Understanding the Paragraph and Paragraphing - Iain McGee

Understanding the Paragraph and Paragraphing - Iain McGee

Editor's Preface

Understanding the Paragraph and Paragraphing - Iain McGee

Martha C. Pennington [+-]
Birkbeck University of London
Martha C. Pennington (Ph.D. Linguistics, University of Pennsylvania) is Research Fellow in Applied Linguistics and Communication, Birkbeck University of London. Professor Pennington is the founding editor of the journal, Writing & Pedagogy (Equinox), and the editor of two book series, Frameworks for Writing (Equinox) and Innovation and Leadership in English Language Teaching (Brill). She has published 15 books and over 200 articles in edited collections and journals including TESOL Quarterly, Modern Language Journal, System, Journal of Second Language Writing, Language and Education, Language Culture and Curriculum, Computers and Composition, Computer Assisted Language Learning, RELC Journal, and World Englishes. Her current work centers on creativity in academic writing, effects of technology on literacy, humor and language, bilingualism, and English phonology in applied linguistics.


Understanding the Paragraph and Paragraphing is a work of wide-ranging and in-depth scholarship on the nature of the paragraph and the factors involved in making paragraphing decisions when constructing written text. Its comprehensive scope includes discussion on the origin of the paragraph and its nature as explored in centuries past and in recent work in discourse analysis and corpus linguistics, with implications drawn for pedagogy and future research. McGee profiles the work of key figures who helped to set traditional notions of the paragraph, and then turns to recent and contemporary empirical research and theorizing, including his own, on paragraph structure and on writing process activity related to paragraphing decisions. The extensive review and close analysis of sources, combined with the author’s knowledge of research traditions and methodologies, provides a strong foundation for McGee’s probing study of the paragraph and the resulting enlightened understandings of it that the book provides. Given that what the general public and indeed most teachers know about paragraphs and paragraphing does not represent actual paragraph structure or paragraphing practice, the pedagogical guidance which the author provides based on a thorough review of existing research makes this an especially useful book.

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Pennington, Martha. Editor's Preface. Understanding the Paragraph and Paragraphing. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. vii-viii Jan 2018. ISBN 9781781792872. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=33983. Date accessed: 27 Oct 2020 doi: 10.1558/equinox.33983. Jan 2018

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