Title:    Using Correct Paragraph Format    

Time:    30 mins.    

Goal:     After completing this lesson, you will be able to write paragraphs using
              standard paragraph format.

Functional Objectives:  

In this lesson, you will learn to recognize and use:

   To see what you already know about formatting terms,  match the term with its correct definition:

    title: the name of a paragraph (or longer piece of writing)
    margin:  empty space around the paragraph
    indentation:  a one-inch space that marks the beginning of a new paragraph
    top line:  location of the title
    blank line:  a line with no writing on it
    header:  identifying information located at the top of the page
    footer:   organizing information located at the bottom of the page
    centered:  words located in the middle or center of a line, (not left or right aligned)

    To see if you know how to format a paragraph, choose the standard formatting options. 

    The title of the paragraph goes on line:

    A subtitle of the paragraph goes on line:

    The first sentence of the paragraph begins on line:

    The first sentence of the paragraph begins:
    at the left margin line
    in the center
    one inch from the left margin line
    one inch from the right margin line

    The left margin should be _____ from the left edge of the paper:
    one inch 
    one-half inch 
    a few spaces
    ten spaces

    The right margin should be ______ from the right edge of the paper.
    one inch 
    one-half inch 
    a few spaces
    ten spaces

    The top margin should usually be at least _______ from the top edge of the paper.
    one inch 
    one-half inch 
    a few spaces
    ten spaces

    The bottom margin should usually be at least _______ from the bottom edge of the paper.
    one inch 
    one-half inch 
    a few spaces
    ten spaces

    The correct punctuation for a title is:
    a period  (.)
    a comma (,)
    a colon    (:)

    The only time a title normally has punctuation is when it _____.
    is a sentence
    has a subtitle
    is more than five words
    needs it

    A title may have include punctuation if it ______.
    is a quotation of someone's words
    shows strong emotion
    is required by a bibliography style sheet
    all of the above

    Some important information to include in the header of a paper is:
    Student name, Date, Class, Assignment or Exercise, Page #
    Title, Subtitle, Chapter, Page #
    Professor's Name, Course Title, Level, Semester #
    Anything I want

   Choose the best title for these paragraphs.
    (should have three - five short paragraphs, easy - int - adv)

    Photos of job interview candidates--properly & improperly dressed.
    Ask question:  Who is more likely to get the job?
                          Does it matter how you dress?

    Students often carry over writing habits from their personal lives. They believe
    that writing is just putting thoughts and feelings into words, which is what we do
    when we write letters to our friends, jot down a grocery list or take quick notes.

    Students are sometimes surprised to find that academic and business writing require
    certain standards (accepted expectations).  Why are standards important?  Let's find out:

    Preview paragraphs with/without correct format.
    Which paragraph do you think will receive the higher grade?  Why?

Learning Activity #1
    Preview this paper with correct paragraph format.  Point your cursor over each of the
    numbered areas to see the vocabulary used to talk about paragraph format:

    title, indentation, margin, top line, blank line, corner, (upper-lower), (left-right), (top-bottom)

Learning Activity #2

Now that you've seen what correct paragraph format looks like, let's learn the standards for correct formatting that are expected in the academic and business worlds.

    There are three important things to learn about correct paragraph format:  title, indentation and margins.

    Here are the "rules" or standards for correct paragraph format. (show with animation?) As you hear each rule, notice the cursor pointing to each area. (OnCue)

  1.     Write the title on the top line.  The title is centered.
  2.     Indent one inch to start your paragraph.  (This means begin writing one inch from the left
        margin line.)
  3.     Use one inch margins on both the left and right sides of the paper.  

    On standard college-ruled notebook paper, the left margin line is a red line on the front of  the paper.  In the left margin area, you will have two or three "holes" which allow you to put your assignments into a notebook, binder or folder.  The holes should always be on the left side of the paper, as this indicates the "front" of the paper.   Sometimes, students who are left-handed (or whose language is written from right to left)  make the mistake of placing the holes on the right side of the paper.  They don't notice until they try to put their papers into their folders that the paragraphs are facing the wrong way!  When the holes are on the right side, you are writing on the "back" of the paper.  Remember, English is written from left to right!  The right margin line is also a red line but printed on the reverse (back) side of the paper, so you have to "remember" to stop at the right margin line.  It is less noticeable, but the right margin line is also very important because it tells you where to stop writing.

    On standard notebook paper, the top margin is usually the white space at the top of the page.  It is about one and one-half inches.  The extra one-half inch is so the writer can include a header.  In college writing, the header includes identifying information that is important for both the professor and the student.  A header usually contains the student's name and complete date in the upper right hand corner.  In the upper left-hand corner, the header usually contains a description of the assignment and/or the page of the textbook.  Sometimes, it is helpful to keep track of the type of assignment, (such as homework, classwork or test) or version (first draft, revision, final).  It's a good idea to ask your professor what information should be included in the header of your papers.

    Professors may have different styles of how they want your papers to look.  On standard notebook paper, the bottom margin is usually only one-half inch.  This is to balance the extra one-half inch at the top and also to allow you to write more information on one page.  Be sure to ask whether it's ok to write on the back of the same page, or whether you should start on a new piece of paper if you have a long paragraph.  The most important thing to remember about the bottom margin is never  write below the bottom line.  This makes your paper look too crowded.

    It helps to think of your paragraph format as a "picture frame" around your paragraph.  The correct format, like a beautiful picture frame, "shows off" your writing by making it attractive for others to read.  (Include graphic)

    It is a general rule to also use one-inch top and bottom margins when you use a word processing program.  Once you set your margins in the word processor, the program will automatically adjust your sentences to fit within the margins.  The only thing you have to remember is to continue typing your sentences until the end of your paragraph.  You press the "Enter" key at the end of each paragraph, not at the end of each line or sentence.

    Learning Activity #3
        Here is the paragraph you previewed earlier in this lesson. (graphics)
        Can you identify # problems with the paragraph format? (matching item)

Learning Activity #4
    A paragraph (or longer piece of writing) usually has a title, which is its name.
    The title gives the reader an idea of what the paragraph is about (topic) and
    should, ideally, spark the reader's interest to read the paragraph.

Rules for Writing Titles:

  1.     A title should be from one to five words (maximum) and is centered on the top line.
  2.      If the title is longer than five words, the writer usually makes a subtitle by 
         using a colon (:) after the title. The subtitle goes on the second line.
  3.     A title is a word or phrase, not a sentence.  It normally has no end punctuation.
       Some unusual situations where a title could include other kinds of punctuation are when the title is:
    •     a direct quotation of another person's words
    •     a direct quotation of the title of another article (a newspaper or magazine article)
    •     a statement of strong emotion (Never Give Up Your Dream!)
    •     formatted in a bibliography list (as required by a style sheet)
  4. A title (together with any subtitle) is always followed by a blank line.
  5. Capitalize the first and each important word (all except 1-2 letter articles, prepositions)

    Fill in the blanks with the correct term (or click/drag). (definitions)
    Multiple choice questions to choose the correct formatting options. (margins, etc.)
    Choose the best title for these paragraphs.
    What is wrong with each of these titles? (matching)