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What is a Paragraph?

A paragraph contains logically connected sentences which deal with one main idea.

Paragraphs are separated from each other by indenting or leaving a line. It is easier to read something that is written in paragraphs than as a single block of text. A paragraph can be as short as a single sentence, but usually will have between three and six sentences.

Structure of a Paragraph

Paragraphs can be structured in many ways, but must include:

  1. A main idea
  2. details and examples to support the main idea
  3. A link back to the main idea or forward to the next paragraph

An easy way to remember your paragraph structure is PEEL:

P   Point - make your main point in the first sentence. This is the topic sentence.
E   Expand - explain what you mean in more detail
E   Evidence & examples - support your argument with facts, evidence and examples
L   Link – link your point back to the main argument or to the next idea

Tips on Writing a Paragraph

Some Sample Paragraphs

See if you can identify

1. the main idea

2. the evidence and supporting details

3. the link

The first paragraph is analysed for you.

Paragraph 1

Students who come into high school from primary school find that at first they have a few problems.  The main problem is that their new high school is much bigger, usually, than their primary school.  Another thing is that the new year 7 student often does not know any of the students in the higher classes.  As well, these students are not always friendly to him.  Sometimes they play tricks on him or tease him. Another change is that before he was one of the biggest students in his school; he is now the smallest.  Yet another problem is that he no longer has his own classroom.  Now he has to go to a different classroom for every subject.  And the unfortunate student has to carry all his things with him.  He is not used to this.  Moreover, our new year 7 student does not have a class teacher either.  Instead of one teacher whom he knows well, he has six or seven teachers whom he hardly knows at all.  There is no doubt that the boy or girl starting high school often finds it rather strange at first.

Paragraph 2

Four major factors contribute to the weakening of a fishing line’s breaking strain.  The first and most important weakening factor is temperature.  Because nylon is a thermoplastic material, the higher the temperature, the weaker it becomes.  Second, ultraviolet rays will, over a period of time weaken fishing line.  Therefore fishing line pressure is applied.  Third, the moisture content of the line reduces its strength and knots tied between line and hook, line and swivel, and so on are a further source of weakening.  Wear and tear is the last variable which will weaken a fishing line.  These factors can combine to make the breaking strain of a fishing line anything up to 50 per cent less than at the time it was factory-tested.

Paragraph 3

Several factors play a role in triggering moulting.  The most important is reduction of day length and its effect on thyroid hormones.  In addition genetics and nutrition influence new feather growth, which in turn help activate the shedding process.