Book: Understanding the Paragraph and Paragraphing
Chapter: Teaching and Learning Paragraphing (I): The Late 19th Century
In this chapter, an overview and critical analysis of the work of 19th century educators and rhetoricians on paragraphing is provided. The author focuses on the terminology employed by these scholars (specifically unity, mass, and coherence, and variants of these) and documents how these terms have been variously understood and applied. Criticism of the value of terminology is considered alongside arguments in favor of using terminology to help learner-writers in both process and product approaches to teaching and understanding paragraphing. A number of overlooked aspects of paragraph thought from this era are also brought to light, and the implications of the selective filtering of this scholarship for future generations are considered.