Think back to the most impressive monuments and structures that you have heard of. The Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Wall of China, the Banaue Rice Terraces of the Philippines—all of these are considered by many to be the manmade wonders of the world. They are awe-inspiring, not just because of their majesty, but also because of how much work was involved in creating them.
Have you ever heard of the saying, “Rome was not built in a day?” Whenever we see something as massive and marvelous as the aforementioned structures, we may not realize just how long they took to be built, how many people were involved, how many resources were used, and how much effort was put in. All we see is the finished product. But as you see, these structures began with a brick or stone that eventually became a beautiful building. The structure underwent a process before it was finished.
Writing is similar to constructing a building. We may not see right away how putting two bricks together can form a wall, or how this wall will be part of a taller structure. But as you saw in the previous lessons, metacognitive readings strategies, using pre-writing strategies, and the first part of the writing process are as helpful as you continue to write your critique paper. They function as a blueprint to guide you in your writing. A blueprint alone does not make a building—its design needs to be executed on the raw materials with which the building is built. As such, paragraphs are the building blocks of writing. This lesson is the continuation of the writing process for where you will learn the components of a good writing particularly unity, coherence, and cohesion.
SPECIFIC LEARNING OUTCOMES
At the end of this module, you shall be able to:
a. identify the basic parts and characteristics of a good paragraph;
b. write paragraphs that are unified, coherent, and cohesive
c. evaluate paragraphs according to the properties of components of a good writing.
The learner becomes grateful for one’s gifts, manifested in words and deeds.
Peña and Anudin (2019). Reading and Writing, pp. 54-55. Quezon City: Vibal Group, Inc.
Complete the diagram below. Just like the setup in the immediate previous lesson, pair up with a classmate whom you have not partnered with before and discuss your answers. Merge your ideas and note down where do you differ and which ideas you found similar.
Now, answer these questions.
- What is the purpose of the author?
- How does the use of dolomite in Manila Bay pose hazard to the environment? Cite specific examples.
- According to the article, why is the DENR under fire for such a move? What the critics are suggesting?
- If you are working for the DENR and tasked to defend the project, how are you going to convince people that the crushed dolomite rocks used in Manila bay poses no health and environmental risk? Do you think they would believe you? Defend your answer.
- As a student, what other specific measures can you take to help rehabilitate Manila Bay?
- Is the article well-written? Why do you say so?
- Are the facts reliable? Defend your answer.
- Are the ideas logically presented? Cite textual evidence?
Complete the matrix below by writing your observations on how the text is written and how the ideas are presented. Do you think the text is well-written? Explain your answer.
Before you read the discussion below on paragraph and its topic sentence, read first the article Green Holiday Tips.
The Paragraph and Its Topic Sentence
A paragraph is a piece of writing that focuses on one topic or idea. It usually consists of more than one sentence. The sentences in the paragraph explain and develop the topic. The first word in the paragraph is indented. Indention signals the beginning of a new paragraph. A single paragraph contains three (3) basic parts. These are the topic sentence, supporting details, and concluding statement. Long and complex written compositions may consist of more than one paragraph.
The topic sentence refers to the main point of the writer. It is also called main idea. The first sentence usually serves as the topic sentence. However, in some instances, the main idea may also be found in the middle or end of the paragraph. A topic sentence should be clear and specific. Vague or general words should be avoided when writing topic sentences.
The topic sentence has two parts: the topic and the controlling idea. The topic says what the paragraph is all about while the controlling idea expresses the writer’s idea, opinion, or attitude towards the topic.
Study the sentence below. Identify the topic and the controlling idea.
Common holiday practices have negative impacts on the environment.
The main purpose of the controlling idea is to allow the writer to focus on one particular aspect of the topic. In the example, the readers expect the writer to discuss how common holiday practices can cause negative (not positive), productive, helpful, etc., impacts on the environment. Thus, the word negative in the topic sentence controls or limits the set of information that should be presented in the paragraph.The main topic in the sentence is the impacts of common holiday practices on the environment. The controlling idea is the word negative.
Through the controlling idea, one may ask the following questions prior to the reading of the paragraph:
- What common holiday practices usually cause harm to the environment?
- How can these holiday practices affect the environment negatively?
- What could possibly happen if people keep on with these holiday practices?
Dissect that Sentence
Study the following topic sentences. I your answer sheet, write the topic in the first column and the controlling idea in the second column.
- Recycling paper can lessen deforestation.
- Christmas holidays lead to overuse of electricity.
- People spend unreasonably during the holiday season.
- Production of organic food is environment-friendly.
- Eco-friendly holiday gifts are cheap yet unique.
Expand Your Ideas
Write a complete topic sentence by adding a controlling idea to the given topic. Write your answer in the answer sheet.
- using gift wrappers
- electric Christmas lights and lanterns
- traveling during holidays
- Christmas decorations made of recycled materials
- eco-friendly celebration
The supporting details refer to the sentences that develop the main idea of the paragraph. Writers usually use descriptions, examples, and explanations to support or prove the topic sentence. The supporting details make up most part of the paragraph. Sentences that are not directly related to the topic sentence should not be included in the paragraph.
Explore and Discover
Conduct an internet research or, in the inaccessibility thereof, ask any of your family members about the given topic and write five sentences that support the main idea. Accomplish the diagram below.
Topic: Common holiday practices have negative impacts on the environment.
The conclusion is the final sentence of the paragraph. The purpose of the conclusion is to summarize the ideas, provide comments or suggestions, and give the paragraph proper closure. The writer usually reiterates the topic sentence by re-phrasing it or rewording some of its parts. The conclusion of a single-paragraph composition normally consists of one or two sentences.
Notice how the conclusion is based on the given topic sentence.
Topic Sentence: Common holiday practices have negative impacts on the environment.
Concluding Statement: Indeed, common holiday practices can lead to negative environmental impacts. It is important to become aware of these consequences to enjoy the holidays without compromising the environment.
In addition, a written composition should have a title. The title gives the reader an idea of what the paragraph talks about. The title is usually a single word or a phrase. The title is not enclosed in quotation marks. The major words in the title such as verbs and nouns should be capitalized.
Merge Your Ideas
- Write a single-paragraph composition about the same main idea: Common holiday practices with negative impacts on the environment. You may rephrase the topic sentence. Use the supporting details that you wrote in Explore and Discover. You may add one or two other supporting details. End your paragraph with a concluding sentence. Give your composition a catchy title.
- With your partner in the earlier activity, read, study, and critique each other’s written composition in Merge Your Ideas. Answer the following questions.
- Does your classmate’s paragraph have a catchy title? Explain.
- Was your classmate able to support the topic sentence with enough details? Explain.
- What are your comments about your classmate’s concluding statement?
- What areas should your classmate work on more? How can he/she improve these areas?
- Do you think your classmate wrote a unified paragraph? Why do you think so?
A well-written paragraph or good writing should have the following characteristics: unity, coherence, and cohesion.
Unity refers to how the writer developed the controlling idea through the supporting details. All sentences in the paragraph should consistently relate to the main idea. Thus, the writer should choose his/her ideas carefully to avoid unrelated or irrelevant details in the text. For as long as each and every detail can prove or support the main idea, the paragraph is considered unified.
Unified or Not?
Read and study the following excerpts taken from the article “Green Holiday Tips” Do you think the paragraphs have unity? Discuss your ideas with a partner. Then, sort the details in the matrix below.
Why spend more on new holiday knick-knacks when you can make your own out of recycled materials? You’ll be surprised at what you can make out of unwanted items hidden away in your household. Try making hanging lanterns using old jars and wire, hand cut paper snowflakes out of newspaper, or even Christmas tree ornaments with the ribbons and cards from last year’s gifts. This is a great way to test your creativity and celebrate an eco-friendly Yuletide season.
Impress your friends and family this year with a low-cost, creative, green holiday bash. Use electronic invitations to get the word out. Set the ambiance with personalized decors out of recycled materials, and energy-efficient LED fairy lights. Start the party early to make use of natural light. Serve organic dishes made from fresh food bought from the local market. Organic food can be prepared in a very meticulous way. Food from the markets generally has less packaging than supermarket foods and has not travelled as far. Use reusable dinnerware instead of disposables as much as possible. Place clearly marked recycling and nonrecycling bins out for your guests. Celebrate the holidays in the most visited places in the city.
Coherence is another vital characteristic of a well-written paragraph. Coherent paragraphs should comprise ideas or details that are logically arranged. The presentation of the ideas should be in clear order and makes sense to the readers.
A paragraph is considered incoherent if there are sentences that are misplaced or in the wrong order. In narratives, for instance, the events are usually arranged chronologically. In procedural texts, the details or instructions should be presented from the first to the last step. Illogical arrangement of sentences leads to an incoherent paragraph.
Odd One Out
Read the article “The Benefits of Recycling Paper.” Evaluate the coherence of the paragraphs by underlining the sentences that are misplaced or out of order. Then, write the coherent version of the paragraph on your answer sheet.
A well-written paragraph should have cohesion, too. Cohesion refers to the smooth flow of ideas in the paragraph. Cohesive writing is achieved when the writer can smoothly transition one sentence to another. Through this smooth transition, all the details in the paragraph become well-connected and the readers are able to follow the progression of ideas easily. Read the file named “COHESION” in your flash disk for further discussion and examples of this concept.
Revision Through Cohesion
In your OneNote, revise the following sentences by applying the appropriate cohesive device. Write the cohesive device before your answer.
- Most Commercial products are on sale during the holiday season. Many people crowd the malls, grocery stores, and department stores weeks before Christmas.
- My parents gave me their permission to spend Christmas with our relatives in Davao, but | have already decided not to spend Christmas with our relatives in Davao.
- I can make my dream Christmas vacation in Korea a reality. I have saved enough money for my plane ticket, hotel reservation, and pocket money.
- What I love most about Christmas are the colorful lanterns, catchy jingles, and surprise presents. Colorful lanterns, catchy jingles, and surprise presents make Christmas the best holiday ever.
- Yearly, Rachelle sends her relatives and friends special holiday greeting cards. Rachelle personally made them with recyclable materials.
- Because of the heavy traffic caused by the Christmas rush, many people were stranded in EDSA last Night. People used social media to express their complaints and called the attention of MMDA about being stranded.
- People, regardless of their status in life, have the freedom to celebrate the holidays. Optimistic people make the most of, it while negative people waste every second of it.
Let You Ideas Flow
Revise the paragraph by applying different cohesive devices. Write the new paragraph in your OneNote. Give the paragraph a catchy title.
Both children and adults love to celebrate the Christmas season. Children do not go to school. Adults get a few days off from work. Children love to sing Christmas carols. Adults listen to the children when they sing. Children receive cool gifts from children’s parents, friends, and they also receive presents from other relatives. The children also give the people simple yet nice presents. Receiving Christmas gifts make adults happy, too. Adults receive more money during Christmas season. They receive Christmas bonuses. Adults are more capable to buy gifts for the people they love. They can even give the special people in their lives fancy gifts even if they don’t really have to give fancy gifts. Christmas season is a merry season. People show love. People show kindness. People show generosity. Enemies, young and old, become friends. It’s a wonderful celebration. It’s the celebration of Jesus Christ’s birthday. Both children and adults love the Christmas season.
After learning all the concepts of good writing or the properties of a well-written text, I want you to reread your critique paper and evaluate what property(ies) of a well-written text is/are lacking. Add, change, or omit anything from it which deviates from your learned concepts in this module. Submit your output on the scheduled submission.
A well-written paragraph contains the following elements: unity, coherence, and cohesion. Unity is achieved when all the details in the text lead back to the main idea or topic sentence. Coherent paragraphs are arranged in logical order, which means that no sentence in the paragraph is misplaced or out of order. Lastly, cohesive devices such as lexical chains, cohesive nouns, pronoun reference, ellipsis, substitution, conjunction, and transition are used by writers to transition one idea to another smoothly.
Through unity, coherence, and cohesion the writer is able to convey his/her message to the readers in a comprehensible manner.
Thank you for taking time in completing this module. I hope you have gotten from this module all the necessary concepts that would help you develop your skill of writing.