You say you can’t write. You’re afraid you don’t have
the savvy to put your thoughts into written words.
I want to ease those fears by showing you a way to
overcome that hurdle and start your writing career today.
Bear with me as I demonstrate a writing technique of
two United States presidents. The content of the
excerpts that follow have absolutely nothing to do
with what I’m trying to show you. But the three
paragraphs when looked at sentence by sentence do have
one thing in common.
See if you can discover the similarity of each
example. Never mind the words and that they were
written by highly educated, famous men. Look only at
the structure of each paragraph.
“THE WORLD is very different now. For man holds in his
mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human
poverty and all forms of human life. And yet the same
revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought
are still at issue around the globe–the belief that
the rights of man come not from the generosity of the
state, but from the hand of God.”
John F. Kennedy Inaugural Address Friday, January 20,
“THE MONEY changers have fled from their high seats
in the temple of our civilization. We may now restore
that temple to the ancient truths. The measure of the
restoration lies in the extent to which we apply
social values more noble than mere monetary profit.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt First Inaugural Address
Saturday, March 4, 1933
Okay, what in the world am I talking about? Here’s how
to find out. Open a word processing file and do this
For each paragraph, type these headings:
“Topic Sentence” “1.” “2.”
Then copy and paste the first sentence of each passage
after the heading “Topic Sentence”. Finally, place the
second sentence after number 1 and the third sentence
after number 2.
Can you see a simple pattern developing? Notice that
each paragraph has only three sentences. The first is
the topic sentence, or the main idea, and the next two
are supporting sentences.
Now, get out a blank sheet of paper and write our
three headings, leaving a little space between them.
Then do this little exercise.
Write for your topic sentence, “I like to do these two
things in my spare time.” For number one write,”
First, I like to…” And for number two, write, “Second,
I like to…”
Finish each supporting sentence yourself. Don’t try
yet to be fancy. Just say what you like to do.
There – you have just written your first paragraph. It
won’t fit into your inaugural address so handily, but,
like the inaugural passages, it IS a complete, logical
Here’s another example. Notice the way the paragraph
flows from the topic sentence to the supporting
sentences. Both supporting sentences relate to the
Topic sentence: Here is how I love to eat apple pie.
1. First I warm a generous slice for sixty seconds in
the microwave. 2. Then I dip a large scoop of vanilla
ice cream on it and dig in.
Now that you’ve written a paragraph, on another blank
sheet of paper write three ideas for topic sentences.
Never mind whether they are complete sentences with
subjects and verbs. For now, just jot down ideas.
Next, do the same thing for your supporting sentences,
number 1 and number 2. Try to make each idea relate to
the topic idea. Work fast and save making up complete
sentences for later.
Polish up your piece by making each idea a complete
sentence, or at least a complete thought. When you’re
finished, think of a title for your article – oops,
did I say, “Article”? Practice this skill now, and
you’re on your way to writing a workable ezine
An article can be structured the same way as a
paragraph. Get your ideas assembled on blank paper.
Your first paragraph becomes the topic paragraph, and
each paragraph that follows, a supporting paragraph.
Now do me a favor. Go back through this article and
count the sentences in each paragraph. You’ll find it
is structured in three-sentence paragraphs – the very
way I’ve shown you.
In reality this technique works great in most cases.
At other times shorter or longer paragraphs will fit
better. You be the judge, as long as each supporting
sentence relates to its corresponding topic sentence.
Finally, research some ideas for an ezine article.
Write them down in a logical sequence and construct
three-sentence paragraphs. That’s all you need to
begin your writing career.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Brian Moore publishes ‘BizOps Secrets’, a complete
ezine resource for online success. AllPro BizOps, Proven Business Secrets That Work
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