Paragraph Writing

By , January 5, 2021 2:46 pm

In unit 1 culminating you will write a formal academic paragraph. Here are tips!!!

Paragraph Writing – A Crucial Building Block

Writing is a balance of evidence and argument, a balanced see-saw.

Balanced, in theory.
  • When OUT of BALANCE
  • If your writing is evidence-heavy, it’s a LIST.
  • If your writing is argument-heavy, it’s a RANT.
  • You want a nice balance of both argument and evidence.


CHW3M_Paleo_Neo_Point_vs_Example (2)

Databases and Online Encyclopedia:

You may use the History Reference Centre and Britannica Online.

Access through:

User Names / Passwords:

Britannica Schools Edition: trillium / trillium

see TDSB virtual library passwords


= the first sentence of your paragraph

There is no introduction before it.

TS = main argument + sub-topics described (not listed)

Here’s an example of a good topic sentence that follows the formula: 

Ideal writing is a balance of evidence and argument; evidence should be detailed, while argument should be explained. 

You’ll also notice that the TS above has a semi-colon (;). Ms. G is a fan of the semi-colon because it’s like having two sentences in one.

Another way to think about topic sentences is to have a strong position on a topic.

Take a look at the following and decide if they are effective topic sentences that meet the criteria:

  1. World history should be a required course for all high school students in Ontario.

2. World history should be a required course for all high school students in Ontario because it gives them a solid grounding.

3. World history should be a required course for all high school students in Ontario because it gives them a solid grounding in how the past has shaped the present.

Continuity and Change Vocabulary

Change: progress, evolve, develop, transition, expand, revolutionize, foresee, notice, adapt

Continuity: remain, preserve, stay the same, slow, prevent

Avoid presentism: they were stupid and their technology was so backward compared to ours; they didn’t have technology; they didn’t use computers so they were stupid; they couldn’t figure out how to live like us

Tips to Improve Detail

include the location of the archaeological site and the date of the find.

What did the object look like? How big was it? What was it made out of? Where was it found? What could it have been used for? Think like an archaeologist describing what he/she has dug up!

Tips to Improve Arguments

Explain means make your thinking clear to the reader. I always say, “don’t just say it, explain it.” When improving your writing you must put yourself in someone else’s shoes in order to look at your own writing more objectively.  


Ms. G does not want multiple paragraphs;  She only asked for one. Your page limit is one page and a half, typed, double-spaced. That length is fine for an argumentative, detailed paragraph.

Extra Paragraph Writing Hints

Here are some areas that everyone can work on as we continue to improve our skills.

  1. When writing, keep your audience in mind. Your reader doesn’t know as much as you, so you have to be descriptive when giving specific details in the examples. Always describe things (objects) in detail by answering as many of the W and H questions as possible. You get more THINKING marks for being detailed and precise.
  2. In history we generally write in past tense. Try to stay in one tense. If you write in present tense for the unit 1 culminating activity that is fine. Just stay in it.
  3. Follow format instructions. I asked for one paragraph, not an essay. In Dragon’s Den (unit 2), I will ask for three separate paragraphs, not one. And no introductory and concluding paragraphs.
  4. Write in your own words. Write your own sentences. Don’t copy anything. If the teacher ran your work through “Turn-it-in” she’d see some plagiarism. Be very cautious. All I have to do is go to the websites you used and find the sentences. That could cost you: ZERO. The solution is to take notes in your own words. When I take notes, it is the thing I spend the most time on. I read a section, think about what it means, and then write it down in my own words. It takes a bit more time but then when I’m working on my outline or draft I KNOW that the words I used are my own and that I don’t have to change them again.
  5. Everyone should look at their see saw to determine how balanced it is. Remember that writing is a balance of detailed evidence and well-explained arguments. Take a look at your see saw and make sure to work on balancing it out.
  6. Start early and work in steps. Ask questions if you aren’t sure what to do.

Hope this helps.

Ms. G

Websites for Paleo/Neo Sites (not using Sem 1 2021-22)

If you choose Catalhoyuk (neo)

search under news, newsletters, then choose a date and look under FINDS for material objects found

Lascaux or Chauvet Cave (paleo)

Jarmo article in booklet (best not to choose Jarmo, please)

Monte Verde, Chile (paleo)

Gobekli Tepe (paleo – neo transition)

Gobekli Tepi articles

Unit 1 culminating activity – structure tips – video:

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