Chapter 20: Writing a Paragraph: Generating Ideas Thought Lines
The first steps in the writing process are the most crucial for developing a well-written unified paragraph. These steps are called Thought Lines. Taking the time to develop and focus your ideas will ensure good writing. Ideas for writing can be developed in three basic ways: freewriting, brainstorming, and journaling. Each technique helps you generate ideas on a broad topic. Those ideas can become the specific idea you want to develop into a paragraph. Once you have generated ideas, they can be organized by grouping the ideas in your list and then labeling each group or by creating a map or cluster of related ideas. Once you have evaluated your groups of ideas, you can develop a topic sentence that reflects the point you want to make about your ideas. A topic sentence is a single sentence that conveys the main idea you want to make. Your paragraph will then use many of the details you generated through your brainstorming to support the topic sentence. A good topic sentence will be narrow enough to be thoroughly supported in a single paragraph, but not so narrow that there is not enough idea to support. A good topic sentence also isn't so broad that it can't be thoroughly supported in a single paragraph. Always remember - only one idea in each paragraph. Once you have completed these steps, the thought lines, you will be ready for the next step in the writing process-outlines.