Simplicity is the key to perfection. Thought process involved around composing a perfect paragraph can be quite intimidating for many writers. However, to write a good paragraph, it’s important to inculcate the basics of paragraph writing and experiment around it. Hesitant writers should practice this craft so that their thoughts and ideas can easily be transformed into their writing. Writing is a powerful tool for communication and requires coherence and conciseness for its effectiveness on the reader. Don’t try to flower things up too much as it’ll lead to an abrupt structure of your paragraph.
It’s important to write well-formulated sentences that deliver complete meaning to your thoughts. There must be cohesiveness in the structure, so it’s easy for the reader to comprehend the meaning. A paragraph should focus solely on one complete idea. Keep it original, witty and factual, so you gain credibility amongst your readers.
How to structure your paragraph
Each paragraph should have these three basic elements to it. Mastering these will help you enhance your writing skills and engage more readers.
A topic sentence is the summary of the basic idea being presented in the paragraph. In a majority of the cases, it should be the first sentence that opens your paragraph. It can be followed up by a linking sentence that links it to the rest of the sentences. A topic sentence is the unifying force of a paragraph and helps maintain a sentence order as well. In some cases, you can link the previous paragraph to the new one hence providing some background information as well.
For example, the below sentence could be a good model for an ideal topic sentence:
“Writing a well-organised paragraph can be a challenging task for early language learners, but it can be made easy by following some simple rules and engaging in constant writing practice.”
A topic sentence is further divided into two parts: the subject and the controlling idea. The subject is basically what it is being talked about, and the controlling idea is what the writer wants the reader to understand about the subject.
So, in the above sentence, the subject is: “Writing a well-organised paragraph…” And the remaining part of the sentence can be considered as the controlling ideas, that is, writing a paragraph is challenging; it can be mastered when practised enough.
Generally, writers prefer three supporting sentences to provide details about the topic sentence. These sentences establish your point of view and can be reinforced by providing facts and relevant quotes. You can present three points in every sentence which will help you back up your thoughts quite easily.
Now, read the following supporting sentences for the topic sentence discussed above.
“The first thing is for the learner to know what goes into a paragraph, for example, a learner must know that every paragraph has a topic sentence – a statement that embodies the main idea of the paragraph. This main idea is further supported by sentences usually explaining the main idea with details and examples. It is also good to close a paragraph by restating the main idea in a way that the reader will be left to carry along the desired information.”
Three sentences all explaining, with more details, the claim made in the topic sentence. Major characteristics of a good supporting sentence include a direct connection with the main idea, instances of examples and details to back the main idea.
Closing sentence is basically a restructured topic sentence that summarises your idea presented in that particular paragraph. It isn’t always important to include the closing sentence as long as your paragraph adheres to its main idea. Therefore, it’s not quite common in academic writing.
Perhaps the sentence below can serve as a restatement of the given topic sentence, which provides a kind of wrap up for the whole paragraph.
"The last and most important thing to do to master the art of paragraph writing is, without a doubt, continues practice."
Keeping in view these essential ingredients, you can build a comprehensive paragraph. A few other elements that must be present are as follows.
Unity – It’s important that you don’t lose track of your main idea while writing your paragraph. Don’t jump from a single thought to another during your sentence. Readers don’t enjoy abrupt sentence structures and would simply get tired of reading your piece.
Order and Coherence – It’s important to prioritize your supporting sentences in order of their importance or logical organization. Order helps avoid confusion for the reader. Coherence is the key factor to grasp the reader’s attention. Without bridging sentences together, your overall gist of the paragraph will be affected. You won’t be able to communicate your thoughts properly to the audience.
As a writer, writing a well-formed complete paragraph is a skill that requires practice and commitment so don’t be hesitant to do so.
Time4writing – The Secrets to Good Paragraph Writing. Retrieved 29 September 2017, from the Web
HireWriters (2017, 10 April) How to Write a Perfect Paragraph. Retrieved 29 September 2017, from the Web
Megan Morgan (2016) WikiHow to Write a Paragraph. Retrieved 29 September 2017, from the Web
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