#6 - Well written paragraph

Parts of a Paragraph - English Academic Writing Introduction, from English Lessons with Alex (engVid AlexESLvid) site: 

Summary of the video

Parts of a paragraph

1. Topic Sentence

  • Ask yourself: "What is the subject?" "What am I going to write about?"
2. Body
  • It is the heart of the paragraph
  • The arguments can be ordered according to their importance or their chronology
3. Closing sentence
  • It has two main functions:
  1. To restate the topic sentence but in a different way. You remind the audience what you are talking about
  2. To keep the readers thinking after they finished reading
Examples of well written paragraphs with their corresponding topic sentences
1.Topic sentenceMany politicians deplore the passing of the old family-sized farm, but I'm not so sure.
I saw around Velva a release from what was like slavery to the tyrannical soil, release from the ignorance that darkens the soul and from the loneliness that corrodes it. In this generation my Velva friends have rejoined the general American society that their pioneering fathers left behind when they first made the barren trek in the days of the wheat 
rush. As I sit here in Washington writing this, I can feel their nearness. (from Eric Sevareid, "Velva, North Dakota")

2. Topic sentence: There are two broad theories concerning what triggers a human's inevitable decline to death.

The first is the wear-and-tear hypothesis that suggests the body eventually succumbs to the environmental insults of life. The second is the notion that we have an internal clock which is genetically programmed to run down. Supporters of the wear-and-tear theory maintain that the very practice of breathing causes us to age because inhaled oxygen produces toxic by-products. Advocates of the internal clock theory believe that individual cells are told to stop dividing and thus eventually to die by, for example, hormones produced by the brain or by their own genes. (from Debra Blank, "The Eternal Quest" [edited]).

3. Topic sentenceWe commonly look on the discipline of war as vastly more rigid than any discipline necessary in time of peace, but this is an error.

The strictest military discipline imaginable is still looser than that prevailing in the average assembly-line. The soldier, at worst, is still able to exercise the highest conceivable functions of freedom -- that is, he or she is permitted to steal and to kill. No discipline prevailing in peace gives him or her anything remotely resembling this. The soldier is, in war, in the position of a free adult; in peace he or she is almost always in the position of a child. In war all things are excused by success, even violations of discipline. In peace, speaking generally, success is inconceivable except as a function of discipline. (from H.L. Mencken, "Reflections on War" [edited]).

Examples extracted from

Turner, Dorothy. (n.d.) Review: Topic Sentences, from site: