The Perfect Paragraph

I am going to talk about a specific component of composition. Just as every essay has a beginning (introduction), middle (main body) and end (conclusion), every paragraph should also follow this structure. Read on to learn how to write the perfect paragraph.

A paragraph is a collection of sentences that all relate to one central topic.

Before writing, you must decide what topic you will address. Otherwise, the paragraph will lack focus and unity. Work out the main ideas and issues relating to the topic. Arrange these points into a logical order that will develop your argument in a coherent and structured way.

Rule 1: Keep one topic to each paragraph – Each paragraph should deal with a specific point or a set of related points. Paragraphs are steps in the writer’s line of argument. A new paragraph signifies to the reader that a new step in the development of the subject has been reached.

Rule 2: Begin and end the paragraph with reference to the main topic – This allows the reader to discover quickly the purpose of the paragraph, and keep it in mind when the paragraph ends.

The 3 steps

A. Write the topic sentence – this is usually the first sentence of the paragraph that outlines the main idea / thesis.

B. Explain / develop the topic – every other sentence should support the topic sentence and provide further detail relating to the topic. The main body can include facts, statistics, reference to appropriate studies and literature; any relevant material that supports your argument.

C. emphasise the main point /importance of the topic – the concluding sentence should tie everything together and reiterate the main point of your topic sentence. You can also include a transitional sentence that leads to the next topic or paragraph.

How do you know when to begin a new paragraph? If you begin to discuss a new idea, then move on to a new paragraph. I cannot emphasise this enough; a paragraph should never contain more than one central idea.

Keep these simple rules in mind when structuring your essay. Map out your intended structure before you begin writing. When finished look back over it to see if each paragraph adheres to this format. Each paragraph is a step in the development of your central argument. Writing in this manner will ensure that your line of argument holds throughout, and that the reader can clearly follow.

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