How can I approach this topic for a paragraph of 100-150 words? "Judgments prevent people from seeing the good that lies beyond appearances "

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

First of all, in composing a paragraph of 100-150 words, the use of what is called in The Practical Writer a Stage II Paragraph Essay may be useful.  Here is the blueprint (outline) for this type of "mini-essay" contained in one paragraph:

Topic sentence

    Subtopic sentence

        Specific support

        Specific support

    Subtopic sentence

        Specific support

        Specific support

Reworded topic sentence

So, it is apparent that the topic sentence, which must be a limited subject and express a precise opinion has two parts called "subtopics." These subtopics, then, are supported with examples, narrative illustrations, statistics, etc.

Now in composing a topic sentence for the topic that is given, the student may wish to compose a statement that contains this idea.  For example, one topic sentence could be something along this line of thought:

  • Since appearances often belie the reality behind them, when people make judgments based solely upon appearances, they risk error as well as the benefit of new knowlege.

Here, then, is a limited subject and precise opinion necessary for a topic sentence.  The idea of making errors based on rash judgments is the first subtopic, and the idea of obtaining the benefit of new knowledge the second subtopic.

For supporting details, the student may make use of a narrative example of an experience of her own, or a friend's about an erroneous judgment of a person.  She can also find studies that have been conducted involving first judgments vs. having know someone for a while. Of course, literature is replete with narratives on the themes of Appearance vs. Reality. One example, is relative to the character Pip in Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. In fact, in this novel, another character, the lawyer Mr. Jaggers instructs Pip,

"Take nothing on its looks; take everything on evidence.  There's no better rule." (3.40.92)

The naive Pip, who wishes to become a gentleman, mistakes member of the aristocracy as superior to common people simply because they are in the wealthy upper class.  However, he learns that Joe Gargery, his step-father and an illiterate blacksmith, is a man of more integrity and loving kindness than any of the upper class that Pip encounters.

At any rate, there are any number of works of literature that can provide the student examples.  Following the blueprint given will provide coherence and unity to the paragraph. 

For further instruction, there are links below that may prove helpful.

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