Unit 20 - Types of Paragraphs, pages 449-451

Identifying Types of Paragraphs in Literature
Identify each of the following excerpts as either a descriptive, narrative, informative, or persuasive paragraph.
  1. The sun is only one among 200 billion stars that are bound together by gravity into a large cluster of stars called the galaxy. The stars of the galaxy revolve about its center as the planets revolve about the sun. The sun itself participates in this rotating motion, completing one circuit around the galaxy in 250 million years. —from “The Size of Things” in Red Giants and White Dwarfs, Robert Jastrow
  2. Members of the fire department were starting to arrive at the front door, but Albert ignored them. He was white now, like death, and he made a low terrible sound. He didn’t exactly pull his lips back from his teeth and growl, but the result was similar. It was like the sound a dog makes before he leaps for the throat. And what he said was “You jest leave me be, woman!” —from “Be-ers and Doers, ” Budge Wilson
  3. As public schools reopen for the new year, strategies to curb school violence will once again be hotly debated. Installing metal detectors and hiring security guards will help, but the experience of my two sisters makes a compelling case for greater use of dress codes as a way to protect students and promote learning. —from “Appearances Are Destructive, ” Mark Mathabane
  4. Across the street lived old Dikran, who was almost blind. He was past eighty and his wife was only a few years younger. They had a little house that was as neat inside as it was ordinary outside—except for old Dikran’s garden, which was the best thing of its kind in the world. Plants, bushes, trees—all strong, in sweet black moist earth whose guardian was old Dikran. All things from the sky loved this spot in our poor neighborhood, and old Dikran loved them. —from “The Hummingbird That Lived through Winter, ” William Saroyan

Understanding Different Types of Paragraphs
Choose an article from a newspaper or magazine that covers an event or story of local interest. Identify in the article the different kinds of paragraphs that the writer created and the purpose of each paragraph. For each paragraph, identify one supporting detail that develops, explains, or describes the main idea.

Using Different Types of Paragraphs in Your Writing
Select a photograph or painting that is printed in one of your books or displayed at your school. Write a descriptive paragraph about the image. Then use the same image as a prompt to write either a narrative, informative, or persuasive paragraph. After writing the two paragraphs, compare the main ideas and supporting details you used in each. How do they differ?