Posted by: nancyisanders | October 3, 2013

Highlights: Dissect Your Target Article


Pretty scary picture, isn’t it? And what is it?! It’s a photo of a gigantic earthworm my husband and I dissected!

I loved dissecting in high school, but haven’t done it since, and my husband never got to dissect, so just for kicks, we invited some family members over to have some fun dissecting worms, frogs, and fetal pigs. We’ve done the worms and frogs already and are getting ready to tackle the pigs. Pretty cool, huh?

Well, get ready to get out your scalpels and T-pins ’cause it’s time to dissect your target article!

I found out my target article has 4 sections.
I plan to write my article in 4 sections.
How many sections does your article have?
Plan to write your article in that many.

I found out there are 3 paragraphs in each section of my target article.
I plan to write 3 paragraphs in each section of my article.
How many paragraphs are in each section of your target article?
Plan to do the same.

My target article is a biography. Here’s what the four sections were all about:

Section 1: Started the article with a declarative sentence as the first sentence claiming an interesting fact about this person that was part of his claim to fame. The second sentence was a quote. Every paragraph in this section supported the main topic and told all about the title.

Section 2: Told several anecdotes about the subject’s childhood and tied them into the main topic/title. An anecdote is a little story. In this article, some of these stories were just one sentence long! Here’s an example of an anecdote:

When Abraham Lincoln was a young boy, one day he played a joke on his stepmother by standing on his hands and walking white footprints across the ceiling.

Section 3: Told several anecdotes about how the subject became famous, tying these into the main topic/title.

Section 4: Told a couple of anecdotes about when he was famous, tying these into the main topic/title.

Final paragraph: Ended very inspirational with an interesting list of this person’s famous accomplishments.

Further dissection reveals the following:
Each paragraph has an opening sentence that introduces a fact about the person. This fact is a subtopic of the main topic. This sentence is followed by 2 or 3 sentences in the paragraph that provides more details about that subtopic.

This is standard format for most nonfiction articles, so we want to be sure to follow this format when we write ours.

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