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How to Write a Paragraph: What Makes a Paragraph?

how to write a paragraph

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How to write a paragraph is an essential skill students should develop. What is a paragraph? How do I write a paragraph? Can 3 sentences be a paragraph? How many sentences are in a paragraph?

In this post, you’ll get answers to all these questions.

Definition of a Paragraph for students

Generally, a paragraph is a collection of sentences that deal with one subject (= main idea). A paragraph can be as long as 10 sentences or as short as one sentence.

Yes, 3 sentences can make a paragraph. The number of sentences is not important, but the paragraph should be long enough to develop the main idea clearly.

How to Write a Paragraph

What makes a paragraph?

If you would like to learn how to make a paragraph, this post will surely help you achieve your objective.

Writing a paragraph in English requires three important elements: A topic sentence, supporting sentences and a concluding sentence.

Perfect Paragraph Format/ How to make a paragraph

The table below displays the four main parts of a paragraph with their definitions.

how to write a paragraph

Ideal Paragraph Structure

The table below shows an ideal structure of a paragarph in English.

The four main parts of a paragraphDefinition
Topic SentenceThe topic sentence is the part of the paragraph that introduces the main idea of the paragraph. When you write a topic sentence, remember these points:
1. A topic sentence is usually the first sentence in the paragraph.
2. A topic sentence must be a complete sentence.
3. A topic sentence should not be too general.
4. A topic sentence should not be too specific.
Controlling ideaThe controlling idea is the part of the topic sentence which states the specific area to be discussed in the paragraph. The controlling idea should be related to the topic of the paragraph.
Supporting SentencesSupporting sentences are the sentences that develop the topic sentence. They can explain the topic sentence; they also can be examples or statistics.
Concluding SentenceA good concluding sentence signals the end of the paragraph. It restates the topic sentence in different words.
How to write a paragraph / Ideal paragraph structure

Related: A paragraph about the importance of English

What is a paragraph sentence?

Most paragraphs contain a number of sentences, but it is possible to use a one-sentence paragraph.

Short Paragraph Writing Examples

Below is a good paragraph on how to be a good citizen. The paragraph has the four basic elements of a paragraph.

I think I am a good citizen for a number of reasons. First of all, I often participate in community service. That is, I do a variety of activities that can benefit other people in my community. For instance, in my neighborhood, my friends and I volunteer to collect litter and dispose of it in a garbage can. In addition, I usually help the homeless and the elderly. Also, I donate money to some local and national organizations. Additionally, donate blood to save other people’s lives. Other activities I do to exercise my citizenship include voting in elections, protecting and taking care of the environment, and respecting the law. Furthermore, as a responsible citizen, I try hard to conserve water and energy and advise my family members and friends to do so. In short, being a good citizen calls for performing several duties and responsibilities.

The Four Main Parts of the Paragraph Above

1. Topic sentence: I think I am a good citizen for a number of reasons.
2. Controlling idea: For a number of reasons. ( This part of the topic sentence states the specific area discussed in the paragraph).
3. Supporting sentences: The reasons why the writer of this paragraph thinks he/she is a good citizen.
4. Concluding sentence: In short, being a good citizen calls for performing several duties and responsibilities.
How to write a paragraph in English

Another Example of a Paragraph PDF

How to write a paragraph: Paragraph transition words

Here are some good transition words that you can use when you write a paragraph.

To introduce a statement or explanation

In fact, as a matter of fact, indeed, that is, …

To introduce an additional idea

In addition, additionally, moreover, besides, furthermore, also, and, too, as well, not only …but also, an additional (+ noun), another (+ noun), …

To introduce an example

For example, for instance, an example of (+ noun), like, such as (+ noun), namely, to give an example,  a great example is, a similar example is, an additional example is, another example is, a different example is, a better example is, a common example is, this includes,

To express purpose

So as to, in order to, to, so that, in order that…

To express contrast or introduce an opposite idea

In contrast, on the other hand, however, yet, but, nevertheless, nonetheless, notwithstanding, although, though, even though, whereas, while, conversely, on the contrary, still, in spite of (+noun), despite (+noun), …

To express cause/ reason

For, because, since, as, because of, due to, owing to, thanks to, result from (verb), to be the result of, one effect of, one consequence of, as a result of, as a consequence of…

To list in order

First and foremost, First, second, third, next, last, finally, the first, the second, the third, the next, the final, first of all,…

To introduce a choice or alternative:

Or, otherwise, if, unless,…

To summarize or introduce a conclusion

In brief, in short, clearly, in summary, in conclusion, in summary, to sum up, as a conclusion, indeed, all things considered, all in all, to conclude, in a nutshell, overall, at last, finally, last but not least, …

How to Write a Paragraph: Parts of a Paragraph PDF

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