You are on page 1of 19


Descriptive Paragraph
A descriptive paragraph is one that is describing a person, place, thing, animal, theme or idea to the
reader. Descriptive phrases make use of the five senses: how something feels, smells, sounds, tastes
or looks. The more descriptive that you can get, the better picture you’re providing your reader. A
good descriptive paragraph will make them feel like they were there experiencing everything you’re
talking about. Descriptive paragraphs are powerful tools for fiction writers, as these paragraphs are
responsible for setting the stage and telling the story.
Sample Descriptive paragraph:
Watson and the Shark is a painting by John Singleton Copley. In the foreground of the painting, one
naked man is being attacked by a huge gray shark in the cold and choppy seawater. One small
overloaded rowboat is near the naked man and the frightening shark. There are nine horrified men in
this rowboat. They are trying to rescue the naked man. One young man takes a long spear and wants
to kill the shark. Some people are reaching for his hand, and some are throwing a rope for him to
catch. In the background of the painting, under the dark and cloudy sky, there are many ships
stopping in the stormy harbor. The whole painting makes people feel tension and fear.
Teacher’s notes: This paragraph is well written in a number of ways. Firstly, the sentence structure
is correct and shows compound sentence combining. Secondly, the student used a number of
adjectives to add life to the description. Thirdly, the description is organized from the focal point in
the front of the painting to the background, just as our eyes would follow the painting. The ideas flow
smoothly from one to the other because of cohesive devices such as sentence combining, pronouns,
correct use of definite and indefinite articles, repetition of key words, and prepositions that direct the
reader’s attention around the image. Finally, it is easy to read because it is well edited. I only made
four minor corrections for this copy. The student wrote clearly and correctly (and probably edited it
at home) so that I didn’t have to guess what she meant or be distracted by mistakes. This paragraph is
an excellent example of a descriptive paragraph.
2. Narrative Paragraph
A narrative paragraph helps tell the story and keeps the story moving. Narrative paragraphs will
include action, events and exciting descriptive words. These paragraphs help keep the reader engaged
in the story. Narrative paragraphs are similar to descriptive paragraphs (and a paragraph may actually
be both at once), but a narrative paragraph tends to offer the reader more background information,
such as past events that lead up to or cause events in the story. These are also very important
paragraphs for fiction writers, as they help the reader to see the whole picture.
Sample Narrative Paragraph
This past weekend I had the time of my life. First, Friday night, I had my best friend over and we
made a delicious, mouth-watering pizza. After we ate, we had a friendly video game competition. On
Saturday, my dad took us out on the boat. The weather was perfect and the water was warm. It was a
great day to go for a swim. Later that night, we went to the movies. We saw an action packed thriller
and ate a lot of popcorn. Finally, on Sunday, we rode our bikes all over town. By the end of the day,
my legs were very tired. I only hope that next weekend can be as fun as this one.
3. Persuasive Paragraphs
A persuasive paragraph is one in which the writer is actually giving his own opinion on a certain
subject or topic. Persuasive paragraphs will also include facts and information that help to back up
the writer’s opinion. These paragraphs often show up in speeches or editorial essays and other forms
of writing where the main goal is persuasion. In fiction, use these paragraphs to convince the reader
to feel a certain way toward a character, place or event, perhaps a different way than they may have
felt earlier in the story.
Sample Persuasive Paragraph:
The best vacation is a trip to the beach. There is a lot to do at the beach. You can go swimming, build
a sandcastle, or maybe even go surfing. The beach is very relaxing. Many people enjoy listening to
the sound of the ocean and lying in the sun. When you plan your next vacation, be sure to remember
that the beach is your best choice.
4. Explanatory Paragraph
An explanatory paragraph offers the reader information on a certain subject. These paragraphs may
contain directions or might describe a process in a logical, linear manner. Explanatory paragraphs are
also factual in nature and are not a common tool for fiction writers. A how-to article is an example of
a piece of writing that would use these paragraphs.
Sample Explanatory Paragraph
Pat Mora’s poem, “Echoes,” vividly describes the meaning and mood of the poem by using sensory
images. At the beginning of the poem it was talking about white wine and cool dresses which give
you a feel of upper class elegance. Yet when it went from the white wine to the white uniform it
changed the class of the hostess and the maid. When it mentioned that the maid’s smile wavered
when the speaker started to talk to her, it showed the level of amazement that the maid felt. However,
the end, when it talks about hearing the cruel comment of “just drop the cups and plates / on the
grass,” it gave the poem a feeling of darkness as the poem told how the speaker stood in silence
which describes her contradicting feelings. Towards the end of the poem the roar and flash help the
reader envision the speaker’s rage for the cruelty that is being calmed in a racist society.
persuasion paragraph
Page historylast edited by PBworks 12 years, 7 months ago

Persuasion means to convince someone that your opinion on a subject is the right one. There are many forms of
persuasion, you might not even know you are being persuaded. For example advertisements are persuading you to
buy a certain product. Or family is always trying to convince you to do something or that they are always right.

It is important to consider the audience as your write persuasively. Directing your paragraph toward a particular
audience can be helpful. Consider what kind of evidence this audience would respond to. When you take your
audience into consideration, you will make your persuasive paragraph more convincing.

Methods of Persuasion
 Facts- A statement of what is.
 Referring to authority- An expert who can be relied on to give unbiased facts and information.
 Examples- An example should clearly relate to the argument and should be typical enough to support it.
 Predicting the consequence- Helps the reader visualize what will occur if something does or does not
 Answering the opposition- Answering possible critics shows you are aware of the opposing opinion and are
able to respond to it.

Transitional Expressions for Persuasion Paragraphs

Give Reasons
 first (second, third)
 another, next
 last, finally
 because, since, for
 although

Answer the Opposition

 of course
 some may say
 nevertheless
 on the other hand

Draw Conclusions
 therefore
 thus
 hence
 consequently

Here are some examples of a persuasion paragraph:

Reasons Why Marijuana Should Be Legal

People of the United States should push for the legalization of marijuana. The first reason being the amount of
money that our government spends every year on the “war on drugs”. The government’s money could be spent in so
many other ways. The second reason it should be legalized is to limit the amount of people that get put in jails for
marijuana, when there are far worse people out there that need to be put in jail. Marijuana arrests in the United
States doubled between 1991 and 1995. In 1995, more than one-half-million people were arrested for marijuana
offenses. Eighty-six percent of them were arrested for marijuana possession. Tens of thousands of people are now in
prison or marijuana offenses. An even greater number are punished with probation, fines, and civil sanctions,
including having their property seized, their driver's license revoked, and their employment terminated. Despite
these civil and criminal sanctions, marijuana continues to be readily available and widely used. (Fact Sheet) A third
reason is that marijuana is not as harmful as alcohol, which causes 50% of all traffic accidents a year. In 1972, after
reviewing the scientific evidence, the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse concluded that while
marijuana was not entirely safe, its dangers had been grossly overstated. Since then, researchers have conducted
thousands of studies of humans, animals, and cell cultures. None reveal any findings dramatically different from
those described by the National Commission in 1972. In 1995, based on thirty years of scientific research editors of
the British medical journal Lancet concluded that "the smoking of cannabis, even long term, is not harmful to
health." (Fact Sheet) And yet another reason why marijuana should be legal is because is helps all sorts of people
with medical problems. Marijuana has been shown to be effective in reducing the nausea induced by cancer
chemotherapy, stimulating appetite in AIDS patients, and reducing intraocular pressure in people with glaucoma.
There is also appreciable evidence that marijuana reduces muscle spasticity in patients with neurological disorders.
A synthetic capsule is available by prescription, but it is not as effective as smoked marijuana for many patients.
Pure THC may also produce more unpleasant psychoactive side effects than smoked marijuana. Many people use
marijuana as a medicine today, despite its illegality. In doing so, they risk arrest and imprisonment. (Fact Sheet)
With all of these great things that can be done with marijuana, why keep it away from those who could use it?
~© Jessi Johnson 2005~
~All facts were taken from a Fact Sheet on The Drug

Laughter the Medicine

Laughter is one of the greatest healing devices known to man. Laughter is powerful and can help people in many
different ways. It has the power to cure something as little as a bad day or to heal the wounds of a terminally ill
person. Laughing has helped create the smile which is the universal sign of well being. Generally, individuals who
do not laugh live miserably and have unhappy lives. Dr. Robert Holden found out that smiling and laughing releases
endorphins in the brain which gives people a overall happy well being. Using comedy, many doctors have
stimulated the healing process in manic depressants and fatally ill patients giving them hope and ambition. In many
clinics laughter is being used in replacing anti depressants and reduces the need for pain killers.(Dr. Gael Crystal).
Take comedians for example, they usually live long and happy lives. Putting a smile on faces and laughs in souls is
what makes life complete. Laughter helps heal people and brightens spirits for a better and healthier life . Laughing
is a sign of joy and hope and keeps people normal and the world happy. Using the techniques of laughter and
happiness is the best medicine known to man. Laughter is the universal sign of well being and happiness within
health. Laughing brightens the spirit and heals the mind and body of people who allow it to overcome them. So try a
smile and laugh on for size and live a longer happier life with loved ones.
~© Jace Oeleis 2005~

Turn in Poachers
Hunters, hikers, and park recreationalists should turn in poachers. Poachers are people who kill animals illegally by
hunting without a proper permit, or trespassing on someone’s property. Not only is it cruel to leave an animal
carcass lying out to rout, but it can also spread disease among the other animals. It also brings up the price of
hunting licenses for other hunters. That is why it is important we turn poachers in. The first thing that can be done is
calling 1-800-TIP-MONT. When a call is placed, the operator will ask some questions. They ask where and when
the event happened, a physical appearance of the person or a vehicle description, and was their any physical
evidence left behind. So when you see this happening, either write it down on paper, or just try to remember it. The
second thing a person can do is try to get on the Internet. There you can find out more information about what you
need to do. If anyone sees one of these illegal acts being done, now you know what to do to turn them in, and make
Montana a better place for everyone and everything.
~© Justin Campos 2005~

Real Life Issues On Talk Shows

Most TV talk shows depict important life issues with real personal stories. TV shows such as Montel and Maury
have produced hundreds of shows relating to teen violence, suicide, unsolved murders of family members, AIDS
and hate crimes. People affected by these issues and more write to Montel and other talk shows about their situations
so they can share with others their experiences with hope of helping someone else. I recently vieweda show on
Montel about an unsolved murder. One of the guests spoke about the worst day of her life, the day her financee' was
shot and killed while at work by a random gunman and how it affected her life. Many people in the U.S. are affected
by these types of issues and suffer in silence due to their belief that nobody cares. Those affected by these social
issuses will continue to be victims without TV talk shows such as these. For the most part, TV shows provide an
important view on today's issues and houw they affect everyday people.
~© 2005 Nichole Feller~

Federally recognizing the Chippewa Cree Native Americans

The Chippewa Cree Native Americans of the Turtle Shell Agency should be federally recognized. The first
reason is that they are the only tribe in the United States that are not federally recognized. In 1885 the U.S.
government began selling land that they had set aside for the Chippewa Cree with out their consent, this in
turn started a rebellion. Because of the rebellion they were never granted a reservation again. Another reason
for federal recognition is the free tuition that Native Americans acquire if they have enough blood decadency.
It is estimated that fewer then ten percent of Native Americans attend secondary schooling with the inclusion
of Chippewa Cree that number could raise. Finally federally recognizing Chippewa Cree would put an end to
the neglect and give the people a place where they could be together and support their custom s. Many
Chippewa Cree are not educated on their background so they are clueless to why they are neglected. Adding
the Chippewa Cree to the federally recognized Native Americans would end many years of lost opportunity,
neglect, and lack of culture. Some say that creating another reservation will cause another breeding ground
for social ills. However if the government could apply what they have learned from other reservations then
they could make proper changes so that the reservation could become a place where people thrive and
become unified.
~(c)Ashley Neill 2005

How to use the internet should be required

In this age of technology all students in the Montana University System should be required to learn Internet
use, and there should be a course to teach it as a core requirement. The first reason is going to school in the
twenty-first century almost all classes require some computer use. Every time you go to the library at
M.S.U.C.O.T, you need to know how to go online as there are very few books anymore, and almost everything
is on the Web. Following that when you go to find a job, more and more companies are using computers. It's
getting almost impossible to find a job that dosen't require computer skills of some sort. One of the big things
is communications within the company. Most companies use electronic communications of some sort, such as
e-mail or memos on line. Even the jobs people used to think of as unskilled labor such as a mechanic are using
computers. All cars built today have a computer built into them. The mechanic uses it to figure out what's
wrong with your car, then a lot of time they go online to find out the beat way to fix it faster, saving time and
money. Some people might say that the courses that need to have computer skills have them built into them,
but I say we should get a jump on the future and have all students learn the internet. If people don't learn it,
they will fall behind in the job market and in life.

Listing paragraphs
This lesson talks you through one way to write your paragraphs: one possible solution is to
choose the listing paragraph method. To help you to learn how to write this type of
paragraph, you will find below instructions on how to write them, useful vocal to do this and
examples of what works and doesn’t work.

A quick reminder about paragraphs

Before I go any further, I’d like to remind you of some of the keys to writing a good
paragraph. These are:

1. a paragraph should be organised around one idea

2. the main idea should be clear to the reader: this means boring old topic sentences
3. the idea should be well developed in the paragraph
What is a listing paragraph?
Put simply a listing paragraph is a paragraph containing different ideas that all connect to
one main idea. It is perhaps easiest to think of this as the “Firstly” “Secondly” “Thirdly”
paragraph. A key to making them work is to make sure that different ideas connect to one
central idea. Take a look at this very simple example to see what I mean:

There are at least three different ways to organise a paragraph. The first is to follow a
structure where where you make a main point, develop it with an explanation and then
illustrate it with an example. The second is to list separate points that connect to the main
idea stated in the topic paragraph. The third is the compare and contrast paragraph in which
you examine the relationship between two different ideas.
Do you see how the “ideas” contained in the content sentences all link back to the main
idea in the topic sentence, highlighted in red?
When you should consider a listing paragraph
The next step is to decide when you should use the listing paragraph structure. Here are
some ideas for you to consider:

 you have a series of connected ideas (reasons/examples/explanations etc) that relate to one main
 these connected ideas are balanced (equally relevant)
 it makes sense in that essay to give different reasons (ie the essay asks you to write about the
reasons why something is the case)
 perhaps it is simpler to list rather than explain in detail (this is particularly the case in exams where
you under time pressure)
Getting the topic sentence right
One of the keys to making this listing paragraph structure work is to get the topic sentence
right. These are not rules, but think about these general guidelines:

 the topic sentence should come first and be simple: you want the reader to see immediately what
your para is about
 it should ideally say that you are going to list different reasons etc. If you don’t do this, the reader
may not understand your structure and how the points relate to each other
What to avoid and how to fix it
This type of paragraph can often go wrong. One particular problem is that the list ideas do
not relate to the main idea in the topic sentence. Look at this example:

There are a number of reasons why animals should not be kept in captivity. This is wrong
because zoos are often unsanitary and the animals suffer unnecessary pain and suffering
because they easily become sick and die. In many cases zoos do not have effective
breeding programmes and they actually contribute to the decline in numbers of certain
endangered species. Moreover, in many countries zoos have become less and less popular
because of the influence of natural history programmes on television.
Do you see the problem? The final sentence doesn’t really relate to/balance the other ideas
– it is about something else altogether.

I have two suggestions about how to avoid this problem. The first is to consider adding a
concluding sentence to the paragraph that summarises the ideas. That should help you to
avoid this kind of irrelevance by showing you how one sentence doesn’t relate to the others.
The other idea is not to be afraid of using listing language.
The language of listing paragraphs
Using listing language helps the reader understand the train of your thoughts and see how
the ideas connect. it can also help you write more accurately: if you use this language, you
are much less likely to go wrong.

Topic sentence language

Here the goal is to show the reader that you are about to make a number of connected
points. Here are some ideas to get you going. obviously, you will need to adapt them to your

There are at least three [reasons] why…. (ie use a number – and traditionally three is the
magical number)
There are a variety of [reasons] why
There are several causes for this
There are a number of different of ways in which
The most basic listing language
If this is a new technique for you, this language is a good place to start. Though I would add
that you should aim for some of more advanced language as you progress. It is also
sensible to be fairly consistent with the language. The moment you say “Firstly,”, the reader
automatically looks for “Secondly,” and may be confused if they do not find it (or something
very similar to it)

Firstly, Secondly, Thirdly/Finally (note the comma)

One [reason] is A second reason is A third/final [reason] is

Some more advanced variations

Here are some slightly more advanced ways of linking your ideas. The point is to start with
the biggest/best and then add other ideas using phrase with “Another” and “Also”. This way
the connection should still be plain.

The most significant [reason] is

The primary [reason] why
Equally significant is
Another connected [reason] is
A linked reason is
It is also the case that
It is also sometimes suggested that
To keep the connection between your ideas clear use the linking language at the beginning
of your sentence

See some examples of listing paragraphs – and test

These paragraphs are based on an essay question asking why people are moving from the
countryside into cities and whether that is a positive trend. If you want to test yourself, see if
you can complete them. Possible ideas include loss of agricultural land/farming culture,
better jobs in cities, better lifestyle and amenities in cities, better infrastructure and transport
makes it easier

Simple version
There are three main reasons why people are abandoning the countryside and moving to
cities. Firstly,



More advanced
There are a number of reasons for this migration from the countryside to urban centres.
Perhaps the most significant of these is that

Another connected reason is that

It can also be caused by

Close examination shows that there are a variety of causes for this migration. The primary
reason why

Perhaps as significant as this is the fact that

It is also sometimes suggested that

Image of listing paragraphs

What are the examples of a chronological order on

a paragraph pattern?
2 Answers

Dave Stafford, Writer, contributing editor for nat'l trade mag

Answered Feb 20 · Author has 99 answers and 57k answer views

When writing a story or building a report, one usually states the facts in order or as they
occurred in time. This implies that statements and paragraphs are related in chronological
Example: Paragraph One might relate facts about the central character, Jim, as he grew
from a child into a teen. Paragraph Two might explain what led Jim to join the Marines.
Paragraph Three explains the devastating effects of PTSD and further health issues in later
life while Paragraph Four details an unhappy marriage and early death from a drug

Each paragraph builds the story, in order. Some authors use “flashbacks”, memories or
dreams to tell a story out of chronological order and that can be effective too, although
somewhat confusing.

An example of a report NOT in chronological order might be this: Paragraph One might
succinctly summarize the terrible effects of metastatic lung cancer. Paragraph Two outlines
the changes in lung tissue from smoking and asbestos exposure. Paragraph Three traces the
evolution of cigarettes, filtered and unfiltered, and smoking cessation campaigns. Paragraph
Four may focus on the type of advertising for tobacco that was prevalent in the 1930’s versus

There is no magical way to present information. It really depends on the story being told.

Chronological Patterns

A chronological pattern of organization arranges information according to a

progression of time, either forward or backward. When a topic is best understood in
terms of different segments of time, a chronological format works well. For example,
topics of an historical nature are best organized using this pattern.

When using a chronological pattern, each main section of information represents a

particular period of time, and the sub-points contained within each main section refer
to significant events that occurred within that time frame. A variation of this
organizational pattern involves dividing a topic into "past-present-future" or" before-
during-after" segments.

For example, suppose a writer's stated purpose is to describe the historical

development and evolution of the city of Seattle. Assuming that Seattle is 100 years
old, the writer could organize the information by grouping it into four 25-year chunks.
In this case, the sub-points within each main section of time represent the most
significant events that occurred during that particular time frame. Notice that by
breaking the 100 year span into distinct 25 year chunks, the writer can create an
outline that follows the guidelines of outlining described under "Principles of
Organizing." This outline contains four mutually exclusive and balanced sections of

Chronological Pattern Example

I. 1895 - 1920
1. Significant Event # 1
2. Significant Event # 2

II. 1920 - 1945

1. Significant Event # 1
2. Significant Event # 2

III. 1945 - 1970

1. Significant Event # 1
2. Significant Event # 2

IV. 1970 - 1995

1. Significant Event # 1
2. Significant Event # 2

Sequential Patterns

A sequential pattern of organization is similar to a chronological pattern, but arranges

information according to a step-by-step sequence that describes a particular process.
Using a sequential pattern, each main section of information represents a main step
that one would follow in the actual process. The points included within each main
section represent the sub-steps one would follow. When one wishes to describe a
process that follows a specific series of steps in a particular order, then, a sequential
pattern works well.

For example, suppose a writer's stated purpose is to explain how wine is made. A
sequential pattern would be effective in this case because it breaks the process down
into a specific series of steps which should be followed in a precise order. Notice that
a series of related smaller steps are grouped into one larger category. Thus, a process
which involves many specific steps can be simplified by highlighting the most
fundamental steps, which helps the reader understand the process and remember its
key parts.

Sequential Pattern Example

I. Step One: Harvest the grapes

1. Harvesting procedure number one

2. Harvesting procedure number two

II. Step Two: Prepare the grapes

1. Preparation procedure number one

2. Preparation procedure number two

III. Step Three: Ferment the grapes

1. Fermenting procedure number one

2. Fermenting procedure number two

IV. Step Four: Press the grapes

1. Pressing procedure number one

2. Pressing procedure number two

V. Step Five: Age the wine

1. Aging procedure number one

2. Aging procedure number two

Spatial Patterns

A spatial pattern of organization arranges information according to how things

fit together in physical space; i.e., where one thing exists in relation to another.
This pattern works well when a writer wishes to create a mental picture of
something which has various parts distinguished by physical location. Topics
involving geography, for example, are often best organized using a spatial

For example, suppose a writer wished to describe the forms of entertainment

available to tourists visiting Seattle. He/she could arrange the information
according to "things to do" in the different districts or geographic locations of
the city. Notice how this pattern of organization aids the reader. It makes sense
for the writer to organize the information by physical location because the
information is easy to understand and use in this format, particularly for tourists
who are not familiar with the area.

Spatial Pattern Example

I. Downtown Waterfront
3. Aquarium
4. Pike Place Market

II. Seattle Center

5. Space Needle
6. Pacific Science Center

III. University District

7. University of Washington campus

8. The "Ave" (shops on University Avenue)

Compare-Contrast Patterns

A compare and contrast pattern arranges information according to how two or

more things are similar to or different from one another (or both). This is an
effective pattern to use when the reader can better understand one subject when
it is described in relation to another. If the reader is familiar with one topic, the
writer can compare or contrast it with another topic to shed insight on it.

For example, suppose a writer's stated purpose is to help the reader make an
informed decision about whether to attend a two-year college or a four-year
university. One way to arrange the information is to compare and contrast the
two educational options along several important dimensions, such as cost,
quality of education, and variety of educational programs. In this case, the
number of main sections in the outline would depend on how many dimensions
or factors were considered (three in the case below). Another way to arrange
the information would be to create two main sections, one that describes
similarities and one that describes differences (as shown in example # 2).
Notice that either format could be equally effective.

Compare and Contrast Pattern Example One

I. Cost of Tuition

9. Two-year
10. Four-year

II. Quality of Education

1. Two-year
2. Four-year

III. Educational Programs

3. Two-year
4. Four-year

Compare and Contrast Pattern Example Two

I. Points of Comparison

5. Educational Programs
6. Cost of Tuition

II. Points of Contrast

7. Quality of Education
8. Type of Degree

Advantages-Disadvantages Patterns

This pattern organizes information about a topic by dividing it up into its

"good" and "bad" parts, or pro's and con's. It is effective to use when a
writer wishes to objectively discuss both sides of an issue without taking
a persuasive stance. This allows the reader to weigh both sides of an
issue. As with the compare-contrast pattern, there are a number of
possible variations to an advantages-disadvantages pattern. The simplest
form of this pattern is shown below.

Suppose, for example, that a writer's stated purpose is to describe the

advantages and disadvantages of attending a two-year college. One way
to arrange the information is to divide it into two main sections, one for
the advantages and one for the disadvantages. In this scenario, the
information contained within each main section will represent the
specific topics of analysis (cost, accessibility, etc).

Advantages and Disadvantages Example

I. Advantages

9. Cost
10. Accessibility
II. Disadvantages

11. Number of educational programs

12. Quality of instruction

Cause-Effect Patterns

This pattern is used to show the different causes and effects of various
conditions. This pattern is particularly effective when writing a
persuasive document in which the writer advocates some action to solve
a problem, because it demonstrates important relationships between
variables. There are two major variations to this pattern; (a) dividing the
outline into two major sections comprised of causes and effects; or (b)
dividing the outline according to the different causes, with the effects of
each cause contained within the larger "causes" section. See the
examples below.

Suppose a writer's stated purpose is to explain the causes of conflict

escalation and their effects. He/she could organize the information in one
of the following two ways. Again, notice that either method could work
equally well.

Cause and Effect Pattern Example One

I. Causes of Conflict Escalation

13. Expanding the issues

14. Personal attacks

II. Effects of these causes

15. Lose focus on original issue

16. Cycle of defensive responses
17. Win-Lose orientation
18. Negative emotions

Cause and Effect Pattern Example Two

I. Cause: Expanding the issues

19. Effect: Lose focus on original issues

20. Effect: Cycle of defensive responses

II. Cause: Personal attacks

21. Effect: Negative emotions

22. Effect: Win-Lose orientation

Problem-Solution Patterns

A problem-solution pattern divides information into two main sections,

one that describes a problem and one that describes a solution. This
pattern is typically used in persuasive writing, where the writer's general
purpose is to convince the reader to support a certain course of action.
The pattern is designed to compel the reader to make some kind of
change in opinion or behavior by establishing that a problem exists, then
providing a solution. In the problem section, the writer identifies
different aspects of the problem being discussed and offers evidence of
these problems. In the solution section, the writer identifies a potential
solution and supports the effectiveness of this solution over others.

For example, suppose a writer's stated purpose is to persuade his/her

readers to ride bicycles as their primary form of transportation. First the
writer will attempt to establish that common forms of motorized
transportation create compelling problems that require a solution. Then
he/she will show how the proposed solution - riding bikes - provides a
beneficial alternative to driving.

Problem-Solution Example

I. Problem: Motorized Transportation

23. Increasing traffic congestion

24. Increasing pollution
25. Increasing "road rage" from traffic-related stress

II. Solution: Riding Bicycles

26. Bike riding reduces the number of motorized vehicles in use

27. Bike riding is not a source of pollution
28. Bike riding has physical and psychological health benefits