CQT Paragraph

A formula for creating effective expository
Topic Sentence
Every paragraph has to start with a lead-in or a
topic sentence – sometimes they’re one in the same!
The topic sentence needs to clearly explain what
your paragraph will be about, for example:
Romeo and Juliet do not consider the consequences
of their actions.
It is clear from this sentence that this paragraph will
be discussing the characters of Romeo and Juliet,
and will attempt to prove that they fail to think
ahead about what could happen.
C is for CONTEXT
The next sentence should provide context for the quote.
Context is the information that we need to know in
order to understand what’s going on in our example.
When Romeo is in Juliet’s yard and she tells him that he
could be killed, he makes a statement that tells us that
he is not thinking realistically about what could happen.
Now we know what is going on in the quote that is
coming next; namely, that this is the part where Romeo
and Juliet finally get a chance to speak to each other,
and say things that perhaps they shouldn’t.
Q is for QUOTE
This is where the we supply specific information. Quotes are best
because they show the author’s exact words, which makes it easier
to show the author’s meaning and, by extension, your point.
“My life were better ended by their hate,/Than death
prorogued, wanting of thy love” (IIii, 77-78)
This quote is used because he is saying that he would be better
off being killed by her family than experience death later
(naturally), but without her love (REALLY???)
Notice only one set of quotation marks (because it’s a play;
everything is spoken, but they are directions for the actor so it’s
not punctuated like a speaker would be)
Also notice the MLA citation: no “pg.” or “line” or anything extra.
T is for TIE-IN
Here, the we provides a sentence that explains how the
quote or example proves the point we said we were going
to make in the topic sentence.
Here, Romeo is telling us that he would rather be killed
immediately instead of waiting for death when it would
normally happen, but is he really willing to be killed over a
girl he only just met and only talked to for a few minutes?
We tie in the quote to the point we made in the topic
sentence: that Romeo and Juliet do not think about the
consequences of their actions. He snuck into her yard! Their
families are enemies! Is he really willing to be killed over
Next, continue examples or provide a
transition to the next topic.
Since in our sample, we discussed that both Romeo
and Juliet fail to think about the consequences of
their actions, it makes sense to continue with an
example of Juliet, again providing C, Q, T
Otherwise (or after our Juliet example), we would
here write a sentence to transition to the next topic,
connecting it to what we would be discussing next.
See how easy it is?? Now it’s your turn…

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