It may seem as if paragraphing is one of the easiest parts of writing a paper, but it can be more of a challenge than you may think. There is a certain way that a paragraph must be written and organized throughout to ensure that a paper is the best it can be. This may sound difficult, but with the essentials of paragraphing you will be fine!
Essentials of paragraphing
● One main idea
○ For any paragraph to be a paragraph, it must focus typically on one idea within a paper. This could mean one component of your argument is features in one paragraph or that each aspects of your paper’s thesis is featured in each of its respective paragraphs.
○ This does not mean that if your thesis has three arguments in within that you only need three paragraphs to explain these arguments. Arguments can be complex and may take more than one paragraph, but the different ideas that will build the argument must be in differing paragraphs
● Topic Sentence
○ When starting a new paragraph, this marks the beginning of a new idea, so that needs to be made very clear. Alert your audience to the new idea whether it is a continuation of an argument or counterargument.
○ This sentence should be in the beginning of your paragraph
● Sentence flow within and outside the paragraph
○ To make a paragraph sound as clear as possible, there needs to be flow between the sentences. This simply means that there needs to be some sort of connection between the the next sentence you may plan to write and the previous one before that.
○ Likewise, the same must be done between paragraphs as well. A new idea does not mean that the previous idea can not be mentioned again. In fact, it is usually a good idea to mention it very shortly to make an effective transition.
● Concluding Sentence
○ When an idea is done being explained within an essay, it essential to write a concluding sentence. Just imagine that you were having a conversation with someone about a certain issue and then they abruptly stop talking about that issue to start discussing another. This is in some ways what ending a paragraph without a concluding sentence can be like. This is simply a sentence that acts almost as the conclusion paragraph but in one sentence.
○ A paragraph can be as long a you want it in some cases, but it should be no longer than half a page. If it is longer, that is a sign that you may be repeating yourself or that it is time to move to the next paragraph.
○ Sentence wise, a paragraphs number of sentences can vary. If you’re not sure if your paragraph is too long, then stick to five to seven sentences per paragraph.