Paragraphs and multiparagraph texts

A paragraph should be unified, coherent and well developed. Paragraphs are unified around a main point and all sentences in the paragraph should clearly relate to that point in some way. If not, a paragraph can become ambiguous or hard to understand. This article helps you to understand how a paragraph is build up and how they are interconnected to form a clear and concise multi-paragraph text.

The elements of a paragraph

Great paragraphs are written in a similar manner, comprising similar structures. Having a good understanding of what building blocks are used to build a paragraph, helps you in writing well-composed paragraphs.

A paragraph typically consists of:

  • Topic sentence
    The topic sentence expresses the main point in a paragraph and gives the reader a direction indicating what information will follow.

  • Supporting sentences
    Supporting sentences support the topic sentences main point of a paragraph. Supporting sentences are for example used to give examples, incorporate data, define terms, evaluate causes and examine consequences.

  • Concluding sentence
    A concluding sentence is usually a rephrased version of the topic sentence or a summary of main supporting points. They are used to add emphasis at the end of a paragraph.

  • Linkers
    Linkers are used to connect ideas within a sentence or sentences within a paragraph. They support the reader by indicating clearly how two parts a linked. 

Linking paragraphs 

We usually write texts that consist of several paragraphs. Each paragraph should be connected to the previous and the next, and they should all contribute to the bigger theme under discussion. Linking paragraphs can be done in two ways: 

  1. Linking forward
    By linking forward you end a paragraph with a sentence that leads forward to the next paragraph.

  1. Linking backward
    By linking back you start a new paragraph with a sentence that references back to the previous paragraph. 

If you want to know more about writing paragraphs and linking paragraphs together download the file in the upper right corner. This file provides you with more in-depth information about those topics and examples.