Schaffer Example

Below are two Schaffer-model paragraphs students wrote together as a class. The legend at right is for the abbreviations at the beginnings of sentences.

Example One
  1. Topic Sentence (TS)
  2. Concrete Detail 1 (CD 1)
  3. Commentary (CM 1A)
  4. Commentary (CM 1B)
  5. Concrete Detail 2 (CD 2)
  6. Commentary (CM 2A)
  7. Commentary (CM 2B)
  8. Concrete Detail 3 (CD 3)
  9. Commentary (CM 3A)
  10. Commentary (CM 3B)
  11. Concluding Sentence (CS)

TSSchool lunch at Beck can be gross. CD1For example, I got a piece of cold, slimy pizza the other day. CM1AThe cheese was falling off the pizza. CM1BI absolutely didn’t want to eat it. CD2Another reason lunch is gross is the milk, which is sometimes lumpy and chunky. CM2AWhen you open the milk, it stinks to high heaven. CM2BSometimes, it even looks like butter! CD3Finally, the chili can be so greasy that you see the grease floating. CM3AThere’s no way to eat it like that. CM3BYou have to strain it. CSFrom these examples, it’s clear school lunch can be nasty.

Example Two
  1. Topic Sentence (TS)
  2. Concrete Detail 1 (CD 1)
  3. Commentary (CM 1A)
  4. Commentary (CM 1B)
  5. Concrete Detail 2 (CD 2)
  6. Commentary (CM 2A)
  7. Commentary (CM 2B)
  8. Concrete Detail 3 (CD 3)
  9. Commentary (CM 3A)
  10. Commentary (CM 3B)
  11. Concluding Sentence (CS)

TSAlthough I generally don’t like it, cafeteria food can sometimes be quite good. CD1To begin with, their fries are tasty. CM1AThey’re good and salty like fries should be. CM1BIf you’re lucky enough to be at the end of the line, you could get some really fresh, crunchy fries as well. CD2The best cafeteria food is during Thanksgiving, when they make turkey and ham. CM2AThe turkey is tender and juicy; CM2Bthe ham tastes just like my grandmother’s. CD3Finally, there’s nothing better than baked spaghetti, and the cafeteria makes this perfectly. CM3AThe cheese on top is at least half a mile thick, and the sauce is better than my mom’s! CM3BThat’s saying a lot, because my mom is Italian. CSSo while you might not take your date there, the cafeteria can cook some tasty meals!

6 Comments


  1. great formula in finishing a complete paragarph


  2. It’s incredibly useful: it produces solidly organized paragraphs, and it does so very quickly. I’ve been sold for some years.


  3. I just want to say that I LOVE your “comment policy.” Wish this were on EVERY website.
    Thank you.


  4. Ummmm thanks but this did not help (I say this with repect)


  5. I’m sorry to hear that. Hopefully you’ll find something more useful. You might want to do a search on mechanics and punctuation while you’re at it.


  6. Thank you this paragraph helped me a lot:)

Please let me know how I can help you.