The big idea
The hamburger paragraph is not the ONLY way to write a paragraph, but, if you follow the basic idea of the hamburger paragraph, you will be sure of writing focused, clear paragraphs. That is a very, very good thing.
Before you begin
Whittle your ideas down to one clear concept that you want to get across in this paragraph. You may have other ideas that are important, but remember that you can write about them in your other paragraphs.
How to do it
Writing a hamburger paragraph is pretty easy. There are only a few things you need to remember. First, indent the first line of the whole thing about five spaces. Second, write a topic sentence that clearly indicates what the whole paragraph is going to be about. This is the top bun of the burger. Third, compose several sentences that give more information about the topic. This is the meat of the burger. Remember: don't change topics in the middle of a paragraph! That would be like a burger starting as a Big Mac and turning into a turkey sandwich; I like them both, but I don't want one when I'm looking forward to the other. Finally, write a sentence in which you restate your topic sentence. I call this the bottom burger bun. As you can see, a hamburger paragraph is pretty easy to write.
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Copyright 1996-2004 by Michael Klingensmith