The three major structural parts of a paragraph

lA paragraph has three major structural parts

1. a topic sentence

2. supporting sentences
3. a concluding sentence

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1. lThe topic sentence states the main idea of the paragraph. lIt names and limits the topic
lThe specific area delimited is called the controlling idea
 

TOPIC                                                                                                Controlling idea                 

Back in 1983 when IBM was putting out its first PCs, many people did not foresee the Millenium problem.

 

2. Supporting sentences develop the topic sentence

lThey do this by giving:
reasons
examples
facts
statistics
quotations

The first PCs had a two-digit date set in their Real Time Clock (RTC). When DOS booted up .....

l3. The concluding sentence marks the end of the paragraph and often summarises or raises the key point of the paragraph.

All this was OK back in 1983 as the lifetime of any one PC was not expected to approach the Millenium

 

EXAMPLE PARAGRAPH: taken from http://cctc2.commnet.edu/grammar

Through the centuries rats have managed to survive all our efforts to destroy them.  We have poisoned them and trapped them.  We have fumigated, flooded, and burned them.  We have tried germ warfare.  Some rats even survived atomic bomb tests conducted on Entwetok atoll in the Pacific after World War II.  In spite of all our efforts, these enemies of ours continue to prove that they are the most indestructible of pests.

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