Paragraph Writing

Paragraph Writing

Paragraph Writing


At the end of the session students will be able to:

• Describe the principles of paragraph writing

• Identify different patterns of paragraph writing

• Develop functional paragraphs

Paragraph: Definition

• A group of sentences or a single sentence that expresses a single idea

• A group of related sentences communicating a single idea

Paragraph Writing

Paragraph writing is a piece of writing in which one idea or thought is developed. A paragraph comprises proper length, unity, coherence and organized ideas.

Paragraph Beginning – Topic Sentence

• A paragraph consists of a main topic which is the main sentence or idea of a paragraph and tells its readers what the paragraph is going to talk about

• It usually comes at the beginning of a paragraph, it is the first sentence of introduction that clearly states the main idea that is intended to progress

• It is the most common sentence in a written paragraph

• Topic sentence is a preview for the reader the kind of information that the remaining paragraph is likely to contain

Paragraph Development – Supporting Sentence

• Supporting the evidence is to explicate the new idea and point that has been introduced

• While writing a paragraph a student needs to find a sense of balance between evidence provided such as proofs, evidences, quotes, summary of actions/conspiracy, etc. and analysis which includes interpretation of evidence.

• The supporting sentences are the additional sentences in a paragraph

These sentence either:

 Expand the main point

 Describe key terms

 Suggest explanations

 Provide examples

 Give added factors

Paragraph Conclusion– Conclusion Sentence

• The last part of a paragraph is called the concluding sentence

• A Concluding sentence meets the requirements of the views expressed in order to connect the present paragraph to the subsequent paragraph

• It is the summary of information that has been told so far

• A concluding sentence is a good idea in case the paragraph is long which connects and draws connections of all the evidence stated

Paragraph: Functions

• Analysis

• Description

• Explanation

• Illustration

• Definition

• Comparison

• Contrast

• Classification

• Problem and solution

• Argument

• Comparison-contrast

Paragraph: Patterns

• Inductive: specific to general

• Deductive: general to specific

• Spatial: emphasizes visual description

• Linear: sequential fashion

• Chronological: order of appearance in time

Paragraph Writing Principles – Coherence

• Coherence means holding together to form a whole

• Links the meanings and sequences of ideas to one another

• Coherence is the password of good writing

• Certain language devices help in maintaining coherence in writing

Coherence devices in action

• Pronouns- Maintain continuity of thought

• Repetitions- Repetitions of key words emphasize the author’s point of view

• Transitional tags-Occur at the beginning of a sentence to show the relationship between the new sentence and the preceding sentence. Some of the connectives are—- and, but, or, therefore, next, further, besides, similarly, on the other hand, secondly, etc.

Paragraph Writing Principles


• Extent to which all ideas in a paragraph hang together so that reader can understand easily

• Paragraph should deal with only one topic

• It should be a unified whole and not disjointed / unrelated sentences


• Logical sequence of thought or development of the subject

• Events must be related in the order of their occurrence, and all ideas should be connected with the leading idea and arranged according to their importance or order


• Paragraphs should be short

• Length depends on contents and the type of document in which the paragraph appears

• Long documents: about eight lines

• Letters, emails: shorter paragraphs (e.g. one line paragraph at the end of a business letter)


• Paragraph writing is a piece of writing in which one idea or thought is developed

• Structure of a paragraph-

¾    Topic sentence

¾    Supporting sentence

¾    Conclusion sentence

• Patterns of paragraph are inductive, deductive, spatial, linear, chronological

• Paragraph writing principles-

¾    Coherence

¾    Unity

¾    Order

¾    Length

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