Sunday, April 17, 2011

Paragraf - Apa Sih?

A paragraph is a group of sentences telling about one topic. Begitulah makna paragraf yang diungkapkan oleh beberapa pakar Bahasa. Untuk memperjelasnya, coba lihat dua paragraf tentang Lance Amstrong di bawah ini:

From an early age, Lance Armstrong demonstrated superior athletic ability and a competitive streak. These qualities helped him win the Kids Triathlon at age 13 and, at age 16, become a professional triathlete. The cycling part of the triathlon became his focus, and he devoted his life to professional cycling. In that sport he has excelled as national and world champion, as Olympian, and as record-tying five-time winner of the Tour de France. He is surely one of the all-time great cyclists.

His path, however, has not been without obstacles and pain. In October 1996, he discovered that he had testicular cancer that had advanced and spread to his brain and lungs. The determination that had carried him through win after win in cycling now kicked in to help him combat the deadly disease. And combat he did. After surgery and chemotherapy, Lance became a cancer survivor. Profoundly affected by his battle for life, he dedicated himself to becoming a spokesperson for cancer awareness and survivorship.

Question: Why does a new paragraph begin with the sentence “His path, however, has not been without obstacles and pain”?

Answer: This is a new topic.

“The first paragraph deals with Lance’s achievement in cycling. All sentences in this paragraph deal with this topic. The second paragraph moves on to another topic: Lance’s battle with and victory over cancer. All sentences in this paragraph deal with this topic. Note that the beginning of a paragraph is indented; that is, the first word is moved a short space to the right of the margin.”

Paragraf pertama mengacu pada prestasi Lance Amstrond dalam balapan sepeda. Semua kalimat dalam paragraf ini mengacu pada topik tersebut.

Paragraf kedua berganti ke topik lain: Yaitu pertarungan Lance Amstrong dengan Kanker, semua kalimat di paragraf ini mengacu pada topik tersebut.

Yang harus diingat adalah kita harus meng-indent / menjorokkan kata pertama ke kanan dari margin sebuah paragraf.

Summary: A paragraph is a group of sentences telling about one topic. When you come to a new topic, begin a new paragraph. Remember to indent when you start a paragraph.

Kesimpulan: Paragraf  adalah kumpulan kalimat yang menceritakan tentang satu topik. Ketika kamu membuat topik baru, maka mulailah dengan paragraf baru. Jangan lupa menjorokkan kata pertama ketika memulai sebuah paragraf.

Panjang Paragraf

How long should a paragraph be? Quite simply, it should be as long as it needs to be. A paragraph that is developing a topic does not consist of a predetermined number of sentences. However, very long paragraphs (say, a page long) often seem forbidding to the reader. Very short ones—one or two sentences—may be used, but only with care. Sometimes the one-sentence paragraph can make a point dramatically. A series of one-sentence paragraphs, though, makes your writing disjointed and leaves the reader with the impression that you have not developed your subject.

Seberapa panjang harusnya paragraf itu? Cukup mudah, paragraph seharusnya sepanjang yang dibutuhkan.  Paragraf yang mengembangkan sebuah topik tidak membutuhkan banyak kalimat. Akan tetapi, paragraf yang sangat panjang sering nampak tak bersahabat dengan pembaca. Paragraf dengan kalimat yang sedikit—satu atau dua kalimat—bisa digunakan sebagai gantinya, namun harus hati-hati. Kadang paragraf yang berisi satu kalimat dapat merujuk langsung ke tema secara dramatis. Meskipun demikian, kumpulan paragraf yang berisi satu kalimat membuat tulisan anda tidak nyambung dan membuat pembaca menganggap anda tidak bisa mengembangkan paragraf.

Diadaptasi dari tulisan Boehme (2004: 232-233).

Boehme, Bonnie. 2004. Grammar & Usage for Better Writing. New York: Amsco School Publication.

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