HOW TO WRITE A ONE PARAGRAPH ESSAY A one paragraph essay has a specific structure. The four parts of a good one-paragraph essay are: 1. A sentence that Grabs the reader’s attention. 2. An introductory topic sentence stating main idea (thesis). 3. A few supporting sentences stating reasons that support the main idea. It’s a good idea to segue from one supporting idea to the next. 4. A concluding sentence which sums up the paragraph. Attention Grabber: This sentence would be the first thing the reader will read. It should be thought provoking; perhaps a question or a controversial statement about the general topic you will address. What style of music do you like to listen to? There are hundreds of music styles that people like to listen to. What do heavy metal & opera have in common?! They are two of many different styles of music. Of these statements, which is the most compelling to encourage the reader? Could you combine several of these sentences to set the stage for your topic sentence? Definitely. The stronger your Grabber is the more likely the reader will enjoy your essay. The Topic Sentence: The topic sentence states the main idea of the one-paragraph. A good topic sentence gives a general idea, not specific. I love soft rock's rich music. I love soft rock songs mixing all kinds of instruments and romantic lyrics. Which one of these statements gives a general idea? If you said "I love soft rock's rich music," you are right. The first statement is a general idea about what kind of music the author likes, the second are reasons for why the author likes soft rock. Supporting Sentences: (you need to have 4 – 6 supporting sentences for an ‘A’ grade) Look at these sentences above again. I love soft rock's rich music. Soft rock genre mixes all kinds of instruments and rhythms. The second sentence is a good example for a supporting sentence. A good supporting sentence states specific reasons to back up or explain the topic sentence. Look how the above sentence gives the reasons why the author favors the soft rock music (underlined) Good supporting sentences contain details &/or reasons. Supporting sentences can also provide specific examples. See the following examples of good supporting sentences. Instruments in soft rock can range from most traditional such as piano, to most modern such just playing with a mouth piece. One great rock song is Lionell Richie’s I Call it Love. Then you would add another sentence or two describing ‘how’ or ‘why’ the idea has validity. This song includes several instruments that help to produce a wide range of sounds, producing a colorful melody. A good way to move from the first supporting idea to the second is with a SEGUE ( to make a transition from one thing to another smoothly and without interruption.) The following example moves (or segues) from the supporting idea of ‘instruments' (the drum is an instrument) to ‘rhythms’ (it plays rhythms). The drum part plays distinctive rhythms which change at the bridge adding more depth and interest to the song. Again you would add a sentence or two elaborating on the second supporting idea (in this case rhythms). Concluding Sentence: The concluding sentence sums up the paragraph. It is usually more general than the supporting sentences. It gives the reader the final assurance of the topic statement and the ideas of the supporting sentences. Now, here is the concluding sentence for the topic of I love soft rock's rich music. Because of the richness created through multiple instruments and strong, but medium tempo beat, I enjoy soft rock very much. Notice that this sentence pulls together all the ideas and restates the main idea Let's put together all the statements now. The last page shows how your one paragraph essay should look when you turn it in (minus the colors; yours would be in all black---I just use the colors to show you what is what ☺) Other things to consider/keep in mind: • In creating CONTENT keep in mind o Use vivid details----descriptive words. USE A THESAURUS TO FIND NEW WAYS OF SAYING THE SAME THING. A good online one is http://thesaurus.reference.com/ o You don’t have to write the Grabber first. Sometimes it’s easier to write your topic sentence and supporting sentences BEFORE you come up with the grabber. • MECHANICS – the little things to watch out for o Correct spelling o Complete sentences o Correct punctuation o Correct capitalization o Correct grammar and tenses---are you writing in the present (I write) or the past (I wrote)? o Watch out for run on sentences----sentences that just keep going and going and going with lots of ‘ands’ ☺.
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"HOW TO WRITE A ONE PARAGRAPH ESSAY A one paragraph essay has a specific structure The four parts of a good one paragraph essay are 1 A sentence that Grabs the reader’s attention 2 An introductor"Please download to view full document