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Conquer the paragraph

Paragraphs are the building blocks of an essay.

The first sentence in a paragraph sets up the paragraph, this is the topic sentence. It leads the reader to a deeper level of relevant and supporting information contained in the sentences that follow. The body of the paragraph extends and develops the topic sentence. The concluding statement links to the next paragraph.

Some basic pointers for paragraphs

  • One idea per paragraph
  • Have a clear topic sentence
  • A paragraph is complete in itself; it has unity
  • Have two to four paragraphs per page
  • Use at least three sentences per paragraph; the first sentence is best if it is short
  • Know when to end a paragraph and begin another by using a linking sentence

Link paragraphs together

  • Show continuity of ideas between paragraphs
  • Remember that ideas are separate parts of a whole argument
  • When you begin a new idea with a new paragraph, show that it is connected to the last idea of the previous paragraph

Use linking words/phrases

  • Furthermore
  • As I have mentioned
  • Therefore
  • Nevertheless
  • This demonstrates/shows/indicates
  • Thus
  • So
  • But not only
  • However
  • It seems then
  • If we look at this case in the broader context, we can
  • Likewise
  • On the other hand

Get more advice and tips on how to write a great essay or report.

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