Writing Skills The Paragraph

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The paragraph is the most important unit of a well-written essay The paragraph has a specific structure and standards that make it effective and enjoyable to read In this writing lesson we will look at how to construct good paragraphs and improve writing with better flow and clarity After the lesson take the quiz welcome again to wwwengvidcom Im Adam Todays lesson is about the paragraph Its a writing lesson and I want to show people what a paragraph is and how to construct one what to do what not to do so you can write very clear very tight paragraphs This is especially important for IELTS TOEFL SAT students but everybody has to follow the exact same rules Now before I even begin I must say that Im talking mostly about academic writing or even business writing Creative writing like novels or short stories anything fiction you can do anything you want Only always remember somebody has to read what you wrote so it has to be clear But academic essays for example certain rules you have to follow you have to be very careful about them So lets begin In terms of like the actual way a paragraph looks you have to indent or skip a line So let me just make sure you understand what an indent is This is an indent the first line a little bit pushed in or you can make sure you skip a line between paragraphs But dont do both If you skip a line dont indent Okay Thats the main thing Now thats in terms of the way it looks In terms of content -- and this I cant stress this enough -- very very very important one central idea in one paragraph Okay Ive seen many people Ive seen many essays where you start a paragraph talking about one thing and then you go off on a tangent and talk about something completely unrelated So for example if you start a paragraph and youre talking about apples continue to talk about apples If you go to oranges thats maybe okay because youre still talking about fruit But if you start with apples go to oranges go to bananas and then end up with monkeys in space theres a bit of a problem the reader has no idea what youre talking about One paragraph one central idea Now make sure that you tell the reader what this central idea is This is your thesis statement Okay Its a very general sentence All it does is introduce the topic of the paragraph nothing else All the details comes after So speaking of details well talk about details in detail but all other ideas all the other sentences all your sentences with the details must directly relate back to the main idea So lets say here is your thesis statement very general every sentence after must relate back to that thesis statement Okay You cant go off to another idea Everything must support this must talk about the same topic Very important Okay How long should your paragraph be Technically a paragraph could be one sentence but in an academic essay that rarely happens But it could be any length you want as long as youre still on that one topic as long as you still have things to write and things to say about that topic say it If you have four sentences fine if you have 10 sentences also okay Again for IELTS TOEFL SAT students four five sentences should be your limit You cant be too long because you dont have time and youre going to start making mistakes So now the details Very important to have lots of details Why is this topic important to your overall idea of your essay Not only tell me what is the topic what is the thesis statement of the paragraph make sure you explain to me why this is important to the general idea of the essay Give me your reasons Now why is it important And then reasons why you think what youre saying supports this idea Examples always use examples because giving me the reasons is okay examples make me see exactly what youre trying to say Very easy for me to understand what youre trying to say Now in terms of flow in terms of the way the reader can approach the paragraph you have to have bridges What is what do bridges mean Basically when you have one idea in this sentence you must connect it to the next sentence you must connect it to the next sentence Every sentence must have a link to the next sentence This creates flow makes it much easier to read and understand and it keeps you on the one topic Now key terms If youre talking about something specific and you have to use a key term use it as many times as you need to Otherwise avoid repetition Try not to use the same word more than once in one paragraph Okay For example if youre using the word moreover in the paragraph dont use it dont use moreover again -- use in addition to use furthermore another etc Try to avoid using one word more than once especially in the same paragraph