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Unity

Writing has unity when the supporting sentences all work together to support the topic sentences. Paragraphs that lack unity are confusing to the reader because some ideas do not seem to belong.

Compare the examples below. The first paragraph has poor unity because there are sentences that do not support the topic sentence. The topic sentence is about how to get a driver's license.

Example: Paragraph (Poor Unity)

There are many steps you need to complete in order to receive a driver’s license. First, you need to prepare your birth certificate to register for a driving exam. This is one of the required documents that you need to show. My sister forgot to bring hers when she went to register. She waited in line for over an hour, but could not register for an exam when it was her turn because she did not bring her birth certificate. Second, you need to become 16 years old to obtain the driver’s license. In some states you can get a permit before you are 16, but the permit requires that you always drive with an adult in the car. Third, you go to driving school. You may take classes in high school, from your parents, or pay a private business to teach you. Fourth, you must practice driving. There is a required amount of time that you must practice driving before taking the exam. I practiced with my mom because my dad did not want to drive with me. He said that I drove too quickly and that he was afraid for his life every time he got in the car with me. Fifth, you pay to take the final practice exams. There is usually a written and driving exam. You must pass both of these to obtain your license. Finally, once you have successfully completed all of the previous steps, you obtain a driver’s license. It is a long process, but being able to drive is definitely a skill worth learning!

Example: Paragraph (Revised for Unity)

There are many steps you need to complete in order to receive a driver’s license. First, you need to prepare your birth certificate to register for a driving exam. This is one of the required documents that you need to show. My sister forgot to bring hers when she went to register. She waited in line for over an hour, but could not register for an exam when it was her turn because she did not bring her birth certificate. Second, you need to become 16 years old to obtain the driver’s license. In some states you can get a permit before you are 16, but the permit requires that you always drive with an adult in the car. Third, you go to driving school. You may take classes in high school, from your parents, or pay a private business to teach you. Fourth, you must practice driving. There is a required amount of time that you must practice driving before taking the exam. I practiced with my mom because my dad did not want to drive with me. He said that I drove too quickly and that he was afraid for his life every time he got in the car with me. Fifth, you pay to take the final practice exams. There is usually a written and driving exam. You must pass both of these to obtain your license. Finally, once you have successfully completed all of the previous steps, you obtain a driver’s license. It is a long process, but being able to drive is definitely a skill worth learning!

1 EXERCISE: Evaluate unity

Read the paragraphs. Are the paragraphs unified? Why or why not? With a partner, make any necessary changes.

  1. The perfect place to relax is nature. I love nature. It is green and quiet. When I go to a forest, nature, I feel amazing. There are no people, no voices, and it is peaceful. In other words, I love and feel very comfortable with nobody else around. However, I know that some people like noise and they may prefer to be with people in nature. They may feel better and good around people but not me. Imagine a place where there is a river, some beautiful trees, and a place to sit on the ground and look at the birds. The birds’ songs travel from the sky to the ground and the silence of everything else fills your spirit. What else would you want? Everybody likes to feel peace. Peace comes in the quiet of nature.
  2. Cellphones are tools that will help students in class. They can be useful for some students to research information about a topic of which they have no idea. At the same time, cellphones are useful for international students who need to translate some foreign words or explanations in their native language. We are in the twenty-first century, so technology should be used by students in class. This will help teachers to cover their curriculum easier and faster. Cellphones are one of the best tools of technology and are helpful and useful for students in class.
  3. Comedies are one of the most famous types of television shows. Many people are used to watching different types of shows of different levels of maturity. On the TV, when listing the show, it warns viewers of mature content and recommends an acceptable age of viewer. For example, there are shows targeted for children and adults. However, some programs are also suitable for every age like “Drake and Josh,” a famous TV show that follows a family with a lot of problems. In addition, cartoon programs are another famous type of TV show. Many children like to watch cartoons because they are written for them and their interests. Some of these programs include “The Coyote” or “Bugs Bunny”. These are old TV shows that have been transmitted worldwide to children for many years. For these reasons, comedies and cartoons are some of the most successful TV types in the world.