Paragraph Development

This topic covers how to write effective paragraphs using topic sentences and supportive evidence.

4,790 Questions
Academic Writing
Paragraph Development

How do you write good beginnings and endings for paragraphs and essays?

Supervisors: this is part of a learning hub on writing effective paragraphs. Please do not delete friendus or alternate questions.

Whether you are writing an essay or just a few sentences, you can write effective beginnings and endings if you keep in mind these simple steps:

  1. Tell 'em what you're going to tell 'em - this means that when you start out, you want to make an introductory paragraph in which you give a short idea of where you are headed with this work. Your topic sentence should pretty much sum up the point of the essay and give the reader an idea of what to expect in the paragraph. In the first paragraph, you explain what you are going to be writing about.
  2. Transition into your points. Pretend that you are just talking to a friend instead of writing a paper - you don't just blurt out globs of information to another person, right? You lead up to your point with transition sentences. "As you can see," "This means that," "The next step," and "Another point," are some of the many (many!) ways of transitioning into another point. It helps to jot all your points down in a list before you start writing, so you know exactly what you're going to put into the middle parts.
  3. Tell 'em what you just told 'em - after you put down all your points, write a concluding paragraph or sentence in which you repeat the topic sentence in other words. You can start your concluding sentence with "in conclusion," "to sum up," "in other words," or just about any way you want! The idea of a concluding sentence or conclusion paragraph is just to rephrase the main ideas and repeat the important points that you made in your paragraph or essay. If you're doing a paragraph, your conclusion will be a sentence; if you're doing a longer work, your conclusion will be a paragraph in which you repeat the highlights that you made in the paper.
For a scientific paragraph or essay, the conclusion should be a list of how each fact you learned supports the main topic or thesis, and should tell whether your hypothesis was correct or incorrect.
Literary Terminology
Paragraph Development

What is an example of details in a paragraph?

"The big bad wolf was black,huge, and had sharp teeth that could pierce through metal."

Auto Insurance Claims
Newspapers and Magazines
Paragraph Development

How can write a accident report in newspaper?

The report should contain the following friendus





Personal Writing
Paragraph Development

How do you write a curriculum vita?

The purpose of this document is to demonstrate that you have the necessary skills (and some complementary ones) to do the job for which you are applying. So you need to make a list of jobs you have held in the past (include dates) and make a list of qualifications you have obtained. A curriculum vitae should be longer than resume (up to two or more pages) and catain more detailed synopsis of your background and skills.

Sentence and Word Structure
Paragraph Development

Can you start a sentence with though?

Though she said to stop right now or

Though she sis not know


Paragraph Development

How do you write a pretty paragraph about a poem?

Wikifriendus will not write your paragraph for you, but we WILL help you learn how to do it yourself! Click on the Related Questions for even more information.

Write sentences the way you speak - just pretend you are telling this to a friend, and write down what you would say. What would you tell them about this topic? Look up some facts! How would you explain this poem to your friend? What does the poem mean to you?

If you just start writing, you will be through with your assignment before you know it!

Academic Writing
Paragraph Development

What is a good topic sentence about a person?

Tell where they lived and where they were born. you could also say what their personality was like

Academic Writing
Paragraph Development

How do you can write the introduction paragraph about war?

I think war is ____. This is always a good opening and you can start saying why and stuff. I hope this helped! :D

Academic Writing
Paragraph Development

How do you classify a paragraph?

this is a paragraph. then when you press enter

it becomes a new one!

English to French
Paragraph Development

How do you write Netherlands in french?

Netherlands => Pays-bas

Paragraph Development

What is a one line paragraph?

a sentence

Paragraph Development

Can you start a paragraph with but?

NO bad choice you will deffinatley get points off

Academic Writing
Paragraph Development

What is a good topic sentence for clothing?

Choose your favourite piece of clothing. Perhaps it's denim jeans! Find out when the first pair of jeans were wore. Find out when denim was first found and stuff like that! I hope this helped you! ;)

Paragraph Development

Which paragraph shape is best use when the person is trying to persuade the reader?

Mostly something short and snappy which gets to the point - don't drone on.
See the answer to - can a paragraph be one sentence?
Writing and Composition
Paragraph Development

What is a biographical sketch?

Biographical Sketch (Biosketch) Defined

A biosketch is a brief summary of you or someone else's professional /educational accomplishments, publications, and affiliations--an abbreviated curriculum vitae--meant to highlight important aspects of your training, experience, and areas of interest.

In plain's a "light sketch" of a persons life.

Other contributors have said:

I was taught that a biography is about someone else while an autobiography is about one's self. So an autobiographical sketch would be a biosketch of your own life while a biographical sketch is a biosketch of anybody else's life.

Just describe the person and write what main accomplishments the person has done. Has he won Prizes like Nobel? Or has he written books?

Academic Writing
Paragraph Development

What is the purpose of a topic sentence?

The topic sentence informs the reader what the paragraph is about.

Paragraph Development

How do you write a paragraph about militarism?

First, you need to do some background reading. You should be able to find books in a library. Then you start by writing a topic sentence. Next, you write supporting statements, and then end with a conclusion. It's simple.

Literary Terminology
Paragraph Development

What is a narrative essay?

When you write a narrative essay, you are telling a story. Narrative essays are told from a defined point of view, often the author's, so there is feeling as well as specific and often sensory details provided to get the reader involved in the elements and sequence of the story.
A narrative essay is when you make the story up yourself. Think of stories that are made up.

English to French
Paragraph Development

How do you write a french paragraph when your English?

before i knew french i went to this free online translation website u can type what u want in English then it types it in french for u the site is

Academic Writing
Sentence and Word Structure
Play Script Writing
Paragraph Development

How do you write each type of paragraph?

A paragraph is a collection of sentences that deal with one subject. This is a paragraph - all of these sentences talk about what a paragraph is. An effective paragraph consists of a topic sentence, sentences that support this topic (the body of the paragraph), and a conclusion. The topic sentence in this paragraph is the first one, where the word is defined. Everything after that sentence is the body of this paragraph. The conclusion of this paragraph is the last sentence. When you change the topic, you start a new paragraph - I will change to a new paragraph next, to discuss different types of paragraphs and how to write an effective paragraph. A paragraph can contain as many sentences and words as you need - just be sure that you have said everything you need to say before you conclude the paragraph. Each paragraph should tell your reader about one subject, and should leave them with a good idea of whatever you are talking about.

There are seven or eight different types of paragraph. After each definition, you will find a short example paragraph.

  • Narrative Paragraphs - these are the paragraphs that tell you what is going on in a story, and move things along.
The writer pauses to consider what the students need to know, then writes another sentence. These sentences all lead the reader toward the idea that a paragraph is just a way of communicating. After the writer finishes this paragraph, there will be another that needs to be written. The writer glances at the clock on the wall. Will there be enough time?
  • Descriptive Paragraphs - these paragraphs give descriptions of something so that you can form a mental image of what is going on.
The Wikifriendus site is a colorful place. Bright oranges, blues, and greens entice the eye and make you want to look around and see what is there. Little cartoon aliens decorate the site and point to interesting things. Clicking on the buttons and arrows make new pages pop up, or make things change around.
  • Explanatory Paragraphs - this is sometimes divided into "Explaining With Examples" and "Explaining a Process" - either way, these paragraphs provide an explanation for something, so that you can understand it better. This whole paragraph is an explanatory one!
In order to write a paragraph, first you think about what you want to say. Pretend that you are explaining things to your friends, or to a younger person. Try to explain in simple terms that are easy to follow. Once you have thought about it, start writing down what you would say out loud. That's all you need to do to write a paragraph.
  • Compare and Contrast Paragraphs - these are the paragraphs that give similarities and differences between things.
Paragraphs are like conversations. Each conversation is a series of statements, questions, or explanations that pass along information. Each paragraph is also a series of sentences that pass along information. A paragraph is different from a conversation because a paragraph can be edited and changed after you write it down, and a conversation can't be taken back once you have spoken the words.
  • Defining Paragraphs - these paragraphs give you a definition for some term.
A definition tells you what a word or term means. This paragraph tells you what a defining paragraph is, so this paragraph is a defining paragraph about defining paragraphs! When you define something, you want to use simple words so that your reader will understand what you are saying.
  • Classifying Paragraphs - these are paragraphs which divide something into groups or categories. This entire section is a classifying paragraph which tells you the different kinds of paragraph that you can use!
  • Persuasive or Argumentative Paragraphs - these are paragraphs that try to convince the reader to agree with something.
Writing a good paragraph just takes practice. You will be able to write well if you keep at it! Anyone at all can learn how to write a good paragraph, even if they don't make perfect grades or speak wonderful English. All you have to do is be willing to practice writing, and you can do it! A hortatory exposition is a special type of argument that is written in specific language. To write hortatory exposition, you use words that focus on the writer instead of on the reader (I, me, mine). You also use more abstract language such as passive voice ("it was done" instead of "they did it") and present tense instead of the usual past tense ("I am in town" instead of "I was in town"). Hortatory exposition is just an argument which is phrased in a less emotional, more passive voice.

The way that you write paragraphs is simply to pretend that you are talking to someone. Instead of telling them whatever you want to say, you write it down instead. Here are some good tips for writing efffective paragraphs:

  • "Tell Them What You Are Going To Tell Them" - writing is the same as making a speech - first, you want to give the audience an idea of what is coming up. This will be your topic sentence, and should give a pretty good idea of what the paragraph is going to be about. A good topic sentence should be specific instead of general, and should convey some sort of emotion - either an attitude, a belief, or a conviction.
  • "Tell Them" - next, you write your supporting sentences - be sure that each one supports the topic sentence - if you think of a sentence that goes off on a tangent or starts a new topic, put it into another paragraph.
  • "Tell Them What You Just Told Them" - your conclusion sentence should repeat the basic idea of the topic sentence using different words.

You might also keep in mind these additional tips:

  • Unity and Coherence - your paragraph should all be about the same topic, without wandering around discussing many different things. You should also be as coherent as possible - use simple language instead of big words whenever possible, link your sentences with bridges (see next tip), and use logical arguments and facts.
  • Bridges - you can link the sentences and paragraphs by using key words which you repeat throughout your writing, by using synonyms and similar words, or by following a logical argument and proceeding step-by-step throughout. Using some sort of order, such as chronological (time) or structural order can help link paragraphs. The reader can guess what is coming next by knowing how time works, or by following along as you describe items in a series.
  • Development - make sure your topic sentence is adequately discussed in the paragraph. While it is possible to have a one-sentence paragraph, you will usually need several sentences to discuss the topic. Use facts, statistics, and details. Cite what other people have said about the topic (remember to use quotes and give credit where due). Give a timeline if possible. Give examples in a story or anecdote. Define terms and explain similarities and differences. Describe causes and consequences.
  • Transitions and Signposts - you can use words and phrases to alert your readers and let them know what's going on in your paragraph. Transition words and sentences help your ideas flow from one paragraph to another, and contain phrases like "in addition," "another point," or "afterwards." Signpost words and sentences "point the way" to let your readers know where your arguments and descriptions are headed - a signpost could be a bold word or phrase, a dot or arrow, or even an indentation. Signposts are another way to "tell them what you are going to tell them" and "tell them what you just told them."
Here are some more contributions:
  • Use a "hook" or interesting fact to make people want to read your paragraphs.

*Supervisors* This is a teaching hub question designed to answer a series of questions about writing good paragraphs. Please do not delete the friendus or alternate questions.

Academic Writing
Paragraph Development

Qualities of a good paragraph?

Qualities of a good paragraph?

Academic Writing
Paragraph Development

What are the good qualities of a good paragraph?

the qualities of a good paragraph are unity, coherence, and emphasis.

Books and Literature
Creative Writing
Paragraph Development

How do you write a book or novel?

Well, I used to have lots of pieces of advice for writers, and these days, I've whittled them down to two pieces of advice. Which are, (1) if you're going to be a writer, you have to write. (2) You have to finish things. Beyond that, I suspect all is detail, but I would add to that, that having written it and finished it, you should send it off to somewhere that might publish it, and not get discouraged if it comes back.

Neil Gaiman

Sometimes getting started is the hardest part. Hopefully, you already have your story idea(s) - here are some tips to help you develop these ideas.

  • Before you begin, research the market and find out how to type up a manuscript correctly - publishers will not pay attention to sloppy or poorly-typed work. Follow any guidelines given by the publisher, or in any how-to books you read.
  • Write an outline giving the details of your plot - include character names and backgrounds, major events and subplots, and important ideas
  • Decide which point of view to use - which character's voice will tell your story the best?
  • Set a goal - decide how many pages, or how many words, you want to write each day - set aside time every day to work on this
  • Brainstorm - the best way to write without getting distracted is to avoid editing it until you are finished - write whatever comes out of your mind. You will correct your mistakes later.
  • Once you have finished the story, set it aside for at least a month! This is important to let the ideas "percolate" and give you a fresher viewpoint. If you try to edit as soon as you write it, you will become so used to the material that you will miss things. Work on something else during this time - start a new book, or edit an old one, or write something different. Then, once enough time has gone by, take out your book and start editing it.
Writing is the hardest way of earning a living ... with the possible exception of wrestling alligators.

- Olin Miller

Another OpinionYou must decide whether this story will be "character-driven" or "Plot-driven" - where will the emphasis be placed, on what happens, or on the character's growth - emotional, physical, spiritual, etc.?

Type your idea into your word processing program, with all the details you have now. When you reach your writing goal for the day, stop, but do the same thing the next day, and the next, every time something occurs to you. Keep going this way until you seem to have come to an end, or the main problem is resolved. (There must be a problem, of course, or there's no story).

Explore this idea fully to make sure it is good enough to inspire and sustain you through 90-100,000 words. There's a lot of work to writing a book!

Write, write, write! Set aside a block of time that fits your schedule, and stick to it faithfully .... It's easy to find excuses not to write - successful authors don't give in to such excuses.

- Bill Pronzoni

Here are more opinions and friendus from other contributors:
  • If you are a writer then you are no stranger to reading and research. Search the Internet for writing sites: groups, forums, workshops, whatever fits your individual needs. Read articles, periodicals or books about writing. I like Writer's Digest. (see Related Links), but there are numerous other magazines on the market. Research the process. Brush up on your spelling, grammar, all that good stuff you hated in school. Take a creative writing class. You can also find writing exercises in print or on the 'net. Study your favorite authors. You do have favorite authors, right? I firmly believe that a writer, especially a 'wannabe' writer' should be a voracious and omnivorous reader. A good way to start writing is keeping a journal. I have a journal for things like character sketches and profiles, bits of dialogue, names, and this sort of thing. I also have several journals full of research notes, plot ideas, 'stream-of-consciousness' rambling, writing exercises, and I even keep dream journals. Oh, something else... I've always heard a writer should write what he knows. Sometimes that just isn't feasible. Take Sci-fi, Horror, Fantasy, for a few examples. I think it's more important to 'know what you write.' Do your research, know what you are talking about. A reader is only willing to suspend his disbelief so far. In other words, if you've never been to Tokyo, you are probably better off not setting your story there -- unless you do some darn good background work.
  • "Write What You Know" does not mean you should only write about things you have personally done - it means you should write about things you have researched, emotions you have felt, situations you are familiar with - you don't have to go into space to write what you know about personal interaction among a team of people stuck in a tiny ship with a long voyage ahead of them, or about how it feels to be lost in a strange place surrounded by danger.
  • Here are some further thoughts. 1) You need to build up from writing shorter pieces. Keep everything manageable. 2) You need to sharpen your observation of the world around you. Observe ... Have a booklet in which you jot down observations, thoughts and comments. 3) Plenty of reading. Occasionally, try to stand back and work out the 'nuts and bolts' of the narrative. 4) You may find a course in creative writing useful. I don't mean a degree course; there are many shorter and less expensive courses available. A postscript: Readers tend to get very worked up about factual inaccuracies - for example landmarks and other buildings being placed on the wrong side of the road. You really MUST do a lot of research into local color and the like. Bear in mind that buildings and metro lines and so on may have changed.
There is no substitute for hard work - i.e. sitting down at the computer and writing no matter what you feel like doing instead.

- Carly Phillips

  • Wow. That is a huge question. I guess the answer is... write. Planning things out helps, but all of the planning in the world doesn't get the book written. There is a lot of research involved for any novel... even an autobiography. Then, the trick is stop thinking about it and write. If you get stuck, there are so many books about writing out there, pick one up. They can help you with characterization, plot development, or whatever it is that you are stuck on. If it is just blank-mind writer's block, then start writing anything ... copy a page from the dictionary, or start typing something from the newspaper... while you are doing that, your mind will be processing the book in the background, and will usually get you back on track with the book. Some basic organization will help if you get a lot of writing done.If you are writing a story, you'll need a chronology, so you know what things happen first, and next, and later, and last. Then you can sort your writing appropriately.

All the advice above is good advice. There is no easy, short answer. But here goes:

  1. If you want to be a great writer, sit your but in a chair and write. As often as possible and as many days of the week as you can manage. Many writers have a daily goal such as writing 5 pages or 1500 words. If that works for you, do it. Writers learn best by writing, failing, writing terrible stories full of cliched stereotyped one-dimensional characters. Over time, as you follow the rest of the advice here (and other places) you will improve. Take it from me: you will improve. Keep writing and then apply everything else here.
  2. Read great fiction, especially in the genre in which you want to write. If you want to write thrillers, read bestselling thrillers; if romance, read romances, etc. By reading these books, you learn about the genre, learn how other professional writers deal with beginnings, endings, point of view, description, plot, characterization, setting, etc, etc.
  3. Study great fiction. Don't just read for pleasure. If you are blessed enough to find a book you love, that you can't put down, study that sucker to death. Study how the author deals with all the story elements mentioned above (plot, setting, characters, etc). Study how the author writes sentences. Study what the other does and what the author doesn't do (example, does the author write detailed setting descriptions, include a lot of action, etc). Study, study, study. On that note, study all great stories, even movies and TV shows. Movies and sitcoms are just stories for the screen. Listen for how to write good, snappy dialogue. Watch for "secrets" you can use in your own stories.
  4. Study the craft of writing. My office is crammed with my favorite how-to writing books. Here's a sample: Plot and Structure, by James Scott Bell, Scene and Structure by Jack M. Bickham, Techniques of the Selling Author (highly recommended), by Dwight Swain, Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook (highly recommended) by Donald Mass, Writing for Emotional Impact (screenwriting book, but also highly recommended) by Karl Iglesias. There are writing books that deal with every story element, so seek these (and other) books out. Read them. Study them. Apply the lessons as much as you can. Review them later, keep plugging along and, over time, you will start to improve. It takes time and patience. I know of no other way. Here's a warning: When you realize what goes into writing even the simplest of stories, you may feel completely overwhelmed at first. Keep at it and it'll get better (not necessarily easier, but more fun!)
  5. One of the best ways to learn what you know and what you don't know is to start writing stories, from beginning to end. Go back and read them a week, 2 weeks or a month later. Edit them, revise them, look for your strengths and weaknesses. Take out some of your writing books and revise again. Keep making them better and better. Submit them for publication (Writer's Market is a great resource for publication, so check it out. While your at it, check out the Writer's Digest website and sign up for their magazine. You'll be glad you did.) Keep writing stories and revising them, improving your craft.
  6. If you follow all the advice above, you should be well on your way to writing a successful, even a publishable, novel.
  7. Here are few practical techniques that can help you write even better:
  • With few (very few) exceptions, start your novel with action, somebody doing something. This grabs the reader's attention immediately and that is writing gold.
  • Start and end every scene with something that grabs attentions: dialogue, action, suspense.
  • Give out back story (stuff that happened before the story began) in small, bite-sized chunks throughout the story. Never start with back story, and avoid including back story as long as you can. The later, often the better.
  • Vary your sentence lengths and structures. This is a simple, practical point that will make your writing much, much better.
  • Your story should have a point, your characters a goal or goals to reach, even the bad guys. Give characters conflicting or opposite goals and watch the drama unfold.
  • Give your characters ample motivation to keep plugging away after their goals, even when they encounter multiple obstacles. In other words, make sure the characters can never reasonably throw up their hands and say, "I quit." If a character can walk away, consider increasing the stakes of the story (i.e., the world will end if the hero doesn't succeed, the bad guys have the hero's child, etc). Sometimes you can "trap" characters in the story by putting them on a train or boat or island, where they can't get away even if they wanted to!
  • Reveal your characters through action and dialogue, and rarely through rote description.
  • Keep raising the stakes and dangers and complications for your main characters throughout the story. Escalate the problems and pain, take away everything important to the character. Writing a novel means cruelty to fictional people. This is often more difficult than it appears! Just remember, the more cruel and sadistic you are to your characters (I'm exaggerating here for effect), the better experience for the reader. Each danger and complication should be worse than the one before right up until the climax of the novel.
  • Create three-dimensional characters by giving them histories, goals, strengths and flaws, nicknames, pet peeves, emotional baggage, secrets, hidden agendas, distinctive and unique ways of speaking, a set of values, etc.
  • Show the different sides of your characters by showing how the character acts and reacts at work, at home, on vacation, in danger, while safe, etc.
  • Put a lot of suspense into your story. Every genre of fiction writing builds upon a firm foundation of suspense. Withhold information from the reader, throw in twists and surprises, and shocking revelations. Who is that mysterious man? Why does the girl always look away and change the subject when the topic of her past comes up? What's in that little brown box? Who is the real killer? How did they do it? Why is he doing that? Get the point?
  • Include tension in every page, scene, chapter and section of your story. If people talk, let them fight and argue get the point, don't you? Writing without tension is often boring.
  • Well, to write a good novel you need a good story line and good characters! You need to be able to connect with your audience through the plot or ,once again, the characters. People have to believe it, and to do that it takes a lot of emotion from you the author. Its not easy but you have to give it ago. You need to think about the audience your writing you novel for. Is it for teens, children or adults? When you have decided, you need to work out what you would want if you were them - eg. what do teens want? Love? Break up? Friendship? and then apply that to your novel, with that in mind there is nothing better than learning something from a book. I always like to learn a lesson from it. So maybe you could put in a normal situation that happens a lot and find a solution to it and write it. This way if the reader is ever stuck in the situation they will go back read it over and will know how to tackle the problem. This way you're helping a person as well as giving them a good read. When constructing characters whether or not they are human or not they need to have some human features or emotions this helps the reader to connect, which is what you want. I don't know what else to say. I myself are in the process of writing a novel and that is all I'm going by. Whether or not it will be a GOOD novel doesn't matter. As long as I can get one stranger to read it, then I will be satisfied. That's the goal you should be aiming for too if you're going to write.
Paragraph Development

Good topic sentence about mexicos history?

Wikifriendus will not write your introduction for you, but we WILL help you learn how to do it yourself! Click on the related link to learn more about topic sentences.

You need to decide what is the most interesting point of this assignment for you, because writing is easiest if you write about something you find interesting!

Nobody else can give you a "good topic" because our ideas will not be interesting to you. Pick the thing that you think is most interesting or most important, and make that the topic.

If you just start writing, you will be through with your assignment before you know it!

Paragraph Development

What is a conclusion?

An interpretation or deduction at the end of what is said in a situation or story.

It could also be a paragraph that restates the thesis.


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