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A paragraph is a part of an essay, but it also has some, so to speak, requirements for writing. First of all, we should say that a paragraph is a set of sentences that are connected with one idea. What does it mean? It means that each paragraph in an essay has its idea, and it should introduce this idea, provide arguments to underpin it. The simplest example would be a for-and-against essay, which you divide into several paragraphs. And each of those paragraphs presents each for/against point.
Let’s take a look on how a paragraph should be written.
A paragraphs consists of several sentences, usually four or five. These are a thesis statement, supporting sentences, and a concluding one. It is all about quantitative identifiers. Now let’s talk about qualitative ones.
There are four elements that constitute a paragraph’s conception—unity, order, coherence, and completeness. What does each of them mean?
The unity is centered around a topic sentence. The latter represents the main idea, that is a thesis statement. It is a core of a paragraph on which the following sentences will be based. You introduce the idea in the first sentence, then you go with explanation and discussion in a few following sentences, and finally conclude. A paragraph is a complex. It should concisely make the idea clear.
If there is no order, there is chaos. A paragraph should be organized, otherwise the reader won’t understand what you wanted to say. It concerns the supporting sentences. They should go in a certain order, one flowing into another. Your presentation has to be smooth. It is easy to perceive information that way.
Speaking of understandability again. Sentences have to connect with each other not only because of the smooth flow. If order is a technical feature, coherence is all about logic. If you want to connect sentences, you should probably use some linking words. There are several groups of them: order (firstly, lastly), space (above and below), logic (moreover, besides). These words will help create the wholeness of a paragraph.
If you read a paragraph and understand what it is about clearly, you may assume the paragraph is complete. To have such a paragraph, you need to support the paragraph’s idea well and precisely. You have only a few sentences to introduce and argue the idea, and conclude it in the end. The concluding sentence usually represents the topic sentence.
If it seems difficult to you, we can definitely say it does not. Of course, you will face some troubles with writing a paragraph if you have never done it before. Practice is all that needed. You can try with the least. Find a disputable issue and try to describe it pointing out all pros and cons. Remember that each pro and each con has to have its own paragraph with its own idea.