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Sample Paragraphs + Essay Standards

9th Grade Foundations

• Directions on how to write different types of paragraphs.

• Examples of intro, body, and conclusion paragraphs.

Task: Your Thesis Statement
Take a moment to draft your thesis statement, be sure
to include:
• Your claim about your topic.
• Reason(s) to support your claim.
• We should/should not use GMOs in our food because…
• College athletes should/should not be paid because…
• Zoos are/are not good for animals because…
• Voting should/should not be mandatory in the U.S because
• Sugar should/should not be regulated because…
Mini-Lesson: Introduction Paragraphs
What should be included in an intro paragraph?
– Hook  A captivating opener that “hooks” your
reader in and get’s them interested in reading your

– Background information  Any pertinent info that

your reader needs to understand your essay fully.

– Thesis statement  Your main claim + reasoning,

what perspective your essay will defend.
MODEL: Introduction Paragraph
Hook + Background Information + Thesis
Imagine being able to go to the real life Jurassic Park,
seeing creatures like tyrannosauruses and pterodactyls before
your eyes. Even though dinosaurs have been extinct for over 65
million years, this scenario may not be as impossible as it
sounds. Scientists are working on using biotechnology to clone
extinct species using preserved DNA samples. With this
technology, extinct creatures could be brought back to life in
our modern world. As interesting as this idea sounds, extinct
species of animals should not be brought back into existence
because we do not have proper habitats for extinct animals, it
is financially risky and reintroduction of extinct species could
destroy established ecosystems.
Mini-Lesson: Body Paragraphs
What should be included in a body paragraph?
• Body paragraphs should follow TE/EA format!
–Topic Sentence
Task: Outlining Your Essay
THESIS: Extinct species of animals should not be brought back into existence because we do not have proper habitats for
extinct animals, it is financially risky and reintroduction of extinct species could destroy established ecosystems.

Body Paragraph #1 Body Paragraph #2 Body Paragraph #3

Topic sentence: If scientists bring back Topic sentence: De-extinction is not a Topic sentence: Finally, bringing back
extinct species the new creatures will wise financial move for scientists and extinct creatures and reintroducing
not have safe, appropriate habitats to governments to make. them could ruin stable ecosystems.
live in.

Evidence 1: “The vast forests the Evidence 1: “efforts to bring back Evidence 1: “resurrected, previously
pigeons required are partly gone and species are a colossal waste” (Text 2, benign organisms could become pests
badly fragmented at best” (Text 4, Line Line 26) in new environments” (Text 4, Line 24)

Evidence 2: “a resurrected [animal] will Evidence 2: “the financial costs of de- Evidence 2: “it is important that we
need a safe home, not just its food extinction is heavy…resources would address the causes of extinction…and
plants…where do we put them?” (Text be better used for conservation” not divert resources from efforts to
2, Lines 18-20) (Moynihan 3) conserve currently existing species”
(Text 1, Lines 34-36)
MODEL: Body Paragraph
Topic Sentence + Evidence (x2) + Explanation + Analysis
If scientists bring back extinct species the new creatures will not
have safe, appropriate habitats to live in. Take for example the extinct
carrier pigeon; we know that “The vast forests the pigeons required are
partly gone and badly fragmented at best” (Text 4, Line 16-17). If the
pigeon was brought back from extinction it would essentially have no
place to live. We must recognize that “a resurrected [animal] will need a
safe home” (Text 2, Lines 18-20) to live in and we cannot expect to
magically find all of the space to safely place these animals. While it may
seem like a great idea, when thinking it through it becomes clear that
bringing back an extinct species is a bigger task that it may initially
seem. All of these new animals will need food and shelter to survive,
and that is something that our world can not sustain at the moment.
Mini-Lesson: Counterclaim + Rebuttal
• Do NOT undermine your claim!!!
– NO: Macbeth’s soliloquy had a bigger impact on the
– YES: Others may argue that Macbeth’s soliloquy has a
stronger emotional foundation.
• Be sure to provide a rebuttal (prove the other
argument wrong).
– The first piece of evidence appears to support the
– The second piece of evidence is your rebuttal.
Mini-Lesson: The Counterclaim
Be on the safe side! Use a counter claim sentence
stem to start off your paragraph.
CC¶ Sentence Stems
• Some people think…
• Others may believe…
• It may seem that…
• Others argue…
• Another perspective is…
• It is easy to think that…but when you look at the facts…
• It may be true that…however…
MODEL: Counterclaim
Topic Sentence + Explanation + Evidence + Analysis
Some may argue that Macbeth’s soliloquy is more emotionally
daunting because he makes his speech right after hearing about the
death of his wife. Macbeth says “life’s but a walking shadow…That struts
and frets his hour upon the stage (Act 5, Sc 5) to demonstrate that life is
brief and filled with worry and distress. As a result, the audience feels
sympathy for him and his loss. However, Hamlet expresses a similar
sentiment when he states that in life we must “suffer the slings and
arrows of outrageous fortune” (Act 3, Sc 1). Meaning that we cannot
prevent life from hitting us with hardships. Although Macbeth is in
distress, he tries to defer his sadness by saying that life is short and
unpleasant no matter what we do. Instead of rationalizing, Hamlet really
sits with the notion that life is stressful and wonders if there is any way to
“fix” the situation. Of course, Hamlet’s solution is death, and this intense
choice is one that the audience can truly relate to.
Mini-Lesson: The Conclusion Paragraph
What needs to be included in a conclusion paragraph?
• Restate your thesis statement.
 Do NOT just copy and paste your exact thesis!
• Summarize the sub-points of your essay.
 Review the ideas from your topic sentences.
• Leave the reader with an interesting or striking
 Why does any of this matter anyway? What is the
bigger reason why the reader should care?
 Leave the reading nodding in agreement and
feeling glad he/she took the time to read your essay.
MODEL: Conclusion Paragraph
Restate thesis + Recap arguments + Final Impression
When we consider the many ways in which bringing
back extinct animals can harm our world, it is clear that we
should not attempt such a feat. The expense, the lacks of
appropriate habitats and the potential to destroy established
ecosystems are concerns that outweigh any potential benefits
of de-extinction. While the issues of preservation and
extinction are subjects that human beings need to be
responsible for, the solution is not in trying to go back and fix
our mistakes, but in looking towards the future to create a
better world for the species we can still protect and save.
Instead of moving back, it is our job to move forward.
Info on common mistakes and issues in argumentative
essays, and how to fix them!
Mini-Lesson: Essay Standards
Do not use words like “I”, “me”, and “my”
• NO: I think that voting should be mandatory.
• NO: My evidence shows that…
• YES: is unethical to experiment on people without
their consent
Mini-Lesson: Essay Standards
• Need in-text parenthetical citations AFTER a
quote. It is not enough to say the text #.
• NO: According to Text 2 “sugar is a toxin.”
• YES: According to Text 2, “sugar is a toxin” (Lines
• YES: Considering that “sugar is a toxin” (Text 2,
Lines 11-12) consumers should be concerned
about consuming it.
Mini-Lesson: Essay Standards
• Your topic sentence cannot be a question or
general information!
• NO: Why would anyone eat GMOs anyway?
• NO: GMOs are genetically modified organisms.
• YES: One reason GMOs should be avoided is
• Your essay is an ARGUMENT, it is not meant to
just give information!
Mini-Lesson: Essay Standards
Be SPECIFIC. Avoid vague statements that do
not actually give any information
• Ex: “This has a big effect on many people’s lives” 
WHAT is the effect?
• Ex: “This ruins our safety”  HOW does it ruin our
• Ex: “This is a terrible thing that we should avoid” 
WHY is it terrible?
Mini-Lesson: Contextualizing
When using direct evidence, you must ALWAYS introduce your
evidence with CONTEXT. Presume that anyone who is reading your
work has no background knowledge about the topic.
Textual evidence cannot stand NO  YES 
on its own as a sentence nor College athletes should not be paid College athletes should not be paid
can a sentence begin with because money is the root of all evil. because money is the root of all evil,
evidence “NCAA founders make $500 million a although the “NCAA founders make
season” (Text 3, Line 43) $500 million a season” (Text 3, Line

If you mention a person, NO  YES 

event, or idea in your According to Text 4, “George Lewis George Lewis, an acclaimed
evidence, you must explain believes that mandatory voting politician, “believes that mandatory
what it means/who they are will…” voting…”
for your reader!
Mini-Lesson: Contextualizing
When you use pronouns (such NO  YES 
as “it”, “they”, “he”, “she”) or “The last reason is because it The last reason why sugar
refer to something, make it
clear who/what you are talking
could be unsafe. For example should be regulated is because
about. the text states…” sugar can be unsafe to
consume. For example, Text 3
The reader should NOT have NO  YES 
any questions about anything This shows that it can be This shows that sugar can harm
when reading your work. Be
sure you are explaining the
unsafe for people around the our health by making us more
WHY and the HOW for any world. susceptible to diabetes and
claim you make. obesity.