Five Strategies to Make Your Paragraphs More Specific Mrs. Michael English Composition Chapter 6 – Writing the First Draft 1. Answer Who, Which and What Provide more detail in your paragraphs to answer reader’s questions Example: Several companies outside Boston are adopting new policies to save the environment. REVISED: Compugraphics and Consolidated Paper are adopting new policies to save the environment. 2. Replace General Nouns with Precise Ones Sharp adjectives and nouns are more interesting General More Specific Most Specific A man had trouble lifting the box out of the old car. A young man, out of shape, struggled to lift the heavy crate out of the beatup sports car. Joe, only 21 years old but more than 50 pounds overweight, struggled to lift the heavy wooden crate out of the rusty and dented Mustang. 3. Replace Abstract Words with Concrete Words Abstract: The fall day had great beauty, despite its dreariness. Concrete: Red, yellow and orange leaves gleamed wetly through the grey mist. 4. Use Sensory Details Use words that relate to sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell. Without sensory language: The computer room is eerie. With sensory detail: In the computer room, keys click and printers grate while row after row of students stare into screens that glow without shedding any light. 5. Use Vigorous Verb Replace weak verbs with strong verbs Weak Verb Strong Verb The spectators seemed pleased and were enthusiastic when the runners went by. The spectators cheered and whistled when the runners whizzed by. Revise this paragraph. Think about using sensory details, concrete nouns and strong adjectives. Sponsored by a charitable organization, a group of children from a nearby town visited a theme park. The kids had a great time. They went on several rides and ate a variety of foods. Reporters and a TV crew shared the fun. How to Write a Strong Conclusion 1. Summarize the main idea and provide an overview of your thesis. 2. Predict – Restate your topic and provide a prediction of what might occur. 3. Quotation – Provide background then use a quote that summarizes your point. 4. Statistic – Use a strong statistic to reiterate your point. 5. Call to Action - Ask your audience to join a cause and get involved. Writing a Descriptive Paragraph http://grammar.about.com/od/developin gparagraphs/a/topicsupport.htm Revised Version My most valuable possession is an old, slightly warped blond guitar--the first instrument I taught myself how to play. It's nothing fancy, just a Madeira folk guitar, all scuffed and scratched and finger-printed. At the top is a bramble of copper-wound strings, each one hooked through the eye of a silver tuning key. The strings are stretched down a long, slim neck, its frets tarnished, the wood worn by years of fingers pressing chords and picking notes. The body of the Madeira is shaped like an enormous yellow pear, one that was slightly damaged in shipping. The blond wood has been chipped and gouged to gray, particularly where the pick guard fell off years ago. No, it's not a beautiful instrument, but it still lets me make music, and for that I will always treasure it.