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Writing Skill

Posted by dadangiskandar on June 30, 2008


One of students’ problems in universities is writing. Writing subject is frequently given in semester two and the students have no writing exposure to perform writing skill.

The main content of writing is a paragraph. A paragraph is a part of a passage and has several sentences. Accordingly, studying a paragraph is very important to develop an essay or passage. Below is how a paragraph is organized. (Quoted from Academic Writing)


A paragraph is a basic unit of organization in writing in which a group of related sentences develops one main idea. A paragraph can be as short as one sentence or as long as ten sentences. The number of sentences is unimportant; however, the paragraph should be long enough to develop the main idea clearly.

The following model contains all of the elements of a good paragraph. It is good for practice, the paragraph is about Gold. The gold as the subject is put first. Controlling idea as a part of topic sentence should express what is the subject of the sentence which is called controlling idea. This controlling idea will be described in supporting sentence(s). Below the topic sentence has two supporting sentences and one conclusion.

Model 1: paragraph structure


Gold, a precious metal, is prized for two important characteristics. First of all, gold has a lustrous beauty that is resistant to corrosion*. Therefore, it is suitable for jewelry, coins and ornament purposes. Gold never needs to be polished and will remain beautiful forever. For example, a Macedonian* coin remains as untarnished* today as the day it was minted twenty-three centuries ago. Another important characteristic of gold is usefulness to industry and science. For many years, it has been used in hundred of industrial application. The most recent use of gold is in astronauts’ suits. Astronauts wear gold-plated heat shields for protection outside the space ship. In conclusion, gold is treasured not only for its beauty, but also for its utility.


A paragraph has three major structural parts: topic sentence, supporting sentences, and a concluding sentence.

The topic sentence states the main idea of the paragraph. It is not only names the topic of the paragraph, but it also limits the topic to one or two areas that can be discussed completely in the space of a single paragraph. The specific area is called controlling area. Notice how the topic sentence of the model states both the topic and the controlling area.

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