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English 100: Interactive Writing

English 100 - Interactive Writing. Materials and resources for the review of basic English grammar, mechanics, paragraph writing, and an introduction to college-level writing.


No matter what pattern you follow (in other words, what the purpose of your paragraph is) your paragraphs will all include three main components.  

1. Topic Sentences

  • Open your paragraph by introducing your reader to the topic you'll be exploring.

2. Support (Body) Sentences

  • Support your topic sentence with information relevant to the subject.

3. Concluding (Closing) Sentences

  • Restate the topic and summarize any conclusions that your reader should draw from the information you've presented.


The purpose of a definition paragraph is to fully and clearly explain a term or a subject, and this is generally done using one of three different methods: providing a synonym, placing the topic within a larger category, or providing an explanation of what the topic is NOT in order to better explain what it IS.  Click on the link for more information on Definition Paragraphs.


When you are writing to persuade or to argue a point, your purpose is to convince your reader that your opinion is the right one.  There are various methods to consider when writing a persuasive paragraph or essay, and it is important to consider your audience when determining which one to use.  Click on the link for more information on Persuasive Paragraphs.  

Cause and Effect

At it's most basic level, cause and effect is a question of what happened first, and what happened second.  A cause is a reason why something happened and an effect is the result of a cause.  In your writing, you may need to explain the cause and effect relationship between two events or issues.  By focusing on paragraph development, you can trace the connection between these two events.  Click on the link for more information on Cause and Effect Paragraphs.  


This pattern allows you to either divide a topic into it's component parts, or to categorize (or classify) a group of related items or events.  When dividing you begin with one central topic and break that down into multiple parts.  Classification works in the other direction, putting things together based on shared qualities or characteristics.  Division illustrates differences, while classification focuses on similarities.  Click on the link for more information on Classification-Division.   


A process paragraph gives your reader instructions on how to accomplish something, or an account of how some event occurred.  Following a logical order is very important in a process paragraph.  If you're writing instructions, steps should be listed in the order that they should be performed and if you're describing a past event, it's generally best to follow a chronological order.  Click on the link for more information on Process Paragraphs.