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Chapter 7. Paragraphs Plus > Sweet Endings: Concluding Sentences - Pg. 78

Paragraphs Plus 78 · Restate the main idea, as in: "In these ways, we can all help preserve the wombat from extinc- tion." · State a decision, as in: "Tomorrow isn't soon enough; I intend to start dealing with the national debt today." · Give your opinion, as in: "To err is human. To eat a muskrat is not." · Call for action, as in: "Early to bed and early to rise is first in the bathroom." · Use a transitional word that shows the paragraph is over, such as in conclusion, to conclude, to summarize, ultimately, finally, at the end. This is especially effective since it's the literary equiv- alent of your father putting on his pajamas at midnight to show that the party's over. (Hey, it always worked at our house.) Word Watch The poetical equivalent of a paragraph is called a stanza. These techniques are covered in greater detail in Chapter 10, where you'll learn how to write com- plete essays, one paragraph at a time. The following passage has an especially effective concluding sentence because it not only sums up the point of the paragraph but also ends on an appropriate tone for its purpose and audience. Most natural hazards can be detected before their threat matures. But seisms (from the Greek seismos, meaning "earthquake") have no known precursors, so they come without warning, like the vengeance of an ancient warrior. For this reason, they continue to kill in some areas at a level usually reserved for wars and epidemics--the 11,000 dead in northeastern Iran died on August 31, 1968, not in the ancient past. Nor is the horror of the lethal earthquake completed with the heavy death toll. The homeless living are left to cope with fire, looting, pestilence, fear, and the burden of rebuilding what the planet so easily shrugs away. The Least You Need to Know · A paragraph is a group of sentences that all relate to a single main idea or central point. · In expository or persuasive documents, a paragraph includes a topic sentence (stated or implied), sup- porting sentences (details), and a concluding sentence. · The topic sentence can be a reworking of a question you have been given, a statement of purpose, or a sentence containing statistics. It can be placed at the beginning, middle, or end of the paragraph. · Supporting details prove the assertion made in the topic sentence. · Your concluding sentence can restate the main idea, state a decision, call for action, or use a transitional word that shows the paragraph is over.