Paragraphsدوره: Academic Writing Essentials University Writing Crash Course / فصل: Organizing Your Ideas / درس 4
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Today we are moving on with our section of organizing your ideas and talking now about paragraphs.
So discuss titles thesis statements and introductions and now we’re moving onto the actual body paragraphs
of our papers.
So what is a paragraph a good paragraph is a sequence of sentences that discusses a single idea.
If you notice I have pulled all caps single because this is the number one biggest mistake and the number
one biggest thing you can do to improve your the clarity of your writing is that each paragraph discusses
a single idea.
I will be emphasizing this throughout the lecture today.
Good paragraphs also clearly state that main idea that single idea and usually they do it in the top
sent the topic sentence which is in most cases the first sentence of the paragraph.
Finally a good paragraph uses all of the sentences in the paragraph to support that main idea.
So we have no tangential sentences or sentences that go off topic.
They all focus on the one main idea.
There are two things that are that are key to developing good paragraphs.
The first is unity as I mentioned before each paragraph should only discuss a single idea or topic to
create good unity.
You need to announce that topic clearly in the first sentence of your paragraph.
Let me show you an example.
While travelling through Germany I enjoyed a variety of delicious bratwursts.
Clearly the topic in this paragraph will be the variety of bratwursts So all the sentences that follow
this topic sentence will discuss this variety of bratwursts For example here I have the middle sentences
which elaborate on the topic.
Have vice forced from Florida Keys of lost tearing up.
So those are the four bratwurst that my paragraph about German or the variety of German bratwursts is
going to discuss and then we move on to our final sentence which is both a restatement of the topic
sentence and a transition into the next paragraph.
So let’s look at an example to illustrate how to transition into a final sentence into the next paragraph.
So again imagining this paragraph about German bratwursts we have the topic sentence while travelling
through Germany I enjoyed a variety of delicious bratwursts.
Then I go through my middle sentences and have a sentence or two about vice forced about thank for those
keys of Austin tearing.
So I have sentences using these as examples of the variety in my final sentence could say something
If only I could have enjoyed the German brought worsts together with the bread in France some transitioning
into my next paragraph which will be about the bread in France.
OK so I hope that makes sense.
Topic one single topic.
The middle sentences are examples or discussion of that topic.
The final sentence restates that topic in a new way while transitioning into the next paragraph.
The next key to a good solid paragraph is coherence.
So we have unity and coherence Here are a few strategies for improving the coherence of your paragraphs.
The first one is simply word repetition repetition is straightforward repeat key words that you mentioned
in your topic sentence throughout the paragraph.
So in our bratwurst example we would repeat the word bratwurst or variety throughout the paragraph not
overdoing it of course not repeating it in every sentence but occasionally throughout the paragraph
to keep that paragraph coherent on that single topic.
Another strategy is to use pronouns effectively.
So pronouns are a good way of carrying the main topic through each sentence without having to repeat
the words so often.
For example my topic sentence was while traveling through Germany I enjoyed a variety of delicious worsts.
The next sentence they were different sizes colors and textures and they is the pronoun used to refer
So I don’t have to continue to repeat that word brought worse worst brought worse.
Another strategy is to use related words so use words that are related to the key topic words.
OK so this is a way of repeating the key to the topic without having to repeat the words so often.
So from American movies we could use a related word like Hollywood or the silver screen.
So these related words are a way of tying the sentences together throughout the paragraph in a creative
way and in a way that keeps you from repeating too much.
The final strategy is very very important.
That is to use correct terms of transition or words to transition.
For example although though and however are words that show a shift in the discussion consequently and
therefore show a cause and effect relationship so it is important to use these types of words to transition
because it signals to your reader what’s happening in your discussion or what’s happening in your argument.
OK and those are four simple strategies to increase the coherence of your paragraphs.
They’re very important and together with a unity a few paragraphs or topic sentence middle sentences
and final transition sentence.
These will really improve the paragraphs that you write in the body of your papers.
Finally we come to lengths.
There is of course no real rule on how long a paragraph should or shouldn’t be but there is a general
For example if a paragraph is too long it’s usually a sign that there are too many ideas crammed into
a single paragraph.
Remember each paragraph should only focus on one on a single topic.
If a paragraph is too short that’s usually the sign that there is not enough in our analysis or discussion
of that topic so it usually is a sign of superficial discussion or a lack of examples.
So within each topic there needs to be some good solid examples and sense within each paragraph.
There needs to be a solid discuss discussion and in-depth analysis with examples that present your topic
clearly and effectively and persuasively.
Finally as if I haven’t repeated this enough already.
But again I do this because it is the number one paragraph mistake that I see in student writing.
Each paragraph should discuss a single idea that is directly connected to your thesis.
Each paragraph discusses a single idea in depth with examples with clear discussion and analysis that
is directly related to your original thesis statement and that’s it for paragraphs.
Feel free to send me any questions or comments you might have about your own paragraphs.
Things you’re struggling with and the paragraphs the body paragraphs of your writing.
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