is not sunny. – don’t = do not John can’t sing like he used to. – can’t = can not 3) to indicate certain plurals which might confuse the reader if the apostrophe is not used. Examples: Some students only want A’s. Do not forget to dot the i’s. The 70’s music is great. Use a question mark for questions (interrogative sentences). Examples:
Where are you going? Did you see that car? Mary, how are you going to explain this? Use an exclamation point for the following: 1. after an exclamatory sentence Examples: This is a very hard test! The house looks beautiful! 2. after an interjection at the beginning of a sentence Examples: Aha! I caught you! Yes! I had an A on the test. 3. in an imperative sentence after a strong command Examples: Go and clean your room, now! I want your homework tomorrow! Use an ellipse for the following: 1. to show that words have been left out of a sentence Examples: When she gave the news about …, everything in my head turned blank.
My sweetheart called me last night to reveal to me that he had …; after that, I was never the same. 2. if the words have been left at the end of the sentence use four dots Examples: The boys discovered a wooden box, but they would never have thought what they found; a black, hairy …. Many people went to the concert, but saw the worst …. Spelling To spell correctly means to write the letters of a word in the correct order. In other words, to write words correctly. One of the most common problems in spelling correctly is that there are many words in English that sound and look alike, but have different meanings and spelling.
These sets of words are called homophones. Here is list of some of these homophones, but there are many more. That is why it is very important that when you have a doubt about a word, you should look up the word in the dictionary. After the following examples, you will find the basic rules for spelling. Homophones: accept- as a verb it means to receive or to agree He accepted all guilt. except- as a preposition means all but, other than I will buy all the flowers except the roses. affect- as a verb it means to influence Will that 50% affect my final grade? ffect- as a noun means a result or consequence Being absent from class definitely will have an effect on your final grade. effect- as a verb means to bring about, to accomplish The great diet has effected my health. advise- as a verb it means to recommend, suggest, or give counseling I advise you to come to class everyday. advice- as a noun means an opinion or recommendation about what could or should be done Many students need advice when choosing a career. idea- as a noun it means a thought, belief, a conception The professor had the best idea, eliminating finals for ever. deal- as an adjective means the best standard of excellence or perfection, the best of everything I finally found the ideal man. its- used as a possessive adjective I love the beach with its crystal blue water. it’s- used as a contraction for it is or it has It’s a great idea to buy that house now. (It is) It’s been a terrible week, too much rain (It has) lead- as a noun referring to metallic element Some paints have lead in them, so they are dangerous for baby cribs. led- as the past tense and past participle form of the verb to lead (to guide or direct) The beautiful music led the bride down the aisle. heir- as a possessive pronoun The students are studying for their finals. there- as that place Look at that rainbow over there. There are a lot of people here. they’re- as a contraction for they are They’re coming to paint the house today. to- as a preposition, or first part of the infinitive form of a verb We all went to watch the latest movie. too- as very or also The teacher was too tired, so she went home. two- as the number 2 Two policemen came to take the criminals away. we’re- as a contraction for we are We’re happy because we won the lottery. where- as a location Where is the new mall that opened last week? ere as a past tense form of the verb be Many people were at the Empire State Building. your- as a possessive pronoun I went to your house yesterday. you’re- as a contraction for you are You’re the best friend I have. There are also other words that are written as one word or two words, but pronounced the same. all ready- used as an adjective to express that something is prepared already- as an adverb expressing time Finally, Jack was all ready to leave, but he spilled coffee on his shirt. His friend was already there when he arrived. all right- used as an adjective or adverb
Will you be all right when I leave? Your answers on the test were all right. alright- informal spelling of all right all together- as an adverb meaning as a whole, summed up Two thousand dollars were collected all together. altogether- as an adverb meaning wholly, completely, entirely The student’s answer presents an altogether different perspective. anyone- as a pronoun meaning any person Anyone who can solve this problem deserves an award. any one as an adjective and noun meaning a specific item in a group; usually followed by of Any one of these dresses is great for the party. nyway- as an adverb meaning in any case or nonetheless My parents don’t want me to marry Charles, but I will marry him anyway. any way- an adjective and noun meaning any particular course, direction, or manner Any way you take will lead you to the park. awhile- as an adverb meaning for a short time Can you wait awhile? a while- as an article and noun meaning a period of time We waited for a while, and then left without them. maybe- as an adverb meaning perhaps Maybe, I will go to Europe this summer. may be- as a form of the verb be This may be my only opportunity to pass this test, so I will study very hard.
Basic Spelling Rules 1. Use i before e except after c. Examples: achieve, believe, brief, hygiene, grief, thief, friend, grieve, chief, priest ceiling, conceive, deceive, perceive, receipt, receive, deceit, conceit Exceptions: This doesn’t work with words pronounced “ay” as in neighbor, beige, weight, vein, and weigh. 2. dropping final e When adding an ending to a word that ends with a silent e, drop the final e if the ending begins with a vowel: Examples: advance = advancing surprise = surprising However, if the ending begins with a consonant, keep the final e: placement strangely
However, if the silent e is preceded by another vowel, drop the e when adding any ending: argue + ment= argument, true + y= truly. ) Exceptions: the final e is kept in words such as mileage and words where the final e is preceded by a soft g or c: changeable, courageous, manageable, management, noticeable. 3. dropping final y When adding an ending to a word that ends with y, change the y to i when it is preceded by a consonant. Examples: carry becomes carries baby becomes babies university becomes universities This does not apply to the ending -ing, however. crying studying
Nor does it apply when the final y is preceded by a vowel. playing saying 4. doubling final consonants When adding an ending to a word that ends in a consonant, we double that consonant in many situations. Double the final consonant before adding an ending that begins with a vowel when the last syllable of the word is accented and that syllable ends in a single vowel followed by a single consonant. Examples: permit is accented on the last syllable and the final consonant is preceded by a vowel, so we double the t before adding, for instance, an -ing or -ed: permitting, permitted. lap contains only one syllable which means that it is always accented. Again, the last consonant is preceded by a vowel, so we double it before adding, for instance, an -ing or -ed: clapping, clapped. This rule does not apply to verbs that end with “x,” “w,” “v,” and “y,” consonants that cannot be doubled (such as “box” [boxing] and “snow” [snowing]). open contains two syllables and the last syllable is preceded by a single vowel, but the accent falls on the first syllable, not the last syllable, so we don’t double the n before adding an ending: opening, opened. egin contains two syllables and the accent falls on the last syllable and a single vowel precedes the final consonant, so we will double the n before adding an ending: beginner, beginning. offend contains two syllables, but the final consonant is preceded by another consonant, not a vowel, so we do not double the d before adding an ending: offended, offending. peal looks like clap (above), but the syllable ends in a consonant preceded not by a single vowel, but by two vowels, so we do not double the final l as in dealer and healing. 5. adding prefixes
Generally, adding a prefix to a word doesn’t usually change the spelling of the root of the word. If you have doubts consult your dictionary. Examples: anti + septic = antiseptic dis + approve = disapprove im + possible = impossible inter + mediate = intermediate re + used = reused 6. adding suffixes Usually joining a word and a suffix doesn’t change the spelling of the word or the suffix, so if you have doubts, consult your dictionary. Examples: usual + ly = usually clean + ness = cleanness poison + ous = poisonous teach + er = teacher
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Paragraph Development. (2016, Nov 21). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/paragraph-development/