Teaching Introductory Paragraphs
Explain to your students that writing an introductory paragraph is dependent on how well they:
By teaching students four different types of topic introduction, you are providing a choice for them in ways to begin their essay.
Here are a few options you can offer your students:
The most important thing for ESL learners to learn about middle or supporting paragraphs of an essay is that each supporting paragraph should have its own topic sentence stating the point to be developed in that paragraph.
Also teach linking words in transitional sentences such as: first, another, also, in addition, and finally, in order to show the relationship between ideas. Provide paragraphs with interesting topics which have clear topic sentences for each of the three or four supporting paragraphs.
Teach the importance of summarizing the essay by briefly restating the thesis and in some cases, the main supporting points. Effective concluding paragraphs also focus on a closing thought which brings the essay to a smooth end. One way to accomplish this is to provide a sample concluding paragraph and ask learners to circle the sentences that best express the thesis statement.
Another approach is to ask students to choose a summarizing thesis statement from a list of four alternatives. ESL students should learn that sometimes there may be more than one closing thought.
Teaching academic writing is an important skill that even native English speakers need help with. But by providing practice, your students will acquire this important writing skill, thus allowing them to express themselves efficiently.