Professor Tashman

The Paragraph: An Introduction

Why Do Paragraphs Matter? Reason #1. Focus. A paragraph is a handy way to flash an idea. Every paragraph must have a thesis, or a main idea; sometimes, but not always, with a topic sentence. Contrary to what you may have learned in high school, a topic sentence doesn’t have to occur at the beginning […]

Argument Paragraph

Argument H.L. Mencken said, “I delight in argument, not because I want to convince, but because argument itself is an end.” For Mencken, the greatest opinion-maker of his time, argument alone was sufficient. The rest of us, however, argue to persuade. In other words, we argue because we want to change another person’s mind. The […]

Description Paragraphs

Description paragraphs can describe anything—a mean teacher, a Big Mac, your gay uncle’s apartment. Descriptions depict; that is, they paint a word picture that is based on experience. Experience has to do with the five senses. Using the sense of smell or taste, you can describe a Thanksgiving meal. Using the sense of hearing, you […]

Exemplification Paragraph

An exemplification paragraph explains a general idea by offering specific examples. The following is an exemplification paragraph: For ten years, I taught public school. Aside from the kid who ruined my carefully-planned lessons by making animal grunts, nothing bothered me more than the language of educators; the jargon and clichés and euphemisms found in school […]