How to Write a Paragraph

Paragraph writing remains one of the most important parts of writing. The paragraph serves as a container for each of the ideas of an essay or other piece of writing. Paragraphs are versatile and can take many forms that strengthen your writing, provide variety for readers, and help readers to organize the ideas you present.

Paragraph Length in a Piece of Writing
While it is true that a paragraph may be of any length, it is most common for an essay paragraph to be at least 3-5 sentences long and to be no longer than half a typed, double-spaced page. Journalism paragraphs (newspapers and magazines) tend to be 1-3 sentences long. Some paragraphs in books, especially technical treatises, might go on for several printed pages. No matter what length an individual paragraph, most good writing varies paragraph length within any one piece of writing. If there are a few short paragraphs, then a longer one usually comes along. If there are one or two long paragraphs, usually a short paragraph or two will intervene to give the reader a short break in concentration.

Use Paragraphs to Break Up Ideas
A paragraph is the container for only one idea. Often, a longer paragraph can - and should - be divided into smaller units. Usually a large, complex idea is made up of smaller ideas and can be explained in more paragraphs with those smaller ideas. The point, though, is to have one coherent paragraph - all of the ideas in each sentence of the paragraph must relate to a single main point. That point is most often made in a topic sentence.

Topic Sentences in Paragraphs
A topic sentence gives the main idea of a paragraph. It usually occurs as the first or last sentence of the paragraph. Some paragraphs will not have a topic sentence, if the main point is obvious. Others might place the topic sentence slightly differently. Occasionally, as in this paragraph, the topic sentence might begin the paragraph but be restated in a different way at the end. That is to say, most writers put the topic sentence of a paragraph at the beginning or the end or both.

Grammar in Paragraphs
Every sentence in a paragraph must be grammatically correct, in so much as that grammar aids in understanding the ideas that the writer would like to convey. The topic sentence, in particular, must be very well written and very clear to readers. Of course, WhiteSmoke's grammar checker can be employed here to pick up any errors. The WhiteSmoke free online grammar checker could even be used if you just need to check your writing very occasionally.

Types of Paragraphs
Most writing has an introductory paragraph or an introduction of a few paragraphs, and a conclusion of a few paragraphs or concluding paragraph. The introduction and conclusion are, of course, supported by body paragraphs. The typical body paragraph develops, supports, or elaborates a given topic sentence. Most paragraph structures longer than 1-2 sentences have common elements. For example, expository paragraphs have three important elements common to most paragraphs: flow, or unity (a clear connection to the rest of the essay and placed in a sensible way

in fact. group or collection of sentences. but the differences are still important. Though a paragraph forms a part of a longer composition. and coherence (each sentence clearly relates to the previous and next sentence in an understandable and sensible manner). a stepping-stone to essay-writing. what the principles of its structure are and what essentials or characteristics distinguish it. Coherence in a narrative paragraph usually comes from the chronological order of the "story" or narrative. However. middle and an end. Persuasive paragraphs focus on developing a strong argument that would convince someone who disagrees with the writer's position. it is selfsufficient and complete in itself and it can be read and understood quite independently The student must remember that when he is asked to write a paragraph on a given idea. he has to wind up his observations in a proper and satisfactory manner. it has a separate entity. It deals with one main idea. you will soon be writing powerfully. a division of some theme or subject or one single topic Biscay. in that an essay consists of many paragraphs. 2.narrative and descriptive . Since the impact of a paragraph depends on the language and expression. which are inter-connected by their thematic content each paragraph of an essay deals with one distinct aspect of the given subject. Regular practice patience and perseverance will help him acquire the requisite skill and confidence in writing paragraph. . and coherence in your paragraphs. These two types of paragraph .among the other paragraphs. while in a paragraph the thread of the main argument or standpoint is never lost and deviations or digressions from it are not allowed. the student must learn the basics of a good. With some attention to flow. idiomatic and effective language and must constantly try to improve his expression. His paragraph must have a beginning. It is an essay in miniature. what is different or special about it? The student can make his paragraph special and different by being original and innovative and by leaving his distinct imprint on it. He should also be aware of the pitfalls which he has to avoid and the useful hints which he has to follow. 1. logically arranged and properly inter-linked and interconnected. a descriptive paragraph might find its development through giving a series of sensory details or of abstract ideas that describe an object (or concept or theory). In an essay the subject in discussed at length and from various points of view. a distinct aspect. development. Similarly. development (detailed. a paragraph forms an integral part of a longer composition.differ only slightly in these respects from expository paragraphs. Paragraph Defined: A paragraph is a passage or a set. specific support or elaboration of the main idea). rather than through support. If the paragraph he has written looks like any other paragraph. and knows how to proceed with writing it. with unity of purpose. Paragraph-writing is. topic or theme. Narrative paragraphs have similar features of flow (or unity) and coherence. Introduction: Paragraph-writing is an art and this art can be learnt only if the student takes it up seriously. He cannot conclude it abruptly. understands what a paragraph precisely means. For this however he will have to make a conscious effort. he is expected to write a complete unit independent of all other thought-processes. the development might be more related to the action or events narrated in the paragraph than to supporting an argument.

sentences and points. The central idea of the paragraph can be briefly summarized at the end. Consecutive sentences which repeat or elaborate the same idea and are formed in the same manner produce a certain kind of emphasis. In no case should a paragraph be allowed to give the impression of artificial and contrived writing. a paragraph can be prevented from being monotonous and wearisome. assertive and interrogative sentences. A paragraph may have no topical or key sentence at all. a paragraph has a beginning. The sentences of a good paragraph should vary in length d construction. irrelevant illustrations and deflections and divergences must be scrupulously avoided. properly developed and coherent piece of writing. It is advisable to keep in mind that a paragraph should not unnecessarily or in an unnatural. howsoever short or long. but the introductory sentence or sentences must be clear. The Structure of a Paragraph: A good paragraph is a well-constructed. the statement made at the beginning can be repeated and confirmed at the end. various figures of speech and other devices is made. The effect of a paragraph can be heightened by using occasional parentheses and antitheses. 4. This maybe the first sentence of the paragraph or the last one. The theme or the central idea may even be implied rather than clearly expressed. theme or subject of a paragraph is distinctly expressed or the scope of the paragraph is furnished. easy flowing and marked with clarity. It is advisable to keep in mind that a paragraph. The Length of Paragraph: It is wrong to think that all paragraphs should be or can be equally short or long. Statements or arguments can be arranged in an ascending scale so as to lead to the climax at the end. The general drift of the paragraph tells the reader what the topic is. 6. As already stated. Proper emphasis should be laid on words. Monotony to be avoided: A paragraph. The middle part of the paragraph illustrates and elaborates the topic. There is no hard and fast rule as regards the length of paragraphs. The student may introduce his paragraph in a variety of ways. forced or contrived manner be short end or . the importance of the points and the observations that the writer wants to make determine the length of a paragraph. theme or subject. Well balanced and logical clauses containing similarity or contrast produce a telling effect. middle and an end. a rise and a fall in his sentences. The nature of the topic. topic or theme. The sentences of a paragraph should be so arranged as to give the impression of a united whole. They must relate to one main idea (or a number of closely connected ideas). If a judicious use of active and passive. 3.He must also note that a paragraph means one and only one paragraph and he cannot divide his paragraph into smaller parts. The ideas or details should be developed in a logical order and one sentence should lead on naturally to the next. There is a cadence in written words also and like a good musician a good writer creates a flow. the observations are wound up in a proper and satisfactory manner and care is taken to avoid an abrupt ending. The Topical Sentence or the Key Sentence: The topical or key sentence is that in which the topic. It should be natural. In the concluding line or lines the passage is neatly summed up. should not be dull and monotonous. wherever necessary. 5. impressive and striking so as to awaken the reader's interest. direct and indirect. Incongruous and unrelated elements.

free from ambiguities and obscurities and marked by clarity. A Reminder of the Pitfalls to be avoided: (a) A paragraph means one and only one paragraph and it must not be divided into smaller parts. How to proceed with waiting a Paragraph: Everybody has his own method of writing a paragraph or any other piece of composition and everybody has his own distinct style. When one has acquired proficiency in the art of writing. which may consist of several points. (c) The introductory sentence or sentences should not be dull or insipid. If the student is asked to write a paragraph within the given word-limit. sift out the relevant material from the irrelevant and unimportant. and conclusion. thoughts and points in a systematic manner. The figures of speech and other devices should be used judiciously and sparingly so as to keep the clarity. 8.lengthened. lucid and easy flowing sentences on them. (b) Incongruous and unrelated elements. (g) It is always advisable to revise what one has written. lucid and fluent and the style should be direct. one simply sets about writing the required piece. relevance and proper and satisfactory development of the topic. thoughts and points that occur to him. development. 7. seeing to it that one idea/thought/point leads naturally to the next. to know how to proceed with the work assigned to him. to make necessary corrections and alterations. But it is always better to plan well and execute well. the length of the paragraph should be adjusted to the specific requirement. . The sentences should not be circuitous and cumbersome. For a beginner. Similarly he should decide how to conclude his paragraph most effectively. theme or subject. The guiding principle should be naturalness. (b) He should. That is as it should be. to delete what is still found to be superfluous and to add what is still found to be lacking. (e) A paragraph should not be made too short or too long unnecessarily or in an unnatural and laboured manner. (f) He should now take the points of the outline one by one and construct well-connected. 9. (d) A paragraph should not be a piece of monotonous. (c) He should arrange the relevant ideas. the conclusion should not be abrupt and incoherence must be shunned. (d) He should think of some striking and impressive sentence or sentences with which to begin his paragraph. irrelevant illustrations and deflections and divergences must be scrupulously avoided. naturalness and flow of the paragraph intact. (h) If necessary. then. who often gropes in the dark when asked to attempt a composition. it is essential to learn a certain method. (e) The well-worked-out outline of his paragraph should now be finally made with three distinct parts: Introduction. The following hints will prove to be helpful to him. he should prune down his material by deleting less important points and shortening the important ones. artificial or contrived writing. A Word about Language and Style: The language of a paragraph should be simple. (a) He should devote some time to thinking about the given topic and jot down all the ideas.

Top of Form Bottom of Form . The most important thing is the choice of appropriate words and phrases and correct idiomatic expressions. be remembered that a writer's language is as simple or as difficult as his knowledge of its vocabulary and idiom.It must. however.