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Everyday English 2
Everyday English 2

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2.3 Paragraphs

In both the Functional Skill English Level 2 and Essential Skills Wales Communication Level 2 writing assessments, you gain marks for the correct use of paragraphs.

Paragraphs are important in writing. They help your audience to understand and enjoy your writing and are useful in helping you organise your ideas.

A paragraph may contain the following elements:

  • a topic sentence expresses the idea of the topic in general terms
  • an explanation explains the idea in more detail
  • an illustration gives a concrete example.

Activity 13 What’s in a paragraph?

Timing: Allow about 10 minutes

Identify the three elements – the topic sentence, explanation and illustration – in the paragraph below. Highlight each using a different colour.

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The topic sentence is:

  • Food is important in all societies.

It tells us what the paragraph is about in general terms: the importance of food.

The explanation is:

  • A great deal of effort goes into producing food, involving both agriculture and industry. The food that is produced must then be either stored or distributed and sold. In recognition of this effort and of the importance of food, many cultures have evolved elaborate rituals around the final preparation and eating of food.

It explains the idea expressed in the topic sentence.

The illustration is:

  • A traditional French meal, for example, might take several days to prepare and as long as four hours to eat.

It gives a concrete example to illustrate the idea and the explanation.

In this section you have looked at:

  • syllables and word stress and how they can help with spelling
  • simple, compound and complex sentences
  • an example of how to structure a paragraph.