Paragraph writing can be intimidating, particularly in the early stages of an essay. The eigh-sentence paragraph burst is one style of essay writing that is designed to get writers past those early stages of essay creation. The eight-sentence format can be boiled down to the following six elements: topic sentence, first major support, first minor support, second major support, second minor support and conclusion.
The advantages of this method of paragraph writing is that it allows students who are used to the structured four-sentence or five-sentence paragraph to transition to more complex writing. Simultaneously, it offers the same type of structure and discipline that those shorter paragraph formats do. For this reason, the eight-sentence burst is an excellent writing tool for both high school and junior high students. It is highly beneficial for college writers.
The eight-sentence burst begins with a topic sentence. This should be the first sentence of the paragraph, and it shoud clearly establish the subject and tone of the paragraph. It should immediately be followed by a concrete detail, which is given in the second sentence. What makes a detail concrete is that it gives specifics, such as names, numbers, or a specific example. The second sentence could also be a direct quote that supports the topic sentence. The quote should be attributed to its author.
A good way to continue the “burst” is to look back at the second sentence and comment or expound on it, perhaps stating your personal opinion about the detail that you used as support of the topic sentence. You can introduce this third sentence with a phrase like “Clearly, this establishes that…” or “These statistics indicate that…” Your next sentence, the fourth, should be further commentary on the information you supplied in the second sentence. Here, you want to be careful to not simply restate the same idea in different words.
By the fifth sentence, you are ready to introduce a second concrete detail or major support for your topic sentence. You can use a simple transitional phrase like “in addition…” or something more specific like “subsequent research shows that…,” dependent on your topic and the details you have given. Whether you provide the most important detail in this sentence, with a minor detail used in the second as a build-up, or a minor detail in the fifth sentence, with the most important detail in the second, depends on the type of writing your teacher requires. For example, if your teacher requires a journalistic style, you would give the most important detail in the second sentence when wriitng a paragraph.
The eighth and final sentence of your burst is one that should summarize the information that you presented in the previous seven sentences. There are various strategies you can use, such as simply restating your view provided in the topic sentence. However, most good writers use the final sentence of a paragraph to present a logical conclusion to the question or issue they raised in the paragraph.
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