Study the following paragraphs so that you can discuss them in class. Be prepared to give the topic sentence or the central idea of each paragraph and to tell what method (or combination of methods) is used to develop it, e.g. by:
- many details
- examples
- a story
- incidents
- reasons
- comparisons or
- contrasts

Also point out transitional devices, i.e. connecting words or phrases that show the relationship between ideas, details, examples of transitional expressions like:

after that
as a result
as soon as
at first
at last
at the same time
before long
if even so
first (second, third, etc.)
for example
for instance
for this reason
in addition in spite of
in the first (second, etc.) place
in the meantime
once ... now
on the contrary
on the other hand
that is
to begin with

The word ‚gold' has a glamorous sound! It has power, too, enough to lure thousands of hopefuls to Alaska around the turn of this century, and it meant different things to different people. Some who came wanted a fortune, overnight, if possible. Some were fleeing the crowded, dirty cities and wanted only untainted air to breathe and lots of space. Many were running from trouble, real or imagined - family, work, or money trouble. For some older men it was the last, lone hope of making a "success." A few women, considered very daring, came too. Idealists, cynics, workers, loafers, adventurers, and writers - they all poured into the territory. There was plenty of room for them in Alaska.'

We went to a country school, which was on our own ranch, where the children of five or six other families attended. Most of them rode to school horseback. One of our games was "cats and dogs." This, we boys - for girls did not join in it - played at noon recess. The "cats" would set out in the brush afoot. About three minutes later the "dogs," mounted on horses and yelling like Apache Indians, would take after them. The brush had thorns and the idea of the "cat" was to get into brush so thick that the "dog" could not follow him, or to crawl into a thicket where he could not be seen. Sometimes the chase would last until long after the bell had sounded. I remember one great chase that kept us out until three o'clock. An hour later eight or nine boys were alone with the teacher and a pile of switches.'

Suppose that you were going to paint a picture of a hillside on a windy day. There are two ways you might go about it. One would be to paint a blade of grass and then another blade of grass and then another, until you had put down all the blades of grass you could see, sketched in the rest of the hillside, and were ready to start on the trees, limb by limb, and then the clouds with a stray butterfly thrown in for good measure. lf you could do all of this accurately, reproducing exactly the perspective and color, you would have produced something known as "photographic realism." The other way of going at this picture would be to paint what you really see when you look at that hillside; that is, not when you dissect the scene to do a realistic painting of it, but when you look at it for the pure pleasure of seeing that hillside on a windy day. You don't see the grass blade by blade.'

The weather that winter was cold and sunny. We had one five-inch snow that lingered on the ground in patches for about a week, but little rain or sleet. The schools were bitterly cold, and there were many absences among the children. Three boys in the class dropped out with tuberculosis. Milk that winter was available only from the drugstore and on a doctor's prescription, for sick babies, but I was able to get powdered milk for them. Transportation was hideous. Trains and streetcars were cold, dirty, and often windowless as well as jammed to the roof. People climbed in through the windows after the aisles and steps were filled. Cloth of all kinds was so scarce that even the worn green plush uphotstery had been cut off by passengers and taken home to patch clothes. It was not unusual for people to have their ribs broken in the crush, and I myself saw a pencil that had been splintered in a man's breast pocket.

The hurricane charged into Connecticut coast lands, gutting seaside resorts, fishing fleets, summer homes, and industrial areas. Flying limbs and chimney bricks were spat like machine-gun fire through the air. As far inland as twenty miles, salt spray destroyed vegetation, and salt traces were later discovered nearly fifty miles from the sea. Winds far over a hundred miles an hour raked the peaceful New England countryside, uprooting some 275 million trees, destroying or damaging thousands of buildings, and chopping up thousands of miles of telephone lines.'

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