A paragraph is formed by a number of sentences that are united by one idea. You usually start a paragraph with an indent. Some writing styles allow you simply to skip the line. The most common structure of a paragraph is this: a topic sentence, body sentences and a conclusion. Now, let’s discuss each part of the paragraph in details.
The topic sentence
A topic sentence is the one that usually stands at the beginning of a paragraph; that is some sort of unwritten rule of official academic writing. The topic sentence is the one with the most general idea. It implies that there are not a lot of details in the sentence, and it states a common idea that you want to develop in this paragraph. Unfortunately, many writers start their paragraphs with one idea and then write something completely different. That confuses readers, and the writing becomes nonsense. To avoid this mistake, keep in mind that you have to expand no more than one idea in one paragraph, not two or three, only one!
The body sentences
The body of the paragraph usually consists of more than one sentence. Remember, each statement you make must be related to the topic. Body sentences add more supportive details to your general idea. Why is it significant, what are the reasons, why you think your statement is true, and your evidence deserve attention. Examples usually provide the best evidence. The more examples you have in your work, the better it is. That is why there are no limits to the number of body sentences in one paragraph. If you have something to say, then say it, as long as it can be related to your topic sentence.
The final phrase
As a rule, all paragraphs end with a summary of the information previously given. Such sentences are called concluding. You can think of this final sentence, as a kind of topic one, but totally revised. Don’t forget about the links or, as many call them, bridges. Every sentence should have some connection to the following one. It makes your text easy to understand and doesn’t let your readers’ attention slip away.
Avoid repetition, unless you are using key terms. Try not to use the same word more than once in one paragraph. For example, if you used “in addition” in one sentence, substitute it with “moreover” or “furthermore” in all others. Of course, sometimes you get words which are difficult to replace, like “students.” You can use “learners” once in a while, but in this case it will be OK if “students” remains the most commonly used.
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