Fascinating Facts

Jumps in Space and Time

Can you spot the mistake in the following paragraph?

Last week I went on a camel trek. It was a lot of fun. The Sahara desert is beautiful. This week I've been exploring the city of Algiers. The food is terrific. I bought a lot of cool things at the bazaar.

Did you spot the mistake?

That paragraph is stinks, because the writer shifted the setting of the narrative without signaling that shift by inserting a paragraph break.

The setting of the first three sentences is:

The setting of the last three sentences is:

Those two settings do not belong in the same paragraph! It's too much of a jump, with too little notice. For the reader, it's like a bump in the road, and bumpy roads make for unpleasant rides.

To smooth it out, we need to break up that paragraph, like this:

Last week I went on a camel trek. It was a lot of fun. The Sahara desert is beautiful.

This week I've been exploring the city of Algiers. The food is terrific. I bought a lot of cool things at the bazaar.

Still confused? Then go back and re-read the unit on paragraphs.

And then, as you write your own letters, take care to always follow this rule of good writing:

Whenever you make a jump in space, time, or topic, start a new paragraph!


 

 

Instructions for the Quiz

Answer the Questions.

Quiz