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HowtoWriteaPerfectParagraph

I.TopicSentence

Whatisthetopicsentence?Thetopicsentenceisthefirstsentenceinaparagraph.

Whatdoesitdo?Itintroducesthemainideaoftheparagraph.

HowdoIwriteone?Summarizethemainideaofyourparagraph.Makeclearwhatyour
paragraphwillbeabout.

Example:Canadaisoneofthebestcountriesintheworldtolivein.First,Canadahasan
excellenthealthcaresystem.AllCanadianshaveaccesstomedicalservicesatareasonable
price.Second,Canadahasahighstandardofeducation.Studentsaretaughtbywelltrained
teachersandareencouragedtocontinuestudyingatuniversity.Finally,Canada'scitiesareclean
andefficientlymanaged.Canadiancitieshavemanyparksandlotsofspaceforpeopletolive.As
aresult,Canadaisadesirableplacetolive.

II.SupportingDetails

Whataresupportingsentences?Theycomeafterthetopicsentence,makingupthebodyofa
paragraph.

Whatdotheydo?Theygivedetailstodevelopandsupportthemainideaoftheparagraph.

HowdoIwritethem?Youshouldgivesupportingfacts,details,andexamples.

Example:Canadaisoneofthebestcountriesintheworldtolivein.First,Canadahasan
excellenthealthcaresystem.AllCanadianshaveaccesstomedicalservicesatareasonable
price.Second,Canadahasahighstandardofeducation.Studentsaretaughtbywelltrained
teachersandareencouragedtocontinuestudyingatuniversity.Finally,Canada'scitiesareclean
andefficientlymanaged.Canadiancitieshavemanyparksandlotsofspaceforpeopletolive.As
aresult,Canadaisadesirableplacetolive.

III.ClosingSentence

Whatistheclosingsentence?Theclosingsentenceisthelastsentenceinaparagraph.

Whatdoesitdo?Itrestatesthemainideaofyourparagraph.

HowdoIwriteone?Restatethemainideaoftheparagraphusingdifferentwords.

Example:Canadaisoneofthebestcountriesintheworldtolivein.First,Canadahasan
excellenthealthcaresystem.AllCanadianshaveaccesstomedicalservicesatareasonable
price.Second,Canadahasahighstandardofeducation.Studentsaretaughtbywelltrained
teachersandareencouragedtocontinuestudyingatuniversity.Finally,Canada'scitiesareclean
andefficientlymanaged.Canadiancitieshavemanyparksandlotsofspaceforpeopletolive.As
aresult,Canadaisadesirableplacetolive.

Example#2:AlexandertheGreat

Startwithatopicsentencethatclearlyidentifiesthemainpoint(s)oftheparagraph:

AlexandertheGreatwasasuccessfulrulerbecausehisactionscreatedlonglasting
effectsonculturesthatcontinuetothepresentday.

Example(Thinkofanexamplethatsupportsyourthesisstatement):

OneexampleofhislegacywasthecreationofaHellenisticsociety.

ExplanationofExample(Whatdoesthisspecificexamplemean?Bespecific.Expandyour
examplebyprovidingadditionalimportantdetails):

HellenismwasthecombinationofGreek,Persian,andEgyptiancultures.Duringthis
remarkabletimeperiod,peoplewereencouragedtopursueaformaleducationand
producemanydifferentkindsofart.Newformsofmath,science,anddesignmadea
greatimpactonsociety.

Howdoestheexampleproveyourthesis(Whyisthisexampleimportant?Howdoesitsupport
themainclaimofyourthesisstatement?):

Ifthisnewwayoflifehadnotbeenassuccessfulasitwas,Alexanderslegacywouldnot
beasmemorableandgroundbreaking.

ConcludingSentence(Sumupthemainargumentofyourparagraphinonesentence):

Becauseheconqueredmanycountriesandblendedtogethermanydifferentcultures,
AlexandertheGreatiswidelyrecognizedforhisachievementsandcreditedwithbeing
oneofthegreatestrulersinhistory.

Puttingitaltogether:

AlexandertheGreatwasasuccessfulrulerbecausehisactionscreatedlonglasting
effectsonculturesthatcontinuetothepresentday.Oneexampleofhislegacywasthe
creationofaHellenisticsociety.HellenismwasthecombinationofGreek,Persian,and
Egyptiancultures.Duringthisremarkabletimeperiod,peoplewereencouragedto
pursueaformaleducationandproducemanydifferentkindsofart.Newformsofmath,
science,anddesignmadeagreatimpactonsociety.Ifthisnewwayoflifehadnotbeen
assuccessfulasitwas,Alexanderslegacywouldnotbeasmemorableand
groundbreaking.Becauseheconqueredmanycountriesandblendedtogethermany
differentcultures,AlexandertheGreatiswidelyrecognizedforhisachievementsand
creditedwithbeingoneofthegreatestrulersinhistory.

Examples#34

Magellanscircumnavigation[oftheglobe]foreveralteredtheWesternworldsideasabout
cosmologythestudyoftheuniverseandourplaceinitaswellasgeography.It
demonstrated,amongotherthings,thattheearthwasround,thattheAmericaswerenotpart
ofIndiabutwereactuallyaseparatecontinent,andthatoceanscoveredmostoftheearths
surface.Thevoyageconclusivelydemonstratedthattheearthis,afterall,oneworld.Butitalso
demonstratedthatitwasaworldofunceasingconflict,bothnaturalandhuman.Thecostof
thesediscoveriesintermsoflossoflifeandsufferingwasgreaterthananyonecouldhave
anticipatedatthestartoftheexpedition.[Thevoyagers]hadsurvivedanexpeditiontotheends
oftheearth,butmorethanthat,theyhadenduredavoyageintothedarkestrecessesofthe
humansoul.(LawrenceBergreen,OvertheEdgeoftheWorld)

DuringtheCivilWareramanyfactionssoughttochangeAmerica.Remarkablespeakersspread
theirideasthroughoratory,thrillingtheiraudiencesthroughpowerfulspeechesthatappealed
tobothemotionandlogic.FrederickDouglass,ablackAmerican,foughtforblackcivilrights
throughcompellingspeecheslikeWhattotheslaveistheFourthofJuly?whichdepictedthe
terrorsofslaveryingraphicdetail.AbrahamLincoln,ontheotherhand,spokepeacefullyand
optimisticallyduringhisSecondInauguralAddresstodemonstratehisdesireforpeaceand
reconciliationwiththeConfederatestates.Bothspeakerscaptivatedtheiraudiencesthrough
persuasivediction,tone,andargumentativemethodsinanefforttowinthemoverandgain
theirsupport.

Conflictswithinthemiddlingordersweremorepronouncedthanpeacefulcooperation.Tariffs
onimportswereaboontodomesticmanufacturersbutaburdenonmerchants.Distributionof
largessefromthecentralgovernment,whetherpaintingsdonatedtoprovincialmuseumsor
subsidiesprovidedtostrugglingindustrieslettodisputesaboutfavoritismamongcitiesand
regions.Theissueofstatesupportforsectarianschoolsbecameacontentiousissuebetween
devoutandsecularcitizens.Thelocationoftherailroadnetwork,whichspeedilyspread
throughmostofEuropeinthe1840sand1850s,becameamatterofvirtualeconomiclifeand
deathacrossthemap.And,limitationsontherighttovoteonthebasisofincomeweresore
pointsbetweenbourgeoissafelyathomeinthepoliticaleliteandbourgeoisaspiringtojoin
themSomeofthesecontestsweretrivial:inthelatenineteenthcentury,MunichandBerlin
engagedinarivalry,carriedonmainlyinthepress,overwhichwastheculturalcapitalof
Germany.Butmostofthetime,thestakeswerehigherthanthis.Economicselfinterest,
religiousagendas,intellectualconvictions,socialcompetition,[and]theproperplaceofwomen
becamepoliticalissueswherebourgeoisbattledbourgeois.(PeterGay,SchnitzlersCentury)

Slavespiritualsoftenhadhiddendoublemeanings.

Ononelevel,spiritualsreferencedheaven,Jesus,andthesoul;buton
anotherlevel,thesongsspokeaboutslaveresistance.

Forexample,accordingtoFrederickDouglass,thesongOCanaan,
SweetCanaanspokeofslaveslongingforheaven,butitalso
expressedtheirdesiretoescapetotheNorth.

Carefullistenersheardthissecondmeaninginthefollowinglyrics:I
dontexpecttostay/Muchlongerhere./RuntoJesus,shunthe
danger./Idontexpecttostay.

Whenslavessangthissong,theycouldhavebeenspeakingoftheir
departurefromthislifeandtheirarrivalinheaven;however,theyalso
couldhavebeendescribingtheirplanstoleavetheSouthandrun,not
toJesus,buttotheNorth.

SlavesevenusedsongslikeStealAwaytoJesus(atmidnight)to
announcetootherslavesthetimeandplaceofsecret,forbidden
meetings.

Whatwhitesheardasmerelyspiritualsongs,slavesdiscernedas
detailedmessages.Thehiddenmeaningsinspiritualsallowedslavesto
singwhattheycouldnotsay.

FelixDriver,HenryMortonStanleyandHisCritics

Thehistoryofexplorationhasuntilrecentlybeendominatedbytwo
sortsofhistoricalwriting:biographies,whichofnecessityfocusonthe
lifeandpersonalityofindividualexplorers,andsomewhatWhiggish
generalhistories,whichhavetendedtocelebratethetriumphof
moderngeographicalscienceoverthemysteriesoftheearth.Neither
oftheseapproachesisparticularlywellequippedtomeetthe
requirementsofamorecontextualperspective,concernedwiththe
widercontemporarysignificanceoftheideasandpracticesof
exploration.Inrecentyears,historianshavepaidmuchmoreattention
totheinstitutional,intellectual,andsocialcontextsinwhichprojectsof
explorationweresustained,emphasizinginparticulartherelationship
betweenexplorationandempire.WhetherexplorerslikeStanleyare
consideredtobeprogenitorsormerelyprecursorsofthenewforms
ofimperialismdevelopingduringthelatenineteenthcentury,their
laborsatthecolonialfrontiermustbeseeniithewidercontextof
changingrelationshipsbetweenEuropeandthenonEuropeanworld.It
hasbeensuggestedthattheattitudesandassumptionsofexplorers
constituteakindofunofficialsymbolicimperialism,helpingtodefine
theculturaltermsonwhichunequalpoliticalrelationsbetween
colonizerandcolonizedcouldsubsequentlybeestablished.Thefact
thatBritishexplorersofAfricareceivedofficialsanctionandsupport
is,accordingtothisview,butoneaspectoftheircontributionto
imperialhistory;anotheristheirroleinthepopularizationofmythsand
fantasiesaboutthenonEuropeanworld.Forgeographicalexploration
didnotmerelyovercomedistance;ithelpedcreatedimaginative
geographies.JosephConradoncedescribedthemostfamousAfrican
explorersasconquerorsoftruth,notbecausetheyexposedtheinner
secretesofdistantregions(astheyoftenclaimed),butratherbecause
theyestablishedparticularwaysofreadingunknownlandscapes.