Exploring Writing Sentences and Paragraphs By John Langan. Learning to write effective paragraphs and essays, master essential sentence skills, and read critically are turning points for writers; these skills will prepare them to tackle many types of writing in college and beyond. Along the way, however, there are many other important skills to explore and develop—using specific and concrete language to make a point and stick to it, selecting good supporting details to back up that point and create a convincing argument, organizing a paragraph in a way that best fits its purpose, and writing clear, error-free sentences to maximize the effectiveness of the writing. In Exploring Writing: Sentences and Paragraphs, I encourage new writers to see writing as a skill that can be learned and a process that must be explored. I refer to a set of four skills for effective writing as the four bases: • Unity: Discover a clearly stated point, or topic sentence, and make sure all the other information in the paragraph or essay is in support of that point. • Support: Support the points with specific evidence and plenty of it. • Coherence: Organize and connect supporting evidence so that paragraphs and essays transition smoothly from one bit of supporting information to the next. • Sentence skills: Revise and edit so that sentences are error-free for clearer and more effective communication. The four bases are essential to effective writing, whether it be a narrative paragraph, a cover letter for a job application, or an essay assignment. Exploring Writing Sentences and Paragraphs By John Langan

Exploring Writing grows out of experiences I had when learning how to write. My early memories of writing in school are not pleasant. In the middle grades I remember getting back paper after paper on which the only comment was “Handwriting very poor.” In high school, the night before a book report was due, I would work anxiously at a card table in my bedroom. I was nervous and sweaty because I felt out of my element, like a person who knows only how to open a can of soup being asked to cook a five-course meal. The act of writing was hard enough, and my feeling that I wasn’t any good at it made me hate the process all the more. Exploring Writing Sentences and Paragraphs By John Langan



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