Is a paragraph a collection of generalities?  

Expert Answers
price7781 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

No, a paragraph should not be a combination of sentences with generalities but should have very specific examples to support the topic sentence.  By being specific in your examples and analysis of those examples, you become a more believable, credible writer.  Use direct quotes, facts, or specific details that show your knowledge of the text you are evaluating.  This will help you with your discussion and analysis of the examples.  

Here's an example of a general example vs. a specific example.

  • When Huck Finn didn't like things, he ran away.
  • When Huck Finn was adopted by the Widow Douglas, she attempted to "sivilize" Huck by making him go to school and church.  She made him dress up in fancy clothes that felt "scratchy" all over.  When he had enough of the Widow Douglas' attempt to change him, Huck would "light out" to the woods where he would feel free to be himself.  

Note that in the specific example, I used names, words, and knowledge of the theme of the story to prove my point.  (Yes, Huck spelled civilized, "sivilized".)  Always be as specific as you can when writing.  Your reader will be able to understand and follow your ideas better, and you will present yourself as a trustworthy, credible writer.