Paragraph Structure: Essential Building Blocks of a Paper

Paragraph Structure: Essential Building Blocks of a Paper

The ability to write good paragraphs is an extremely important skill for every student.

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Paragraphs are the main logical units of a paper, and it is necessary to know how they are built.

The knowledge of paragraph structure will always come in handy to you. So, let us take a closer look at how the major elements of a paragraph interact with one another.

Paragraph Structure: The Checklist That You Can Use

Writing a paragraph can be made much easier if a person knows what kind of elements have to be included and how they should function. So, this is how you should structure a paragraph:

  1. To start the paragraph, you have to write a clear and convincing topic sentence that outlines the key idea that you’ll discuss in this part of the paper.
  2. The argument expressed in the topic sentence has to be substantiated by various examples. Supporting sentences are specifically intended for this purpose. Remember that you should always provide first the most convincing or interesting examples. In other words, you need to put your best foot forward.
  3. Finally, you have to write a concluding sentence that summarizes the key points of a paragraph. Remember that this sentence should not present new information.

These are the most important components of paragraph structure. Yet, there are several important rules and principles that you should remember when writing paragraphs. Here are the most important ones:

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  1. First, you should not start or end your paragraph with a quote. Quotations should be used in supporting sentences where you give the main examples. Remember that the professor is interested in your ideas, rather then someone else’s
  2. Secondly, you need to make sure that your topic sentence is not too general. It has to advance an interesting and debatable argument. You need to avoid banal statements such as “Shakespeare was a great playwright.” It doesn’t really tell anything new.
  3. Use quotations sparingly. A paragraph that consists only of direct quotes borrowed from someone else will not improve the quality of your paper.
  4. Don’t write extremely long sentences that may make it difficult for the reader to understand your ideas.
  5. Make sure that your paragraphs are not too long. Certainly, it is rather difficult to determine the optimal length of a paragraph; yet, a paragraph shouldn’t be longer than half a page.
  6. Finally, your paragraph should be logically complete. It has to provide a clear discussion of a single, main idea, and you shouldn’t let the idea suspended in mid air.

Paragraph Structure: What Else You Need to Keep in Mind

Overall, a paragraph is probably the most important component of a paper. However, to get a better understanding of paragraph structure, you should read sample essays available on the Web. They show how the topic, supporting, and concluding sentences work together. You will learn a great deal by reading such sample papers.

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