Patterns for Presenting Information General-to-Specific Pattern The general-to-specific pattern is probably one of the more common patterns in college writing. It may be used in any of these familiar places: Your opening paragraph would begin with a general statement and then add details that explain it.
I received this letter from a former student: You may not remember me. I swam in high school and did pretty good.
I got bored my sophomore year and decided to quit.
My speedo, swim goggles, and cap were in my backpack and ready to turn in right after your class. You gave a lesson on methods of paragraph development, varying paragraph lengths, and using different ways to organize a paragraph. Your lessons on writing a paragraph changed my life.
Instead of quitting, I varied the length of my swims and developed different swim strokes. I think you should share this gold medal winning lesson plan on writing a paragraph, methods of paragraph development, and varying paragraph length with the world.
Sincerely, This olympic size plea will not go unheralded: Troubleshooting No matter how fancy your methods of paragraph development become, there comes a time when going back to the basics solves the problem: Write the topic sentence first.
Writing the topic sentence first helps the writer and the reader focus. Generalizations should exist only in the topic sentence. Each paragraph needs to make one point. Each paragraph should contain only one main idea.
Do not worry about transitions in the first draft. Organize your information logically. Methods of Paragraph Development and Organization When writing a paragraph the author should organize it using one of the following methods: Start with a generalization and follow it with specific examples.
Start with specific examples and finish with a generalization. Paragraphs can begin with either the most important idea first or the least important idea first. Order facts according to when they occurred. Very effective for description, spatial order moves directionally.
Knowing the audience is critical for this method of organization. The paragraph can begin with either the least familiar or most familiar concept.
Paragraph Length and Sentence Position Here are paragraph tidbits to make your life easier. As with sentence length, varying paragraph length provides better rhythm and helps the author emphasize important points. When writing paragraphs, knowing where to put each sentence clarifies important points.
As a rule, the first sentence holds the strongest position, the last sentence holds the second strongest position, and the middle sentences hold the weakest position.General-to-Specific Order in Introductory Paragraphs - Many opening paragraphs for college papers start with a general statement of the main idea in a topic sentence.
Subsequent sentences contain specific examples that support or expand on that statement, and the paragraph ends with a thesis statement. When we talk about effective writing, we often think first about elements like word choice, grammar and mechanics, and content or evidence. Still other principles of organization based on emphasis include general-to-specific order, specific-to general order, most-familiar-to-least-familiar.
Specific-to-General Pattern The specific-to-general pattern reverses the one we just discussed.
A paragraph written in this order begins with the details and leads the reader to the generalization, which may be the thesis or the conclusion.
If you’re asked to provide a reference for a specific job, you should write the letter with the requirements of that particular job in mind. Read the posting or job description carefully, looking for specific skills and knowledge that you can include in the letter for your candidate.
The first paragraph of your letter should explain how. Again, be specific as to how you can help the organization.
Final Paragraph Conclude your cover letter by thanking the employer for considering you for employment. What to Include in the Body Section of a . Equally important to the idea of a paragraph's development is the matter of the paragraph's arrangement.
Paragraphs are arranged differently for different purposes. For example, if you are writing a history paper and wish to summarize a sequence of events, you of course will arrange your information chronologically.