When my students write about fiction and nonfiction, I strive to get them to move beyond the boundaries of the book -- what is the author telling us about ourselves and the world around us?
This document helps students build paragraphs around that idea. They must first identify an author's stylistic and rhetorical choices and then connect them with the author's overall purpose and meaning.
Most writing instruction for paragraphs includes the three major ingredients in a well-constructed body paragraph: the topic sentence, support, and a concluding sentence. What these guides fail to show kids is what "support" looks like and how to go about crafting it. This guide gives them concrete, clear instruction how to write those supportive sentences. I've also included a sample paragraph based on a spoof of Grapes of Wrath called Apples of Joy.
How to Write a Plump Paragraph has been a staple in my freshmen English classes for years. This document elevates the expectations for higher-level writers. I have students highlight the handout, and I've had tons of kids laminate it to save it for future use!