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For you own paragraph it is a good idea to draw up an outline of the paragraph - a paragraph skeleton.

To do this, you take the information you have come up with above and draw up an outline of the paragraph in note form.

It is a good idea to use skeletons because they help you set out your ideas and allow you to check whether the ideas in the paragraph are clear and in order, and whether the message in the paragraph is what you intend before you spend too much time and effort writing.

In a paragraph skeleton the parts of the paragraph are written on the left and you fill in your information on the right, in note form (except for the topic sentence, which you write as a complete sentence). Basically, when the skeleton is finished, the paragraph is finished; all that is left is writing it.

What is most important about the skeleton is the order of the parts. When you write the paragraph you have the parts in the same order as in the skeleton.


Drawing up a skeleton is a simple process of putting your supporting sentences and supporting details in the most logical order. If you are satisfied with the information you have noted, the paragraph skeleton is complete. If you find new information, you can easily modify the skeleton.

A blank paragraph skeleton looks like this:

Parts of the paragraph Your information
Topic sentence (TS=ST+CI):  
Supporting sentence 1 (SS1):  
Supporting details (SD)  
Supporting sentence 2 (SS2):  
Supporting details (SD):  
Supporting sentence 3 (SS3):  
Supporting details (SD):  
Concluding sentence (CS):  
Concluding comment (CC):  


NOTE: It is important that only the topic sentence is written out in full. All the other information should be in note form (words and short phrases).

You should practise drawing up a skeleton directly; with practice this becomes quite easy. Once you have thought about and written down the topic sentence, the rest follows simply from answering the question you make from the topic sentence, and the questions you ask to get the supporting details. Academic writing is a process of asking and answering questions. Always try to ask (and answer) as many questions as you can.


Date: 2014-12-29; view: 903

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