Writing a Good Paragraph

A paragraph is a group of connected sentences, which develop one idea or topic. Typically, writing a paragraph is the creation of basic blocks of your essay that help to divide it into simple, consistent, and logical parts. Essays usually consist only of paragraphs, when other types of more technical papers, such as reports, are made up of sections, and the sections may contain paragraphs, lists, bullet points, tables, figures, etc.

When a student is writing a paragraph, he/she may wonder, how long it should be. As mentioned above, the paragraph should develop the thought or idea, so usually it is hard to do it in two or three sentences. Therefore, there must be at least five or six sentences in one paragraph. According to the rules, it should not be shorter than this, but can be longer it depends on the total length of the essay. The longer writing you must present to your teacher, the longer paragraphs can be.

Mistakes of writing a paragraph

The most common mistake among students who do not know how to write a paragraph is making it too short. If you make paragraphs that consist of two sentences and take just two or three lines, it does not look very good. In this case, your essay can look more like a list of simple points or series of notes. In addition, it may indicate that you have not thought well enough through your essay and could not develop the ideas sufficiently. If you cannot find another alternative, you may just put some of the fragments together so that they form one paragraph but only if they are connected. You should not put unrelated information or ideas in one paragraph. A typical 1.5 or double spaced page accommodates 3-4 paragraphs of the correct length.

If you want to write a paragraph that will match the standards, you should not also go to the opposite extreme and make it too long. Over-long paragraphs usually make the essay difficult to understand and follow the development of ideas, and indicate that you might not control your thoughts. Also, do not forget that one paragraph can develop only one idea, so if your writing consists of four or five paragraphs, you cannot describe more ideas than four or five.

Do you wonder how to write paragraphs with good structure? There is no set structure that all paragraphs must follow it would make your essay too boring, typical and hinder your flexibility in answering the specific questions. However, the paragraphs should meet some of the following requirements in order to develop the idea maximally:

  • Some kind of introduction sentence that describes what the paragraph is about. Often, but not always, such sentences are located at the beginning of the paragraph.
  • The definition or explanation of any terms that may be not clear.
  • Evidences of all your statements: examples, references to the sources, illustrations, statistics, etc.
  • The evaluation of evidences, analysis of the causes, examinations of consequences and effects, comparison with other information, discussion of issued topics.
  • Conclusion, if necessary, drawn up in a table or diagram.

If you know how to write a good paragraph, do not forget that all of them must be coherent with the sentences linked together. At the end of a paragraph a reference can be located to the introduction in order to show how the idea has developed. In addition, the end of the paragraph may link to the following paragraph. In shorter fragments, you can also make regular reference to a specific idea you are describing.

If you are not good enough in writing body paragraphs, note that you have to make it clear when one paragraph ends and a new one begins. Traditionally, we used to "indent" the first line of the new paragraph. Today, most of students just leave a line space between paragraphs it is the easiest way. Do not forget, if you are writing a double-spaced paper, you need to put in an extra space. You cannot use two possibilities at the same time.