Writing is a complex process wherein you’re supposed to discuss a certain subject, elaborate some topic and make sure your work is easy on the eyes as well. It’s not only important to essay writing, novel, or article that is grammatically correct without any essay mistakers or typos. High-quality works require proper structure. Ideally, you should always strive to write a paper that is easy to read. Your readers, clients or professors shouldn’t feel like they are trapped by the text. That’s why you need to pay extra attention to creating understandable and coherent paragraphs. Throughout this article, I’m going to show you how to organize paragraphs and make your work appealing. Although to most people attractiveness of the text seems a bit unnecessary it plays a big role in how other people perceive your work. Don’t worry; it’s not difficult, I promise!
What is a paragraph?
It’s always to define something first and I’m going to do it in this section. Paragraph is defined as a group of sentences organized around a central topic. These sentences aren’t random; they are used to express one point, thought or idea. Organizing paragraphs doesn’t only make it easier for reader to go through your work, it also helps you stay on the right track.
Basic rule for paragraphing
Here’s the basic rule that will help you write and organize paragraphs: keep one idea to one paragraph. If you notice you already started discussing some other notion or idea it means it’s time for the next paragraph. However, in some cases it can be quite difficult to determine whether you’re on the same topic or not. For example, you can discuss one idea that is divided into smaller bits of supporting evidence. You can freely discuss multiple points within one paragraph only if they are related to the idea you’re discussing. But, if you notice that paragraph is becoming too long it would be a better idea to discuss each point in separate section or paragraph.
How does effective paragraph look like?
Here are the qualities that effective paragraph should contain:
- It should present a single idea
- It should start with a topic sentence which makes some idea evident
- All sentences should act like the supporting evidence that convey single idea
- It should be strategically organized to maintain flow
- It should maintain objective of essay, novel, article, or some other type of work you’re writing
- It should entertain and inform reader i.e. it should be short, precise and informative. Try to avoid the fluff.
Elements of paragraph
I like to compare paragraph to foundation and supporting walls of some building. Only when supporting walls and foundation are strong your building can be strong as well. Without them, the building would simply collapse. The same thing can be said about essays, novels etc. If their foundation and structure isn’t good, quality of entire work is going to be jeopardized as well. To avoid this scenario you have to understand what it takes to write an effective paragraph. Here are the elements that paragraphs should contain:
- Unity – as I’ve already mentioned: one paragraph, one idea/focus. It should start and end with one idea without wandering within different ideas.
- Coherence – it should be easy to read. You can add coherence to paragraphs by creating logical or vertical bridges. Creating logical bridges means discussing one idea within said paragraph while vertical bridges are created by repeating certain keywords in multiple sentences, using synonyms, pronouns, and transition words.
- A topic sentence – it refers to a sentence which indicates the idea or thesis the paragraph is going to deal with. Although topic sentences can be included just about anywhere in a paragraph it’s recommended to keep it closes to the beginning for easier understanding.
Example: There are many reasons why lack of sleep can have significant impact on your health and increased stress level is just one of them.
- Adequate development – now that your paragraph has a topic it’s important to make sure it is adequately developed. As I already stated you should make it precise and informative. You can accomplish this by citing data, facts or statistics, using examples, telling anecdote or a story, evaluate causes or reasons etc.
Length of paragraphs
When it comes to length of paragraphs there’s no one size fits all rule. It depends on the general topic you chose as well as the idea you’re going to discuss in that paragraph. However, you should make sure paragraph isn’t too short or too long either. General rule of a thumb is about five to seven sentences per paragraph. Be careful though, writing paragraphs that are too short (two to three sentences) isn’t a good idea. Paragraphs that short are rarely informative i.e. no adequate development.
How to start a new paragraph?
This is one of the most common questions that people have about paragraphs. Here’s when you should start a new one:
- When you start discussing a new idea
- To demonstrate contrast of ideas or arguments
- When you assume readers would need a pause (reading paragraphs that are too long can be quite exhausting)
- When ending introductions and starting to write conclusions.
Paragraphs add order and unity to your work, they make your paper easier to read, and help you stay on the right track. Ideally, paragraph should contain four elements listed above and discuss one particular idea. Use tips from this article to write better and more coherent paragraphs in order to improve the quality of your work.