Some of us saturate a folio near a divider of words, with no writing indentations, no transitions, and no sensibly delimited topic sentences. Some of us have the fit indentations, but within all piece of writing our sentences are out of lay down. Francis Christensen [1] devised a magnificent stratagem for paragraphing, one you can use at (and not since) the editing stage:

First, let's think we are creating a couple of "outlines" for paragraphs nearly places in the global. [2] Fill in the blanks for the two paragraphs below, by dissimulation all idiom or set phrase is a sentence, near the firstborn expression (1) the substance sentence:


.....(2) COUNTRY___USA______ (2) COUNTRY____________

........(3) CITY___San Francisco__ (3) CITY_____________

..........(4) STREET__Haight______ (4) STREET___________

.............(5) BUSINESS_Amoeba Music_ (5) BUSINESS______

For this paragraph, we can see how each door (sentence) refers put money on to (1), but is too a more than special remark to the forte exactly past it. So the run is firmly/orderly.

But what if we tested to put different (2) adjacent in this sequence, after the (5)? Would transportation in other territorial division in the city, on the street, and at the commercial nearby occupation consistently for our reader? Or would it actuation our reader?

It would actuation our student.

So we have need of to set in train a new paragraph, a new (1), an ALSO/BESIDES/IN ADDITION.... For, this writing is of the features Christensen calls the SUBORDINATE PARAGRAPH, and it must have an bid and sub writ of 1, 2, 3, 4, .... It cannot have 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, and it cannot have a 1, 5, 2, 3, 4 command.

***** SUBORDINATE paragraphs are favorable for unfolding stories, screening a process (or how-to) order, or traveling from mass to peculiar descriptions. They are one of 3 types of paragraphs in the letters global.*****

This brings us, then, to the next variety of paragraphing. Fill in respectively of the blanks down the stairs with a phrase:

(1) What is truth?

(2) Truth is_____________________________________.

(2) It is________________________________________.

(2) It is________________________________________.

For this munificent of paragraph, titled a COORDINATE PARAGRAPH, all sentence that follows the substance sentence-the (1)-cooperates next to the others to describe and delineate a permanent status or jargon. Once you whole your own statements process truth, record how musical, poetic, or symmetric (matching) the writing is because of the effectual periodic event.

***** COORDINATE paragraphs are honourable for-as you likely guessed-definitions, reinforcing objective in a delivered point, and re-defining a substance.*****

This brings us to the concluding of the paragraphing types, titled the MIXED PARAGRAPH. This includes all other consistent and reinforcing paragraphs that comprise a accumulation of the SUBORDINATE and the COORDINATE, while it motionless keeps command. That is, for example, it can be a 1, 2, 3, 3, 3, 4, 5, pattern, but should not have a new 1 down in or an weirdly situated chastisement similar to another 2 after the 3, 3, 3, slice.

To clear up and to try the enumeration on printed paragraphs (if, for example, you rough copy oldest and afterwards cheque command ordinal), let's stare at the subsequent to. Try to make sense of the listing guide in each:


___I am watchful that one and only solar day in Birmingham, Alabama, our children, noisy out for brotherhood, were answered near happening hoses, snarling dogs and even alteration. ___I am reminiscent of that one and only day in Philadelphia, Mississippi, schoolboyish populace want to untroubled the precise to balloting were brutalized and murdered; and merely day much than 40 houses of adore in the State of Mississippi alone were bombed or burnt because they offered a place to those who would not adopt biological process. ___I am thoughtful that debilitative and substance neediness afflicts my relatives and trammel them to the lowest rung of the monetary stairs.
-from Dr. Martin Luther King's Nobel
Prize acceptance speech, Dec. 10, 1964 [3]

The preceding is a representative of a _____________________paragraph.


___There's relative quantity pretty so hazardous as a spoof moving picture. ___Some of them career out wonderfully, and examples close to "Blazing Saddles" and "Airplane!" are two of the funniest cinema of all time made. ___On the another hand, sometimes you get examples suchlike "High School High," the new motion picture star Jon Lovitz and Tia Carrere. ___It's believed to be a impersonation of the "Dangerous Minds" form of movie, where on earth a guru comes into an internal conurbation advanced educational institution and changes everything about. ___Lovitz drama a teacher titled Richard Clark - get it, Dick Clark? - who equal his job at a chic privy school and takes a point at the most undesirable general population swollen educational institution in the district, Marion Berry High. ___He meets the splendid body assistant, contend by Carrere, and the practical principal, vie by Louise Fletcher. ___Yes, ex Oscar-winner Louise Fletcher. Can you say, "tragic refuse of talent"? I knew you could....
-from Alex Lau's Movie Magazine International review,
October, 1996

The above is a indication of a _____________________paragraph.


___Technically, Carlito's Way is a assemblage of the modern and the trivial. ___The camerawork is invigorating, if sometimes too alien. ___DePalma makes obedient use of the steadicam during the tracking down sequences, and this heightens whatsoever hostility is offering. ___Jellybean Benitez, a previous DJ and bash manager, is the auditory communication supervisor, and his quality of roughly a xii time of life hits helps to create the time-frame. ___Patrick Doyle's score, however, is dreadfully out-of-place.... -from James Berardinelli's Colossus review, 1993

The preceding is a token of a _____________________paragraph.


___Describing Tupac.... ___Shit, he was existent. ___I'ma be indisputable for a minute, because I can't draw being so historical without human being true myself: [Tupac] was everything and zip. ___He was dreamful, hopeful, a leader, a rebel, a thug, a friend, a part classic. ___Just everything he did was, as Tupac former said, "a calculated pace to bring out me closer to my change." ___He was the hip hop Jesus.
-from Luis Camacho's chronicle entry, June 16, 2004

The preceding is a representative of a _____________________paragraph.

What caring of piece of writing do you discovery A is? If you see it as a COORDINATE, you are surely right!

How just about B? Yep, a (well-written) SUBORDINATE.

My students are divided on C, beside plain agreement seeing it as any a COORDINATE, with each word string after the firstborn reinforcing the writer's theme castigation or as a MIXED, with the finishing castigation (a 3)--or...possible a new 1?

And paragraph D? Looks like a privileged MIX of details, doesn't it? And the dramatist of D hadn't yet through with this paragraphing experiment!

End Notes

[1] Christensen, Francis. A Generative Rhetoric of the Paragraph. CCC 16 (October 1965).

[2] This part of the dip into is a restricted reworked copy of that nearly new in Graduate Composition Teaching courses tutored by Deborah Swanson at SFSU.

[3] All writing samples interpreted from and/or restricted for English 880, Skyline College, San Bruno, CA. Passage D is a elite slab in writing by a student who has acknowledged his consent for my use of it here and elsewhere. RM.



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