A paragraph is a self-contained unit of a discourse in writing dealing with a particular point or idea. A paragraph consists of one or more sentences.
Texts of any length written in continuous prose are usually divided into paragraphs. There is usually also either a small gap between the paragraphs and / or the first line of a new paragraph is indented slightly.
A typical paragraph has three sections:
· A lead sentence (sometimes called the topic sentence). This is normally the first or second sentence in the paragraph that tells the reader what the paragraph I about.
· Body of the paragraph. There follow a number of sentences usually two to five that develop this subject matter further.
· Concluding sentence. This has two purposes: to round off and /or sum up what has gone before, and to provide a lead in the next paragraph.
The four elements essential to good paragraph writing are: unity, order, coherence, and completeness. The entire paragraph should have a unity and talk about the same thing. There should be a definite order in which you are giving details and the details should be coherent enough for the reader to understand. The paragraph should give a complete idea of its purpose.
In fiction, start a new paragraph when there’s a shift in focus, idea, or direction. You can also start a new paragraph when there’s a shift in time and place.
Example of a good paragraph:
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
― H. Jackson Brown Jr., P.S. I Love You
This post is a part of the APRIL A-Z Challenge