Writing Like a Historian
Organized & Well Supported Paragraphs


Whenever we communicate (attempt to share our thoughts and knowledge with another) the clearer you can make your words and the more organized these words are written, or spoken, the easier it will be for your reader/listener to understand. Today we will focus our efforts on Writing Like a Historian by writing great paragraphs.

Writing Organized & Well Supported Paragraphs

There are many aspects to writing well. One way to write well is to organize your information in paragraphs. A properly written paragraph communicates the main idea(s) and supports these ideas effectively. A well written paragraph will tell the reader quickly and completely just what it is you want the reader to understand.

A well organized paragraph, contains the following types of sentences:

The TOPIC SENTENCE introduces the topic and is an opinion or statement you will later support. For example: The weather has been pleasant today.

The SUPPORTING SENTENCES support the topic sentence. Note, it is supporting sentences, plural, you will, generally, need more than one supporting sentence to fully support the topic sentence to convince the reader your topic sentence is correct. For example: The sun has been shinning. The temperature has been right around 72 degrees, not too hot or too cold. There has been no rain or strong winds.

The CLOSING SENTENCE restates the topic sentence to remind the reader just what you have told them. For example: In fact, today’s weather has been perfect.

Put it all together and your paragraph reads: The weather has been pleasant today. The sun has been shinning. The temperature has been right around 72 degrees, not too hot or too cold. There has been no rain or strong winds. In fact, today’s weather has been perfect.


Now you try writing good paragraphs with the following topic sentence: My trip to Disneyland was fun. Or, my trip to Disneyland was not fun. Remember, your supporting sentence must support the topic. If you say the rides at Disneyland made you sick, you should have a topic sentence stating Disneyland was not fun. Also, the supporting sentences must be specific examples of just what at Disneyland was fun or not fun. Do not speak in generalities or make statements that are just another topic sentence.  YOUR TASK:  To convince your reader that your topic sentence is true.

Finally, for today's assignment be certain to avoid overusing pronouns (for example: he, she, they, it, them, hers, his, etc.). Practice never starting a sentence with a pronoun, write, instead the name of the person(s), place(s) or thing(s) you are describing.


CLICK HERE to download the worksheet we will use for today's work.


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