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What is a Paragraph?

by Professor Muhammad Shafiq Malik
What is paragraph

Definition

A paragraph is a series of sentences that are written and arranged in an organized and logical way. That is all the sentences must relate to each other and revolve around one main idea and discuss one single topic. An organized paragraph must have unity, coherence, and completeness.

Structure of a Paragraph

A structure of a paragraph consists of three points.

1:Topic Sentence

A topic sentence states topic and controlling idea and is usually the first sentence in a paragraph. It relates to the main theme of the paragraph.

2: Supporting Sentences

Supporting sentences is to develop the point you are making using information, explanation or examples.

3: Evidence

It means the point should be supported by a piece of evidence from the literature or by an example from the subject.

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Types of Paragraph

A paragraph is classified into three categories.

1: The Narrative Paragraph

This type of paragraph tells a story and there is a sequence of actions. This tells an event or scene.

2: The Descriptive Paragraph

This type of paragraph describes something and shows a reader what a thing or a person is like.

3: The Expository Paragraph

This type of paragraph explains something or provides instructions.

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Elements for a Strong Paragraph

There are four types of elements that make a paragraph strong which are given below:

1: Unity

It discusses only one idea. Unity in a paragraph begins with the topic sentence. Every paragraph has a single idea that is expressed in its single topic sentence.

2: Order

Order refers to the way that organizes supporting sentences and helps the reader grasp meaning and avoid confusion.

3: Coherence

Coherence is the quality that makes writing understandable. Sentences within a paragraph need to connect with each other and work together as a whole. The idea is developed in a clear and logical way.

4: Completeness

Completeness means a paragraph is well developed. All the sentences should clearly and sufficiently support the main idea.

How long should a paragraph be?

A paragraph needs to develop an idea and it is impossible to do this in just a sentence or two. In typical student writing, a paragraph should be a minimum of four or five sentences but normally should not be longer than half a page. It may be 100 to 200 words long. Paragraphs are just meant to express the central idea.

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