Paragraphs

1

What are the two main reasons why paragraphs are used?

2

What should a topic sentence try to do?

3

How should a writer consider ending a paragraph?

Read the following paragraph carefully, then answer the remaining questions below:

What do you think about the changes that have been made to GCSE exams? I understand that those in charge of education were concerned that exams were too easy – with coursework and controlled assessments - and so, they made sure that now, all of our GCSEs are exams only, at the end of year 11. But have they even considered the stress that this puts us all under?

I don’t think that they have!

I am in year 9 and, already, I am worried about the number of exams that I have to prepare for. I am going to study for 9 GCSE subjects next year. Each of those has two exams. Some of those exams are over two hours long. At the end of year 11, I will spend over 36 hours of my life in an exam hall. I will spend more than 100 times that preparing for those exams. 396 hours of my life – that is over and above the hours that I will spend in lessons that year. This is an absolutely ridiculous amount of pressure to place on just one year of a child’s life! Generations of children before me have been able to complete coursework in year 9 and 10. They have been able to sit exams once, twice, three, four, even five times. Me… I get one shot… in year 11! Why me? Why is it that my peer group and those after us (including you) lose out?

4

Why do you think the writer has opened the paragraph with a question?

5

Why do you think the writer has ended the first paragraph with a question?

6

What effect do you think the writer is trying to achieve with the one-line paragraph?

7

What does the topic sentence of the third paragraph tell us that this paragraph should be about?

8

What is the writer trying to do with all of the facts and statistics in the middle part of the third paragraph?

9

The third paragraph is a little long and there is a change of topic, so there should be a paragraph change. Where would you change the paragraph?

10

Look at the final sentence of the last paragraph. What do you think the writer is trying to do?