A paragraph is a basic unit of organization in writing in which a group of related sentences develops one main idea. A paragraph can be as short as one sentence or as long as ten sentences. The number of sentences is unimportant. However, the paragraph should be long enough to develop the main idea clearly.
A paragraph may stand by itself in academy writing a paragraphis often used in answer a test question such as the following define management by objectives, and give one example of it from reading you have done
A paragraph may also be one part of a longer piece of writing such as a chapter of a book or an essay. You will first learn how to write a good paragraphs, and then you will learn how to combine and expand paragraphs to build essay.
The following model contains all the elements of a good paragraph. Read it carefully two or three times, and try to analize its structure.
A paragraph has three major structural parts: a topic sentences, supporting sentences, and concluding sentences
The topic sentence states the main idea of the paragraph. It not only names the topic of the paragraph, but it laso limits the topic to one or two areas that can be discussed completely in the space of a single paragraph. The specific area is called the controling idea. Notice how the topic sentence of the model states both the topic and controling idea (see the picture above)
Supporting sentences develop the topic sentence. That is , they explain the topic sentence by giving reasons, example, facts, statistics, and quotations. Some of the supporting sentences that expalin the topic sentence about gold are (see the red word from picture above)
The concluding sentence signals the end of the paragraph and leaves the reader with important points to remember (see the picture above at the last sentence of the paragraph)
Unity and Coherence
In addition to three structural parts of a paragraph, a good paragraph also has the elements of unity and coherence.
Unity means that you discuss only one main idea in a paragraph.the main idea is stated in the topic sentence, and then each and every supporting sentence develops that idea. If, for example, you announce in your topic sentence that you are going to discuss two important characteristic of gold, discuss only those. Do not discuss any other ideas, such as the price of gold or gold minning.
Coherence means that your paragraph is easy to read and understand because;
1. Your supporting sentences are in some kind of logical order and,
2. Your ideas are connected by use of appropriate transtition signals. For example, in the paragraph about gold, there are teo supporting ideas:gold is beautiful, and gold is useful.
Each of these supporting ideas is discussed, one after the other, and an example is given foe ideas is clearly shown by using appropriate transtition words and pharases such as first of all, for example, another important characteristic, and in conclusion.
In summary, a well-written paragraph contains five elements: a topic sentences, supporting sentences, a concluding sentence, unity, and coherence.