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Teacher Tips and Answers

Revising Classification Essays

Finishing the first draft of an essay is an important milestone, but a first draft isn't a final draft. Next, you need to revise, making improvements to the ideas, organization, and voice of your work. These activities will help you improve the unity and coherence of your paragraphs.

Revising for Paragraph Unity

Focusing on one idea in a paragraph is called unity. For example, the sentences in each paragraph in your essay should focus on the category mentioned in the paragraph’s topic sentence. A paragraph lacks unity when it includes ideas that do not relate to its topic sentence. In the example paragraph below, the topic sentence is in bold type, and an unrelated idea is deleted.

Percussion instruments provide rhythm and many of the interesting sounds you hear during musical performances. Percussionists make sounds by striking, shaking, or scraping their instruments. Drums, cymbals, xylophones, and maracas are examples of percussion instruments. Surprisingly, the piano is a percussion instrument, too. Another keyboard instrument is the pipe organ, but sound on a pipe organ is made when air goes through pipes. The percussion section in an orchestra varies in size depending on the requirements of the music that is being performed.

Create paragraph unity.

Read the passages below. If every sentence belongs, write “U” for unity on the line provided. If a passage lacks unity, cross out the sentence that does not belong. Make a copy of this Google doc or download a Word template.

  1. Poison ivy is an enemy of campers and other nature lovers. It contains an oil that irritates the skin. The oil gets onto the skin when the plant’s leaf is crushed. Walking through or on top of poison ivy can release the oil. You can easily recognize poison ivy because it usually grows as a vine and has compound leaves made up of three leaflets each. Poison sumac is also a problem for campers. Poison ivy is an enemy of campers and other nature lovers. It contains an oil that irritates the skin. The oil gets onto the skin when the plant’s leaf is crushed. Walking through or on top of poison ivy can release the oil. You can easily recognize poison ivy because it usually grows as a vine and has compound leaves made up of three leaflets each. Poison sumac is also a problem for campers.

     

This lesson is a part of the Writing Classification Essays unit.

Click the title to view more information about this unit and a full list of lessons that are included.

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