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How to Properly Organize Paragraphs in an Essay

It can be really difficult and complicated to provide an essay, especially if you do not have an idea of how to structure the paragraphs and provide logical development of ideas. If you have got an essay assignment and are not struggling with the process of writing, then you are definitely lucky to have encountered this article and to be reading it now. At first sight, it can be challenging how to organize the ideas and decide their logical order. Still, this task will be easier if you get the core aim of your piece of writing and determine what particularly you have to cover in the essay. Moreover, bearing in mind that you need to have an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusive paragraph will also help you organize the paper in a proper way.

What Is a Paragraph?

A paragraph is the fundamental constituent of an essay or any other similar type of academic writing. In simple language, it can be compared to a building block of some structure or a building. Many students are prone to define paragraphs depending on their lengths. For example, some may say that a paragraph is a group of 3-5 sentences logically linked among one another, or that a paragraph is a number of sentences that takes up half a page, whatsoever. However, what really denotes a paragraph is the quality of logical connection and smooth flow between the sentences. A paragraph should convey a specific idea or represent a logical unit. Visual appearance and length do not actually determine whether a group of sentences is a paragraph or not. Namely, when you take into consideration the journalistic style of writing, merely one sentence can be regarded as a paragraph. In this article, we will focus on a paragraph as an essay unit that conveys a central idea.

How Do I Know What Information to Include in a Paragraph?

Before you decide about the ideas that will be conveyed in each of the paragraphs and how the paragraphs will be composed, you need to identify your central argument or claim that you will put forward and the thesis statement you will formulate in your paper. Ask yourself, what is the significant idea or message that you would like to transmit in your paper? Afterward, make sure that the information presented in each paragraph relates to the central focus and just adds more information, facts, and supporting evidence about it.

To be able to gather ideas for your paper more easily, it is essential to go through the brainstorming stage. You may come up with any strategy of brainstorming that is most appropriate for you but the vital part is that you do not skip this pre-writing stage. It will be hard to focus on writing if you do not have any plan of what you are going to write about. Without brainstorming, there can be a lot of inconsistencies in terms of the development of ideas and messages.

After you have conducted brainstorming and now you know what ideas will be included in your essay, it is high time to organize paragraphs. When structuring body paragraphs, it is important to make them possess the following characteristics:

  1. Unified: each sentence included in one body paragraph should be related to the same idea/ message that was generalized in the topic sentence.
  2. Related to the thesis statement: all sentences should be related to the central idea conveyed in the thesis statement at the end of the introductory paragraph.
  3. Logical and coherent: all the sentences within a paragraph should be logically arranged in order to be comprehensible.
  4. Properly developed: each idea should be supported with ample evidence, clearly explained and interpreted.

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Where to Start Writing Your Essay?

You may start with an introduction or compose the introductory paragraph after you have written the main body. Whatever strategy you choose, you need to make sure that your introduction provides a proper background to the topic and tells what you will write about. Actually, you need to provide a subject overview and finish it with a strong and clear thesis statement. On the whole, try not to make the introduction too long – provide 3-5 sentences.

For the actual development of your ideas, please make sure to provide at least three body paragraphs. You should elaborate on your ideas and provide necessary clarifications as well as illustrative materials to support them. Make sure you use transitions between the ideas and paragraphs.

Make sure you provide a logical summation for your paper by organizing a conclusive paragraph. In the final paragraph, you need to sum up the core findings or ideas that you arrived at. You can also provide your personal reflection or opinion depending on the essay type.

Delving Deeper into the Essay Structuring Process

1. Organize your introductory paragraph

Make sure you start your introduction with a hook that draws the attention of your audience to the topic and to some other important aspects, you plan to uncover. You should make the introduction so interesting that your reader will want to read it till the end. To evoke interest, make sure you provide some quotes, controversial fact, statistics or a rhetorical question. Moreover, keep in mind that you should explain or interpret the topic if needed. Start from some general fact/ information and then narrow it down. Finish your introduction with a thesis statement, where you put forward the main paper argument.

2. Carefully tailor the main body of the paper

Body paragraphs are the core components of the main body of the paper. You need to discuss the ideas previously mentioned in the introduction in great detail. Each body paragraph should contain a topic sentence, discussion, supporting evidence, and a closing sentence. A properly developed paragraph should be at least 4-5 sentences. Make sure that each body paragraph is dedicated to a separate idea.

Start each body paragraph with a clear topic sentence that clearly conveys the main point. In the rest part of the paragraph, discuss what you mean, why the idea bears significance, etc. When providing supporting evidence and expert opinion, make sure to consult only credible sources taken from authoritative websites, peer-reviewed articles, journals, scholarly books, etc. Apart from merely providing examples, illustrations, and evidence make sure to explain why you have provided them and why they fit into your essay. Keep in mind that you cannot use quotes or citations on their own. You need to help the reader understand why you introduce specific thoughts and opinions in your paper.

Make sure you provide a conclusion that logically finishes your paper. Make sure to reiterate your thesis and to re-emphasize the main points expressed. If your aim was to prove some point or provide a specific argument, mention whether you succeeded in it. You need to make it clear to the reader that you have reached your initial aim mentioned in the introduction. Sometimes, you may need to introduce a call to action, so please formulate it in a clear and straightforward manner.

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February 8, 2019
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