What Are The Rules For Paragraph Writing?


8 Answers

Liam Orr Profile
Liam Orr answered
Each paragraph should be considered as a separate thought strand, or point. When constructing an argument it should be lucid and flowing, clearly moving from one point to the next. When writing on a page, the paragraph should begin three spaces in from the left-hand side.

Commonly speaking, the first sentence of the new paragraph is either a comment on the last point of the previous paragraph, or a phrase to introduce a new thought, such as 'I now wish to consider' or 'Let me turn to'. The key is structured and logical expression in as few sentences as possible.

A new paragraph begins when speakers, time or place are changed, although these laws are commonly broken in free prose even by the best authors (who are, of course, aware of the rules in the first place). New paragraphs can be used if you are elaborating on more than one point, with the paragraphs beginning 'firstly', 'secondly' and up to 'finally', to hook the listener or reader.

Paragraphs can also emphasise important ideas. Each paragraph must provide a thorough analysis of its topic. If a paragraph provides information that is not directly related to the thesis, revise or eliminate the extraneous information. Ask yourself whether each paragraph contributes to the focus and tone of the entire paper and follows the map laid out in the general argument; any extraneous information can be footnoted, or delivered as an aside.

The 'topic sentence' is always the key sentence in the paragraph, with direct relevance to the question at hand and all else merely supporting that point. Some teachers advise the Point-Analyse approach, which is shrewd for both the writer and reader or audience.
Lily James Profile
Lily James answered

Following are some rules for paragraph writing.

- Each paragraph must be indented.

- There must be at least 7 sentences in each paragraph.

- Each paragraph must start with capital letter and end with a punctuation.

- Use exciting forms of verbs.

- Numbers should be spelled out.

- Sentences must never begin with and, but or because.

- Use a variety of sentences as far as style and length is concerned.

- Use your imagination and creativity.
thanked the writer.
Anonymous commented
I've never seen the 7 sentence minimum before - I think a better minimum is 4 sentences ((1) Topic, (2-3) Development, (4) Wrap-up Idea, and bridge to next idea).
Also, the "rules" for not beginning a sentence with And and Because have been "repealed." Feel free to use them - but sparingly. Of course, if you're writing for "old school" teachers, they'll likely mark you down for that. I'd like to emphasize the need to vary sentence structure and length.
Will Martin Profile
Will Martin answered
Generally, a paragraph should contain only one main topic. This should be clearly signalled by the opening sentence, which is called a topic sentence. In a well-planned text, you can quickly get an overview of the content just by scanning the opening sentence of each paragraph. The topic is then developed; either by further explanation, by giving examples, by stating a contrast or giving an opinion. There may be one or two more sentences to develop the paragraph's topic into a conclusion, or to set up a clear link to the next paragraph. There are no set rules on paragraph length, although from a practical point of view, short ones are easier to read (say 6-8 sentences.) The same is true of number of paragraphs; for a typical exam-length essay, 6-8 paragraphs should be enough. Obviously, literary writing can and does break all these rules; in fiction, one-sentence and even one-word paragraphs are used for dramatic or comic effect.

Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
I teach this to my 12-year-olds, I call it the "copy-editor's rules for paragraphs:"

* Keep paragraphs short
* Sometimes, it's ok to have one sentence in a paragraph
* Indent or skip a line between paragraphs
* There should be one idea per paragraph
* In a story, you start a new paragraph when the time changes, the character speaking changes, or the setting changes.
* Most paragraphs should be "bite-sized," meaning 3-5 sentences
* Sometimes, very long pieces can have very long paragraphs
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
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Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Begin with a smiley icon but not like this ;). Use the rule of two and semantic ambivalence. Follow with the idea in reverse perspective. This will make it interesting and dominating. An affirmation of eloquence can bring benefits to the table. Finish with a sweet comment to the reader. Never use sarcasm!

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