By Tamara Passey
What do the following four items have in common?*
*Yes this is a bit of a trick question
Soup of the Day
The first three are components to a well organized paragraph. As for the Soup of the Day, it doesn't have anything to do with what we are talking about--unless you'd like to think of it like this: If you don't take the time to organize and structure your paragraphs, you end up with a jumbled mess of concepts--kind of like soup. Which is great to eat, but not so great to read!
Last week Valerie introduced us to the mighty paragraph, this week we get to learn a great way to organize our thought within the paragraph. And who doesn't need a little thought organizing?
Wilbers proposes that the paragraph consists of three parts (as listed above.) "The first and last sentences are the topic and resolution. The middle three sentences are the development." 1 (He refers to a paragraph in his chapter - the paragraph can be any length.)
Here is one exercise to get you started:
The sentences in this paragraph have been reordered so that the resolution sentence is now buried in the middle. See if you can identify which of the four sentences should be moved to the end so the sentences appear in their original order:
"All writing is ultimately a question of solving a problem. It may be a problem of where to obtain facts, or how to organize the material. Whatever it is, it has to be confronted and solved. It may be a problem of approach or attitude, tone, or style."2
1. Wilbers, Stephen, Mastering the Craft of Writing, p. 201
2. Wilbers, Stephen, Mastering the Craft of Writing, p. 204