Writing a paragraph is hardly a difficult task for a senior student with plenty of experience composing essays and completing research papers. However, for an underclassman, fresher, frosh, or whatever newbies are called at your institution, this is a monumental and time-consuming challenge. There are three ideas that will help in writing a paragraph, and therefore, a whole paper: paragraph structure, commonly made student mistakes, and pre-writing strategies.
Writing a Paragraph: Why Structure Is So Important
If you want good grades on papers, you should know the main components of a paragraph, such as:
- A topic sentence that introduces the main idea of this paragraph. In this case, you need to state the main argument that you will discuss in the subsequent text;
- A series of supporting sentences providing examples, explanation, and persuasive detail;
- A concluding sentence which restates or sums up the main idea of the paragraph. This should be stated in different words.
These are the key elements of a paragraph, and every student, or working adult, for that matter, should know how to create them and feel comfortable creating and manipulating them. Anyone writing a paragraph for a letter, an essay, a research paper, or a creative piece, should place themselves in the position of the reader.
There are several mistakes to avoid when writing a paragraph for an academic paper:
- First, you should not write paragraphs that are too long. Be considerate of your audience! Some students write paragraphs that are more than half a page. It can be rather difficult to plow through such stuff and still grasp the gist of you – the writer’s – arguments;
- While writing a paragraph, pay attention to the length of your sentences, as well. When a sentence gets much beyond 50 words your reader may lose the thread of your idea.
- Avoid verbose phrases and expressions, for example, “It is worth mentioning that”. Such expressions only distract the reader’s attention.
- Vary the sentence structure to retain your reader’s interest.
If you want to know how to write a paragraph, you should pay attention to your arguments and examples. You may take several steps, for example:
- List the main arguments and examples you will include in the paragraph;
- Single out the key idea of this passage;
- Think of the most convincing examples;
- Try to find ways of linking your arguments and examples, for instance, you can use such words and phrases like, additionally, furthermore, moreover, or apart from that. They will add fluency and grace to your transitions. They will also help you to set off and highlight different ideas and examples.
- Devote equal thought and effort to your concluding sentence: Be strong and persuasive!
You can see that these prewriting steps are very important to paragraph writing. If you will follow these recommendations, you will see that writing a good paragraph is not as difficult as it may seem.