Some people have no problem sitting down and writing a number of ideas on a sheet of paper at any given time on a particular subject. However, after they have jotted down these thoughts, they review their work and realize that the subject matter is completely unorganized, and that there is no flow between the sentences.
These situations are where paragraph development, a system for putting together unified and cohesive sentences, comes into play.
Methods to Develop Good Paragraphs
Several methods exist for developing paragraphs. Some writers may find that simply using an outline helps them to better enhance their skills, while others may discover that they need to combine all of these techniques to put together stronger writing.
Here are some methods of developing paragraphs:
- Creating an outline
- Topic sentence development
- Supporting details
- Using quotations and evidence
- Analyzing quotations and evidence
- Providing strong, relevant information
- Using concise language
- Using colorful and clear words
- Crafting a strong conclusion statement
- Utilizing appropriate transition words
- Following proper grammar rules
By using any of the methods in this list, writers, students and others can create stronger, more developed paragraphs.
How to Implement These Methods
It is important to understand each of the methods available to develop paragraphs. One of the best ways to gain that understanding is by reviewing examples of how to tackle each of them.
Outlining and Topic Sentences
Before beginning any type of writing, creating an outline is key.
- Write down the main points that you wish to discuss in the paragraph first. Aim for two or three main points.
- Underneath each main point, add a piece of supporting evidence from a journal, novel, poem, etc.
- After the evidence, offer a brief explanation.
Once you have put all of this information together, return to the topic sentence. The topic sentence should serve as a mini guide to the rest of your paragraph.
Support, Evidence and Analysis
The heart of the paragraph is the evidence used to prove the point. For example, a piece of support in an essay about drug usage could read, "Drug usage is becoming an increasing problem in the United States." After that, introduce a statistic showing the rise of drug usage over the last decade. Once you have cited the statistic, include a piece of analysis that explains why and how this rise is detrimental to the country and to the future.
Paragraph Strength and Language
To craft a strong paragraph, important facts, textual analysis and all of the information must be relevant. In an essay on the importance of gun control, going off on a tangent about other types of weapons could be detrimentally off topic. Stay focused.
The language that you use will also affect the development of the paragraph. Words such as "good," "nice" and "bad" are extremely vague and should not be used in professional writing. Find clearer words - "respectful," "giving" and "selfish," for example, with which to replace these vague words.
Furthermore, do not using confusing words or words of which you do not know the meaning, because your lack of understanding will translate to the reader.
Crafting a strong concluding statement helps to transition into the next paragraph. At the end of one paragraph, suggest that there is another idea that piggybacks on top of the one that you have discussed, or state that there are some disagreeing ideas in the field. Then, go on to write about them in the next paragraph.
Following Grammar Rules
Even if you have the most organized paragraph in the world, it will not be considered well-developed if there are grammar mistakes everywhere. Consult a guide, such as the collection of helpful articles here on YourDictionary in the English Grammar Rules & Usage section to ensure that your paper is free of grammar errors.
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Examples of Paragraph Development
By YourDictionarySome people have no problem sitting down and writing a number of ideas on a sheet of paper at any given time on a particular subject. However, after they have jotted down these thoughts, they review their work and realize that the subject matter is completely unorganized, and that there is no flow between the sentences.These situations are where paragraph development, a system for putting together unified and cohesive sentences, comes into play.
Good Paragraph Development:
As Easy as P.I.E.
A paragraph is a group of related sentences detailing one clear point related to your thesis. A good paragraph is thoughtful, unified, coherent, and well-developed. If you are having trouble developing or explaining your key points within your paragraphs, check to see if your paragraphs have these three essential structural parts: a point, information, and an explanation.
One way to understand and remember paragraph structure is to think of the word P.I.E.
- P = Point
- I = Information
- E = Explanation
|Point||Often, the point is the TOPIC SENTENCE.|
|Information||The information is the EVIDENCE used to support/develop the point.|
|Explanation||The explanation is the writer’s ANALYSIS, elaboration, evaluation, or interpretation of the point and information given, connecting the information with the point (topic sentence) and the thesis.|
Short Example of P.I.E. at work
(your paragraphs, of course, will be longer and more detailed):
Ironically, rock climbing accidents can also be caused by user error. Of the many dangers that rock climbers face, many can be prevented. Each year nearly one out of every three accidents is preventable (Climbing 35). According to certified guide Jessie Guthrie, “many people—even advanced climbers—get hurt every year because of careless errors” (304).Careless errors typically involve failure to check partner’s equipment and lack of basic rescue skills. Because of user error and other avoidable mistakes, rock climbing can be harmful.
(point, information, and explanation)
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