Writing Paragraphs

Writing paragraphs is essential when it comes to writing stories, essays, business letters or any uncluttered written piece. Being a student or a learner of the English language, you need to perfect your skills when it comes to paragraph writing.

What is a Paragraph?

Put simply, a paragraph is a bringing together of two or more sentences with the sole aim of expressing one idea or opinion. Note that even though it’s two or more sentences that are combined together, the central idea remains as one. You should not put more than a single main idea into a paragraph.

Why is writing paragraphs important?

Why use paragraphs at all? Are they really that important or helpful? The answer is a resounding yes.

When you write paragraphs, your text will be neatly divided into short,easy to grasp pieces that make your reader’s job much easier and smoother. A text with no structuring is seldom going to be read carefully even if it has having great content. Yes, content is king, but not without proper structuring and paragraphing. Have you ever come across a page of writing which looks ridiculously long, with many unconnected ideas dumped all together? How did you feel after reading it? Did you even read it completely? Writing paragraphs comes in handy here.

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What makes a Paragraph?

Now that we are on terms with the basic idea and importance of writing paragraphs, let’s see how to bring one to life.

A well-structured paragraph has three main parts:

• Topic sentence, This is the start or opening sentence.
• Middle sentence(s), which explain and support the main idea.
• End sentence, which reinforces the main idea from the topic sentence.

Topic Sentence:

This sentence will help you to state the central idea of the upcoming paragraph. It is like a signal or a hint to your readers about what’s coming up in the next few sentences. A topic sentence could be the first, second or last sentence of a paragraph, although keeping it to first is always a good idea. A topic sentence should have strong verbs and few words like “probably”, “perhaps”, “guess” etc. Your first sentence should give your clear and firm main idea.

Middle Sentence(s):

These are sometimes called "Detail Sentences." There can be more than one sentence which immediately follows the topic sentence. These sentences are mainly to support the topic sentence. They are like a base on which the topic sentence rests. Statistics, experiment results, new inventions, news, figures, facts, etc, all come under supporting sentences. Examples can be: numbers,“Four million men”, reasons, “because March to May is springtime in Seoul” or other bits of information.

End (or Concluding) Sentence:

This is the last sentence of the paragraph. This sentence does not support the main idea, but re-states it differently than the topic sentence. The first and the last sentences of a well-done paragraph mean the same thing, but are worded differently. So, it's a creative repetition at its best.

That does it. Your paragraph is ready with the three small but vital parts.

But you may want to add just one more thing. An extension or addition can be used in writing paragraphs called a “Transition Sentence”.

Transition Sentence:

Transition means change. When your writing will be going beyond the current paragraph, you can introduce or give a taste of the upcoming paragraph to your readers. Do this by ending the current paragraph with a transition sentence. It can maintain the flow and readability of your piece.

By now, you must be having an idea of how to form a well structured paragraph, what goes in to it and why you need to do it. Go ahead, try it out for yourself and see how you fare.

Happy paragraph writing!

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