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VARIOUS TEXTS: PARAGRAPH-WRITING

One of the most necessary abilities for students of the 'SekII' is to be able to write a good paragraph.

A paragraph is a series of sentences developing one topic.
The sentences in a paragraph should all be closely related to the main point. In addition, they should flow smoothly and naturally from one to another. When they do, the paragraph is said to have coherence. At the end of this page you'll find a list of transitional devices and direct references which help you to achieve coherence in a paragraph.

Next you'll read two paragraphs. One whose ideas are arranged in order of importance and the other whose ideas are arranged spatially.

Americans came to regard the spoils system ('Futterkrippensystem', dh. Vergünstigungen bei pol. Ämtern) as a stumbling block in the way of good government.

= topic sentence

Rapid, large-scale changes of public officials made it difficult for the government to carry out plans efficiently.

= first idea

Men of ability hesitated to take jobs that might last only for a few years. The jobs themselves changed as the nation developed.

= more important idea

Most important, public positions came to require more and more skill. City, state, and national governments needed doctors, chemists, engineers, and other trained people. Such public officials must be hired for their ability, not for their loyalty to a political party.

= most important idea

The farmhouse stood in the middle of a very large yard, and the yard was fenced on three sides with rails and on the rear side with high palings. Against these stood the smoke house; beyond the palings was the orchard; beyond the orchard were the tobacco fields. The front yard was entered over a stile made of sawed-off logs of graduated heights; I do not remember any gate. In a corner of the front yard were a dozen lofty hickory trees and a dozen black walnuts, and in the nutting season riches were to be gathered there.

Objects 1-7 described in relation to each other (words in bold indicate spatial arrangement)

List of transitional devices and direct references:
accordingly
after
after that
afterwards
also
another
as a result
as soon as
at first
at last
at the same time
before long
besides
but
consequently
even if
even so
finally
first/second..
for example
for instance
for this reason
furthermore
however
in addition
in spite of
instead
in the first place
in the meantime
likewise
moreover
nevertheless
next
once..now
on the contrary
on the other hand
otherwise
similarly
that is
therefore
to begin with
thus
when/then
yet

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