Build clear paragraphs

The paragraph is one of the key structural elements in most forms of writing. Like a building block, it is usually one of many which, when put together, form the whole. Yet it is also an entity in itself, with its own internal structure. The paragraph contains a topic sentence, supporting (or elaborating) sentences and a concluding (or linking) sentence.

A well-written paragraph will convey your ideas, the relationships between them, and your line of reasoning clearly, while a poorly structured paragraph can obscure your meaning and confuse your reader.

How to build a paragraph

Paragraph structure is important in ensuring that your meaning and thought processes are clear to the reader. A clear paragraph should contain the following:

  • the topic sentence, which introduces your point
  • the supporting sentences, which develop the point by providing evidence, explanation or examples
  • the concluding sentence (optional) which helps connect your point to your overall argument
  • every sentence should serve a clear purpose in relation to the topic sentence.