We already have talked about paragraph and paragraph writing. In this article we will talk about kinds of paragraphs. Basically there are four kinds of paragraphs that is essential to know about: Descriptive, Narrative, persuasive and Explanatory paragraph. Here are the basic kinds of paragraphs:
Kinds of Paragraphs
- Descriptive paragraph
- Narrative paragraph
- Persuasive paragraph
- Explanatory paragraph
1. Descriptive Paragraph
A descriptive paragraph is one that is describing a person, place, thing, animal, theme or idea to the reader. Descriptive phrases make use of the five senses: how something feels, smells, sounds, tastes or looks. The more descriptive that you can get, the better picture you’re providing your reader. A good descriptive paragraph will make them feel like they were there experiencing everything you’re talking about. Descriptive paragraphs are powerful tools for fiction writers, as these paragraphs are responsible for setting the stage and telling the story.
Sample Descriptive paragraph:
Watson and the Shark is a painting by John Singleton Copley. In the foreground of the painting, one naked man is being attacked by a huge gray shark in the cold and choppy seawater. One small overloaded rowboat is near the naked man and the frightening shark. There are nine horrified men in this rowboat. They are trying to rescue the naked man. One young man takes a long spear and wants to kill the shark. Some people are reaching for his hand, and some are throwing a rope for him to catch. In the background of the painting, under the dark and cloudy sky, there are many ships stopping in the stormy harbor. The whole painting makes people feel tension and fear.
Teacher’s notes: This paragraph is well written in a number of ways. Firstly, the sentence structure is correct and shows compound sentence combining. Secondly, the student used a number of adjectives to add life to the description. Thirdly, the description is organized from the focal point in the front of the painting to the background, just as our eyes would follow the painting. The ideas flow smoothly from one to the other because of cohesive devices such as sentence combining, pronouns, correct use of definite and indefinite articles, repetition of key words, and prepositions that direct the reader’s attention around the image. Finally, it is easy to read because it is well edited. I only made four minor corrections for this copy. The student wrote clearly and correctly (and probably edited it at home) so that I didn’t have to guess what she meant or be distracted by mistakes. This paragraph is an excellent example of a descriptive paragraph.
2. Narrative Paragraph
A narrative paragraph helps tell the story and keeps the story moving. Narrative paragraphs will include action, events and exciting descriptive words. These paragraphs help keep the reader engaged in the story. Narrative paragraphs are similar to descriptive paragraphs (and a paragraph may actually be both at once), but a narrative paragraph tends to offer the reader more background information, such as past events that lead up to or cause events in the story. These are also very important paragraphs for fiction writers, as they help the reader to see the whole picture.
Sample Narrative Paragraph
This past weekend I had the time of my life. First, Friday night, I had my best friend over and we made a delicious, mouth-watering pizza. After we ate, we had a friendly video game competition. On Saturday, my dad took us out on the boat. The weather was perfect and the water was warm. It was a great day to go for a swim. Later that night, we went to the movies. We saw an action packed thriller and ate a lot of popcorn. Finally, on Sunday, we rode our bikes all over town. By the end of the day, my legs were very tired. I only hope that next weekend can be as fun as this one.
3. Persuasive Paragraphs
A persuasive paragraph is one in which the writer is actually giving his own opinion on a certain subject or topic. Persuasive paragraphs will also include facts and information that help to back up the writer’s opinion. These paragraphs often show up in speeches or editorial essays and other forms of writing where the main goal is persuasion. In fiction, use these paragraphs to convince the reader to feel a certain way toward a character, place or event, perhaps a different way than they may have felt earlier in the story.
Sample Persuasive Paragraph:
The best vacation is a trip to the beach. There is a lot to do at the beach. You can go swimming, build a sandcastle, or maybe even go surfing. The beach is very relaxing. Many people enjoy listening to the sound of the ocean and lying in the sun. When you plan your next vacation, be sure to remember that the beach is your best choice.
4. Explanatory Paragraph
An explanatory paragraph offers the reader information on a certain subject. These paragraphs may contain directions or might describe a process in a logical, linear manner. Explanatory paragraphs are also factual in nature and are not a common tool for fiction writers. A how-to article is an example of a piece of writing that would use these paragraphs.
Sample Explanatory Paragraph
Pat Mora’s poem, “Echoes,” vividly describes the meaning and mood of the poem by using sensory images. At the beginning of the poem it was talking about white wine and cool dresses which give you a feel of upper class elegance. Yet when it went from the white wine to the white uniform it changed the class of the hostess and the maid. When it mentioned that the maid’s smile wavered when the speaker started to talk to her, it showed the level of amazement that the maid felt. However, the end, when it talks about hearing the cruel comment of “just drop the cups and plates / on the grass,” it gave the poem a feeling of darkness as the poem told how the speaker stood in silence which describes her contradicting feelings. Towards the end of the poem the roar and flash help the reader envision the speaker’s rage for the cruelty that is being calmed in a racist society.