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Rated: E | Other | Writing | #927399
The structure and elements of a paragraph with examples to follow.
How To Write A Good Paragraph

** Images For Use By Upgraded+ Only **


By: Holly Abidi


          Writing paragraphs are in fact the most basic structure in any writing. So understanding how to write effective and intriguing paragraphs can improve your writing greatly. So let's discover how to write a good paragraph.

What Is A Paragraph?

         A paragraph is a piece of writing that consists of several sentences. A paragraph should always have complete, correct, and concise sentences. As well it should be easy to read and well organized. The paragraph itself should focus on one subject, theme, or central idea.

         In other words, a paragraph could be about an object such as a young boy. If the paragraph starts out talking about the boy, it must stay the same throughout. For example, if the writer were to talk about where a young boy lives and then go on to describe what the boy looks like these are two separate ideas. This is demonstrated below:

John lived in San Francisco, California, with his two parents. He had his own bedroom, which he decorated himself. Him and his parents all lived comfortably in the cozy apartment on the third floor. The apartments were only three blocks from where he attended J.U. High School.

John was only five years old, but he was extremely smart for his age. He wasn’t that tall and he was a bit on the skinny side. He had big blue eyes, light brown hair, rosy cheeks, and a friendly smile. Just looking at him he seemed like any other kid-- quite normal. Yet, everyone in his class looked at him differently because John could never be a normal kid. Instead, he wasn’t normal. No, he was a genius.


         In this example you can see that the first paragraph is about where John lives and the second paragraph covers another topic or idea, which is what he looks like. When examining a paragraph you can always ask yourself, what is the main idea in this paragraph? If you see two ideas as in the above example you might have to create two paragraphs. Although, in order to understand what a paragraph is and how to write one, you need to know how a paragraph is constructed.

Elements Of A Paragraph

         A paragraph should contain some structure and particular elements, which are listed below in relative order:

1.A Topic sentence- motivates the reader to want to read more.

2.The First main point- proves, backs up, or explains the topic sentence.

3.The Second main point- usually provides a reason for the first point made.

4.The Third main point- can help prove the topic sentence or back up the first or second main point of the paragraph.

5.The Conclusion- sums up the main points or ideas and it usually completes the topic.

         So just to recap, normally a paragraph starts out with a topic sentence or idea. The topic sentence is followed by the first, second, or third main points and then details are added in between each point in order to explain the idea fully. Once one idea or concept has been described the paragraph is brought to a conclusion by usually summing up the main points or making a transition into the next paragraph. However, for a closer look, let’s work through an example that shows us how to construct a paragraph by using the five elements listed above.


Example

**************************************************

1. The Topic Sentence:


The poodle makes a perfect pet because poodles offer their owners a companionship for life, not to mention that they have a loveable personality.


·This could be your topic sentence. It tells the reader that poodles are in fact perfect pets. This may or may not be true and so you would need to provide proofs as to why this could be true. However, it is an interesting statement and catchy because the reader wants to hear why the author thinks so, or what justifies this statement.



2. The First Main Point:


Poodles are sweet, smart, playful, and well mannered and they love to be around people. They are always willing to lend their unquestionable love and loyalty when you need the most and they are yours for life.


· This main point talks about the dogs’ personality and their companionship relating to the topic sentence, helping prove that poodles are ideal pets. Although, most likely a reader would need more convincing.


3. The Second Main Point:


Apart from being a happy spirited dog and a great companion, the poodle is small and doesn’t require a lot of room, so they are ideal for apartments or city settings.


· This is more convincing now. Most of the people that live in cities or small apartments are looking for a small dog that is suited to their city lifestyle and this sentence proves that these dogs are ideal as pets. However, you still need more proof of this fact because not all of us live in the city.


4. The Third Main Point:


The poodle is suited to most environments and lifestyles; whether it'll be living in the suburbs or downtown, with one person or a couple, or even living with a family and children, the poodle fits right in.


· This point backs up the topic sentence that the poodle is the perfect pet because it mentions that this dog will fit into any type of family. This third point helps prove that this breed of dog is suited for most lifestyles and settings.

5. Conclusion:


The poodle is a dog that warms your heart with its character. It becomes a part of your family no matter where you live and it can provide you with love and companionship that you won’t want to do without. In fact, you can’t ask for a better dog.


· The conclusion sums up all the other points made and ties all the points nicely together. After reading the paragraph and all its elements as a unit the reader should feel a sense of unity. Often a well written paragraph will feel complete and it will seem natural to stop reading when the paragraph closes. So keep in mind for every great piece of writing there are great paragraphs put together.

         Now if you read all the sentences you will see how nicely this paragraph flows together because it contains all the elements of a paragraph. It demonstrates the topic sentence, discusses one main idea (a poodle), and concludes without leaving any loose ends:

         The poodle makes a perfect pet because poodles offer their owners a companionship for life, not to mention that they have a loveable personality. Poodles are sweet, smart, playful, and well mannered and they love to be around people. They are always willing to lend their unquestionable love and loyalty when you need the most and they are yours for life. Apart from being a happy spirited dog and a great companion, the poodle is small and doesn’t require a lot of room, so they are ideal for apartments or city settings. The poodle is suited to most environments and lifestyles; whether it be living in the suburbs or downtown, with one person or a couple, or even living with a family and children, the poodle fits right in. The poodle is a dog that warms your heart with its character. It becomes a part of your family no matter where you live and it can provide you with love and companionship that you won’t want to do without. In fact, you can’t ask for a better dog.

For more information on paragraphs you may want to check out my article on Revising Paragraphs & Organization.

 ID: 927416 (E)
Revising Paragraphs & Organization 
Paragraphs, organization and outlines it explains it all with examples.
by Holly Abidi
© Copyright 2005 Holly Abidi (UN: cougarcat at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
Holly Abidi has granted Writing.Com, its affiliates and syndicates non-exclusive rights to display this work.
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