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Brad's Teacher Writing Updated: October 30, 2006
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Two paragraph drafts for the lesson,
Revising for Conciseness: Group Workshop

The first draft was revised to shorten it to the required length. Brad Hyde wrote the original draft of 295 words in January, 2001. The second draft was co-written with the Advanced Composition classes on February 11 and 12, 2004. Students removed many unnecessary statements to make a concise paragraph!

Writing Good Paragraphs

     Writing good paragraphs is an important skill. To be effective, our sentences must be constructed carefully as parts of a whole. Short sentences communicate emphatically. Long sentences are best saved for complex thoughts, and each sentence style has a place in a good paragraph. The effect produced can therefore be altered by carefully looking at each sentence. Now, one might imagine that the writing is done; in reality, however, writing is a slow process We revise in order to communicate better our meanings to the readers. The paragraph is a convenient package, so writing one is an important skill. (99 words; second draft with the assistance of the Advanced Composition students)


Writing A Good Paragraph (First Draft)

     Since the paragraph is the second most important part of writing structure (after the sentence), writing a good paragraph is an important skill to master. Always, in the beginning, we have a blank page and a pen, or a blank screen and a keyboard. Before we fill in that page or screen, however, what happens? For me, I need first to have an intention, a need to write, a reason to communicate. Without these, the writing will not come easily. Right now, to communicate with you is my reason, and I have the intention of sharing some of my knowledge of writing with you. To be effective once started, our sentences need to be thought of carefully, not as separate pieces, but as parts of a whole. A sentence speaks. Short sentences, like the one just before this one, speak emphatically. Long ones, like this sentence, have the luxury of time, the ability to be complex, and are best saved for important thoughts requiring such complexity. Thus, effective sentences happen in groups, not in isolation. The effect you produce can therefore be altered by carefully looking at the kinds of and lengths of sentences you use, and for what purposes you have used them. Now, after all this hard work, one might imagine that the writing is done. This couldn’t be further from the truth: in reality, writing is a slow process where small changes are made, or large ones as the case may be. Always, however, the intention is the same. We rewrite (or revise) in order to communicate better our meanings and understanding to other human beings: the readers. Ultimately, writing is about communication. The paragraph is a convenient package for our thoughts and so is an important tool to use and master. (295 words; first draft by Brad Hyde in January, 2001)








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