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How to write a good paragraph?

First thing you need to know about paragraphs is that one paragraph contains one and only one idea. This is the most important concept that you should understand prior to writing any paragraphs. This concept explains us why some paragraphs, we encounter in books and magazines, are very short, with only 1 or 2 sentences, and why some paragraphs are very long consisting of many many sentences. As you will learn below, you can contract a longer paragraph into a shorter one, even confining the whole paragraph within a single statement, and expand a shorter paragraph into a longer one by adding various supporting details to the main idea.

Here are the steps to write a simple but logically correct paragraph:

First of all, write down your main idea on the first sentence. This sentence is also known as the topic sentence and can be placed anywhere once you master how to write a good paragraph. However, it's a good idea to put this sentence in the beginning while you are learning how to write. After that provide some details, examples and so on to prove or support that main idea. For this, you can ask some critical questions like: How far is the idea valid? What is the background of the idea? Will the idea still be valid in various other circumstances? Why is the idea valid and why are other ideas not valid in the given situation? What do the opponents of the idea say? How far is their reasoning valid? and so on. Then draw a conclusion based on this short discussion and place this sentence at the end of the paragraph. However, as you master writing, you can outline the paragraphs in your own way. You can begin them with examples, anecdotes i.e. a short story, your own opinion, a related question, quotation and so on. In short, you are free to construct your paragraph in any way however, you should not forget the "one paragraph one idea" rule and that's all.

Secondly, use the connectives to link sequence of thoughts or connect one sentence with another in some way, so that when reading we can infer or know that the events you state are occurring in some kind of order or sequence. The words used for this purpose are known as connectives or linking words and examples include firstly, secondly, lastly, eventually, moreover, furthermore, therefore, thus, then, etc. Using these kinds of linking words is the second basic rule of writing a paragraph (as well as essays or a novel).

Not only you should use connectives to connect two sentences, you should also use some kind of connectives to connect two paragraphs of an article. You can use words like, first, second, third, last, etc. or firstly, secondly, thirdly, moreover, furthermore, finally, etc to link the paragraphs of your essays.

Outline of a typical paragraph

Now from the two basic rules that you just learnt, you can write a typical paragraph in the following form:
Put your main idea at the beginning. Then give your reasons or details in an order like: first comes this and then that. And again comes this. For example, give an example. Therefore, and make a conclusion.

Here, the bold words are connectives and underlined words are directions for you about what to do in place of those words.

Thirdly, edit the paragraph regularly to omit grammatical mistakes if any. If there are two or more major ideas then omit them as well because they are also mistakes according to the rule of paragraph. After that you are done with the third basic rule of the paragraph.

The rest of the things includes what not to do. Avoid those sentences which are unsuitable. For example, when you are talking about flowers don't talk about other things such as fruits or cow or so on unless it is related. Don't use informal language which is used while chatting and everyday conversations. Also do some more research about this on the internet. However, for now this much must be sufficient.

Example of Good and Bad Paragraphs each

Now read this paragraph and compare it with the second paragraph:
Flowers are beautiful. They are colourful and bright. I love flowers. I also love cow because it gives milk for me to drink. However, flowers also give good smell. Therefore, flowers are beautiful.

Second paragraph:
Flowers are beautiful. Firstly, they are very colourful and bright. Secondly, they have good fragrance and thus make the environment around them pleasant. Thirdly, they attract beautiful creatures like bees and butterflies which make our garden lively and more beautiful. All these reasons make it clear that flowers are beautiful.

Which one do you think is a good one? Yes, you are right; it's the second one. Can't you too write a similar paragraph? Give it a try at least and you'll be a good writer soon!

Comments

  1. Example of Good and Bad Paragraphs is a funny one!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was meant to be funny. It was meant to make clear distinction. And yet many students mix up ideas in their paragraphs.

      Delete
  2. This is so helpful. Thank you so much.

    ReplyDelete
  3. So useful!! Thanks

    ReplyDelete

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