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Paragraph Structure

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Uncover the Tips to Build a Strong Paragraph Structure
 John Millar   Published On Jun 23, 2022 | Updated on Oct 05, 2023  Student Guide

Structuring an essay is easy; all you have to do is place the information in the introduction, body, and conclusion. However, the most complicated part of this structure is the paragraphs and how you will use the paragraph structure in the essay body.

This blog provides valuable templates and tips for writing a paragraph, outlining, and organizing your text logically.

What Is a Paragraph?

A paragraph centers on one primary idea through a series of inter-related sentences. For example, the primary idea is usually introduced in the first parts of a paragraph in the form of a topic sentence. It is then developed further through the sentences that roll on.

A paragraph comprises five or six sentences, with usual lengths of 250 words. However, the size and consistency can vary with the topic, content, and the purpose for building it. Paragraphs are also crucial for the text framework as it forms the pillars of the foundation and growth of the logical ideas. A clear paragraph structure also guides the reader through the text contents and helps increase the readability score.

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Parts Of a Paragraph

A valuable way the parts of a paragraph is to imagine it as a block and then divide it into three sections: the beginning, the middle, and the end.

Topic Sentence - the beginning

  • Needs to state one idea clearly

Always remember: To put the most significant information first!

Supporting Sentences - the middle

  • Explains the idea introduced in the topic sentence and its relevance
  • Provides evidence and examples

Concluding Sentence - the end

  • Create links: back to the paragraph's main idea, research question, or assignment topic, and the next paragraph.

When To Start a New Paragraph?

Start a new paragraph on the following conditions:

  • Have new distinct points or ideas to include

If you have an idea to extend across multiple paragraphs, add each new related argument in a new section.

  • Introduce contrasting position

If you have a contrasting or different position to add to your writing, create a new paragraph. But, again, ensure to have a precise topic to identify the primary idea.

  • Increased length or complex ideas

A paragraph sentence often becomes incoherent when too many complex ideas club in a single paragraph or the paragraph increases in length. Then, it would help if you created a new paragraph, splitting a single long paragraph into two. However, it would help to begin the new paragraph with a new topic sentence.

  • Write the introductory and concluding paragraph

Introductory and concluding paragraphs are separate. They should never be mixed with other body paragraphs.

Must Read: Five Paragraph Essay

Types Of Paragraphs

There are several types of paragraphs. Here are a few significant ones:

  • Argument paragraph –presents a point of view and provides evidence to support the position taken by the writer.
  • Classification paragraph– groups separate items together according to shared characteristics. 
  • Compare and contrast paragraph – examines similarities and differences between two distinct ideas.
  • Definition paragraph – begins with simple definition in the first sentence and adds more information like examples, description, and explanation.
  • Description paragraph– provides specific details on how something looks, sounds, tastes, smells, or feels.
  • Explanation paragraph- describe how something works or how something happens.
  • Illustration paragraph – illustrates examples to clarify and support a general statement.

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How To Start a Paragraph?

Stick to the 4 tips discussed above to learn how to write a paragraph:

  1. Make the first sentence the topic sentence

Students are often confused about how to start a paragraph. An easy way out is to make the first sentence your topic sentence. It helps to establish the idea to revolve around the section in the first line. Then arrange the rest of the paragraph accordingly.

  1. Use middle sentences for support

Use these sentences to convince your reader of what you envision doing. For example, the content could be follow-up information from the previous paragraph or the primary sentence of the section.

  1. Conclude or transition with the last sentence

Even if your entire writing does not end with the paragraph's last sentence, use it to give a sense of ending to a specific school of thought before adding a new idea in the following line.

  1. Use transitions

Transitional words are like the knots that tie separate trains of thoughts together. It also makes the paragraph coherent and helps track the ideas and their inter-relation for a smoother reading experience.

Must Read: Personal Statement for Graduate School

Examples Of Paragraph Structure

Now that you have learned the concept of creating a paragraph structure, you may wish to have some paragraph structure examples to flush off any doubts. An example of the paragraph structure is given below:

"Using storytelling in educational settings can help educators connect with their students because of inborn human tendencies to story listening. Humans started using written words for communication only 6,000 or 7,000 years ago. However, before that, several world cultures have used the oral tradition of storytelling to preach important lessons down the generations. These varied from simple informative tales to help us learn how to find food or avoid danger to more magical and miraculous stories designed to help us see how we can resolve conflict and find our place in society. Native American culture takes the assistance of oral storytelling traditions to date. Rebecca Bishop, a native American public relations officer, believes that the physical act of storytelling is unique; the gestures stop children automatically from what they are doing and listen when a story is told. Professional communicators report that this attention continues to adulthood. It proves that storytelling can be a powerful tool for connecting with students of all ages. The emotional connection and innate, almost hardwired, need to listen when someone tells a story means that educators can teach memorable lessons in a uniquely engaging manner common to all cultures. This cross-cultural element of storytelling can be seen when reading or listening to wisdom tales worldwide."

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