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What’s a paragraph?

A paragraph is a group of sentences that support or explain the topic. As a general rule, one major idea or main point is explored in a paragraph.


What’s a topic sentence?

A topic sentence is the sentence that clearly identifies the main idea in each paragraph. It focuses the paragraph, helps to unify and keeps the focus on the main point.

A good topic sentence does 3 things:

  1. It introduces the topic of the paragraph.
  2. It makes a point about the topic.
  3. It makes a statement that is neither too broad nor too narrow.

Always consider the register to use in your writing:


What are supporting sentences?

The supporting sentences of a paragraph have one function: to develop the main idea presented in the topic sentence. This development can come in the form of examples, reasons, vivid description, etc., depending on the purpose of your paragraph. If, for example, you are writing a paragraph to defend your opinion, your supporting sentences will consist of reasons and details. If, on the other hand, you are writing a description, your supporting sentences will contain specific details to appeal to the reader’s sense of smell, taste, sight, hearing, and/or touch to help the reader form a mental image.


What is the function of the concluding sentence?

The concluding sentence is, of course, the final sentence of your paragraph, which seems easy and obvious as it is impossible to write a paragraph without one. However, the concluding sentence should leave the reader with a sense of closure, often with a statement signalling that the topic has been fully developed.


Review - Paragraph Structure

Shaun explains the paragraph structure

Review - Paragraph Structure

Shaun explains the paragraph structure


Exercise

Using what you have learned, complete the activity.