Internal structure paragraphs

This refers to the layout of each paragraph and will vary slightly depending on the type of text and its purpose. Paragraphs are to focus on just one idea or concept and this is to be made clear to the reader, most commonly through a topic sentence. With paragraphs impacting on the structure of the entire text, their internal structure can have a huge impact on cohesion.

Strategy

Students need to be clear of the point of paragraphs: to combine information on a particular idea and demonstrate when there is a change/break.

The structure of a paragraph:

It is vital that the idea of the paragraph is clear to the reader and this is often achieved through a topic sentence. Further to this, students need to elaborate on the idea by providing evidence, examples, quotes or further explanation. The paragraph should then link back to the main topic of the text to reinforce the point.

This is referred to as the TEEL process:

Topic Sentence – the topic, point or focus of the sentence
Explanation – expand on the point and give more detail
Evidence – support your idea with quotes, evidence and examples
Link – link the point back to the overall theme of the text.

Activities to support the strategy

Activity 1: Jigsaw TEEL

As a class discuss the general layout of a few sample paragraphs, this can be done on the IWB, projector or in small groups. As students recognise the general structure, introduce the TEEL. format:

Jigsaw: Students are given a section of a paragraph and need to find people with the rest of their paragraph then reconstruct it. To complete this they will need to be looking for the theme of the paragraph and the internal structure of it.

References

Australian curriculum

ACELA1766: Text structure and organisation: Understand how cohesion in texts is improved by strengthening the internal structure of paragraphs through the use of examples, quotations and substantiation of claims.

NSW syllabus

EN4-3B: Outcome 3: uses and describes language forms, features and structures of texts appropriate to a range of purposes, audiences and contexts  (EN4-3B) - Understand and apply knowledge of language forms and features: understand how cohesion in texts is improved by strengthening the internal structure of paragraphs through the use of examples, quotations and substantiation of claims

NSW literacy continuum

WRIC13M4: Aspects of writing, Cluster 13, Marker 4: Uses paragraphing to structure information and partition events and ideas.

Teacher resources

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