Contributor: Delaine Thomas. Lesson ID: 12752
A sandwich isn't as satisfying when it isn't made correctly. The same is true of our writing: when the parts aren't right, it's just not as good. Learn the first steps to constructing a literary meal!
Everyone has different preferences for what they would like to have on their hamburger; they might even want it plain, with just the meat and bun. However you like it, it is up to you to make that decision.
A hamburger can help you remember the parts of a paragraph. The top bun is the topic sentence, the meat and toppings are the body (which includes supporting details), and the bottom bun is the closing sentence.
Take out a piece of paper and pencil. As you watch Paragraph Structure, by Shaun Macleod, Smrt English, take notes on the parts of a paragraph and what is included in each part:
Read the two examples of a paragraph below.
It is winter. There is snow on the ground. I enjoy thinking about gardens. I like to imagine all kinds of lovely flowers. I can almost see their bright colors. I can almost smell their fragrant perfumes.
In winter when snow is on the ground, I enjoy thinking about gardens. I like to imagine all kinds of lovely flowers. I can almost see their bright colors and smell their fragrant perfumes.
If you did, you are correct. The first paragraph has short, choppy sentences. The second paragraph combines some of those sentences and varies the sentence type and length. They both include the topic sentence, supporting details and closing sentence, but the second one is better written than the first.
Remember, all three parts of the hamburger are important. You wouldn’t want to just eat a bun without anything on it. You also wouldn’t want to leave either of the pieces of bun off because the toppings would make your hands messy. All three parts are equally important.
Continue to the Got It? section to practice identifying the different parts of a paragraph.