AAA000 Course Title

Introduction: Connecting Your Learning

woman writing on notepadWhile you might not be required to write the typical five-paragraph essay in an information technology department, you will be expected to effectively write and communicate information. For example, you may need to write a report detailing specific processes or project outcomes and expectations for a proposal requested by a manager. Effective communication is the lifeblood of any organization. In this lesson, you will learn about how to write an effective paragraph.

Readings, Resources, and Assignments
Required Readings

Read the following before starting this lesson:

On Paragraphs

Multimedia Resources

Writing Structured Paragraphs

The Writing Center (Select Writing Paragraphs, located under the PowerPoint heading.)

Required Assignments
  • Writing an Effective Paragraph

Focusing Your Learning

Lesson Objectives

By the end of this lesson, you should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate effective paragraph structure in writing.


If you open a dresser drawer or a kitchen cupboard, you may find the drawers and shelves organized by content. For example, you might have a sock drawer and t-shirt drawer, a spice shelf and a medicine shelf. Why is this? Some might argue that the desire to group like things together is innate, but mostly organization just makes sense. It creates clarity. When you go to the sock drawer, you know you are going to find socks, and when you are looking for salt, you will find it on the spice shelf.

You probably know what a paragraph looks like in a written work. It is an organized grouping of lines offset from another grouping of lines. But why is it formatted this way? A writer groups a series of lines together to show that they are related. Just as the salt belongs on the spice shelf, certain sentences belong in certain paragraphs.

Focused paragraphs can be divided into three steps.

Step 1: Topic Sentence

Step 2: Supporting Details

Step 3: Concluding or Transitional Sentence


Example: Focused and Developed Paragraph

Prompt: How does technology affect your everyday learning?

Topic sentence: This topic sentence addresses the prompt and organizes my body paragraph.
Technology has enhanced my everyday learning by richly improving each learning opportunity.
Technology has increased my motivation to learn. Using a computer, iPad, or iPhone enables me to have control over my learning. I can learn by doing. Instead of passively listening to a lecture in which my instructor discusses the proper way to format my papers, I can actually format one for myself.
Support 1: This supports the topic sentence and provides specific information.
Technology also allows me immediate access to multimedia content. Instead of looking at diagrams and pictures of the circulatory system on the pages of a textbook, I can actually watch a video that shows the system in action. Multimedia allows me to see the blood moving throughout the body and watch how the muscles work to control the flow.
Support 2: This supports the topic sentence and provides specific information.
Finally, technology allows me to network with learning communities around the globe. No longer am I restricted to the confines of the traditional four-walled classroom. I can communicate with students in Africa, visit classrooms in Europe, or even speak with professors at acclaimed universities.
Support 3: This supports the topic sentence and provides specific information.
Ultimately, technology has become a critical and welcomed addition to my learning.
Concluding sentence: This sentence gives a sense of completion.


Reading Ico

Make sure that you read On Paragraphs.

Play Ico

View the following:

Writing Structured Paragraphs

The Writing Center (Select Writing Paragraphs, located under the PowerPoint heading.)

Now it is your turn to practice. Complete the following practice activity.

In the required reading, you learned that a topic sentence contains both a main idea (the general topic of the paragraph) and a controlling idea (your specific stance on that subject). For the following prompt, write a topic sentence that includes these key elements. If needed you can refer to the example paragraph, How does technology affect your everyday learning?

Prompt: How does technology shape the way you think?

Summarizing Your Learning

Unorganized writing leads to chaos and confusion. Organized writing is clear, and clear writing is understood. Being understood is the first priority in effective communication.

For more information on writing effective paragraphs visit the following Web sites:

University of Ottawa Writing Centre, Writing Paragraphs

University Writing Center at Texas A&M, Paragraph Construction

Assessing Your Learning

Assignement Ico

Now that you have practiced, it is time to show what you know. Complete the assignment below.

  1. Prewriting: Writing an Effective Paragraph

Additional Attributions