Three Components of a Good Paragraph

Revision will help you strengthen your paragraphs.
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Writing a well-written, effective paragraph takes practice, but with an understanding of the main skills involved in writing, you can achieve this level. All good essays require strong paragraphs that convey information on your topic, and each paragraph needs certain components to make sure the reader understands. Knowing the elements that make up a good paragraph will help you practice and hone your writing skills.

1 Structure

All paragraphs have the same general structure. You will begin with a topic sentence that gives the reader a general idea of what your paragraph will cover. Next, you will have supporting sentences that expand on the main idea presented in the topic sentence. To do this, you may need to use research or give examples. Last, you will have a concluding sentence that wraps up the paragraph. Without this basic structure, the paragraph will not have a logical flow, making it difficult to understand.

2 Transitions

Paragraphs often require a transition phrase in the topic sentence, concluding sentence or both sentences. This helps your reader know that you will move from one piece of information to the next, improving the clarity of your writing. These phrases also help your reader see connections between data and examples. Some common transitions might include “in contrast,” “for instance” or “in conclusion.” You can also use sequential transitions for paragraphs with a series of examples, such as “first,” “second” and “lastly.” These types of transitions act as guideposts for your reader, helping her navigate your essay.

3 Content

To create a good paragraph, you also need quality content. Do not try to fill an essay or research paper by repeating what you already presented or including irrelevant information. If you cannot find enough information to fill your paper, you may need to rethink your topic or approach it from a different angle. As well, you should make sure that you use research from quality sources to show the credibility of the content.

4 Evaluating Components

Once you finish writing, whether two paragraphs or a multi-paragraph paper, you need to evaluate what you have. Although you need to look at each paragraph component individually to make sure it works well, read your entire essay to evaluate the strength of your paragraphs. Ask yourself if it reads logically. Do the paragraphs flow easily from one to the next with the use of transitions? Do you have paragraphs that repeat information? Did you quote your references and cite them as needed? When you have strong paragraphs, your essay should read easily and your reader should have a better understanding of the topic when she puts down your paper.

Kate Beck started writing for online publications in 2005. She worked as a certified ophthalmic technician for 10 years before returning to school to earn a Masters of Fine Arts degree in writing. Beck is currently putting the finishing touches on a novel.