unit-2-writing-paragraphs-2-the-development-of-a-paragraph

Unit-2 Writing Paragraphs-2 The Development Of A Paragraph

This unit explains different techniques of developing paragraphs.

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Without sunlight there could be no form of life as we know it and all man's basic needs can be ultimately traced back to the sun. In the first place, by its light and warmth the sun directly creates the necessary conditions for man's survival. Secondly, the sun indirectly provides man with water, for the heat of the sun causes the damp air over the seas to rise and form clouds, which cool at a high altitude and consequently fall as rain. One result of rainfall is the formation of lakes and rivers, from which man takes his water supply and which can be used for hydroelectric power. At the same time, rain, together with sunlight, enables plants to grow, and plants provide food for man and also for animals, which are themselves another source of food for man.

[from Anita Debska : Upgrade your English, Oxford University Press.] 

Question: In Example 5, the paragraph has been developed by stating the cause and the effect. By filling in the-gaps below, you will be able to understand the organization of the paragraph. 

Main Cause : the sun

Main Effect : Man’s …………………..(i)…………………..

Indirect effect   : Rainfall 

…..(ii)……….   : Rainfall

Effect : formation of …………... (iii)……………and ………(iv) ......

Cause : lakes and rivers 

………..(v)….   : water and …………………(vi)…………………

Cause : rain+ …………(vii)………………………………

Effect : plants ……….........(viii)…………………………

......(ix).             : ……………………………(x)……………………

Effect                : ……………(xi)……for man and ……………….xii .............. 

The existence of a hierarchy helps to assure order and discipline, and these things are important among monkeys just as they are among humans. They permit, first, the making of quick decisions. Whenever people are brought together, they will only be able to reach decisions quickly if some kind of hierarchy is established. Every jury needs its foreman; every cricket team needs a captain. The same is true of monkeys. Some animal in the group has to decide when the group shall move, which direction it shall follow. what action it shall take to avoid predators. Some form of leadership is essential if action is to be taken quickly, and hierarchy has come into existence to avoid continual infighting which could be the consequence of total equality.

(Adapted form The Primates by Eimerl. S. and De Vors, I. Time-Life Series) 

Question: The paragraph given above is organized by first discussing one subject and then comparing it  with another. Let's try and understand the paragraph better.

Fill in the gaps :

a) Having a hierarchy is essential for both men and monkeys because .................................

b) It is particularly important for men because ...................................................

All warm-blooded animals are incredibly helpless at first. Young birds and young bats must be taught to fly. Thousands of young seals and young sea lions are drowned every year. They never learn to swim "naturally"; the mother has to take them out under her flipper and show them how. Birds sing without instruction, but they do not sing well unless they have had an opportunity of hearing older and more adept members of their species. Older harvest mice build better nests than beginners. It is said that the young elephant does not seem to know at first what his trunk is for; it gets in his way and seems more of a hindrance than a help until his parents show him what to do with it. Insects, indeed, seem to start life completely equipped with all necessary reflexes, but even there the concept of "instinct" seems to require some modification, for they improve their talents with practice. Young spiders, for example, "begin by making quite primitive little webs, and only attain perfection in their art in course of time"; and older spiders, if deprived of their - spinnerets, will take to hunting.

[From Evans, B. (ed.) The Natural History of Nonsense. Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.]

What is the topic sentence in this paragraph?

All warm-blooded animals are incredibly helpless at first. Young birds and young bats must be taught to fly. Thousands of young seals and young sea lions are drowned every year. They never learn to swim "naturally"; the mother has to take them out under her flipper and show them how. Birds sing without instruction, but they do not sing well unless they have had an opportunity of hearing older and more adept members of their species. Older harvest mice build better nests than beginners. It is said that the young elephant does not seem to know at first what his trunk is for; it gets in his way and seems more of a hindrance than a help until his parents show him what to do with it. Insects, indeed, seem to start life completely equipped with all necessary reflexes, but even there the concept of "instinct" seems to require some modification, for they improve their talents with practice. Young spiders, for example, "begin by making quite primitive little webs, and only attain perfection in their art in course of time"; and older spiders, if deprived of their - spinnerets, will take to hunting.

[From Evans, B. (ed.) The Natural History of Nonsense. Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.]

You have already come across the following words in Example 1. Use these words to fill in the blanks in the sentences given below :

Drowned Hindrance Adept  Deprived                             Incredibly

Human babies are ................................. helpless at birth.

Ram was ........................................... at playing the sitar.

The black South Africans are being ............. of their rights by the white minority government.

A number of people get .................... every year because they don't know how to swim.

Lack of money is a real ................................... to Rita's plans for travelling.




Of the more than 20 species of small whales, our 300-pound playboy is indentified by his gunmetal hide, his 8 to 12 foot length and his laughing face. The porpoise has no teeth at birth; they begin to appear (from 44 to 50 in each jaw) a few weeks later. Though he suckles for about a year and a half, he begins to munch small squid at four months. He breathes through a single nostril, a crescent-shaped blowhole stop in his head that closes upon contact with water. This is also the source of his 'voice', and he can vibrate it like a human lip. His eyes, set just back from the mouth, are like a human being's, capable of 'ranging'. He hears through a cushioned inner ear and periotic bone, and has the keenest auditory sense of any animal. His brain weighs about 3.7 pounds, which in cell count per cubic centimeter is the same as man's. Some marine biologists believe that porpoises may have a higher potential IQ than man, but have never had to develop it. Because they are so perfectly adapted to their environment.

[Adapted from Scott, J.D. 'Pranksters of the Sea' in Marvels and Mysteries of the Animal World. New York : Reader's Digest Association.]

We have already shown you in Example 2 how a live object may be described. Now, we would like you to describe a familiar scene, let's say, your room. Keeping in mind the points we have discussed, write a description in about 100 words of the room you live in.

Of the more than 20 species of small whales, our 300-pound playboy is indentified by his gunmetal hide, his 8 to 12 foot length and his laughing face. The porpoise has no teeth at birth; they begin to appear (from 44 to 50 in each jaw) a few weeks later. Though he suckles for about a year and a half, he begins to munch small squid at four months. He breathes through a single nostril, a crescent-shaped blowhole stop in his head that closes upon contact with water. This is also the source of his 'voice', and he can vibrate it like a human lip. His eyes, set just back from the mouth, are like a human being's, capable of 'ranging'. He hears through a cushioned inner ear and periotic bone, and has the keenest auditory sense of any animal. His brain weighs about 3.7 pounds, which in cell count per cubic centimeter is the same as man's. Some marine biologists believe that porpoises may have a higher potential IQ than man, but have never had to develop it. Because they are so perfectly adapted to their environment.

[Adapted from Scott, J.D. 'Pranksters of the Sea' in Marvels and Mysteries of the Animal World. New York : Reader's Digest Association.]

What phrases indicate that the writer has a positive attitude towards the porpoise?

All warm-blooded animals are incredibly helpless at first. Young birds and young bats must be taught to fly. Thousands of young seals and young sea lions are drowned every year. They never learn to swim "naturally"; the mother has to take them out under her flipper and show them how. Birds sing without instruction, but they do not sing well unless they have had an opportunity of hearing older and more adept members of their species. Older harvest mice build better nests than beginners. It is said that the young elephant does not seem to know at first what his trunk is for; it gets in his way and seems more of a hindrance than a help until his parents show him what to do with it. Insects, indeed, seem to start life completely equipped with all necessary reflexes, but even there the concept of "instinct" seems to require some modification, for they improve their talents with practice. Young spiders, for example, "begin by making quite primitive little webs, and only attain perfection in their art in course of time"; and older spiders, if deprived of their - spinnerets, will take to hunting.

[From Evans, B. (ed.) The Natural History of Nonsense. Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.]

Read the paragraph again and fill in the following columns in the manner shown here :

Hills and mountains are slowly worn away over thousands of years by the process of erosion. Erosion takes place everywhere on Earth. There are several forces of erosion : glaciers which carry rocks weighing thousands of tons; frost which causes small cracks on rock sides; strong winds which wear away exposed rocks in deserts. By far the greatest cause of erosion, however, is the action of water on rocks. Water carries chemicals dissolved in it .that soften rocks. This softening is the first stage of erosion, called weathering. Rainwater falling on hills runs into streams and rivers and these carry the weathered rock away. Millions of years in the future, your favourite hills will have been worn completely away by erosion.

(Adapted from Geography by Dougal Dixon, Franklin Watts Science World)

What are the various forces of erosion'?

Hills and mountains are slowly worn away over thousands of years by the process of erosion. Erosion takes place everywhere on Earth. There are several forces of erosion : glaciers which carry rocks weighing thousands of tons; frost which causes small cracks on rock sides; strong winds which wear away exposed rocks in deserts. By far the greatest cause of erosion, however, is the action of water on rocks. Water carries chemicals dissolved in it .that soften rocks. This softening is the first stage of erosion, called weathering. Rainwater falling on hills runs into streams and rivers and these carry the weathered rock away. Millions of years in the future, your favourite hills will have been worn completely away by erosion.

(Adapted from Geography by Dougal Dixon, Franklin Watts Science World)

Question: Fill in the gaps :

Water softens rocks because it carries certain ...............(i) ............ This... ......... softening is called ........... (ii) ........................ (iii). falls on hills and runs into .............. (iv). .......... and ..............(v). ..........., which carry the ......................... (vi) ......................... rock away.

An earthquake strikes without warning. When it does, its power is immense. If it strikes a modern city, the damage it causes is as great as if it has struck a primitive village. Gas mains burst, explosions are caused and fires are started. Underground railways are wrecked. Whole buildings collapse. Dams burst. Bridges fall. Gaping crevices appear in busy streets. If the quake strikes at sea, huge tidal waves sweep inland. If it strikes in mountain regions, avalanches roar down into the valleys. 

Consider the terrifying statistics from the past. In the year 1755 : Lisbon, capital of Portugal-the city destroyed entirely and 450 killed; 1970 : Peru - 50,000 killed.

(from 'Can We Stop Earthquakes?' in World of Wonder)

Question: In earlier sections we analysed some of the paragraphs for you. The following exercise will help you understand the organization of the paragraph above

Cause : The power of ............................... (i) ...............................................................

Main effect: The great ................................ (ii) ..................... it causes.

Details of the effect :



The existence of a hierarchy helps to assure order and discipline, and these things are important among monkeys just as they are among humans. They permit, first, the making of quick decisions. Whenever people are brought together, they will only be able to reach decisions quickly if some kind of hierarchy is established. Every jury needs its foreman; every cricket team needs a captain. The same is true of monkeys. Some animal in the group has to decide when the group shall move, which direction it shall follow. what action it shall take to avoid predators. Some form of leadership is essential if action is to be taken quickly, and hierarchy has come into existence to avoid continual infighting which could be the consequence of total equality.

(Adapted form The Primates by Eimerl. S. and De Vors, I. Time-Life Series) 

Question: Give three reasons why it is particularly important for monkeys to have a form of hierarchy?

We live on the planet Earth, a ball of rock 12,750 km in diameter. Like all the planets, the Earth rotates on its axis and orbits the sun. But the earth is not alone. It has a companion on its travels -- the moon - which orbits the Earth once a month. But the two worlds are very different. The Moon is a dead planet. It has no volcanoes or geological activity, it is airless, waterless and lifeless. The Earth, on the other hand, is lush and fertile. It supports millions of living things -- plants, insects, birds, animals and human beings. It has fascinating erupting volcanoes. Since the moon has no atmosphere to protect it, its surface is heated to 105 C during its day, and cools to -155 C at night. In contrast, the Earth is covered by an atmosphere which we can breathe, and which also keeps the temperature quite constant.

Question: What is the topic of the sentence?

We live on the planet Earth, a ball of rock 12,750 km in diameter. Like all the planets, the Earth rotates on its axis and orbits the sun. But the earth is not alone. It has a companion on its travels -- the moon - which orbits the Earth once a month. But the two worlds are very different. The Moon is a dead planet. It has no volcanoes or geological activity, it is airless, waterless and lifeless. The Earth, on the other hand, is lush and fertile. It supports millions of living things -- plants, insects, birds, animals and human beings. It has fascinating erupting volcanoes. Since the moon has no atmosphere to protect it, its surface is heated to 105 C during its day, and cools to -155 C at night. In contrast, the Earth is covered by an atmosphere which we can breathe, and which also keeps the temperature quite constant.

Question: Fill in the gaps in the following table to show the contrast between the moon and the earth.

Without sunlight there could be no form of life as we know it and all man's basic needs can be ultimately traced back to the sun. In the first place, by its light and warmth the sun directly creates the necessary conditions for man's survival. Secondly, the sun indirectly provides man with water, for the heat of the sun causes the damp air over the seas to rise and form clouds, which cool at a high altitude and consequently fall as rain. One result of rainfall is the formation of lakes and rivers, from which man takes his water supply and which can be used for hydroelectric power. At the same time, rain, together with sunlight, enables plants to grow, and plants provide food for man and also for animals, which are themselves another source of food for man.

[from Anita Debska : Upgrade your English, Oxford University Press.] 

Question: In Example 5, the paragraph has been developed by stating the cause and the effect. By filling in the-gaps below, you will be able to understand the organization of the paragraph. 

Main Cause : the sun

Main Effect : Man’s …………………..(i)…………………..

Indirect effect   : Rainfall 

…..(ii)……….   : Rainfall

Effect : formation of …………... (iii)……………and ………(iv) ......

Cause : lakes and rivers 

………..(v)….   : water and …………………(vi)…………………

Cause : rain+ …………(vii)………………………………

Effect : plants ……….........(viii)…………………………

......(ix).             : ……………………………(x)……………………

Effect                : ……………(xi)……for man and ……………….xii .............. 

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Learning Pundits Content Team

Written on Jun 26, 2019 11:19:05 AM

i) survival ii) Cause iii) lakes iv) rivers v) Effect vi) hydroelectric power vii) sunlight viii) grow ix) Cause x) plants xi) food xii) animals 



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