Writing a paragraph means writing a series of sentences related to a single topic. In theory, it sounds simple enough, but finding the right topic, building sentences with substantial ideas, and connecting them effectively can sometimes pose a challenge. Here are some strategies to create well-organised paragraphs.

Descriptive Paragraph Writing

The easiest way to write a descriptive paragraph is to begin the paragraph with a topic sentence that identifies the object being described, followed by the actual description in four or five sentences, giving details, and finally, concluding the paragraph with a sentence that reinforces its importance to the writer. Descriptions may be objective or subjective, depending on the writer’s approach to the theme.

Descriptive words: The words and parameters can make the description clearer.

Features: size, colour, shape, purpose, effect
Measurement: length, width, mass/weight, speed, height
Comparison: is like, resembles, similarly, same, exactly
Place/Location: in, above, below, beside, near

Narrative Paragraph Writing

When you write a narrative paragraph, you will have to use transition words to develop a logical, unified paragraph. The most common kind of transition words used in narrative writing is those that indicate a time-relationship. These words are called time-relationship transition.

Some of the words that appear in the narrative text: after, before, later, soon, during, earlier, eventually, now, today, while, next, first, then, in the meantime, meanwhile, until, etc.

To engage the attention of the reader, special care must be given to the beginning and the ending of a narrative. One of the easiest ways to begin a narrative paragraph is to use the five WH questions –WHo, WHat, WHere, WHen, WHy -to ensure a complete story.

    • Who introduces the characters
    • What identifies the topic
    • Where establishes the mood or ambience
    • When pinpoints the time the event took place
    • Why is a brief explanation of the circumstances leading up to the event

One may also start off with an anecdote, an amusing incident or a real story about a person or event. An accepted way to end a narrative paragraph is to go back to the topic sentence and by rewording it, tie up the loose ends to complete the paragraph. For example, if the topic sentence is Appearances can be deceptive, reinforce the idea in this way: That is how I realised that the external aspects of people or things do not always reflect the reality within.

Persuasive Paragraph Writing

A persuasive paragraph consist of

    • facts
    • reference to authoritative sources
    • examples
    • predicting the consequence
    • anticipating the opposition

Words such as of course, some may say, nevertheless, and on the other hand serve this purpose. A persuasive paragraph give reasons for the statements made by the author. For this purpose, it makes use of words such as first, second, last, since, because, finally, for, next, although, etc. To conclude, one may use words like therefore, thus, hence, in the end, consequently, as a result, to sum up, etc.

To write an effective persuasive paragraph, one has to understand the differences between claims and facts. Claims are statements that present and an arguable thesis. This means that a claim is just an individual’s interpretation, belief, opinion of something. Claims are conclusions that the writer of a persuasive paragraph infers from the information he or she has on a topic. Claims that you present in a piece of writing should reflect and arguable position; that is you should be able to convincingly argue your stand with substantial subsidiary points. Facts, on the other hand, reflect the known truth, not easily refuted. When facts are used to argue a point, they become evidence or support.

Persuasive paragraphs use facts to support the claims. They generally have a primary claim in the topic sentence, followed by secondary claims in the body of the paragraph. The secondary claims are supported by factual evidence, which in turn proves the primary claim. Following this organisational pattern will help one to right well-supported and well-developed interpretations and arguments.

Expository Paragraph Writing

In expository writing, the author investigates an idea, explains and illustrates it, evaluates supporting facts and then creates a clear cut argument around the central theme. Expository writing can be an analysis of cause and effect, comparison and contrast, an investigation of a problem and its solution, or an explanation of a process. The paragraph reflects the purpose and communicates it clearly to the reader. The supporting points in an expository paragraph may be factual, statistical, logical or anecdotal. By presenting the reader with an indisputable statement, strong, relevant evidence and succinct summing up, a good writer can influence or convince an astute reader.

Given below are a few words, phrases and expressions commonly used in expository paragraphs to convey cause and effect, comparison and contrast, or a problem and its solution.

Cause and effect: accordingly, as a result, thus, for this reason, otherwise, for this purpose, consequently, subsequently, so, then, in effect, etc.

Comparison and contrast: is similar to, on the other hand, both, however, but, unlike, on the contrary, differs from, etc.

Problem and its solution: the fact is, is related to, the most common error, above all, to sum up, in conclusion, after all, etc.

  •  
    46
    Shares
  • 45
  •  
  • 1
  •  
  •  
  •  
Previous articleHomophone
Next articleLabelled IC Analysis
Devika Panikar has been teaching English Language and Literature for 14 years now. She is an Assistant Professor with the Directorate of Collegiate Education under the Government of Kerala. She teaches at the Government Colleges coming under this directorate and is now posted at the Department of English, H.H. The Maharaja’s Government College for Women, Thiruvananthapuram. This website is a collection of the lecture notes that she prepared by referring various sources, for her students’ perusal. It has been compiled here for the sake of future generations.

COMMENT