Writing Paragraphs: Constructing Blocks of Prose



Whereas phrases could be thought-about the person items that make up sentences, sentences themselves are the parts that comprise paragraphs. Because the constructing blocks of prose, whether or not or not it’s of the nonfiction, memoir, autobiography, flash fiction, brief fiction, or novel style, they’ve kind, construction, and objective. This text will study all three.


Visually, a paragraph seems as a block of sentences, normally with the primary line indented. That indentation alerts the start of every subsequent one inside the textual content.

“As a reader, you determine the paragraph at a look, simply by its look,” in accordance with Carol Pemberton in her e-book, “Writing Paragraphs” (Allyn and Bacon, 1997, p. 1). “Paragraphs differ significantly in size as a result of they differ in content material and objective.”

Organizationally, they permit the author to give attention to a single primary thought, which could be each clarified and supported by a number of related factors. Linked by a second or associated thought, the succeeding paragraph does the identical, and collectively they illustrate an extended, extra encompassing thought or theme, as could be expressed in an essay, a time period paper, or a nonfiction e-book’s chapter.

Paragraphs can include each normal and particular statements, similar to the next.

Basic: Motion pictures could be suspenseful.

Particular: Motion pictures, similar to Die Onerous and Die Onerous 2, with their fast-paced motion, could be suspenseful.

The second instance is restricted as a result of it names two motion pictures and explains why they’re suspenseful.

Basic statements, that are liable to reader interpretation, can summarize the primary thought in every paragraph, however particular ones allow him to give attention to a particular function of the primary thought.

Correctly structured paragraphs include two integral parts.

1). A normal matter sentence, which normally seems first, that states the paragraph’s primary thought.

2). A number of particular sentences that assist and illustrate the primary thought.

Think about the next paragraph, whose matter sentence seems in boldface kind and whose supporting sentences seem with commonplace imprints.

“There are methods to avoid wasting on airfare. Not all seats on all flights carry the identical price ticket. Should you e-book early sufficient, for instance, you may normally discover a decrease fare, as a result of the seats put aside for it are nonetheless out there. Since most individuals journey on weekends, flying mid-week, similar to on a Tuesday, or a Wednesday, will secondly supply the bottom fares. Lastly, in case you fly throughout much less common seasons, just like the winter, you may make the most of the decrease fares airways supply to fill historically emptier airplanes.”

Other than a paragraph’s fundamental construction, it also needs to incorporate different parts. One in all them is unity.

“When utilized to paragraph writing, unity means the paragraph is about one main thought,” emphasizes Pemberton (ibid, p. 7). “All of the statements within the paragraph need to do with that one thought. The author doesn’t wander off from the concept, however relatively stays with it and leads readers to a transparent understanding.”

As illustrated by the earlier instance, the subject sentence, like an introduction to what was to observe, said that there have been methods to avoid wasting on airfares and the supporting ones, sustaining unity in regards to the topic, gave three strategies of doing so.

One other essential paragraph aspect is assist or development-that is, does the author assist, develop, and virtually show his matter? If, within the earlier instance, dialogue following the primary theme entailed the most effective Florida resorts, there would have been no relevance to it.

Yet one more aspect is size. Paragraph size itself relies upon upon the subject sentence and varies in accordance with the diploma of growth ensuing from it or the quantity of assist required as an example it.

Lastly, the concluding assertion both affords a proving, lasting thought or a restatement of the subject one.

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Whereas faculty college students might have little alternative as to the matters they need to write about due to curriculum complying assignments, others, significantly freelance authors, are just about limitless in what they will discover in paragraphs and the longer items of which these paragraphs are made.

Nonetheless, they need to think about a number of features earlier than they try to remodel concepts into phrases.

Curiosity, data, expertise, and skills, initially, ought to function the weathervanes that time to potential topics. If an individual has an curiosity in one thing, it’s probably that it has led to his data of it, presumably by means of examine, and even his private expertise with it, qualifying him to discover and clarify it in written kind.

If, alternatively, it isn’t potential to pick a subject, the author can all the time take the designated one and method it from a brand new, contemporary, or totally different angle.

Objective is one other side. Though a college project can actually represent a “objective,” different, not essentially necessary ones could be to write down, to tell, to supply recommendation or path to others, to elucidate, to steer, and to entertain.

Readership, the third, ought to all the time be thought-about when an writer writes one thing, particularly if his intention is to publish it. A college project, evidently, will probably be learn by a trainer or a professor, presumably for a grade. A travelogue wherein the essential sights in San Antonio, Texas, are mentioned will facilitate vacationer journey planning. And an article about rose backyard care will enchantment to these with such dwelling flora.

Writing concepts themselves may end up from inside inspiration, exterior stimulation, or brainstorming varied potentialities, after which filtering, sorting, and grouping the factors to be mentioned.


“The subject sentence states the primary thought of a paragraph,” in accordance with Pemberton (ibid, p. 35). “For that motive, it’s crucial sentence within the paragraph. Writers construct paragraphs to assist matter sentences, and readers depend on their sentences to see which primary concepts are being developed.”

The subject sentence itself serves two functions. Firstly, it establishes and foreshadows the paragraph’s objective. Secondly, it serves to slender its scope by providing a controlling thought, creating the parameters to which the writer ought to adhere in order that info is related and doesn’t stray from its objective.

A subject sentence ought to result in dialogue and elaboration and presents an thought that’s slender sufficient to be adequately lined in a single paragraph, however shouldn’t be full in and of itself with out that continuing paragraph.

Think about the next sentences.

“The precept worth of writing for a scholar is that it improves his grades.” The final 4 phrases, “it improves his grades,” limits it to the factors that may be mentioned in that paragraph and units up reader expectation that he’ll study the way it does so.

“Consider the subject sentence as a author’s promise to the reader,” Pemberton advises (ibid, p. 36). “The author guarantees to debate a specified primary thought.”


Whereas matter statements are normal and typically brief in nature, sentences that observe to assist them ought to be particular and could be longer, since they normally current information. They’re supposed to offer readers with clear, exact understanding.

Basic references usually go away readers open to interpretation primarily based upon their very own experiences and understanding. “A well-paying place,” as an example, might imply $25,000 to an unemployed particular person, however a seven-digit determine to a rich one. With out particular figures, neither will ever know what it means to the writer.

As a way to assist a subject sentence, the author should use particular particulars, information, examples, and even printed quotes, similar to “13.5 p.c of People dwell under the poverty line,” in accordance with the “Probing Poverty” article within the September 15, 2019 difficulty of Information and Views journal.

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“Particulars present assist,” in accordance with Pemberton (ibid, p. 62). “(They) are particular items of data that present what the author means by the subject sentence. Examples illustrate a primary thought. A number of examples may be utilized in a paragraph, relying on the final thought being supported. Information are statements about which impartial observers agree… Quotations are the precise phrases of a author or speaker.”


One other essential paragraph writing aspect is coherence. Coherence itself entails a number of features. Relationships between concepts, as an example, ought to be clear and connectable-that is, one ought to logically and easily circulation from the earlier one. Supporting concepts moreover clarify earlier statements. Major concepts could be expressed by means of repetition. Lastly, textual content circulation is ensured and enhanced via transition phrases, similar to “however,” “nonetheless,” “nonetheless,” “due to this fact,” “for,” and “but,” amongst others.

“Studying incoherent writing is like driving with a driver who’s misplaced, who wanders up and down bumpy streets, attempting to find a vacation spot, however losing time and jarring passengers round,” feedback Pemberton (ibid, p. 68).

Think about the coherency of the next paragraph.

“I’ve simply returned from a busy day. My alarm, as regular, went off at 6:30 and I showered and dressed. It appeared prefer it was going to drizzle so I introduced my umbrella. There was hardly a drop within the sky, however everybody drove as if it was pouring cats and canines and I used to be virtually quarter-hour late to work. I discovered the report from my secretary on my desk. I believe she’s having relationship issues, as a result of she hasn’t been as much as snuff recently. Perhaps she did not sleep properly final night time. I had an evening like that final week. Even the Tylenol did not assist. Due to the site visitors, I missed Harold’s opening feedback within the assembly. He twice informed me we might go fishing some Saturday, however by no means appears to recollect after I put him as much as it. I wolfed down my lunch and virtually had a struggle with a shopper within the afternoon. I might hardly include myself. The site visitors was actually crawling due to a downpour after I drove dwelling. As I walked into the kitchen, I noticed I hadn’t gone meals purchasing recently, so the cabinets had been naked. I plopped down on the sofa as a substitute, nonetheless in my go well with and tie, and fell asleep.”

Coherence could be enhanced with the correct use of transitional phrases, phrases, and clauses.

“Phrases, phrases, and clauses used as transitions are like bridges that carry readers safely from one level to a different,” Pemberton advises (ibid, p. 72).


Expository writing entails explaining, describing, illustrating (by means of phrases), and revealing, and seems in virtually all genres, together with fiction. Whereas narrative writing can display actions, feelings, emotions, and moods by means of the dialog and interplay between two or extra characters, its expository counterpart merely informs, as in “Regina and Daybreak had a disagreement final night time” or “The backyard was a tangle of weeds.” It’s actually instrumental in writing paragraphs.

There are a number of expository writing methods that can be utilized in and might even improve paragraph creation. The primary of those concerned comparability and distinction.

“Writing with the comparability/distinction sample, you study similarities (comparisons) and variations (contrasts) between two folks, objects, or concepts,” in accordance with Pemberton (bid, p. 135). “The subject could be as summary as socialism versus capitalism, or it may be as concrete as model X versus model Y toothpaste. Clearly for a single paragraph, the subject have to be slender sufficient to permit dialogue of particular similarities and variations.”

Think about the next two examples.

Comparisons: “The small restaurant that opened on the town final month may be very very similar to a diner; the service is pleasant, the meals is straightforward and healthful, and the costs are modest.”

Distinction: “Frayer’s wheat bread is much like Hoffmayer’s: all-natural and baked with stone-ground wheat. Then again, it tends to be coarser and drier.”

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One other expository writing method is designated “course of writing.” Ideally suited to how-to guides and educational manuals, it presents chronological, step-by-step procedures, as within the following.

“As a way to reupholster a chair, you first must relocate it to a piece space, similar to a basement or a storage. You subsequent must take away the staples or tacks that hold the material affixed to the body. Examine the froth or stuffing underneath it after you have got. If the chair is 5 or extra years previous, it might have begun to decay and you’ll most definitely need to change it. Measure the world it lined and reduce the brand new stuffing in accordance with the required dimension, tightly packing it into the chair’s crevices. The brand new cloth overlaying should even be reduce to measured dimension. After you have got, pull it across the chair’s body tautly earlier than re-stapling or re-tacking it in place. You might want a serving to hand to tug one facet of it whilst you fasten the opposite. Lastly, return the chair to its authentic location.”

One other expository writing method is that of classification. It permits the writer to categorize objects, issues, ideas, and even folks, after which offers adequate particulars in order that the reader can perceive the variations between them. Nonetheless, a single frequent denominator unifies the paragraph. Think about the next instance.

“All printed books are written, however there are variations between them. These from the USA and the UK, for instance, seem in English. Nevertheless, phrases similar to ‘harbor’ are spelled in another way, with the letter ‘u,’ as in ‘harbour.’ When they’re positioned vertically on a shelf, their titles are learn from the highest to the underside. Books in Germany are clearly in that language, however the titles on their spines are learn from the underside to the highest. These from Israel are neither in English or German, however seem in Hebrew, and are learn from the again cowl, which is definitely the entrance one. Pages are learn from the proper to the left.”

On this instance, “printed books” constitutes the frequent denominator, however their spelling, language, backbone printing, and studying path function their distinctions.

Yet one more expository writing method is that of definition.

“Usually, definitions are very brief-just sufficient to elucidate a time period or idea that’s both unfamiliar or being utilized in an uncommon sense… ,” in accordance with Pemberton (ibid, p. 157). “Typically, nonetheless, a complete paragraph… will probably be dedicated to an prolonged definition of a time period. Due to the larger size, readers naturally anticipate that one that means (or maybe a number of meanings) will probably be elaborated on.”

Think about this instance of a paragraph that gives a definition.

“The most typical definition of the world ‘alone’ is to be someplace with out the corporate or presence of at the very least one different. However there’s extra to this idea than simply present by yourself. If you’re uncomfortable with, distrustful of, and due to this fact unable to attach with others, you might be equally alone, since you can not full that person-to-person or soul-to-soul hyperlink. The definition extends past the sheer presence of one other. As a substitute, it entails your means to enter into an in depth bond with that particular person. If you’re at a gathering with ten pals, as an example, but can not relate to them in any significant means, you can even think about your self to be alone. Lastly, in case you attempt to method somebody and she or he both exhibits little interest in you and even rejects you, you can even think about your self to be ‘alone.'”

Article Sources:

Pemberton, Carol. “Writing Paragraphs.” Needham Heights, Massachusetts: Allyn and Bacon, 1997.

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