Planning Paragraphs


planningOf course you know what a paragraph is, but have you considered what makes it work? Paragraphs are one of the fundamental building blocks of documents, so if you master the paragraph, you’re one step closer to writing more effectively.

Every paragraph has a topic sentence. I realize this likely is not an epiphany for you, but it is still an important fact worth repeating. The topic sentence frames the paragraph and lets readers know what information it will contain. It also guides the writer, dictating which information to include or leave out.

Limit each paragraph to one idea. Crafting your topic sentence first will keep the paragraph focused. Then, use transition words to create flow in the paragraph. Transitions enhance the flow of your paragraph and cue readers in terms of how they should make sense of the information.

Practice writing topic sentences, then read the resulting paragraphs with a discerning eye. You’ll soon be able to tell whether your supporting sentences are on track or veering down a different road. Your readers will appreciate your efforts!

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