This final step can be called the editing step. This is a very crucial stage of your work process as you should review what you have done and make sure the paragraph is eligible, technically speaking. Among the things that this stage is about are:
- Coherence and cohesion of the content
- The stability of the form
- The linking words
- Grammar, spelling and punctuation.
- Clear handwriting.
Apart from these essentials, other factors are to be mulled over:
- Your main idea should be expressed in the topic sentence in a full, clear declarative sentence.
- Your topic sentence should in no way be a purpose statement such as:
- The purpose of this paragraph is …
- I will prove in this paragraph …
- In this paragraph, I will tell …
- Show but don’t tell.
- Don’t repeat yourself now then thinking that you are reinforcing your point.
- Don’t use complex or far fetched terms that may puzzle the corrector.
- Don’t use long winding sentences. Keep simple.
- Instead of giving definitions, it’s better to explain and give examples.
- Your supporting details shouldn’t be too excessive.
- Try not to be redundant or out of point. Stick to your topic.
- Never introduce or present new ideas.
- Irrelevant supporting details should immediately be discarded.
Finally, you can transform your concluding sentence into a thought provoking statement that the reader may find appealing.
Imagine you are asked to write a paragraph about ASPIRIN, which of the following topic sentences you would prefer to open your paragraph with:
- Aspirin is a pain killer drug, but it has side-effects.
- Aspirin can be a fatal poison.
- Aspirin is used to calm down headaches but it attacks the stomach.
- If you take the first one, you are not really successful in your choice because this one is not brainstorming enough for the readers. It doesn’t motivate them to continue reading your paragraph for there’s nothing inspiring about it.
- Now if you choose the second one, to my mind, the reader will want to discover in what way Aspirin is a killing poison. This topic sentence is more powerful, provoking, exciting, inviting and motivating one.
- Like the first, the third topic sentence doesn’t predict any significant information. All is said in it. It doesn’t trigger the readers’ curiosity to know more.
The style employed in initiating your topic is the most important of all. It bears the most important part of the work. If the topic sentence is a failure, the whole paragraph will collapse no matter what excellent supporting details you provided.
As you know there are many ways -or say styles- to say the same thing. However, authors are said to be writers because they can write it the right way. They make use of the most appropriate and the most suitable styles to write something the other people know about but they cannot express it the same way. Their styles make them different. Once the style is eloquent, attractive and full of adequate language tools, the readers look like reading the product with pleasure. The student is not expected to be a “writer” but should at least follow the same path to make his or her writing worth reading.
Now I am inviting you to read what a student has written about ASPIRIN and see if she has respected the layout and the steps and finally if you like her paragraph:
Aspirin can be a fatal poison. People are used to taking aspirin whenever they feel pain. It is true that aspirin is an efficacious pain-killer for example in headache cases. However, aspirin is like any other medicine can be dangerously harmful. Any unregulated use of it may result into the damage to the lining of the stomach, prolonged bleeding time, nausea, vomiting, ulcers, liver damage, and hepatitis. It is scientifically proven that excessive use of aspirin turns it into a toxin. Its toxic effects are Kidney Damage, severe metabolic derangements, respiratory and central nervous system effects, strokes, fatal hemorrhages of the brain, intestines & lungs and eventually death. Thus, the careful and regulated use of aspirin is most advisable so as not to turn into a deadly poison.
Try, as hard as you can, to make your paragraph unusual, in the positive sense of the word. Never launch your paragraph with an idea people already know. They won't be willing to read along. However, if you throw at them a provoking Topic Sentence, the reader would accept the challenge and gets impatient to know what you want to say. If the reader is faced with a topic sentence such as,
- Aspirin is a medicine.
- Aspirin has a lot of side effects.
- Aspirin can cure headaches.
The reader won't be enthusiastic as to go on reading your paragraph. If, on the contrary, your paragraph starts like this for instance,
- Aspirin can prevent heart attacks.
The reader, I guess, would be fervent to know in what way this is possible. What you have to do, then, is to prove your topic sentence valid and scientifically proven by giving sustainable and convincing supporting details. You may prefer to quote a Doctor so as to make your statement reliable and authentic.
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