• A paragraph is a group of sentences
  • A well-structured paragraph has a beginning, a middle & an end


1. Topic sentence/Introducer

  • The first sentence that introduces the main idea
  • Usually appears in the beginning of a paragraph
  • Gives the core idea & emphasizes it
  • Guides the readers to know what it is all about

Two major functions: Structural & Interpretive

  1. Structural topic sentences
  2. Describe the shape of the argument
  3. Help to follow the argument
  4. Guide the readers to anticipate & move with the rest of the paragraph
  5. Interpretive topic sentences
  6. Offer a conclusion/reaction/feeling
  7. Acquaint the readers with the author’s perspective
  8. So more valuable than structural topic sentence
  9. Structural topic sentence does not tell us a lot about the topic
  10. Interpretive topic sentence allows the writer to freely express his/her interpretation of the data & also tries to convince the reader
  11. Both are known as introducers
  12. Introducer > lays the foundation for the rest of the argument to follow
  13. Raises hopes and makes promises

2. Supporting details/Developers

  • Constitute the main body of the passage
  • Fulfil the promise made by the introducers
  • Substantiate, augment & authenticate the claims made by the introducers

3. The concluding sentences / Terminators

  • Wind up the discussion
  • Leave on the reader the final impression about the crux of the entire paragraph 


  1. Narrative Description
  2. Suits the paragraphs that have an intense emotion to express
  3. Sustains our interest by telling a story in an engaging manner
  4. Comparisons & Contrasts
  5. Two similar things are compared/two dissimilar things are contrasted
  6. Make the argument forceful & emphatic
  7. Prove our perspectives in an objective manner
  8. Sustained Analogy
  9. Analogy = comparison of things that are generally not from the same class
  10. Extensive use of such comparisons = sustained analogy
  11. Is figurative & literary in its impact & appeal
  12. Cause and Effect
  13. An important device that helps to establish a relationship b/w certain events & the reasons behind them
  14. Convinces readers in a scientific & logical manner
  15. Quotations & Paraphrasing
  16. Quoting authorities substantiates a point of view
  17. Peer testimony = when the words of common people are quoted
  18. Enumeration
  19. Listing a series of ideas to substantiate the topic sentence


  1. Unity
  2. The togetherness of ideas
  3. A paragraph should have one central idea – outlined through the topic sentence — & the subordinating ideas that help the main idea
  4. Coherence
  5. All the ideas fit together well
  6. E.g.: arguing for an idea & arguing against it at the same time result in incoherence
  7. Expansion & Emphasis
  8. Properly expanding & emphasizing the idea introduced in a sentence
  9. Taking the generated idea to its logical conclusion

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