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Writing Paragraphs

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❶Also, in writing a paragraph, using a consistent verb tense and point of view are important ingredients for coherency.

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Decide what the main topic of the paragraph is going to be. Before you begin writing your paragraph, you must have a clear idea of what the paragraph is going to be about. This is because a paragraph is essentially a collection of sentences that all relate to one central topic.

In order to pin down the exact topic of your paragraph, you should ask yourself a number of questions: What is the prompt I have been given?

If you are writing a paragraph as a response or answer to a particular prompt, such as "You have decided to donate money to charity. Which charity do you choose and why?

What are the main ideas or issues that I need to address? Think about the topic you are being asked or have decided to write about and consider what the most relevant ideas or issues relating to that topic are. As paragraphs are usually relatively short, it is important that you try to hit on all of the main ideas, without going off topic.

Who am I writing for? Think about who the intended readership of this paragraph or paper is going to be. What is their prior knowledge? Are they familiar with the topic at hand, or will it require a number of explanatory sentences?

If your paragraphs are part of a larger essay, writing an essay outline can help you define the major ideas or goals of each paragraph. Write down information and ideas relating to that topic. Once you have a clearer idea of what you want to address in your paragraph, you can start organizing your thoughts by writing down your ideas on a notepad or word document. There's no need to write out full sentences just yet, just jot down some key words and phrases. Once you see everything on paper, you may get a clearer idea of which points are essential to include in your paragraph, and which points are superfluous.

At this point, you may realize that there's a gap in your knowledge and that it will be necessary to look up some facts and figures to support your argument. It's a good idea to do this research now, so you will have all the relevant information easily at hand when it comes to the writing stage.

Figure out how you want to structure your paragraph. Now that all of your thoughts, ideas, facts and figures are laid out clearly in front of you, you can start to think about how you want to structure your paragraph.

Consider each of the points you wish to address and try to arrange them in a logical order - this will make your paragraph more coherent and easier to read.

Write a topic sentence. The first sentence of your paragraph needs to be the topic sentence. A topic sentence is an introductory line that addresses what the main idea or thesis of the paragraph is going to be.

It should contain the most important and relevant point you wish to make regarding your topic, thus summarizing the paragraph as a whole. Fill in the supporting details. Once you have written and are happy with your topic sentence, you can start to fill in the rest of your paragraph. This is where the detailed, well-structured notes you wrote earlier will come in handy.

Make sure that your paragraph is coherent, which means that it is easy to read and understand, that each sentence connects with the next and that everything flows nicely as a whole. To achieve this, try to write clear, simple sentences that express exactly what you want to say. Transition words can help you compare and contrast, show sequence, show cause and effect, highlight important ideas, and progress smoothly from one idea to the next. Such transition words include "furthermore", "in fact" and "in addition to".

You can also use chronological transitions, such as "firstly", "secondly" and "thirdly". Depending on the topic, you can use facts, figures, statistics and examples or you can use stories, anecdotes and quotes. Anything goes, as long as it is relevant. There is no set length for a paragraph.

It should be as long as it needs to be to adequately cover the main idea. Write a concluding sentence. The concluding sentence of your paragraph should tie everything together.

A good concluding sentence will reinforce the idea outlined in your topic sentence, but now it has all the weight of the evidence or arguments contained in your supporting sentences behind it. After reading the concluding sentence, the reader should have no doubt as to the accuracy or relevance of the paragraph as a whole. Don't disagree with your own evidence: Despite these comments, the report was a failure.

Do qualify the conclusion if it transitions to the next paragraph: These quotes prove the report had major support, but this does not mean it led to major change. Know when to move on to a new paragraph. Sometimes it can be difficult to tell where one paragraph should end and another begin. Luckily, there are a number of guidelines you can follow which can make the decision to move on to a new paragraph an obvious one. The most basic guideline to follow is that every time you start to discuss a new idea, you should move on to a new paragraph.

Paragraphs should never contain more than one central idea. If a given idea has multiple points or facets, then each individual aspect of the idea should be given its own paragraph. For example, if your topic is "should civil servants receive lower salaries?

If you feel that the paragraph you are writing is becoming too complex, or contains a series of complex points, you may want to think about splitting it up into individual paragraphs. The introductory paragraph should define the aim of the paper and what it hopes to achieve, while also giving a brief outline of the ideas and issues it will go on to discuss. It may also introduce a new idea, one that opens the reader's mind to the questions raised by the paper.

Check your paragraph for spelling and grammar. Once you have finished writing, it is essential that you re-read your paragraph two or three times to check it for misspelled words and poor grammar. Spelling mistakes and bad grammar can significantly impact the perceived quality of your paragraph, even if the ideas and arguments it contains are of a high quality.

It is very easy to overlook small mistakes when writing, so don't skip this step, even if you're in a rush. Ensure that each sentence has a subject and that all proper nouns are capitalized. A conclusion may restate the claim in the topic sentence, but now it has all the supporting details behind it. Using transitional words between sentences builds the unity and coherence of paragraphs.

Transitional words like next, similarly, or for instance make sentences flow together, showing how supporting details build on each other and relate to the topic. Creating this flow with transitional words builds the paragraph up to a strong concluding sentence. Unity and coherence makes the entire paragraph effective.

Because there are three paragraph types: Narrative paragraphs tell about a scene or event, descriptive paragraphs give vivid descriptions of one subject, and expository paragraphs provide information. These three paragraph types are powerful tools for writers. Does each part flow logically? Does the research you included fully support the topic argument?

If needed, edit the wording and context to make the paragraph the best it can be. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Already answered Not a question Bad question Other.

Don't introduce any new points to the Link that weren't previously discussed in the paragraph. Writing Paragraphs Print Edit Send fan mail to authors. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 4, times. Did this article help you? Cookies make wikiHow better. By continuing to use our site, you agree to our cookie policy.


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Before writing a paragraph, it is important to think first about the topic and then what you want to say about the topic. Most often, the topic is easy, but the question then turns to what you want to say about the topic. This concept is sometimes called the controlling idea.

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A paragraph is defined as “a group of sentences or a single sentence that forms a unit” (Lunsford and Connors ). Length and appearance do not determine whether a section in a paper is a paragraph. For instance, in some styles of writing, particularly journalistic styles, a .

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How to Write Paragraphs. In order to write a good paragraph, students need to understand the four essential elements of paragraph writing and how each element contributes to the whole. The four elements essential to good paragraph writing are: unity, order, coherence, and completeness. Aug 24,  · How to Write a Paragraph. Four Parts: Planning Your Paragraph Writing Your Paragraph Reviewing Your Paragraph Paragraph Help Community Q&A. The practice of writing paragraphs is essential to good writing. Paragraphs help to break up large chunks of text and makes the content easier for readers to digest%().

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Writing Paragraphs In writing, students begin by learning letters, then words, and finally sentences. In time, students learn how to write a paragraph by taking those sentences and organizing them around a . Parts of a Paragraph Topic Sentence. Supporting Details. Closing Sentence: How to Write a Paragraph Prewriting Paragraphs. Writing Paragraphs. Editing Paragraphs.