The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

What this handout is about

This handout will help you understand how paragraphs are formed, how to develop stronger paragraphs, and how to completely and clearly express your ideas.

What is a paragraph?

Paragraphs are the building blocks of papers. Many students define paragraphs in terms of length: a paragraph is a group of at least five sentences, a paragraph is half a page long, etc. In reality, though, the unity and coherence of ideas among sentences is what constitutes a paragraph. A paragraph is defined as “a group of sentences or a single sentence that forms a unit” (Lunsford and Connors 116). 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 paragraph can be just one sentence long. Ultimately, a paragraph is a sentence or group of sentences that support one main idea. In this handout, we will refer to this as the “controlling idea,” because it controls what happens in the rest of the paragraph.

How do I decide what to put in a paragraph?

Before you can begin to determine what the composition of a particular paragraph will be, you must first decide on an argument and a working thesis statement for your paper. What is the most important idea that you are trying to convey to your reader? The information in each paragraph must be related to that idea. In other words, your paragraphs should remind your reader that there is a recurrent relationship between your thesis and the information in each paragraph. A working thesis functions like a seed from which your paper, and your ideas, will grow. The whole process is an organic one—a natural progression from a seed to a full-blown paper where there are direct, familial relationships between all of the ideas in the paper.

The decision about what to put into your paragraphs begins with the germination of a seed of ideas; this “germination process” is better known as brainstorming . There are many techniques for brainstorming; whichever one you choose, this stage of paragraph development cannot be skipped. Building paragraphs can be like building a skyscraper: there must be a well-planned foundation that supports what you are building. Any cracks, inconsistencies, or other corruptions of the foundation can cause your whole paper to crumble.

So, let’s suppose that you have done some brainstorming to develop your thesis. What else should you keep in mind as you begin to create paragraphs? Every paragraph in a paper should be :

  • Unified : All of the sentences in a single paragraph should be related to a single controlling idea (often expressed in the topic sentence of the paragraph).
  • Clearly related to the thesis : The sentences should all refer to the central idea, or thesis, of the paper (Rosen and Behrens 119).
  • Coherent : The sentences should be arranged in a logical manner and should follow a definite plan for development (Rosen and Behrens 119).
  • Well-developed : Every idea discussed in the paragraph should be adequately explained and supported through evidence and details that work together to explain the paragraph’s controlling idea (Rosen and Behrens 119).

How do I organize a paragraph?

There are many different ways to organize a paragraph. The organization you choose will depend on the controlling idea of the paragraph. Below are a few possibilities for organization, with links to brief examples:

  • Narration : Tell a story. Go chronologically, from start to finish. ( See an example. )
  • Description : Provide specific details about what something looks, smells, tastes, sounds, or feels like. Organize spatially, in order of appearance, or by topic. ( See an example. )
  • Process : Explain how something works, step by step. Perhaps follow a sequence—first, second, third. ( See an example. )
  • Classification : Separate into groups or explain the various parts of a topic. ( See an example. )
  • Illustration : Give examples and explain how those examples support your point. (See an example in the 5-step process below.)

Illustration paragraph: a 5-step example

From the list above, let’s choose “illustration” as our rhetorical purpose. We’ll walk through a 5-step process for building a paragraph that illustrates a point in an argument. For each step there is an explanation and example. Our example paragraph will be about human misconceptions of piranhas.

Step 1. Decide on a controlling idea and create a topic sentence

Paragraph development begins with the formulation of the controlling idea. This idea directs the paragraph’s development. Often, the controlling idea of a paragraph will appear in the form of a topic sentence. In some cases, you may need more than one sentence to express a paragraph’s controlling idea.

Controlling idea and topic sentence — Despite the fact that piranhas are relatively harmless, many people continue to believe the pervasive myth that piranhas are dangerous to humans.

Step 2. Elaborate on the controlling idea

Paragraph development continues with an elaboration on the controlling idea, perhaps with an explanation, implication, or statement about significance. Our example offers a possible explanation for the pervasiveness of the myth.

Elaboration — This impression of piranhas is exacerbated by their mischaracterization in popular media.

Step 3. Give an example (or multiple examples)

Paragraph development progresses with an example (or more) that illustrates the claims made in the previous sentences.

Example — For example, the promotional poster for the 1978 horror film Piranha features an oversized piranha poised to bite the leg of an unsuspecting woman.

Step 4. Explain the example(s)

The next movement in paragraph development is an explanation of each example and its relevance to the topic sentence. The explanation should demonstrate the value of the example as evidence to support the major claim, or focus, in your paragraph.

Continue the pattern of giving examples and explaining them until all points/examples that the writer deems necessary have been made and explained. NONE of your examples should be left unexplained. You might be able to explain the relationship between the example and the topic sentence in the same sentence which introduced the example. More often, however, you will need to explain that relationship in a separate sentence.

Explanation for example — Such a terrifying representation easily captures the imagination and promotes unnecessary fear.

Notice that the example and explanation steps of this 5-step process (steps 3 and 4) can be repeated as needed. The idea is that you continue to use this pattern until you have completely developed the main idea of the paragraph.

Step 5. Complete the paragraph’s idea or transition into the next paragraph

The final movement in paragraph development involves tying up the loose ends of the paragraph. At this point, you can remind your reader about the relevance of the information to the larger paper, or you can make a concluding point for this example. You might, however, simply transition to the next paragraph.

Sentences for completing a paragraph — While the trope of the man-eating piranhas lends excitement to the adventure stories, it bears little resemblance to the real-life piranha. By paying more attention to fact than fiction, humans may finally be able to let go of this inaccurate belief.

Finished paragraph

Despite the fact that piranhas are relatively harmless, many people continue to believe the pervasive myth that piranhas are dangerous to humans. This impression of piranhas is exacerbated by their mischaracterization in popular media. For example, the promotional poster for the 1978 horror film Piranha features an oversized piranha poised to bite the leg of an unsuspecting woman. Such a terrifying representation easily captures the imagination and promotes unnecessary fear. While the trope of the man-eating piranhas lends excitement to the adventure stories, it bears little resemblance to the real-life piranha. By paying more attention to fact than fiction, humans may finally be able to let go of this inaccurate belief.

Troubleshooting paragraphs

Problem: the paragraph has no topic sentence.

Imagine each paragraph as a sandwich. The real content of the sandwich—the meat or other filling—is in the middle. It includes all the evidence you need to make the point. But it gets kind of messy to eat a sandwich without any bread. Your readers don’t know what to do with all the evidence you’ve given them. So, the top slice of bread (the first sentence of the paragraph) explains the topic (or controlling idea) of the paragraph. And, the bottom slice (the last sentence of the paragraph) tells the reader how the paragraph relates to the broader argument. In the original and revised paragraphs below, notice how a topic sentence expressing the controlling idea tells the reader the point of all the evidence.

Original paragraph

Piranhas rarely feed on large animals; they eat smaller fish and aquatic plants. When confronted with humans, piranhas’ first instinct is to flee, not attack. Their fear of humans makes sense. Far more piranhas are eaten by people than people are eaten by piranhas. If the fish are well-fed, they won’t bite humans.

Revised paragraph

Although most people consider piranhas to be quite dangerous, they are, for the most part, entirely harmless. Piranhas rarely feed on large animals; they eat smaller fish and aquatic plants. When confronted with humans, piranhas’ first instinct is to flee, not attack. Their fear of humans makes sense. Far more piranhas are eaten by people than people are eaten by piranhas. If the fish are well-fed, they won’t bite humans.

Once you have mastered the use of topic sentences, you may decide that the topic sentence for a particular paragraph really shouldn’t be the first sentence of the paragraph. This is fine—the topic sentence can actually go at the beginning, middle, or end of a paragraph; what’s important is that it is in there somewhere so that readers know what the main idea of the paragraph is and how it relates back to the thesis of your paper. Suppose that we wanted to start the piranha paragraph with a transition sentence—something that reminds the reader of what happened in the previous paragraph—rather than with the topic sentence. Let’s suppose that the previous paragraph was about all kinds of animals that people are afraid of, like sharks, snakes, and spiders. Our paragraph might look like this (the topic sentence is bold):

Like sharks, snakes, and spiders, piranhas are widely feared. Although most people consider piranhas to be quite dangerous, they are, for the most part, entirely harmless . Piranhas rarely feed on large animals; they eat smaller fish and aquatic plants. When confronted with humans, piranhas’ first instinct is to flee, not attack. Their fear of humans makes sense. Far more piranhas are eaten by people than people are eaten by piranhas. If the fish are well-fed, they won’t bite humans.

Problem: the paragraph has more than one controlling idea

If a paragraph has more than one main idea, consider eliminating sentences that relate to the second idea, or split the paragraph into two or more paragraphs, each with only one main idea. Watch our short video on reverse outlining to learn a quick way to test whether your paragraphs are unified. In the following paragraph, the final two sentences branch off into a different topic; so, the revised paragraph eliminates them and concludes with a sentence that reminds the reader of the paragraph’s main idea.

Although most people consider piranhas to be quite dangerous, they are, for the most part, entirely harmless. Piranhas rarely feed on large animals; they eat smaller fish and aquatic plants. When confronted with humans, piranhas’ first instinct is to flee, not attack. Their fear of humans makes sense. Far more piranhas are eaten by people than people are eaten by piranhas. A number of South American groups eat piranhas. They fry or grill the fish and then serve them with coconut milk or tucupi, a sauce made from fermented manioc juices.

Problem: transitions are needed within the paragraph

You are probably familiar with the idea that transitions may be needed between paragraphs or sections in a paper (see our handout on transitions ). Sometimes they are also helpful within the body of a single paragraph. Within a paragraph, transitions are often single words or short phrases that help to establish relationships between ideas and to create a logical progression of those ideas in a paragraph. This is especially likely to be true within paragraphs that discuss multiple examples. Let’s take a look at a version of our piranha paragraph that uses transitions to orient the reader:

Although most people consider piranhas to be quite dangerous, they are, except in two main situations, entirely harmless. Piranhas rarely feed on large animals; they eat smaller fish and aquatic plants. When confronted with humans, piranhas’ instinct is to flee, not attack. But there are two situations in which a piranha bite is likely. The first is when a frightened piranha is lifted out of the water—for example, if it has been caught in a fishing net. The second is when the water level in pools where piranhas are living falls too low. A large number of fish may be trapped in a single pool, and if they are hungry, they may attack anything that enters the water.

In this example, you can see how the phrases “the first” and “the second” help the reader follow the organization of the ideas in the paragraph.

Works consulted

We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find additional publications. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.

Lunsford, Andrea. 2008. The St. Martin’s Handbook: Annotated Instructor’s Edition , 6th ed. New York: St. Martin’s.

Rosen, Leonard J., and Laurence Behrens. 2003. The Allyn & Bacon Handbook , 5th ed. New York: Longman.

You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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On Paragraphs

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The purpose of this handout is to give some basic instruction and advice regarding the creation of understandable and coherent paragraphs.

What is a paragraph?

A paragraph is a collection of related sentences dealing with a single topic. Learning to write good paragraphs will help you as a writer stay on track during your drafting and revision stages. Good paragraphing also greatly assists your readers in following a piece of writing. You can have fantastic ideas, but if those ideas aren't presented in an organized fashion, you will lose your readers (and fail to achieve your goals in writing).

The Basic Rule: Keep one idea to one paragraph

The basic rule of thumb with paragraphing is to keep one idea to one paragraph. If you begin to transition into a new idea, it belongs in a new paragraph. There are some simple ways to tell if you are on the same topic or a new one. You can have one idea and several bits of supporting evidence within a single paragraph. You can also have several points in a single paragraph as long as they relate to the overall topic of the paragraph. If the single points start to get long, then perhaps elaborating on each of them and placing them in their own paragraphs is the route to go.

Elements of a paragraph

To be as effective as possible, a paragraph should contain each of the following: Unity, Coherence, A Topic Sentence, and Adequate Development. As you will see, all of these traits overlap. Using and adapting them to your individual purposes will help you construct effective paragraphs.

The entire paragraph should concern itself with a single focus. If it begins with one focus or major point of discussion, it should not end with another or wander within different ideas.

Coherence is the trait that makes the paragraph easily understandable to a reader. You can help create coherence in your paragraphs by creating logical bridges and verbal bridges.

Logical bridges

  • The same idea of a topic is carried over from sentence to sentence
  • Successive sentences can be constructed in parallel form

Verbal bridges

  • Key words can be repeated in several sentences
  • Synonymous words can be repeated in several sentences
  • Pronouns can refer to nouns in previous sentences
  • Transition words can be used to link ideas from different sentences

A topic sentence

A topic sentence is a sentence that indicates in a general way what idea or thesis the paragraph is going to deal with. Although not all paragraphs have clear-cut topic sentences, and despite the fact that topic sentences can occur anywhere in the paragraph (as the first sentence, the last sentence, or somewhere in the middle), an easy way to make sure your reader understands the topic of the paragraph is to put your topic sentence near the beginning of the paragraph. (This is a good general rule for less experienced writers, although it is not the only way to do it). Regardless of whether you include an explicit topic sentence or not, you should be able to easily summarize what the paragraph is about.

Adequate development

The topic (which is introduced by the topic sentence) should be discussed fully and adequately. Again, this varies from paragraph to paragraph, depending on the author's purpose, but writers should be wary of paragraphs that only have two or three sentences. It's a pretty good bet that the paragraph is not fully developed if it is that short.

Some methods to make sure your paragraph is well-developed:

  • Use examples and illustrations
  • Cite data (facts, statistics, evidence, details, and others)
  • Examine testimony (what other people say such as quotes and paraphrases)
  • Use an anecdote or story
  • Define terms in the paragraph
  • Compare and contrast
  • Evaluate causes and reasons
  • Examine effects and consequences
  • Analyze the topic
  • Describe the topic
  • Offer a chronology of an event (time segments)

How do I know when to start a new paragraph?

You should start a new paragraph when:

  • When you begin a new idea or point. New ideas should always start in new paragraphs. If you have an extended idea that spans multiple paragraphs, each new point within that idea should have its own paragraph.
  • To contrast information or ideas. Separate paragraphs can serve to contrast sides in a debate, different points in an argument, or any other difference.
  • When your readers need a pause. Breaks between paragraphs function as a short "break" for your readers—adding these in will help your writing be more readable. You would create a break if the paragraph becomes too long or the material is complex.
  • When you are ending your introduction or starting your conclusion. Your introductory and concluding material should always be in a new paragraph. Many introductions and conclusions have multiple paragraphs depending on their content, length, and the writer's purpose.

Transitions and signposts

Two very important elements of paragraphing are signposts and transitions. Signposts are internal aids to assist readers; they usually consist of several sentences or a paragraph outlining what the article has covered and where the article will be going.

Transitions are usually one or several sentences that "transition" from one idea to the next. Transitions can be used at the end of most paragraphs to help the paragraphs flow one into the next.

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6.2 Effective Means for Writing a Paragraph

Learning objectives.

  • Identify characteristics of a good topic sentence.
  • Identify the three parts of a developed paragraph.
  • Apply knowledge of topic sentences and parts of a developed paragraph in an assignment.

Now that you have identified common purposes for writing and learned how to select appropriate content for a particular audience, you can think about the structure of a paragraph in greater detail. Composing an effective paragraph requires a method similar to building a house. You may have the finest content, or materials, but if you do not arrange them in the correct order, then the final product will not hold together very well.

A strong paragraph contains three distinct components:

  • Topic sentence . The topic sentence is the main idea of the paragraph.
  • Body . The body is composed of the supporting sentences that develop the main point.
  • Conclusion . The conclusion is the final sentence that summarizes the main point.

The foundation of a good paragraph is the topic sentence, which expresses the main idea of the paragraph. The topic sentence relates to the thesis, or main point, of the essay (see Chapter 9 “Writing Essays: From Start to Finish” for more information about thesis statements) and guides the reader by signposting what the paragraph is about. All the sentences in the rest of the paragraph should relate to the topic sentence.

This section covers the major components of a paragraph and examines how to develop an effective topic sentence.

Developing a Topic Sentence

Pick up any newspaper or magazine and read the first sentence of an article. Are you fairly confident that you know what the rest of the article is about? If so, you have likely read the topic sentence. An effective topic sentence combines a main idea with the writer’s personal attitude or opinion. It serves to orient the reader and provides an indication of what will follow in the rest of the paragraph. Read the following example.

Creating a national set of standards for math and English education will improve student learning in many states.

This topic sentence declares a favorable position for standardizing math and English education. After reading this sentence, a reader might reasonably expect the writer to provide supporting details and facts as to why standardizing math and English education might improve student learning in many states. If the purpose of the essay is actually to evaluate education in only one particular state, or to discuss math or English education specifically, then the topic sentence is misleading.

When writing a draft of an essay, allow a friend or colleague to read the opening line of your first paragraph. Ask your reader to predict what your paper will be about. If he or she is unable to guess your topic accurately, you should consider revising your topic sentence so that it clearly defines your purpose in writing.

Main Idea versus Controlling Idea

Topic sentences contain both a main idea (the subject, or topic that the writer is discussing) and a controlling idea (the writer’s specific stance on that subject). Just as a thesis statement includes an idea that controls a document’s focus (as you will read about in Chapter 8 “The Writing Process: How Do I Begin?” ), a topic sentence must also contain a controlling idea to direct the paragraph. Different writers may use the same main idea but can steer their paragraph in a number of different directions according to their stance on the subject. Read the following examples.

  • Marijuana is a destructive influence on teens and causes long-term brain damage.
  • The antinausea properties in marijuana are a lifeline for many cancer patients.
  • Legalizing marijuana would create a higher demand for Class A and Class B drugs.

Although the main idea—marijuana—is the same in all three topic sentences, the controlling idea differs depending on the writer’s viewpoint.

Circle the main idea and underline the controlling idea in each of the following topic sentences.

  • Exercising three times a week is the only way to maintain good physical health.
  • Sexism and racism are still rampant in today’s workplace.
  • Raising the legal driving age to twenty-one would decrease road traffic accidents.
  • Owning a business is the only way to achieve financial success.
  • Dog owners should be prohibited from taking their pets on public beaches.

Characteristics of a Good Topic Sentence

Five characteristics define a good topic sentence:

A good topic sentence provides an accurate indication of what will follow in the rest of the paragraph.

Weak example. People rarely give firefighters the credit they deserve for such a physically and emotionally demanding job. (The paragraph is about a specific incident that involved firefighters; therefore, this topic sentence is too general.)

Stronger example. During the October riots, Unit 3B went beyond the call of duty. (This topic sentence is more specific and indicates that the paragraph will contain information about a particular incident involving Unit 3B.)

A good topic sentence contains both a topic and a controlling idea or opinion.

Weak example. In this paper, I am going to discuss the rising suicide rate among young professionals. (This topic sentence provides a main idea, but it does not present a controlling idea, or thesis.)

Stronger example. The rising suicide rate among young professionals is a cause for immediate concern. (This topic sentence presents the writer’s opinion on the subject of rising suicide rates among young professionals.)

A good topic sentence is clear and easy to follow.

Weak example. In general, writing an essay, thesis, or other academic or nonacademic document is considerably easier and of much higher quality if you first construct an outline, of which there are many different types. (This topic sentence includes a main idea and a controlling thesis, but both are buried beneath the confusing sentence structure and unnecessary vocabulary. These obstacles make it difficult for the reader to follow.)

Stronger example. Most forms of writing can be improved by first creating an outline. (This topic sentence cuts out unnecessary verbiage and simplifies the previous statement, making it easier for the reader to follow.)

A good topic sentence does not include supporting details.

Weak example. Salaries should be capped in baseball for many reasons, most importantly so we don’t allow the same team to win year after year. (This topic sentence includes a supporting detail that should be included later in the paragraph to back up the main point.)

Stronger example. Introducing a salary cap would improve the game of baseball for many reasons. (This topic sentence omits the additional supporting detail so that it can be expanded upon later in the paragraph.)

A good topic sentence engages the reader by using interesting vocabulary.

Weak example. The military deserves better equipment. (This topic sentence includes a main idea and a controlling thesis, but the language is bland and unexciting.)

Stronger example. The appalling lack of resources provided to the military is outrageous and requires our immediate attention. (This topic sentence reiterates the same idea and controlling thesis, but adjectives such as appalling and immediate better engage the reader. These words also indicate the writer’s tone.)

Choose the most effective topic sentence from the following sentence pairs.

a. This paper will discuss the likelihood of the Democrats winning the next election.

b. To boost their chances of winning the next election, the Democrats need to listen to public opinion.

a. The unrealistic demands of union workers are crippling the economy for three main reasons.

b. Union workers are crippling the economy because companies are unable to remain competitive as a result of added financial pressure.

a. Authors are losing money as a result of technological advances.

b. The introduction of new technology will devastate the literary world.

a. Rap music is produced by untalented individuals with oversized egos.

b. This essay will consider whether talent is required in the rap music industry.

Using the tips on developing effective topic sentences in this section, create a topic sentence on each of the following subjects. Remember to include a controlling idea as well as a main idea. Write your responses on your own sheet of paper.

An endangered species

____________________________________________

The cost of fuel

The legal drinking age

A controversial film or novel

Writing at Work

When creating a workplace document, use the “top-down” approach—keep the topic sentence at the beginning of each paragraph so that readers immediately understand the gist of the message. This method saves busy colleagues precious time and effort trying to figure out the main points and relevant details.

Headings are another helpful tool. In a text-heavy document, break up each paragraph with individual headings. These serve as useful navigation aids, enabling colleagues to skim through the document and locate paragraphs that are relevant to them.

Developing Paragraphs That Use Topic Sentences, Supporting Ideas, and Transitions Effectively

Learning how to develop a good topic sentence is the first step toward writing a solid paragraph. Once you have composed your topic sentence, you have a guideline for the rest of the paragraph. To complete the paragraph, a writer must support the topic sentence with additional information and summarize the main point with a concluding sentence.

This section identifies the three major structural parts of a paragraph and covers how to develop a paragraph using transitional words and phrases.

Identifying Parts of a Paragraph

An effective paragraph contains three main parts: a topic sentence, the body, and the concluding sentence. A topic sentence is often the first sentence of a paragraph. This chapter has already discussed its purpose—to express a main idea combined with the writer’s attitude about the subject. The body of the paragraph usually follows, containing supporting details. Supporting sentences help explain, prove, or enhance the topic sentence. The concluding sentence is the last sentence in the paragraph. It reminds the reader of the main point by restating it in different words.

Figure 6.2 Paragraph Structure Graphic Organizer

Paragraph Structure Graphic Organizer

Read the following paragraph. The topic sentence is underlined for you.

After reading the new TV guide this week I had just one thought—why are we still being bombarded with reality shows? This season, the plague of reality television continues to darken our airwaves. Along with the return of viewer favorites, we are to be cursed with yet another mindless creation. Prisoner follows the daily lives of eight suburban housewives who have chosen to be put in jail for the purposes of this fake psychological experiment. A preview for the first episode shows the usual tears and tantrums associated with reality television. I dread to think what producers will come up with next season, but if any of them are reading this blog—stop it! We’ve had enough reality television to last us a lifetime!

The first sentence of this paragraph is the topic sentence. It tells the reader that the paragraph will be about reality television shows, and it expresses the writer’s distaste for these shows through the use of the word bombarded .

Each of the following sentences in the paragraph supports the topic sentence by providing further information about a specific reality television show. The final sentence is the concluding sentence. It reiterates the main point that viewers are bored with reality television shows by using different words from the topic sentence.

Paragraphs that begin with the topic sentence move from the general to the specific. They open with a general statement about a subject (reality shows) and then discuss specific examples (the reality show Prisoner ). Most academic essays contain the topic sentence at the beginning of the first paragraph.

Now take a look at the following paragraph. The topic sentence is underlined for you.

Last year, a cat traveled 130 miles to reach its family, who had moved to another state and had left their pet behind. Even though it had never been to their new home, the cat was able to track down its former owners. A dog in my neighborhood can predict when its master is about to have a seizure. It makes sure that he does not hurt himself during an epileptic fit. Compared to many animals, our own senses are almost dull.

The last sentence of this paragraph is the topic sentence. It draws on specific examples (a cat that tracked down its owners and a dog that can predict seizures) and then makes a general statement that draws a conclusion from these examples (animals’ senses are better than humans’). In this case, the supporting sentences are placed before the topic sentence and the concluding sentence is the same as the topic sentence.

This technique is frequently used in persuasive writing. The writer produces detailed examples as evidence to back up his or her point, preparing the reader to accept the concluding topic sentence as the truth.

Sometimes, the topic sentence appears in the middle of a paragraph. Read the following example. The topic sentence is underlined for you.

For many years, I suffered from severe anxiety every time I took an exam. Hours before the exam, my heart would begin pounding, my legs would shake, and sometimes I would become physically unable to move. Last year, I was referred to a specialist and finally found a way to control my anxiety—breathing exercises. It seems so simple, but by doing just a few breathing exercises a couple of hours before an exam, I gradually got my anxiety under control. The exercises help slow my heart rate and make me feel less anxious. Better yet, they require no pills, no equipment, and very little time. It’s amazing how just breathing correctly has helped me learn to manage my anxiety symptoms.

In this paragraph, the underlined sentence is the topic sentence. It expresses the main idea—that breathing exercises can help control anxiety. The preceding sentences enable the writer to build up to his main point (breathing exercises can help control anxiety) by using a personal anecdote (how he used to suffer from anxiety). The supporting sentences then expand on how breathing exercises help the writer by providing additional information. The last sentence is the concluding sentence and restates how breathing can help manage anxiety.

Placing a topic sentence in the middle of a paragraph is often used in creative writing. If you notice that you have used a topic sentence in the middle of a paragraph in an academic essay, read through the paragraph carefully to make sure that it contains only one major topic. To read more about topic sentences and where they appear in paragraphs, see Chapter 8 “The Writing Process: How Do I Begin?” .

Implied Topic Sentences

Some well-organized paragraphs do not contain a topic sentence at all. Instead of being directly stated, the main idea is implied in the content of the paragraph. Read the following example:

Heaving herself up the stairs, Luella had to pause for breath several times. She let out a wheeze as she sat down heavily in the wooden rocking chair. Tao approached her cautiously, as if she might crumble at the slightest touch. He studied her face, like parchment; stretched across the bones so finely he could almost see right through the skin to the decaying muscle underneath. Luella smiled a toothless grin.

Although no single sentence in this paragraph states the main idea, the entire paragraph focuses on one concept—that Luella is extremely old. The topic sentence is thus implied rather than stated. This technique is often used in descriptive or narrative writing. Implied topic sentences work well if the writer has a firm idea of what he or she intends to say in the paragraph and sticks to it. However, a paragraph loses its effectiveness if an implied topic sentence is too subtle or the writer loses focus.

Avoid using implied topic sentences in an informational document. Readers often lose patience if they are unable to quickly grasp what the writer is trying to say. The clearest and most efficient way to communicate in an informational document is to position the topic sentence at the beginning of the paragraph.

Identify the topic sentence, supporting sentences, and concluding sentence in the following paragraph.

Collaboration

Please share with a classmate and compare your answers.

Supporting Sentences

If you think of a paragraph as a hamburger, the supporting sentences are the meat inside the bun. They make up the body of the paragraph by explaining, proving, or enhancing the controlling idea in the topic sentence. Most paragraphs contain three to six supporting sentences depending on the audience and purpose for writing. A supporting sentence usually offers one of the following:

Sentence: The refusal of the baby boom generation to retire is contributing to the current lack of available jobs.

Sentence: Many families now rely on older relatives to support them financially.

Sentence: Nearly 10 percent of adults are currently unemployed in the United States.

Sentence: “We will not allow this situation to continue,” stated Senator Johns.

Sentence: Last year, Bill was asked to retire at the age of fifty-five.

The type of supporting sentence you choose will depend on what you are writing and why you are writing. For example, if you are attempting to persuade your audience to take a particular position you should rely on facts, statistics, and concrete examples, rather than personal opinions. Read the following example:

There are numerous advantages to owning a hybrid car. (Topic sentence)

First, they get 20 percent to 35 percent more miles to the gallon than a fuel-efficient gas-powered vehicle. (Supporting sentence 1: statistic)

Second, they produce very few emissions during low speed city driving. (Supporting sentence 2: fact)

Because they do not require gas, hybrid cars reduce dependency on fossil fuels, which helps lower prices at the pump. (Supporting sentence 3: reason)

Alex bought a hybrid car two years ago and has been extremely impressed with its performance. (Supporting sentence 4: example)

“It’s the cheapest car I’ve ever had,” she said. “The running costs are far lower than previous gas powered vehicles I’ve owned.” (Supporting sentence 5: quotation)

Given the low running costs and environmental benefits of owning a hybrid car, it is likely that many more people will follow Alex’s example in the near future. (Concluding sentence)

To find information for your supporting sentences, you might consider using one of the following sources:

  • Reference book
  • Encyclopedia
  • Biography/autobiography
  • Newspaper/magazine
  • Previous experience
  • Personal research

To read more about sources and research, see Chapter 11 “Writing from Research: What Will I Learn?” .

When searching for information on the Internet, remember that some websites are more reliable than others. websites ending in .gov or .edu are generally more reliable than websites ending in .com or .org. Wikis and blogs are not reliable sources of information because they are subject to inaccuracies.

Concluding Sentences

An effective concluding sentence draws together all the ideas you have raised in your paragraph. It reminds readers of the main point—the topic sentence—without restating it in exactly the same words. Using the hamburger example, the top bun (the topic sentence) and the bottom bun (the concluding sentence) are very similar. They frame the “meat” or body of the paragraph. Compare the topic sentence and concluding sentence from the previous example:

Topic sentence: There are numerous advantages to owning a hybrid car.

Concluding sentence: Given the low running costs and environmental benefits of owning a hybrid car, it is likely that many more people will follow Alex’s example in the near future.

Notice the use of the synonyms advantages and benefits . The concluding sentence reiterates the idea that owning a hybrid is advantageous without using the exact same words. It also summarizes two examples of the advantages covered in the supporting sentences: low running costs and environmental benefits.

You should avoid introducing any new ideas into your concluding sentence. A conclusion is intended to provide the reader with a sense of completion. Introducing a subject that is not covered in the paragraph will confuse the reader and weaken your writing.

A concluding sentence may do any of the following:

Restate the main idea.

Example: Childhood obesity is a growing problem in the United States.

Summarize the key points in the paragraph.

Example: A lack of healthy choices, poor parenting, and an addiction to video games are among the many factors contributing to childhood obesity.

Draw a conclusion based on the information in the paragraph.

Example: These statistics indicate that unless we take action, childhood obesity rates will continue to rise.

Make a prediction, suggestion, or recommendation about the information in the paragraph.

Example: Based on this research, more than 60 percent of children in the United States will be morbidly obese by the year 2030 unless we take evasive action.

Offer an additional observation about the controlling idea.

Example: Childhood obesity is an entirely preventable tragedy.

On your own paper, write one example of each type of concluding sentence based on a topic of your choice.

Transitions

A strong paragraph moves seamlessly from the topic sentence into the supporting sentences and on to the concluding sentence. To help organize a paragraph and ensure that ideas logically connect to one another, writers use transitional words and phrases. A transition is a connecting word that describes a relationship between ideas. Take another look at the earlier example:

There are numerous advantages to owning a hybrid car. First , they get 20 percent to 35 percent more miles to the gallon than a fuel-efficient gas-powered vehicle. Second , they produce very few emissions during low speed city driving. Because they do not require gas, hybrid cars reduce dependency on fossil fuels, which helps lower prices at the pump. Alex bought a hybrid car two years ago and has been extremely impressed with its performance. “It’s the cheapest car I’ve ever had,” she said. “The running costs are far lower than previous gas-powered vehicles I’ve owned.” Given the low running costs and environmental benefits of owning a hybrid car, it is likely that many more people will follow Alex’s example in the near future.

Each of the underlined words is a transition word. Words such as first and second are transition words that show sequence or clarify order. They help organize the writer’s ideas by showing that he or she has another point to make in support of the topic sentence. Other transition words that show order include third , also , and furthermore .

The transition word because is a transition word of consequence that continues a line of thought. It indicates that the writer will provide an explanation of a result. In this sentence, the writer explains why hybrid cars will reduce dependency on fossil fuels (because they do not require gas). Other transition words of consequence include as a result , so that , since , or for this reason .

To include a summarizing transition in her concluding sentence, the writer could rewrite the final sentence as follows:

In conclusion, given the low running costs and environmental benefits of owning a hybrid car, it is likely that many more people will follow Alex’s example in the near future.

The following chart provides some useful transition words to connect supporting sentences and concluding sentences. See Chapter 8 “The Writing Process: How Do I Begin?” for a more comprehensive look at transitional words and phrases.

Table 6.1 Useful Transitional Words and Phrases

Using your own paper, write a paragraph on a topic of your choice. Be sure to include a topic sentence, supporting sentences, and a concluding sentence and to use transitional words and phrases to link your ideas together.

Transitional words and phrases are useful tools to incorporate into workplace documents. They guide the reader through the document, clarifying relationships between sentences and paragraphs so that the reader understands why they have been written in that particular order.

For example, when writing an instructional memo, it may be helpful to consider the following transitional words and phrases: before you begin , first , next , then , finally , after you have completed . Using these transitions as a template to write your memo will provide readers with clear, logical instructions about a particular process and the order in which steps are supposed to be completed.

Key Takeaways

  • A good paragraph contains three distinct components: a topic sentence, body, and concluding sentence.
  • The topic sentence expresses the main idea of the paragraph combined with the writer’s attitude or opinion about the topic.
  • Good topic sentences contain both a main idea and a controlling idea, are clear and easy to follow, use engaging vocabulary, and provide an accurate indication of what will follow in the rest of the paragraph.
  • Topic sentences may be placed at the beginning, middle, or end of a paragraph. In most academic essays, the topic sentence is placed at the beginning of a paragraph.
  • Supporting sentences help explain, prove, or enhance the topic sentence by offering facts, reasons, statistics, quotations, or examples.
  • Concluding sentences summarize the key points in a paragraph and reiterate the main idea without repeating it word for word.
  • Transitional words and phrases help organize ideas in a paragraph and show how these ideas relate to one another.

Writing for Success Copyright © 2015 by University of Minnesota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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Paragraphs & topic sentences.

A paragraph is a series of sentences that are organized and coherent, and are all related to a single topic. Almost every piece of writing you do that is longer than a few sentences should be organized into paragraphs. This is because paragraphs show a reader where the subdivisions of an essay begin and end, and thus help the reader see the organization of the essay and grasp its main points.

Paragraphs can contain many different kinds of information. A paragraph could contain a series of brief examples or a single long illustration of a general point. It might describe a place, character, or process; narrate a series of events; compare or contrast two or more things; classify items into categories; or describe causes and effects. Regardless of the kind of information they contain, all paragraphs share certain characteristics. One of the most important of these is a topic sentence.

TOPIC SENTENCES

A well-organized paragraph supports or develops a single controlling idea, which is expressed in a sentence called the topic sentence. A topic sentence has several important functions: it substantiates or supports an essay’s thesis statement; it unifies the content of a paragraph and directs the order of the sentences; and it advises the reader of the subject to be discussed and how the paragraph will discuss it. Readers generally look to the first few sentences in a paragraph to determine the subject and perspective of the paragraph. That’s why it’s often best to put the topic sentence at the very beginning of the paragraph. In some cases, however, it’s more effective to place another sentence before the topic sentence—for example, a sentence linking the current paragraph to the previous one, or one providing background information.

Although most paragraphs should have a topic sentence, there are a few situations when a paragraph might not need a topic sentence. For example, you might be able to omit a topic sentence in a paragraph that narrates a series of events, if a paragraph continues developing an idea that you introduced (with a topic sentence) in the previous paragraph, or if all the sentences and details in a paragraph clearly refer—perhaps indirectly—to a main point. The vast majority of your paragraphs, however, should have a topic sentence.

PARAGRAPH STRUCTURE

Most paragraphs in an essay have a three-part structure—introduction, body, and conclusion. You can see this structure in paragraphs whether they are narrating, describing, comparing, contrasting, or analyzing information. Each part of the paragraph plays an important role in communicating your meaning to your reader.

Introduction : the first section of a paragraph; should include the topic sentence and any other sentences at the beginning of the paragraph that give background information or provide a transition.

Body : follows the introduction; discusses the controlling idea, using facts, arguments, analysis, examples, and other information.

Conclusion : the final section; summarizes the connections between the information discussed in the body of the paragraph and the paragraph’s controlling idea.

The following paragraph illustrates this pattern of organization. In this paragraph the topic sentence and concluding sentence (CAPITALIZED) both help the reader keep the paragraph’s main point in mind.

SCIENTISTS HAVE LEARNED TO SUPPLEMENT THE SENSE OF SIGHT IN NUMEROUS WAYS. In front of the tiny pupil of the eye they put , on Mount Palomar, a great monocle 200 inches in diameter, and with it see 2000 times farther into the depths of space. Or they look through a small pair of lenses arranged as a microscope into a drop of water or blood, and magnify by as much as 2000 diameters the living creatures there, many of which are among man’s most dangerous enemies. Or , if we want to see distant happenings on earth, they use some of the previously wasted electromagnetic waves to carry television images which they re-create as light by whipping tiny crystals on a screen with electrons in a vacuum. Or they can bring happenings of long ago and far away as colored motion pictures, by arranging silver atoms and color-absorbing molecules to force light waves into the patterns of original reality. Or if we want to see into the center of a steel casting or the chest of an injured child, they send the information on a beam of penetrating short-wave X rays, and then convert it back into images we can see on a screen or photograph. THUS ALMOST EVERY TYPE OF ELECTROMAGNETIC RADIATION YET DISCOVERED HAS BEEN USED TO EXTEND OUR SENSE OF SIGHT IN SOME WAY. George Harrison, “Faith and the Scientist”

In a coherent paragraph, each sentence relates clearly to the topic sentence or controlling idea, but there is more to coherence than this. If a paragraph is coherent, each sentence flows smoothly into the next without obvious shifts or jumps. A coherent paragraph also highlights the ties between old information and new information to make the structure of ideas or arguments clear to the reader.

Along with the smooth flow of sentences, a paragraph’s coherence may also be related to its length. If you have written a very long paragraph, one that fills a double-spaced typed page, for example, you should check it carefully to see if it should start a new paragraph where the original paragraph wanders from its controlling idea. On the other hand, if a paragraph is very short (only one or two sentences, perhaps), you may need to develop its controlling idea more thoroughly, or combine it with another paragraph.

A number of other techniques that you can use to establish coherence in paragraphs are described below.

Repeat key words or phrases. Particularly in paragraphs in which you define or identify an important idea or theory, be consistent in how you refer to it. This consistency and repetition will bind the paragraph together and help your reader understand your definition or description.

Create parallel structures. Parallel structures are created by constructing two or more phrases or sentences that have the same grammatical structure and use the same parts of speech. By creating parallel structures you make your sentences clearer and easier to read. In addition, repeating a pattern in a series of consecutive sentences helps your reader see the connections between ideas. In the paragraph above about scientists and the sense of sight, several sentences in the body of the paragraph have been constructed in a parallel way. The parallel structures (which have been emphasized ) help the reader see that the paragraph is organized as a set of examples of a general statement.

Be consistent in point of view, verb tense, and number. Consistency in point of view, verb tense, and number is a subtle but important aspect of coherence. If you shift from the more personal "you" to the impersonal “one,” from past to present tense, or from “a man” to “they,” for example, you make your paragraph less coherent. Such inconsistencies can also confuse your reader and make your argument more difficult to follow.

Use transition words or phrases between sentences and between paragraphs. Transitional expressions emphasize the relationships between ideas, so they help readers follow your train of thought or see connections that they might otherwise miss or misunderstand. The following paragraph shows how carefully chosen transitions (CAPITALIZED) lead the reader smoothly from the introduction to the conclusion of the paragraph.

I don’t wish to deny that the flattened, minuscule head of the large-bodied "stegosaurus" houses little brain from our subjective, top-heavy perspective, BUT I do wish to assert that we should not expect more of the beast. FIRST OF ALL, large animals have relatively smaller brains than related, small animals. The correlation of brain size with body size among kindred animals (all reptiles, all mammals, FOR EXAMPLE) is remarkably regular. AS we move from small to large animals, from mice to elephants or small lizards to Komodo dragons, brain size increases, BUT not so fast as body size. IN OTHER WORDS, bodies grow faster than brains, AND large animals have low ratios of brain weight to body weight. IN FACT, brains grow only about two-thirds as fast as bodies. SINCE we have no reason to believe that large animals are consistently stupider than their smaller relatives, we must conclude that large animals require relatively less brain to do as well as smaller animals. IF we do not recognize this relationship, we are likely to underestimate the mental power of very large animals, dinosaurs in particular. Stephen Jay Gould, “Were Dinosaurs Dumb?”

SOME USEFUL TRANSITIONS

(modified from Diana Hacker, A Writer’s Reference )

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How to Write a Paragraph

Last Updated: July 25, 2023 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Jake Adams . Jake Adams is an academic tutor and the owner of Simplifi EDU, a Santa Monica, California based online tutoring business offering learning resources and online tutors for academic subjects K-College, SAT & ACT prep, and college admissions applications. With over 14 years of professional tutoring experience, Jake is dedicated to providing his clients the very best online tutoring experience and access to a network of excellent undergraduate and graduate-level tutors from top colleges all over the nation. Jake holds a BS in International Business and Marketing from Pepperdine University. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 2,766,884 times.

Writing can seem like a challenge, but it doesn't have to be difficult! These suggestions will help you put together A+ paragraphs in no time.

Planning Your Paragraph

Step 1 Decide what the main topic of the paragraph will be.

  • 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?" or "Describe your favorite day of the week," you will need to think carefully about that prompt and make sure you are directly addressing it, rather than going off-topic.
  • What are the main ideas or topics 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 s relating to that topic are. As paragraphs are usually relatively short, it is important that you try to hit on all the main ideas, without going off-topic.
  • Who am I writing for? Think about whom the intended readership of this paragraph or paper will be. What is their prior knowledge? Are they familiar with the topic at hand, or will it require many 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.

Step 2 Write down information and ideas relating to that topic.

  • 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.

Step 3 Figure out how you want to structure your paragraph.

  • This new order may be chronological, may put the most important information first, or may just make the paragraph easier and more interesting to read - it all depends on the topic and style of the paragraph you wish to write. [2] X Research source
  • Once you have decided where you want everything to go, you can rewrite your points according to this new structure - this will help to make the writing process a lot faster and more straightforward.

Writing Your Paragraph

Step 1 Write a topic...

  • Every other sentence you write should support the topic sentence and provide further detail and discussion of the s or ideas it raises. If any sentence you write cannot be directly related to the topic sentence, it should not be included in this particular paragraph.
  • More experienced writers can include their topic sentence at any point in the paragraph; it doesn't necessarily need to be the first line. However, writers who are new or less comfortable with paragraph writing should stick with having the topic sentence first, as it will help to guide you throughout the rest of the paragraph. [1] X Research source
  • Your topic sentence should not be too broad or too narrow. If your topic sentence is too broad, you will not be able to discuss its ideas adequately in your paragraph. If it’s too narrow, you won’t have enough to discuss.

Step 2 Fill in the supporting details.

  • Link each sentence with transition words that form a bridge between one sentence and the next. 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”. [2] X Research source
  • The supporting sentences are the meat of your paragraph, so you should fill them with as much evidence to support your topic sentence as possible. 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. [1] X Research source
  • In terms of length, three to five sentences will usually be enough to cover your main points and adequately support your topic sentence, but this will vary greatly depending on the topic and the length of the paper you are writing. There is no set length for a paragraph. It should be as long as it needs to be adequate to cover the main idea. [2] X Research source [3] X Trustworthy Source University of North Carolina Writing Center UNC's on-campus and online instructional service that provides assistance to students, faculty, and others during the writing process Go to source

Step 3 Write a concluding sentence.

  • Don’t just reword the topic sentence. Your concluding sentence should acknowledge the discussion that has come before it and remind your reader of the relevance of this discussion. [4] X Trustworthy Source University of North Carolina Writing Center UNC's on-campus and online instructional service that provides assistance to students, faculty, and others during the writing process Go to source
  • For example, in a paragraph dealing with the topic "Why is Canada a great place to live?" The concluding sentence might look something like "From all the evidence provided above, such as Canada's fantastic health care provisions, its top-notch education system, and its clean, safe cities, we can conclude that Canada is indeed a great place to live."

Step 4 Know when to move on to a new paragraph.

  • A new paragraph is also used each time you are contrasting two points or presenting each side of an argument. For example, if your topic is "should civil servants receive lower salaries?" one paragraph would deal with the arguments supporting lower pay for civil servants, while the other paragraph would provide arguments against it. [1] X Research source
  • Paragraphs make a piece of writing easier to comprehend and give readers a “break” between new ideas to digest what they have just read. 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. [1] X Research source
  • When writing a paper, the introduction , and conclusion should always be given their 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 s it will go on to discuss. [15] X Research source The concluding paragraph provides a summary of the information and arguments contained in the paper and states in clear terms what the paper has shown and/or proven. It may also introduce a new idea, one that opens the reader's mind to the questions raised by the paper. [16] X Research source
  • If you’re writing fiction, you need to start a new paragraph in dialogue to show a new speaker. [17] X Research source

Reviewing Your Paragraph

Step 1 Check your paragraph for spelling and grammar.

  • Ensure that each sentence has a subject and that all proper nouns are capitalized. Also, make sure that all the subjects and verbs agree with each other and that you use the same tense across the entire paragraph.
  • Use a dictionary to double-check the spelling of words that you are unsure about, don't just assume that they are correct.
  • Check your paragraph for the proper use of punctuation , making sure that you use marks such as commas, colons, semicolons, and ellipses in the correct context.

Step 2 Check your paragraph for coherency and style.

  • The point of view of your writing should remain consistent throughout the paragraph, and indeed, the entire paper. For example, if you are writing in the first person (e.g., "I believe that...") you should not switch to a passive voice ("it is believed that") halfway through.
  • However, you should also try to avoid beginning every sentence with "I think..." or "I contend that..." Try to vary the format of your sentences, as this will make the paragraph more interesting for the reader and help it to flow more naturally.
  • For beginner writers, it is better to stick to short, to-the-point sentences which clearly express your point. Long, rambling sentences can rapidly become incoherent or fall victim to grammatical errors, so try to avoid them until you gain more experience as a writer.

Step 3 Decide if your paragraph is complete.

  • If you feel that the main claim of your topic sentence is sufficiently supported and well-developed by the contents of the rest of your paragraph, then your paragraph is probably complete. However, if any important aspect of the topic remains unexplored or unexplained or if the paragraph is shorter than three sentences, it likely needs a little more work. [20] X Research source
  • On the other hand, you may decide that your paragraph is too long and contains superfluous or tangential content. If this is the case, you should edit the paragraph, so it contains only the most relevant information.
  • If you feel that all the content is necessary to your point, but the paragraph is still too long, you should think about breaking it up into several smaller, more specific paragraphs. For Example: Instead of writing- 'So we say that if people are negative to you just be friendly to them.' You could write- 'So, to conclude, just be friendly to the people who are negative to you.'

Paragraph Help

write a 10 sentence paragraph in this situation

Expert Q&A

Jake Adams

  • Topic sentence
  • Supportive sentence(s)
  • Concluding sentence
  • When you are reading, notice how paragraphs are divided. If you learn what a paragraph is by experience, you can divide writing into appropriate parts by feel. Thanks Helpful 2 Not Helpful 3
  • There are no hard-and-fast rules for how long a paragraph should be.Instead, make sure there are natural breaks. Each paragraph should contain one main idea and whatever writing supports it. Thanks Helpful 3 Not Helpful 0

write a 10 sentence paragraph in this situation

  • Don't wait until the last minute if this is for a school assignment. Give yourself plenty of time to plan out and write each paragraph. Your assignment will be of a much higher quality as a result. Thanks Helpful 76 Not Helpful 13

You Might Also Like

Write a Narrative Paragraph

  • ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 https://www.csun.edu/sites/default/files/Auerbach-Handout-Paragraph-Writing-Examples.pdf
  • ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 https://www.student.unsw.edu.au/writing-your-essay
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/paragraphs/
  • ↑ https://libguides.astate.edu/papers/introparagraph
  • ↑ https://lsa.umich.edu/sweetland/undergraduates/writing-guides/how-do-i-write-an-intro--conclusion----body-paragraph.html

About This Article

Jake Adams

To write a great paragraph, start with a topic sentence that states the subject and main idea. In the next 3-5 sentences, present evidence, like facts, examples, or even short anecdotes, to back up your main idea. Use transition phrases, like “in addition to,” or “however,” to help your paragraph flow well. Finish the paragraph with a concluding sentence that reinforces the main idea, briefly sums up the evidence, and hints at the ideas to come in the next paragraph. To learn more from our English Ph.D. co-author, such as when to start a new paragraph or revise your writing, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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write a 10 sentence paragraph in this situation

How to Write an Effective Paragraph

Paragraphs are meant to make reading a text easier. When a writer composes for school or work purposes, paragraphs help promote the brevity, clarity, and simplicity expected of formal writing. Each new paragraph signals a pause in thought and a change in topic, directing readers to anticipate what is to follow or allowing them a moment to digest the material in the preceding paragraph. Reasons to start a new paragraph include

  • beginning a new idea,
  • emphasizing a particular point,
  • changing speakers in dialogue,
  • allowing readers to pause, and
  • breaking up lengthy text, usually moving to a subtopic.

Once a writer is satisfied with their paragraph content, they take their readers into consideration. They revise and edit to make their paragraphs both engaging and easy to read. Key considerations for revising and editing paragraphs are length, variety, clarity, and transitions.

PARAGRAPH LENGTH

Effective paragraphs vary in length. Paragraph lengths should invite readers in, neither seeming too daunting nor appearing incomplete. Paragraphs of more than one double-spaced page will appear too dense and too long to be inviting. However, short paragraphs can appear choppy and undeveloped. In fact, one-sentence paragraphs are rarely effective. Not only can a one-sentence paragraph seem abrupt, but it can also leave readers puzzled. A sentence that makes a point about a topic will typically need at least one or even more sentences to illustrate and explain that point.

For complex concepts such as those in persuasive essays that demand detailed explanation and supporting evidence, longer paragraphs are necessary. However, when narrating an example or explaining a process, shorter paragraphs will best emphasize the order of ideas or importance of each step.

SENTENCE VARIETY

Most people have experienced a lecture or presentation given by someone who talks in a monotone. It probably puts the audience to sleep. The equivalent of such monotony in writing occurs when sentences have the same structure and the same length. Once the content of the writing is solid, an experienced writer revises, paying attention to sentence variety. Strong paragraphs contain a variety of sentence structures, sentence types, sentence openings, and sentence lengths.

Sentence Structures

One method for gaining sentence variety is to use all of the below sentence structures in your paper.

1. Simple Sentence = one independent clause with no subordinate clause

Music is life itself (Louis Armstrong).

Independent clause

2. Compound Sentence = two or more independent clauses with no subordinate clauses

One arrow is easily broken , but a bundle of ten can’t be broken .

independent clause, [conjunction] independent clause

3. Complex Sentence = one independent clause with one or more subordinate clauses

If you scatter thorns , don’t go barefoot .

subordinate clause, independent clause

4. Compound-Complex Sentence = at least two independent clauses and at least one subordinate clause

Tell me what you eat , and I will tell you [what you are] .

independent clause, [conjunction] independent clause [subordinate clause]

Sentence Types

Another method for adding variety is to use different sentence types:

  • Declarative = makes a statement: The echo always has the last word.
  • Imperative = makes a demand: Love your neighbor.
  •  Interrogative = asks a question: Are second thoughts always wisest?
  •   Exclamatory = makes an exclamation: I want to wash the flag, not burn it!

Declarative sentences will naturally be used the most in academic writing. But imperative and interrogative sentences can make the content stronger and add sentence variety. Exclamatory sentences are used rarely in academic writing and professional writing but can occasionally be effective, depending on context, audience, and purpose.

Sentence Openings

Another way to add sentence variety is with sentence openings. Many writers fall into a pattern of starting sentences the same way, generally with the subject of the sentence. Here is a sample of what can be done with the simple sentence “John broke the window.”   The different openings not only add variety, but also create more interesting content.

  • Subject : John broke the window.
  • Conjunction: But John broke the window.
  • Adverb (answers how, when, why):  Afterwards , John broke the window.
  • Adverb Clause: While hitting a fly ball in the vacant field, John broke the window.
  • Expletive (there, it): There is the window John broke.
  • Correlative Conjunction: Either John broke the window with the fly ball or he did not.
  • Prepositional Phrase: During the game, John broke the window.
  • Infinitive Phrase: To complete the destructiveness of the baseball game, John broke the window.
  • Passive Voice: The window was broken by John.
  • Participle Phrase: Testing his father’s patience, John broke the window.
  • Subordinate Clause: Although John hit a home run, the price was a broken window.
  • Inverted Word Order: The window John broke.

Inverted word order should not be overused. But occasional use at an important point where the writer wants to grab the reader’s attention can add surprise and drama as in the following example:

o   Normal Word Order: The Christmas treats, the bright, beribboned presents, and the charitable love of the season are all gone.

o   Inverted Word Order: Gone are the Christmas treats, the bright, beribboned presents, and the charitable love of the season.

Varied Sentence Lengths

A final way to vary sentences is with length. Experienced writers strive to compose sentences that are short, medium, and long in length. They can check sentence length by beginning each sentence of a paragraph on a separate line, so they can scan the lengths. Here is an example:

  • Kirilov’s home is described as dark, in part because of his son’s sickness and death, which occurred barely five minutes before Aboguin rings the doctor’s doorbell.
  • The entry is dark and the lamp in his drawing room is unlighted, allowing the twilight and the dark September evening to fill the room, relieved only by a light in the adjoining study that lights his books and a big lamp in the dead boy’s bedroom.
  • The darkness extends to Kirilov himself.
  • Chekhov describes him as having a prematurely gray beard and skin with a pale gray hue.
  • His hands are stained black with carbolic acid, marking him as a laborer.
  • His dark home and gray appearance exemplify the grayness and monotony of life that characterize his recent loss and years of poverty.

The varied lengths are easy to see at a glance. If the writer decides the paper’s sentences need to be more varied in length, much can be done. For example, clauses can be converted to phrases: Sentence one in the paragraph above could be changed to the following:

  • Kirilov’s home is described as dark, in part because of his son’s sickness and death, occurring barely five minutes before.

Sentences can be combined. Sentences three and four above could become the following:

  • The darkness extends to Kirilov himself as Chekhov describes him as having a prematurely graybeard and skin with a pale gray hue.

Long sentences can be divided. Sentence two above could become the following:

  • The entry is dark, and the lamp in his drawing room is unlighted, allowing the twilight and the dark September evening to fill the room. The darkness is relieved only by a light in the adjoining study that lights his books and a big lamp in the dead boy’s bedroom.

Phrases can become one or two words. Sentence four above could become the following:

  • Chekhov describes him as prematurely gray.

These changes do not necessarily make the sentence better, but they serve as good examples of what can be done to change sentence length and add sentence variety.

SENTENCE CLARITY

Sentence clarity requires grammatical correctness; however, mixed constructions, faulty predication, and inconsistent or incomplete comparisons are common causes of garbled sentences that writers must check for when revising and editing.

Mixed Construction

A mixed construction occurs when a sentence begins with one grammatical pattern and concludes with a different grammatical pattern, as if the writer started writing a sentence, was interrupted, and then finished it without referring back to the beginning.

  • The fact that our room was hot we opened the window between our beds.
  • By not prosecuting marijuana possession as vigorously as crack possession encourages marijuana users to think they can ignore the law.
  • Because of the European discovery of America became a profitable colony for Britain.

An easy way to identify mixed constructions is to read a paper backwards, one sentence at a time so that each sentence is isolated.

Faulty Predication

Faulty predication occurs when the predicate of a sentence does not logically complete its subject. Most often, faulty predication involves the verb “to be.” We know that “to be” verbs act like equal signs between the subject and predicate:

  • The piano player is skilled.

However, if the predicate is logically inconsistent with the subject, the sentence will confuse readers.

  • The power of a skilled piano player is keenly aware of being able to raise strong emotions in listeners. [Can the power of a piano player be keenly aware?]
  • Listeners are keenly aware of the power a skilled piano player has to raise strong emotions in listeners. [Now it is the listeners who are keenly aware.]

Inconsistent or Incomplete Comparisons

When making comparisons, the writer must make sure they are consistent and complete.

  • Inconsistent: Brownlee’s business proposal is better than Summers. [Brownlee’s business proposal is being compared to Summers, a person.]
  • Consistent: Brownlee’s business proposal is better than the one by Summers.
  • Incomplete: I was ashamed because my background was so different. [Different from what?]
  • Complete: I was ashamed because my background was so different from that of my new co-workers.

Inconsistent and incomplete comparisons are common in speech. Context, facial expression, and body language supply the missing information. But in formal writing, care must be taken to compose clear sentences.

TRANSITIONS

Transitions are one of the methods used to make paragraphs flow smoothly. Transitions are connectors or bridges between thoughts. When the reader knows the relationship between concepts or sentences, the thoughts flow smoothly and the paragraph is easier to read. Writers use both transition words and transition sentences.

Transition Words and Phrases

Transitional expressions work well between sentences when the relationship between sentences is not already evident. Transitional expressions can also be used between paragraphs so that the content of one paragraph leads logically into the next paragraph. In these cases, the transition highlights the relationship that is already clear. If someone reads the word “however,” they know that the next thought will be in contrast to the previous one. The word acts as a bridge explaining the relationship between the two thoughts. If someone reads the word “meanwhile,” they know that the next event is happening at the same time as the event discussed previously. The word explains the simultaneous relationship between the two events.

Example of Transition Words and Expressions

  • To Indicate Time Order : in the past, before, earlier, preceding, recently, presently, currently, now
  • To Provide an Example : for example, for instance, to illustrate, specifically, in particular, namely, in other words
  • To Indicate Results : as a result, consequently, because of, for this reason, since, therefore, thus, accordingly
  • To Concede : although, even though, admittedly, granted, while it is true, of course
  • To Compare : in comparison, in like manner, in much the same way, likewise
  • To Contrast : and yet, but, despite, nevertheless, nonetheless, notwithstanding, however, contrary to, on the other hand
  • To Emphasize : above all, undoubtedly, most importantly, moreover, furthermore, without question

Transition Sentences

For more sophisticated transitions between paragraphs, writers use whole sentences. Types of transition sentences include the following:

  • Echo Transition : The writer echoes a word, phrase, or idea from the last sentence of one paragraph in the first sentence of the next paragraph. Here is an example:

. . . Throughout the story, the husband’s word is considered law, and the wife barely dares to question it.

This unequal marriage fits perfectly into the historical period of the setting. . .

The italicized phrase echoes the idea in the previous paragraph, providing a bridge to the next paragraph.

  • Key Word Transition : The writer repeats key words from one paragraph to the next. Here is an example:

. . . Shirley Jackson shows the uselessness of the lottery and the selfishness of human nature through Mr. Warner’s ignorance.

This selfishness of human nature is shown very clearly through Tessie in the story….

The repetition of key words demonstrates the relationship between the ideas in the two paragraphs.

  • Look Backward and Forward : In one or two sentences, the text looks back at the ideas of the preceding paragraph and then looks forward to the ideas in the next paragraph.

…These first two stanzas set up the theme of triumph in life.

In contrast to this victory, stanza three moves to the issue of dying….

In the italicized sentence, the first phrase (“in contrast to this victory’) looks backward at the ideas of the preceding paragraph. The second clause (“stanza three moves to the issue of dying”) looks forward to the ideas in the next paragraph.

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  • The Writing Process
  • Definition of a Paragraph
  • Parts of a Paragraph; Multi-Paragraph Documents
  • Rhetorical Modes; Review of Paragraphs
  • Unity and Coherence in Essays
  • Proving the Thesis/Critical Thinking
  • Appropriate Language

Related Pages

What is a paragraph.

A paragraph is a series of sentences on a specific point or topic.  A well written paragraph must have a topic sentence which states the main idea: what the paragraph is about.  While some say the  topic sentence can be anywhere in the paragraph, it is best to put it as the first sentence in a paragraph.  The rest of the sentences in the paragraph support, elaborate, and/or further explain the main idea expressed in the topic sentence.

Paragraphs have varying length depending upon various factors.  An average paragraph in an academic essay is about six to eight sentences.

Types of Paragraphs

There are various types of paragraphs such as summaries, abstracts, and answers to questions for a specific assignment.  In addition, there are specialized types of paragraphs for various reports such as feasibility studies or performance reports.

The types of paragraphs covered in this lesson are general paragraphs as would be used in the body of a letter or an academic essay, including general research papers (research essays).

Parts of a Paragraph

Topic sentence – purpose of a paragraph.

Unless you are writing specialized report such as a scientific research paper or a feasibility study that may otherwise show the purpose of a paragraph such as a heading , a well written paragraph must have a topic sentence which states what the paragraph is about.

Whether you are writing a paragraph for a specific assignment, an academic essay, a research paper, or a simple letter, each paragraph

The topic sentence should be the first sentence of the paragraph so that the reader knows what the paragraph is about.  The topic sentence in a body paragraph of an essay must be support for the thesis: a reason why the thesis is true or accurate.

The rest of the sentences in the paragraph of an essay support, elaborate, and/or further explain the topic sentence.

Here is an example of a paragraph:

The first sentence is the topic sentence. See how the rest of the sentences support, elaborate, and/or or further explain it.

Almost every aspect of modern life has been improved through convenience provided by technology.    From the alarm clock in the morning to the entertainment center at night, everyday life is improved.  The automatic coffee maker has the coffee ready at a certain time. Cars or public transportation bring people to work where computers operate at the push of a button.  At home, there’s the convenience of washing machines and dryers, dishwashers, air conditioners, and power lawn mowers.  Modern technology has made life better with many conveniences.

Everything in this paragraph is about how modern life has been improved through convenience provided by technology.

Unity and Coherence

A paragraph must have unity.

All of the sentences of a particular paragraph must focus on one point to achieve one goal: to support the topic sentence.

A paragraph must have coherence.

The sentences must flow smoothly and logically from one to the next as they support the topic sentence.

The last sentence of the paragraph should restate the topic sentence to help achieve unity and coherence.

Here is an example with information that  does not  support the topic sentence.

Almost every aspect of modern life has been improved through convenience provided by modern technology.  From the alarm clock in the morning to the entertainment center at night, everyday life is improved. The automatic coffee maker has the coffee ready at a certain time. People are more concerned about health issues and good air quality, so they have started walking or riding a bike to work even though they have the option of using a car or public transportation.   There’s the convenience of washing machines and dryers, dishwashers, air conditioners, and power lawn mowers.  Modern technology has made life better with many conveniences.

See how just one non-supporting sentence takes away from the effectiveness of the paragraph in showing how modern conveniences make life better since the unity and coherence are affected.  There is no longer unity among all the sentences.  The thought pattern is disjointed and the paragraph loses its coherence.

Here’s another example of a paragraph

Not only has modern technology improved life through convenience, it has improved life through efficiency.  The time saved with machines doing most of the work leaves more time for people to develop their personal goals or to just relax.  Years ago, when doing laundry could take all day, there wasn’t time left over to read or go to school or even just to take a leisurely walk.  Nowadays, people have more time and energy than ever to simply enjoy their lives thanks to the efficiency of modern technology.

Note: See how all the sentences work together to support the point that technology has improved lives through efficiency.

Transitions – Words that Connect

Transitions  are words, groups of words, or sentences that connect one sentence to another or one paragraph to another.

They promote a logical flow from one idea to the next.

While they are not needed in every sentence, they are missed when they are omitted since the flow of thoughts becomes disjointed or even confusing.

There are different types of transitions such as the following:

  • Time – before, after, during, in the meantime, nowadays
  • Space – over, around, under
  • Examples – for instance, one example is
  • Comparison –  on the other hand, the opposing view
  • Consequence – as a result, subsequently

These are just a few examples.  The idea is to paint a clear, logical connection between sentences and between paragraphs.

Here’s how transitions help make a paragraph unified and coherent

Not only  has modern technology improved life through convenience, it has improved life through efficiency.  The time saved with machines doing most of the work leaves more time for people to develop their personal goals or to just relax.   Years ago,  when doing laundry could take all day, there wasn’t time left over to read or go to school or even just to take a leisurely walk.   Nowadays , people have more time and energy than ever to simply enjoy their lives thanks to the efficiency of modern technology.

Each part of a paragraph must support the topic sentence.  In addition, the sentences must flow logically from one to the other.

See how the following paragraph has ideas that don’t seem to belong

Growing flowers is fun.  The sun rises in the morning and warms the soil.  Flowers come in all different sizes, shapes, and colors.  Sometimes, there is not enough rain.  Flowers also bloom during different times of the year.  Flowers need nutrients to grow strong and beautiful.  There are some children who like to pick the flowers. There are different growing seasons in different parts of the country.  Flowers that will grow high should be planted behind those that will not grow as high.  Some people let their dog’s leash extend allowing the dog to go into the flower beds which is not very nice. Designing a flower bed has to consider the different times the flowers will bloom.  A substitute for rainfall should be planned.  It is fun to grow flowers.

Here is a revised version with unity and coherence.  See how each sentence is clearly part of the whole which is to show how it is fun to grow flowers.

Growing flowers is fun.   Planning the garden is the first step, and it is part of the fun.  Flowers must be selected for their size, color, and time of bloom.  Selections should be made so that there is at least one type of flower blooming throughout the season and that taller flowers are behind shorter ones.  Meeting the challenges to assure growth such as with an irrigation system or hand watering and fertilizing when needed is also part of the fun.   It’s wonderful to check the garden every day to see the little green sprouts starting to appear.  It gives a great sense of accomplishment and joy to see the flowers in bloom.  It is fun to grow flowers.

An example of a paragraph from a business letter  which does  have unity and coherence:

There are several reasons to select my company to do this job.  We are a family owned and operated business and have been in business in this county for thirty-five years.  In addition to thousands of satisfied customers, we have proudly sponsored many community events and organizations.  All of our employees live in this county, and most have stayed with us for years.  We have successfully kept our overhead low and pass those savings onto our customers.  By far, we are the best company to complete this project.

Note: See how all the sentences work together to support the point that we are the best company to hire.

Here’s a version of the paragraph which  does not  have unity and coherence:

I am happy that the warm weather is finally here! It’s been a cold winter. There are several reasons to select my company to do this job.  By far, we are the best company to complete this project.  I have a large family, and in addition to having Sunday dinners, we work together in the company which has many satisfied customers.  Some of my employees take the bus to work, so I am concerned about our public transportation system.  We have proudly served our community, and we use cost saving methods to keep prices low.

An example of a paragraph in an inter-office memo

Beginning January 1, we will have a revised policy concerning new customers.  The updated intake form includes additional information, so please be sure to read through and complete each section.  Pay particular addition to the additional questions at the bottom as they are now required by the insurance company.  We would like to have e-mail addresses as well.  You can assure customers that we will not be sending them solicitations nor giving the list to any other business.  Be sure to fill in the information neatly and accurately. It is preferred that the information be entered directly into the computer although we realize there are times when that is not practical and a hard-copy form will have to be completed by hand.  Review the instructions on the back page of the form for more details on the revised policy for new customers.

Note:  See how all the sentences work together to support the point shown in the topic sentence that modern technology has expanded accessibility.

Closing/Transitional Statements in Paragraphs

The last sentence of a paragraph should remind the reader of the point of the paragraph and transition into the next paragraph if there is one.  See how the last sentence, for example, in the above paragraph reminds the reader of what the paragraph is about: Review the instructions on the back page of the form for more details on the revised policy for new customers.

Multi-Paragraph Documents

Most paragraphs we see are part of a multi-paragraph document: newspaper and magazine articles, books, business letters and inter-office memorandum, “how-to” documents, and other informational documents.  Usually, there is an organization of the paragraphs in a specific way.  The opening paragraph generally gives some idea of what the document is about.  The middle paragraphs give more details about the specific point.  The last paragraph ends the writing, generally by summing up and repeating the point.

There are some context-specific documents that have moe clearly defined paragraphs which are something included as sections of the writing.  For example, a feasibility report might have paragraphs as follows: abstract and/or summary, introduction, discussion, conclusion, recommendations.

Paragraphs in Business Letters and Inter-Office Memorandum

Business letters and inter-office memoradums basically have the same organization of the content:  an introduction paragraph, paragraphs that prove or further explain, and a concluding paragraph which sums up and repeats the point.  A business letter, however, is generally written on company stationery and has the date and address block in the upper left, a Re: line, a salutation such as Dear Mr. Haller (although some are no longer using a formal salutation), and a complimentary closing such as Sincerely.    An inter-office memorandum is generally written on plain paper, sometimes with the company logo as part of the template, lines with To:, From:, Date:, and Re: in the upper left, and no complimentary closing.

Paragraphs in Informational Documents and Academic Essays

Informational documents.

This refers to groups of writings that are designed to give information about a topic or position on a topic.  While they all include a specific thesis (point), have an introduction and concluding paragraph, and have paragraphs that proof or explain the point, there can be wide variety on where the thesis is expressed and the ancillary information presented that is supplemental to the thesis.  These are sometimes called essays.  However,  academic  essays do have a very specific organizational pattern.

Academic Essays

The introduction paragraph and the concluding paragraph of an essay are different from a general paragraph.  An introduction contains general background information on a topic and leads into a thesis statement.  The sentences with background information should be general and not contain proof of the thesis. The sentences should be relevant, however, and logically flow into the thesis.  Background sentences include information about the topic and the controversy. Some instructors may prefer other types of content in the introduction in addition to the thesis.  It is best to check with an instructor as to whether he or she has a preference for content.  In any case, there must be unity and coherence in an introduction paragraph as well. 

While the body paragraph of an academic is the same as a general paragraph in that they have a topic sentence and sentences that support it, the topic sentence must be a reason why the thesis of the essay is accurate.  Body paragraphs should clearly support the thesis and not contain any extraneous information. However, one way of proving your thesis is right is by presenting the opposing view and then rebutting it, that is, showing how it is not valid.  

Some instructors say that any opposing information should be in a separate rebuttal paragraph before the concluding paragraph.  If not specifically indicated by your instructor, either putting opposing information into the paragraphs related to the specific information or having a separate rebuttal paragraph is appropriate, but not both in the same essay.

A concluding paragraph sums up the proof and restates the thesis. Some instructors ask for a statement drawing an implication of the information presented instead of or in addition to a restatement of the thesis.  In either case, while a concluding paragraph as with the introduction paragraph does not start with a topic sentence and have the rest of the sentences support the topic sentence, the concluding paragraph is similar in that the summary of the proof ties directly into the thesis or statement of general implication.  There are not extraneous, off-topic sentences

Rhetorical Modes as Types of Paragraphs

Narration is when an author writes as though telling a story.  This mode is used more often in fiction, but it can be used in academic essay writing when the best way to help prove the thesis is by relating a sequence of events.

Description/Definition/Exemplification, and Classification

These closely related modes use specific information about certain aspects of a thing, event, or situation. The terms speak for themselves.  Description uses details describing the thing, event, or situation. Definition defines it. Exemplification uses examples, and classification uses categories.

The rose was red. (description)

A rose is a flower with soft petals and a beautiful, brief bloom. (definition)

Roses comes in a variety of colors such as red, yellow, and white. (example)

Roses come in a variety of types including miniature, climbing, hybrid tea, and floribunda. (classification)

Compare/Contrast

Comparing and/or contrasting one thing, event, or situation is a helpful way to show what it is and isn't.  If someone were arguing that a particular type of sneaker was the best, it would be useful to compare to others for support, durability, and price.

Cause and/or Effect

This mode is useful in arguing for or again an action.  Showing the cause and/or effect of an action can be persuasive.  For example, if someone were arguing for an increase in the speed limit, statistics showing an increase in fatalities where limits are higher would be a persuasive argument.

Persuasion/Argumentation

In a sense, the ultimate intent of all communication is persuasion.  Argumentation is one way of talking about debate.  We think of arguing as what we do among friends or family members - and it is - but there is a formal way to argue to prove our point.  Actually, we can learn how to better have civil arguments which will be constructive.  In thinking about persuasion/argumentation as a rhetorical mode, it refers to a type of writing that is clearly arguing in support of a specific point.

  • A paragraph is a series of sentences on a particular point.
  • A paragraph should begin with a topic sentence which states that point.
  • Sentences with supporting details such as examples should follow.
  • A paragraph must have unity and coherence where the sentences smoothly and logically flow from one to the next and stay focused on supporting the topic sentence.
  • Transition words and phrases should be used to connect sentencs and paragraphs for unity and coherence
  • Paragraphs that are part of multi-paragraph documents serve specific functions
  • Special Types of Paragraphs in Business Letters and Inter-Office Memorandum
  • Special Types of Paragraphs in Informational Documents and Academic Essays
  • Rhetorical Modes can be used as types of paragraphs
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  • Paragraph Writing

Paragraph Writing - How to Write a Perfect Paragraph on Any Topic?

Paragraph writing has been a part of the writing process in every student’s life. Not only for any examination but also in our personal lives, we will need to write about different topics. Paragraph writing is a simple process, and yet it needs special attention as you have to be short, precise and to the point.

Table of Contents

What is paragraph writing, how to write a paragraph, types of paragraph writing, paragraph writing topics, english paragraph writing format, frequently asked questions on paragraph writing.

As we all know, a paragraph is a group of sentences that are connected and make absolute sense. While writing a long essay or letter, we break them into paragraphs for better understanding and to make a well-structured writing piece. Paragraph writing on any topic is not only about expressing your thoughts on the given topic, but it is also about framing ideas about the topic and making it convenient for the readers to follow it. In English paragraph writing, it is essential to focus on the writing style, i.e., the flow and connection between the sentences.

Therefore, a paragraph must be written in simple language in order to avoid any interruption while reading. In order to write a paragraph on any topic, you can refer to the samples given below and write a paragraph without any hindrance.

In order to determine how to write a paragraph, you will have to find a good topic and collect enough information regarding the topic. Once you find the supporting details, you can start framing the sentences, connect the sentences following a sequence, and find a perfect concluding sentence. To understand it better, we have provided a few paragraph writing examples for your reference.

  • Find a Topic Sentence: It is the first sentence which is an introduction to the given topic. It gives the main idea of what the paragraph would be about.
  • Supporting details: These are the details that can be collected from various sources. It comprises information related to the topic that gives strong support to the main topic.
  • Closing sentence: It is the last sentence that ends the paragraph and restates the whole idea of the paragraph. It is basically the concluding sentence that gives the basic idea of the whole topic.

It is essential to know the types of paragraph writing before you write about any given topic. Therefore, check the below information to understand the various types of paragraph writing.

Majorly, there are four types of paragraph writing, i.e., narrative, descriptive, expository, and persuasive.

  • Descriptive: This kind of writing basically describes the topic and appeals to the five senses.
  • Narrative: These kinds of writing are basically a narration of a story or a situation that includes a sequence.
  • Expository: These kinds of writing are a definition of something. These paragraphs require a lot of research.
  • Persuasive: These kinds of writing aim to make the audience admit a writer’s point of view. These are mostly used by the teachers to provide a strong argument.

A paragraph can be written on various topics. For example, a student of Class 1–3 would write a paragraph on topics like ‘A Cow’, ‘My School’, ‘My Mother’, etc. With classes, the topics may vary, and when writing for yourself, the topics can be anything that comes to your mind. Check the various paragraph writing topics provided below and refer to the paragraph writing samples for a better understanding of the writing style.

  • Paragraph On Online Classes
  • An Ideal Student Paragraph
  • Paragraph On Noise Pollution
  • Mother Teresa Paragraph
  • Newspaper Paragraph
  • A Visit To A Zoo Paragraph
  • Paragraph About Doctor
  • Paragraph About Technology
  • My Best Friend Paragraph
  • Paragraph on Diwali
  • A Rainy Day Paragraph
  • Health is Wealth Paragraph
  • Paragraph on Holi
  • Paragraph on Trees
  • Friendship Paragraph
  • Paragraph on Mahatma Gandhi
  • Paragraph on Discipline
  • Paragraph on Christmas
  • Paragraph on Save Water

A paragraph can be written on various topics depending on the type of topic you wish to write on. You can refer to the topics here or write on topics as per your wish.

There is no specific format for writing a paragraph, as it is a narration of your own thoughts, ideas, and vision. Also, there are no restrictions to your writing. But a paragraph is called a well-written paragraph when this sequence is maintained — a topic sentence, then the description, and then the concluding statement.

Following the English paragraph writing format shall be helpful to the readers to understand your point of view.

What is meant by paragraph writing?

Paragraph writing is a process of writing a self-contained unit on a particular idea or topic. A paragraph is a group of sentences making absolute sense which has a topic sentence, supporting sentences, and a conclusion statement.

How can I write a good paragraph?

A good paragraph can be written if it is well-researched and has sufficient data related to the topic. The paragraph should have a good introduction sentence and a  well-explained description regarding the topic and must end with a good concluding sentence that summarises the whole paragraph.

Is there any word limit for paragraph writing?

At times there can be word limits or word restrictions, especially in schools or assignments. But, there is always the freedom to write as per your skills.

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Literacy Ideas

Perfect Paragraph Writing: The Ultimate Guide

Paragraph Writing Guide for Teachers and Students

Perfect paragraph writing is easy

A glance around any shopping mall crowded with teenagers on school break would suggest that our young people spend a reasonable amount of time writing. Sure, most of this writing is done with their thumb on a screen, but it’s still writing.

Yes, but tapping out a 280-character Tweet isn’t the ideal route to constructing well-organized writing pieces. To prepare our students to write coherently, they need to understand how to organize their ideas on paper. The ability to write strong paragraphs is an essential part of this.

Unfortunately, recent studies show that surprisingly few college graduates can achieve this, despite writing and communications skills being the most requested job requirements across all industries – including engineering and IT. Clearly, there is a pressing need for a strong focus on writing skills in the classroom.

Visual Writing Prompts

For the most part, we live in a post-illiterate world. We can all read and write. This is undoubtedly a great thing, but it can lead to complacency for some of our students. At times there is an unwillingness to learn the craft of writing. A reluctance to learn how to organize writing in favor of just plunging in. The cost of this devil-may-care approach is, most often, clarity and coherence.

Fortunately, teaching what appears to be an apparently amorphous skill, such as writing, can be broken down into transparent step-by-step processes, and this includes how to write well-structured, coherent paragraphs.

A COMPLETE UNIT ON TEACHING PARAGRAPH WRITING

Paragraph Writing | paragraph writing unit | Perfect Paragraph Writing: The Ultimate Guide | literacyideas.com

This complete PARAGRAPH WRITING UNIT takes students from zero to hero over FIVE STRATEGIC LESSONS to improve PARAGRAPH WRITING SKILLS through PROVEN TEACHING STRATEGIES.

BE SURE TO READ OUR COMPLETE GUIDE TO SENTENCE STRUCTURE

Paragraph Writing | sentence structure guide for teachers and students 2 | Perfect Paragraph Writing: The Ultimate Guide | literacyideas.com

Before you can master paragraph writing, you will need a good understanding of constructing meaningful sentences.

We have a complete guide to sentence structure for teachers and students. Click here to view.

WHAT IS A PARAGRAPH? A DEFINITION

What is a paragraph

To teach our students how to effectively write paragraphs we need to clearly define what a paragraph is. Assuming your students understand how to construct a solid sentence, paragraphs are the next step to creating a lucid piece of writing. They are the main building blocks in the construction of a comprehensible text. 

Paragraphs are a group of single sentences united by a single topic or idea that help keep writing organized. They help the writer organize their thoughts during the writing process and further help the reader follow the thread of those thoughts in the reading. How paragraphs are used will depend, to some extent, on the genre of writing the students are engaged in, but any piece of writing longer than a few sentences will generally benefit from being organized into paragraphs. 

A simple way to help students to recognize paragraphs is to have them count the number of paragraphs on a page, either in a book or projected onto the whiteboard. Have them note too, that there are two ways to delineate a paragraph: indentation or skipping a line. Both methods are fine, just ensure the student chooses one method and sticks to it. If you indent there is no need to skip a line – and vice versa.

Writing starts with planning. It’s a bit like gazing at a beautiful cathedral or temple we visit on vacation. Once it was obscured by scaffolding and busy workers that were eventually peeled away to reveal the beauty beneath. The planning stage of writing serves the same purpose as architectural blueprints, that is: to foresee the problems of construction and solve them before building begins. It is often helpful to consider paragraphs as distinct units in the planning process. Now, let’s take a look at the structure of paragraphs and how they work.

HOW TO STRUCTURE A PARAGRAPH

The three-part structure of an essay – introduction, body, and conclusion is echoed in the underlying structure of most paragraphs. There are two concepts essential to understanding in the writing of the perfect paragraph:

i. Thesis Statement: The thesis statement represents the main idea of the text as a whole and usually occurs in the opening paragraph.

ii. Topic Sentence: The first sentence of each paragraph thereafter usually introduces a single central idea in support of the previously mentioned thesis statement. 

The topic sentence also serves the purpose of unifying the other sentences in the paragraph, while further setting up the order of those sentences. While the majority of paragraphs will contain a topic sentence and that topic sentence will come first, there are, as always, some exceptions. A narration of the sequence of events may not require the use of a topic sentence or changing paragraphs because of a change of speaker in dialogue, for example.

Subsequent sentences following the topic sentence should all relate back to the topic sentence and either discuss the point raised or support that point through the provision of evidence and examples. A good acronym that conveys this is P.E.E.L.

Paragraph Writing | PEEL PARAGRAPHS | Perfect Paragraph Writing: The Ultimate Guide | literacyideas.com

Point: Make the central argument or express the main idea in the topic sentence.

Evidence: Back up the point made by providing evidence or reasons. Evidence may take the form of quotations from a text or authority, reference to historical events, use of statistics etc.

Explanation: Explain the point and how the evidence provided supports it.

Link: Provide a bridge into the next paragraph at the end of the current paragraph by using a transition that links to the next paragraph and the main idea or thesis statement.

WHEN TO BEGIN A NEW PARAGRAPH

Paragraph Writing | 1 writing paragraphs | Perfect Paragraph Writing: The Ultimate Guide | literacyideas.com

One of the more common difficulties for students is to recognize when it is time to begin a new paragraph. This often occurs because the student fails to distinguish between the thesis statement and the topic sentence. While the thesis (or more broadly, the theme) will remain consistent throughout the piece of writing, each paragraph should focus on a different point in support of that thesis.

Another useful way to determine when to start a new paragraph is to note that a new paragraph is necessary when there is a change of focus on a:

Person: This could be a character in a story or an important figure in history, for example. This could also refer to a change in speaker when writing dialogue. When there is a significant shift in focus from one person to another in a piece of writing, it’s time to indent or skip a line!

Place: As with a changing focus on a person, a shift from one location to another is most often best noted with a corresponding change in paragraphing. Instruct students that a move to a new paragraph in their writing is symbolic of the physical change of place – this will help them remember to start a new paragraph.

Time: Important shifts in time most often require a new paragraph too. These changes in time may be a mere matter of minutes or a significant movement through different historical periods. If the change in time opens up new material to the reader, students must mark this in their paragraphing.

Topic: Though usually united by the thesis statement or similar, a piece of writing will often explore clearly differentiated topics in its course. Usually, these topics will become apparent during the planning process. Each clearly identified topic will require at least one dedicated paragraph.

HOW LONG IS A PARAGRAPH? / HOW MANY SENTENCES IN A PARAGRAPH?

The question of how many sentences are in a paragraph, or how long is a paragraph is a common one. Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer to this question as quality paragraphs are measured in the ideas and concepts addressed rather than sentences and word counts.

Analytics of millions of paragraphs tell us that most paragraphs are approximately 100 – 200 words in length and are made up of 3 – 5 sentences but it must be stressed that this is purely a statistical coincidence and nothing more.

Excellent paragraphs can range from 12 words to 12 sentences when written correctly as you will discover from this guide.

HOW TO WRITE AN INTRODUCTION PARAGRAPH

Paragraph Writing | How to write an introduction paragraph | Perfect Paragraph Writing: The Ultimate Guide | literacyideas.com

Your  introductory paragraph  should contain the thesis statement. The Thesis statement usually appears at the middle or end of the introductory paragraph of a paper, providing a concise summary of the main point or claim of the piece of writing.

Your thesis statement should not exceed one sentence and is a guiding light for your essay or piece of writing.

The last sentence of an introduction paragraph should also contain a “hook” driving the reader to the next paragraph and onwards throughout your piece of writing as a whole.

DAILY WRITING JOURNAL UNIT FOR ALL TEXT TYPES

Daily Quick Write

Our FUN DAILY QUICK WRITE TASKS will teach your students the fundamentals of CREATIVE WRITING across all text types. Packed with 52 ENGAGING ACTIVITIES

HOW TO WRITE A CONCLUSION PARAGRAPH

The purpose of your conclusion is to wrap up your piece of writing as a whole. In your conclusion, you should summarize what you initially stated in your thesis statement without just repeating it word for word.

Your conclusion is not the place to bring up new ideas or evidence which should have been addressed before this point. In some instances, though you may raise questions or direct your reader to reconsider a specific aspect of your writing in an effort to challenge their thinking beyond this point. This is common practice in persuasive writing and some narrative styles such as mystery writing.

The final sentence of your conclusion will leave a lasting impression on your audience so never rush or disregard it. It is one of the most important sentences you will write.

Be sure to read our complete guide to writing a conclusion paragraph here.

TOP 5 TIPS FOR PARAGRAPH WRITING

●     Consistency is Key – Encourage students to be consistent in their verb tenses and point of view. For example, shifts from the past tense to present tense without good reason can be as disorientating as time travel itself. 

●     Use Transition Words and Phrases – These words and phrases are a great way to link concepts and ideas within a paragraph, as well as helping to form a bridge to the next paragraph. Some useful transitional words and phrases include: although, in spite of, therefore, for this reason, as a result.

●     Employ Parallel Structures: Using parallel structures brings flow to a piece of writing, making it easier to read and understand for the reader. Parallel structures involve using two or more phrases or sentences that use the same parts of speech and grammatical structures. Not only does this make the writing easier to read, but it also helps the reader make connections between ideas.

●     Breathe Life into the Writing: We often forget that the origins of the written word lie in speech. We lose a lot of the color and expression of the spoken word when we lay it out cold on the page. Fortunately, students can breathe life back into their words with a few simple techniques. Encourage your students to imbue their writing with color and vitality by weaving anecdotes, verbal illustrations, rich details, and facts and figures throughout their writing. Judiciously chosen, these techniques will have their writing rosy-cheeked in no time!

●     Edit and Proofreading: Unlike speaking, with writing you get more than one bite at the verbal cherry. Writing is a craft and like any craft, some refining is required. Ensure your students take the time to polish their final draft.

WRITING CHECKLISTS FOR ALL TEXT TYPES

writing checklists

TO PERFECT THE PARAGRAPH – PRACTICE!

Clarity comes from organization and without the ability to organize their own thoughts prior to writing, students will not be able to coherently express their thoughts and ideas to their readers. It is essential that students develop a clear and consistent approach to paragraph writing that is repeatable. This can only be attained through lots of practice – which means lots of writing. 

However, the principles underlying strong paragraph writing can also be reinforced through reading. Take the opportunity to reinforce good writing practices when engaged in classroom reading activities too. Repeatedly identify, and have students identify, the concepts and techniques discussed above until they become second nature. The more familiar students become with these concepts, the more they will naturally permeate the student’s writing. Getting a firm grasp on the mechanics of paragraph writing will make their communication much more effective. A skill that is hard-won, but easily carried.

PARAGRAPH WRITING TUTORIAL VIDEO

Paragraph Writing | YOUTUBE 1280 x 720 2 | Perfect Paragraph Writing: The Ultimate Guide | literacyideas.com

The content for this page has been written by Shane Mac Donnchaidh.  A former principal of an international school and English university lecturer with 15 years of teaching and administration experience. Shane’s latest Book, The Complete Guide to Nonfiction Writing , can be found here.  Editing and support for this article have been provided by the literacyideas team.

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  • 12 Writing Paragraphs

Writing Paragraphs

Start-Up Activity

Share with your students a picture of a hamburger or sandwich, with plenty of ingredients stacked between the halves of the bun or the pieces of bread. State that the image illustrates the structure of a paragraph. The topic sentence and ending sentence of the paragraph “hold” all of the supporting details in place. Then tell your students that they will be writing their own delicious paragraphs as they work through this chapter.

Think About It

“The paragraph is a mini-essay; it is also a maxi-sentence.”

—Donald Hall

State Standards Covered in This Chapter

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.4.1
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.4.2
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.4.5
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.1.A
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.1.B
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.1.D
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.2.A
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.2.B
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.2.E
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.5.1
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.5.2
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.5.5
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.1.A
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.1.B
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.1.D
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.2.A
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.2.B
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.2.E
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.4.1
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.4.2
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.3
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.3.A
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.3.D
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.3.E
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.5.1
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.5.2
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.3
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.3.A
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.3.D
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.3.E
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.2
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.2.C
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.2.D
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.2
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.2.C
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.2.D
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.1
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.1
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.4
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.5
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.4
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.5
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.7
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.8
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.7
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.8
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.1.C
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.3.C
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.1.C
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.3.C

LAFS Covered in This Chapter

Lafs.4.ri.1.1, lafs.4.ri.1.2, lafs.4.ri.2.5, lafs.4.w.1.1, lafs.4.w.1.2, lafs.5.ri.1.1, lafs.5.ri.1.2, lafs.5.ri.2.5, lafs.5.w.1.1, lafs.5.w.1.2, lafs.4.rl.1.1, lafs.4.rl.1.2, lafs.4.w.1.3, lafs.5.rl.1.1, lafs.5.rl.1.2, lafs.5.w.1.3, lafs.4.w.2.4, lafs.4.w.2.5, lafs.5.w.2.4, lafs.5.w.2.5, lafs.4.w.3.7, lafs.4.w.3.8, lafs.5.w.3.7, lafs.5.w.3.8, teks covered in this chapter, 110.6.b.9.d, 110.6.b.9.d.i, 110.6.b.9.d.iii, 110.6.b.11.a, 110.6.b.11.b.i, 110.6.b.12.c, 110.6.b.11.b.ii, 110.6.b.12.b, 110.7.b.9.d, 110.7.b.7.d, 110.7.b.9.d.iii, 110.7.b.11.b, 110.7.b.11.a, 110.7.b.12.c, 110.7.b.11.b.i, 110.7.b.12.b, 110.7.b.11.b.ii, 110.6.b.8.a, 110.6.b.11.b, 110.6.b.12.a, 110.7.b.8.a, 110.7.b.7.c, 110.7.b.12.a, 110.6.b.11.c, 110.6.b.11.d, 110.7.b.11.c, 110.7.b.11.d, 110.6.b.13.c, 110.6.b.13.d, 110.6.b.13.e, 110.7.b.13.b, 110.7.b.13.c, 110.7.b.13.d, page 086 from writers express, the parts of a paragraph.

Review with students the three-part structure of a paragraph:

  • The topic sentence tells what the paragraph is about— "Here's what I'm going to say."
  • The body sentences elaborate on the topic sentence— "Now I'm saying it."
  • The ending sentence reviews the ideas presented— "Here's what I just said."

This structure helps the reader understand the ideas in the paragraph.

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Page 087 from Writers Express

A closer look at the parts.

Use this page in conjunction with the last one to help students understand how to create the topic sentence, body sentences, and closing sentence in their paragraphs.

Page 088 from Writers Express

Types of paragraphs.

On this page of the student handbook and those that follow, you'll find paragraphs in different modes of writing: descriptive, narrative, explanatory, and persuasive. These modes move from the simplest and most familiar to the most complex.

Help your students see that the writer's choices in building each paragraph relate to the topic and purpose of the writing. For example, the descriptive paragraph on this page includes many sensory details, allowing the reader to experience the spot for themselves.

Once students understand the descriptive paragraph, have them write a descriptive paragraph of their own. Use the minilessons if you wish, or have students find a descriptive topic to start from.

Writing a "Showing" Paragraph

Help students show instead of tell.

A GROUP OF MEN AND WOMEN, WITH A GUIDE, WHITEWATER RAFTING ON THE PATATE RIVER, ECUADOR

Writing Descriptions That "Show" Instead of "Tell"

Teach students to use sensory details.

A GROUP OF MEN AND WOMEN, WITH A GUIDE, WHITE WATER RAFTING ON THE PATATE RIVER, ECUADOR

Writing an InstaMemory

Help students narrate and describe.

smartphone in female hands taking photo

Page 089 from Writers Express

Sample narrative paragraph.

This narrative paragraph tells a real-life story about a situation that goes awry. Point out that the paragraph focuses on people (characters) at a given place and time (setting) doing something (plot) in response to a problem (conflict).

Once your students understand how a narrative paragraph works, have them write their own narrative paragraphs. You can use the minilessons, or direct them to narrative topic ideas .

Writing a Family Story and Historical Marker

Inspire students to write family stories.

Kascinski's World Famous Hot Dog Stand Plaque

Writing a 5 W’s Story

Help students write realistic stories.

Two ice skaters glide along a frozen river

Starting Stories: 5 Great Beginning Strategies

Practice five strategies for starting a story.

Photo of a runner crouching at the starting line of a track

Page 090 from Writers Express

Sample explanatory paragraph.

In this explanatory paragraph , the purpose of the writing is to explain a process. Point out to your students that the details here are arranged in chronological (time) order. Transition words such as "first" and "then" help the reader understand the flow of details.

Other explanatory paragraphs might follow a different order. For example, a paragraph that explains the three types of something might use order of importance.

Once students are comfortable with explanatory writing, have them write their own explanatory paragraphs using one of these writing topics .

Page 091 from Writers Express

Sample persuasive paragraph.

This persuasive paragraph states a position and supports it with multiple reasons. Persuasive paragraphs also may evaluate a topic, focus on pros and cons, or advocate for a solution to a problem.

Once your students understand that persuasive writing provides reasons to convince the reader of a position, have them write their own persuasive paragraphs using one of these writing topics .

Using Perspective Shifting to Persuade Readers

Help students see from readers' perspectives.

illustration of girl writing and thinking

Page 092 from Writers Express

Writing a paragraph.

This page provides the steps in the process of writing a paragraph. In prewriting, students need to understand the assignment and gather details. During writing, students need to develop a first draft. When they revise and edit their writing, students should improve the paragraph.

Have students revise and edit one of the paragraphs they have already written. Or, if you prefer, have students select a new writing topic and write a new paragraph following the guidelines on this page.

Page 093 from Writers Express

Adding details.

Use this page to give students an overview of the different types of details they can gather and use in their writing. The "Personal Details" work well for personal, descriptive, and narrative writing. The "Details from Other Sources" work well for explanatory and persuasive writing.

Have students review one of the paragraphs they have written and revise it, adding details that will strengthen the writing.

Elaborating Ideas Using Different Levels of Details

Teach elaboration with levels of detail.

hieroglyphics

Page 094 from Writers Express

Putting things in order.

Help your students understand three basic ways to organize information, and how they relate to purpose:

  • Time order (narratives and process writing)
  • Order of location (descriptive and narrative writing)
  • Order of importance (explanatory and persuasive writing)

On the next page, you'll find transition words that can help organize details.

Have your students return to one of the paragraphs they have written and underline any transition word they used. What kind of order did they use to organize their details? If students' paragraphs don't contain enough transition words, have them add some.

Using Time-Order Transitions

Teach about chronological transitions.

illustration of a clock character holding a pencil

Using Transitions to Add Information and Emphasis

Help students add information and emphasis.

a line of apples transition from unfocused to focused

Page 095 from Writers Express

Transition words.

Suggest that your students flag this page so that they can find it whenever they are drafting a paragraph or essay. The transition words and phrases here can help them organize their details and create flow.

Page 096 from Writers Express

Finding paragraphs.

Sometimes, students write and write and write without making paragraph breaks. If you have students like that, teach them this simple technique for finding where paragraph breaks should be. The next page offers a sample piece of writing that you can have students use to practice this skill.

Page 097 from Writers Express

Finding paragraphs (continued).

Use this page in conjunction with the previous page to help students break long chunks of text into digestible paragraphs.

Page 098 from Writers Express

Building paragraphs and essays.

Use this page to demonstrate how the three-part structure works in paragraphs and in essays. Both types of writing have a beginning, a middle, and an ending. Each of these parts has a different role to help the reader understand the ideas.

Point out to your students that a paragraph is a mini-essay, and an essay is a maxi-paragraph. Ask students if any of the paragraphs they wrote during this chapter could be turned into an essay.

  • 01 A Basic Writing Guide
  • 02 Understanding the Writing Process
  • 03 One Writer's Process
  • 04 Qualities of Writing
  • 05 Selecting and Collecting
  • 06 Focusing and Organizing
  • 07 Writing and Revising
  • 09 Publishing
  • 10 Writing Basic Sentences
  • 11 Combining Sentences
  • 13 Understanding Writing Terms and Techniques
  • 14 Understanding Text Structures
  • 15 Writing in Journals
  • 16 Using Learning Logs
  • 17 Writing Emails and Blogs
  • 18 Writing Personal Narratives
  • 19 Writing Fantasies
  • 20 Writing Realistic Stories
  • 21 Writing Stories from History
  • 22 Responding to Narrative Prompts
  • 23 Writing Explanatory Essays
  • 24 Writing Process Essays
  • 25 Writing Comparison-Contrast Essays
  • 26 Responding to Explanatory Prompts
  • 27 Writing Persuasive Essays
  • 28 Writing Persuasive Letters
  • 29 Writing Problem-Solution Essays
  • 30 Responding to Persuasive Prompts
  • 31 Writing Book Reviews
  • 32 Writing About Literature
  • 33 Responding to Literature Prompts
  • 34 Writing Reports
  • 35 Writing Research Reports
  • 36 Writing Summaries
  • 37 Writing Plays
  • 38 Writing Poems
  • 39 Communicating Online
  • 40 Researching Online
  • 41 Staying Safe Online
  • 42 Reading Strategies for Fiction
  • 43 Reading Strategies for Nonfiction
  • 44 Reading Graphics
  • 45 Building Vocabulary Skills
  • 46 Becoming a Better Speller
  • 47 Giving Speeches
  • 48 Improving Viewing Skills
  • 49 Improving Listening Skills
  • 50 Using Graphic Organizers
  • 51 Thinking and Writing
  • 52 Thinking Clearly
  • 53 Thinking Creatively
  • 54 Completing Assignments
  • 55 Working in Groups
  • 56 Taking Tests
  • 57 Taking Good Notes
  • 58 Marking Punctuation
  • 59 Editing for Mechanics
  • 60 Check Your Spelling
  • 61 Using the Right Word
  • 62 Understanding Sentences
  • 63 Understanding Our Language

Teach and Learn English in One Place

Teach and Learn English in One Place

Learning English is Fun

Write Ten Sentences Daily Routine in English

How to write ten sentences about your daily routine

Go, Play, Read, Eat Fly, Wake up, Sleep, Play Walk, Run, Jog, Buy Paint, Drink, Swim

Why d o we want to write our daily routine?

Look at the picture above and think about your daily activities for a minute, how to write ten sentences daily routine in english.

  • Think daily activates and present simple verbs!
  • You can write ten sentences  daily routine  in English  because of many reasons.  

Remember that all sentences have to be in the present simple. 

  • Writing a daily diary.
  • Write about your daily routine home work.
  • Writing a letter to a friend
  • Writing for family.
  • Describing your daily routine.
  • College daily routine.
  • School daily routine.
  • Work daily routine.
  • Daily routine on holidays.
  • Any daily routine.

Below you can find some examples, exercises and worksheets on how to write ten sentences daily routine in English:

Video 1 on your daily routine in English

Watch a short video on how to write ten sentences about your daily routine. Click Here

Firstly, let’s start by writing a short paragraph or essay as below:

My daily routine:

I get up early in the morning around 6am. First, I take a shower then I brush my teeth. After that, I eat my breakfast. Next I put my clothes on and catch the train to work. In addition, I always take my tea break at 10am then I finish work at 4pm. Finally, I get home at 5 in the evening and have dinner then go to bed.

Secondly, lets listen to the audio of daily routine:

Now its your turn:

Fill in the blanks exercises and worksheets:.

I get up early in the morning around 6am. First, I take a shower then I brush my teeth. After that, I eat my breakfast. Next, ————————————————————————————————————. In addition, I always take my tea break at 10am then I—————————————. Finally, I get home at 5 in the evening and have dinner then go to bed.

Now you write ten sentences:

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Thirdly , copy and print or download my daily routine. Ten sentences daily routine exercises and worksheets. Just click below:

Ten Sentences Daily Routine Examples

Video 2 on daily routine with daily activity and examples:

Watch this video and try to remember what they are saying about their daily routine in English! Click here

The more videos you can wath the beter for your English practice conversations and daily routine activies.

Video 3 on my daily routine in English

Watch a short video on how to talk about your daily routine in English. Click here

You can start by writing your daily routine something like the short paragraph below:

My name is Adam. I always wake up at 7 o’clock in the morning then I wash my face and brush my teeth. After that,  I do some exercises then I put my clothes on and prepare my school bag. Next, I have my breakfast and wait for the school bus. At 8 o’clock I go to school and start my first class then I go to the second class. After that, I often take my lunch break and talk with my friends. At around 12 noon I go back home and take a rest. Next, I usually watch some TV and chat with my family then I do my homework and help my mother in the house. At  9 o’clock I read a book and go to sleep.

Now, let’s listen to the Audio of the above example:

Furthermore, you can download and print the below example if you like to have it offline.

Ten Sentences daily routine in English

Now it’s your turn:

My ————— routine:

My name is ———-. I always wake up at 7 o’clock in the morning then I wash my face and brush my teeth. After that,  I do ———————————————————. ——————————————————— Next, I have my breakfast and wait for the school bus. At 8 o’clock I——————————————————— I go to the second class. After that, I ———— take my lunch break and ——————————————-. At around 12 noon I go back home and take a rest. Next, I usually watch some TV and chat with my family then I do my homework and help my mother in the house. At  9 o’clock I read ——————————————————.

Write ten sentences daily routine in English about yourself.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

More worksheets to download and print to use on paper below:

Also, when you write ten sentences daily routine in English keep in mind some of the following in case you are writing a short paragraph or essay. 

Conjunctions needed:

  • Then, next, after that
  • And, or, because, so
  • In, on, at, above, under
  • Always, usually, often
  • First, second, finally

Finally, It’s your turn now to start writing by yourself:

Practice writing by yourself:

Ten Sentences Daily Routine in English Work Sheets

In addition, try mote writing topics and short paragraphs: 

  • Are you working? Write ten sentences about your job in English. Read more
  • Do you go to school? Write ten sentences about your school in English. Read more 
  • Write ten sentences about yourself in English. Read more
  • What food do you like? Write ten sentences about your favorite food in English. Read more
  • Which country do you like? Write ten sentences about your favorite country. Read more
  • Read a short passage about people in English. Read more
  • Talk about your daily routine in English. Read more
  • Speak about your daily routine. Read more
  • Read a short passage about your daily routine. Read more

Furthermore, you can write your weekly or monthly routine in a similar way. Just use weeks or months instead of days.

For example, write a:

Daily journal or dairy

Weekly journal or dairy

Or monthly journal or dairy.

Another way to fast forward your writing is doing crossword puzzles, word puzzles and word search. For example, if you want to write ten sentences daily routine in English then focus on puzzles with daily and morning routines.

Free crosswords puzzles to increase your vocabulary

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Write ten sentences daily routine in English

Next, you can increase your writing skills level by looking at other types of writings like

  • Free writing
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  • Independent writing
  • Technical writing
  • Narrative writing and many other types of writing

Like some examples, Take a look at a presentation on writing skills. Read more

Furthermore,  you can also take a look at some of the books below on how to  write ten sentences daily routine in English.

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  • An easy-to-apply and use book to good writing, very simple and focuses on the important writing skills .
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Finally, reading and practicing all of the above books and worksheets will definitely gets you to write ten sentences daily routine in English. Practice reading and writing frequently until you master it.

Now that you know how to write ten sentences about your daily routine then let’s talk about “how to talk about your daily routine in English?” Read more

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10.1: PIE Paragraphs

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WHAT ARE PARAGRAPHS?

Paragraphs group related sentences around one main point, so the paragraphs can work together to prove the larger argument (the thesis) in an essay. Paragraphs provide visual breaks between ideas and signal a progression of ideas in the essay.

WHAT KINDS OF PARAGRAPHS ARE THERE?

In an essay, you’ll have the following types of paragraphs:

  • Introductions capture your reader’s interest, establish a context for your topic, and smoothly lead your reader into your topic and thesis. You can read more about them in Chapter 8: Introductions.
  • Body paragraphs develop each of the main points and sub-points needed for your thesis to be credible. Body paragraphs contain topic sentences, evidence and analysis. You will read more about them in this chapter.
  • Conclusions help you bring together the points you’ve made in an essay, they delve into the larger significance or impact of your argument, and they should leave your reader convinced of that central argument. You can read more about them in Chapter 8: Conclusions.

PARAGRAPHS DO NOT :

  • Consist of only quotes
  • Consist of only facts
  • Consist of only summary
  • Contain a series of sentences not related to one another or to the thesis.

WHY USE PARAGRAPHS?

  • RELEVANCY: Paragraphs help your reader to follow the logic of the essay and clearly see how each of your body paragraphs is related to your thesis .
  • FOCUS: Paragraphs help your reader easily identify the one main idea in each paragraph and how each of the sentences within that paragraph contributes to this main idea.
  • ORGANIZATION: Along with transitions and topic sentences, paragraph breaks help your reader understand you are moving on to a new point or aspect of your essay.
  • DEVELOPMENT: Paragraphs require critical thinking to prove the main point of the essay by making connections with textual evidence, outside evidence, and your own analysis.
  • VOICE: Paragraphs are a place where you get to say what you think and prove why you’re right .

HOW CAN I WRITE A PARAGRAPH?

One way to ensure that each of your body paragraphs is clearly focused, convincingly developed, and connects back to thesis is to use

the PIE strategy:

Example: Sample PIE Paragraph

See the PIE paragraph structure in the first body paragraph from an essay on Malcolm X’s “Learning to Read”:

Of course, PIE paragraphs don’t always need to look exactly like this; while you want to start a paragraph with your main Point , you might alternate between Information and Explanation , so that your paragraph could look like this: P => I => E => I => E.

Practice: Creating Paragraphs Using the PIE Paragraph Approach

First, select a topic:

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Third, brainstorm concrete evidence/information you can use to prove your main claim:

Fourth, analyze and explain the significance, importance or impact of your evidence and claims:

Finally, using all the advice in this chapter, put it all together into a complete paragraph

Practice: Peer Response for PIE Paragraphs

Use the following questions to provide constructive feedback on paragraphs:

________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________

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Frequently asked questions

The act of putting someone else’s ideas or words into your own words is called paraphrasing, rephrasing, or rewording. Even though they are often used interchangeably, the terms can mean slightly different things:

Paraphrasing is restating someone else’s ideas or words in your own words while retaining their meaning. Paraphrasing changes sentence structure, word choice, and sentence length to convey the same meaning.

Rephrasing may involve more substantial changes to the original text, including changing the order of sentences or the overall structure of the text.

Rewording is changing individual words in a text without changing its meaning or structure, often using synonyms.

It can. One of the two methods of paraphrasing is called “Fluency.” This will improve the language and fix grammatical errors in the text you’re paraphrasing.

Paraphrasing and using a paraphrasing tool aren’t cheating. It’s a great tool for saving time and coming up with new ways to express yourself in writing.  However, always be sure to credit your sources. Avoid plagiarism.  

If you don’t properly cite text paraphrased from another source, you’re plagiarizing. If you use someone else’s text and paraphrase it, you need to credit the original source. You can do that by using citations. There are different styles, like APA, MLA, Harvard, and Chicago. Find more information about citing sources here.

Paraphrasing without crediting the original author is a form of plagiarism , because you’re presenting someone else’s ideas as if they were your own.

However, paraphrasing is not plagiarism if you correctly cite the source . This means including an in-text citation and a full reference, formatted according to your required citation style .

As well as citing, make sure that any paraphrased text is completely rewritten in your own words.

Plagiarism means using someone else’s words or ideas and passing them off as your own. Paraphrasing means putting someone else’s ideas in your own words.

So when does paraphrasing count as plagiarism?

  • Paraphrasing is plagiarism if you don’t properly credit the original author.
  • Paraphrasing is plagiarism if your text is too close to the original wording (even if you cite the source). If you directly copy a sentence or phrase, you should quote it instead.
  • Paraphrasing  is not plagiarism if you put the author’s ideas completely in your own words and properly cite the source .

IMAGES

  1. The 10 Sentence Paragraph

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  2. PPT

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  4. Academic Paragraphing

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  6. PPT

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VIDEO

  1. How to Write a Topic Sentence

  2. How to Write a Topic Sentence

  3. Topic sentence, supporting sentences and concluding sentence-Paragraph

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  6. Writing Skills: The Paragraph

COMMENTS

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  2. Paragraph Structure: How to Write Strong Paragraphs

    How many sentences are in a paragraph? Most paragraphs contain between three and five sentences, but there are plenty of exceptions. Different types of paragraphs have different numbers of sentences, like those in narrative writing, in particular, where single-sentence paragraphs are common.

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  4. On Paragraphs

    A paragraph is a collection of related sentences dealing with a single topic. Learning to write good paragraphs will help you as a writer stay on track during your drafting and revision stages. Good paragraphing also greatly assists your readers in following a piece of writing.

  5. 6.2 Effective Means for Writing a Paragraph

    Sentence: Nearly 10 percent of adults are currently unemployed in the United States. Quotation. Sentence: "We will not allow this situation to continue," stated Senator Johns. Example. Sentence: Last year, ... write a paragraph on a topic of your choice. Be sure to include a topic sentence, supporting sentences, and a concluding sentence ...

  6. Paragraphs & Topic Sentences

    A topic sentence has several important functions: it substantiates or supports an essay's thesis statement; it unifies the content of a paragraph and directs the order of the sentences; and it advises the reader of the subject to be discussed and how the paragraph will discuss it.

  7. How to Write a Paragraph: 10 Steps (with Pictures)

    Download Article. 1. Decide what the main topic of the paragraph will be. Before you begin writing your paragraph, you must have a clear idea of what the paragraph will be about. This is because a paragraph is essentially a collection of sentences that all relate to one central topic. [1]

  8. The Ultimate Guide to Paragraphs

    These paragraphs rely on data, statistics, or citations from other sources to present facts and build up to an irrefutable conclusion. Descriptive paragraphs. Common in fiction and certain styles of journalistic or other nonfiction writing, a descriptive paragraph contains various details of the same thing, with each sentence adding new insight.

  9. How to Write an Effective Paragraph

    However, short paragraphs can appear choppy and undeveloped. In fact, one-sentence paragraphs are rarely effective. Not only can a one-sentence paragraph seem abrupt, but it can also leave readers puzzled. A sentence that makes a point about a topic will typically need at least one or even more sentences to illustrate and explain that point.

  10. Paragraphs

    A paragraph is a series of sentences on a specific point or topic. A well written paragraph must have a topic sentence which states the main idea: what the paragraph is about. While some say the topic sentence can be anywhere in the paragraph, it is best to put it as the first sentence in a paragraph. The rest of the sentences in the paragraph ...

  11. Paragraph Writing

    A paragraph can be written on various topics. For example, a student of Class 1-3 would write a paragraph on topics like 'A Cow', 'My School', 'My Mother', etc. With classes, the topics may vary, and when writing for yourself, the topics can be anything that comes to your mind. Check the various paragraph writing topics provided ...

  12. PDF The Anatomy of a Body Paragraph

    A strong paragraph in an academic essay will usually include these three elements: • A topic sentence. The topic sentence does double duty for a paragraph. First, a strong topic sentence makes a claim or states a main idea that is then developed in the rest of the paragraph. Second, the topic sentence signals to readers how the

  13. Focus: Relate Sentences to a Paragraph's Main Idea

    Keys to focused writing. Focused writing is all about staying on topic and removing unnecessary concepts and words. Define your topic and scope before you start writing. Choose topic sentences to set the stage for each paragraph. Use transition sentences to make a cohesive point. Fix run-on sentences.

  14. Perfect Paragraph Writing Tips For Students and Teachers

    Point: Make the central argument or express the main idea in the topic sentence. Evidence: Back up the point made by providing evidence or reasons. Evidence may take the form of quotations from a text or authority, reference to historical events, use of statistics etc. Explanation: Explain the point and how the evidence provided supports it. Link: Provide a bridge into the next paragraph at ...

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  16. 12 Writing Paragraphs

    The Parts of a Paragraph. Review with students the three-part structure of a paragraph: The topic sentence tells what the paragraph is about— "Here's what I'm going to say."; The body sentences elaborate on the topic sentence— "Now I'm saying it."; The ending sentence reviews the ideas presented— "Here's what I just said."; This structure helps the reader understand the ideas in the ...

  17. Write Ten Sentences Daily Routine in English

    Firstly, let's start by writing a short paragraph or essay as below: My daily routine: I get up early in the morning around 6am. First, I take a shower then I brush my teeth. After that, I eat my breakfast. Next I put my clothes on and catch the train to work. ... Write ten sentences daily routine in English about yourself. ...

  18. 10.1: PIE Paragraphs

    the PIE strategy: P = Point. I = Information. E = Explanantion. The "P" part of your paragraph is your topic sentence: a clear statement of the main claim you are making in the paragraph. The "I" fills out the body of your paragraph with concrete evidence that supports the main claim.

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    (1) The Philippine government has taken various measures to prevent the spread of the corona virus. (2) Starting from maintaining physical distance, working from home (WFH), studying at home, to worshiping from home. (3) As students, we must understand the current state of the pandemic.

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    History World History World History questions and answers Write a 10-sentence paragraph in this situation. As a student, if you are to address the nation or the Filipino people in this time of pandemic, what would you tell them? Please help about this : ( This problem has been solved!

  23. B. Write a 10-sentence paragraph in this situation. As a student, if

    Answer: 1. We're thankful that we have our frontliners who take cared the patient of this pandemic. 2. We should follow the protocols of this covid 19 because its for our own health. 3. Please give a respect to the patient of this pandemic; they need it so don't judge and insult them. 4.

  24. Solved B. Write a 10-sentence paragraph in this situation.

    Answer Unlock Previous question Next question Transcribed image text: B. Write a 10-sentence paragraph in this situation. As a student, if you are to address the nation or the Filipino people in this time of pandemic, what would you tell thern?