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A paragraph is made up of a group of sentences that are related to a single main idea. When writing, paragraphs should be carefully developed and contain focus. There should be a relation between individual sentences. This can be achieved by focusing on the paragraph’s main idea and providing transitions to connect ideas. The main idea is represented by the topic sentence and occurs at the beginning of the paragraph. Sentences that follow (supporting sentences) should be related to this main idea and contribute to it. These pointers in creating an effective paragraph will make you a professional writer:
1. Deciding on the main idea
Choose a topic for your paragraph that gives it unity and focus. Decide on the genre of the topic ( is it a story, question, description, etc.?). Note down issues you will cover with the intended audience in mind. Does the reader have prior knowledge of the topic at hand, or do you have to give the whole account of a topic?
2. Outline creation
Create an outline of ideas to help you decide what ideas are relevant and which ones are not. Do thorough research on the topic to get supporting ideas and information for your topic. Rearrange the points from most important to ease the writing process.
3. Choose a topic sentence
This sentence tells the reader what the paragraph is about. It’s a very important sentence as it has the ability to influence your reader to read the rest of the paragraph. Make it captivating and let it represent a summary of what the rest of the paragraph is about. Most experienced writers are able to place the topic sentence at different stages of the paragraph but as a beginner, make sure it’s the first sentence in the paragraph.
4. Supporting sentences
These should expand and discuss in detail the topic sentence. They should all relate to the topic sentence and should be simple, short, clear to the point, and not ambiguous. Make use of facts, statistics, figures, quotes, and examples to make these supporting sentences strong. A paragraph can be made of three, five, or more sentences, but this is dependent on the topic you are writing about or the type of paper.
Make the conclusion sentence a summary of points covered in the supporting sentences. It should reinforce and re-word your topic sentence. It should also emphasize information given in the supporting sentences. The concluding sentence is a signal to the reader that you are about to move to the next paragraph.
6. Include coherence
After collecting all the information, organize your ideas coherently. A coherent paragraph flows, and the content fits together in an understandable way for the reader. Transitions such as also, after a while, again, although, but, after all, above, granted that, as a result, for example, etc. can be used. Repeating keyword phrases and maintaining the same point of view throughout a paragraph also leads to coherence. With paragraph coherence, the reader moves easily from one sentence to the next and feels that the ideas are unified.
7. Proofread your work
This is the most important part in creating a paragraph that flows. Proofreading will help you get rid of mistakes in style, grammar, punctuation, and spelling. It also rids your paragraph of information that is irrelevant and not related to the main topic. When editing a paragraph, make sure it’s written in one tense, that it has subject-verb agreement, and that the nouns are capitalized. Make sure that none of the main points you had outlined is left out. Your paragraph, after editing, should contain all the elements of a great paragraph: coherence, unity, order, and completeness.
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