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7 Types of Paragraphs Made Easy

As a college student, you will come across several different types of essays, thesis, and other stories that you will be required to write. As such, you will come across different types of paragraphs and other features that constitute a complete paper. Paragraphs are the building blocks that are used to complete every essay, thesis, or story. There are 7 types of paragraphs that you can use in your paper, depending on the type of essay you are writing.

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Paragraphs also have a basic structure that constitutes the topic sentence, the supporting sentences, and the concluding sentence. The way you, therefore, use your paragraphs can convey different meanings altogether and trigger different emotional responses from the reader. Applying different paragraph types when writing a story can help you to structure your writing and make it more interesting.

With a little research, you will be surprised by how many results you will get when searching how many paragraphs you can use for your papers. In this excerpt, we should discuss the most distinguished 7 types of paragraphs. Mastering these paragraphs should help you with your writing significantly. Keep reading to find out more:

7 Types of Paragraphs You Can Use in Your Texts

You might have probably used some or all of the different types of paragraphs mentioned below without knowing it. Some are also pretty common and more likely to be used when writing academic assignments. Here’s a more detailed list of the 7 types of paragraphs that you can use in your assignments:

Argument Paragraph

Argument paragraphs present a point of view and always provide evidence to support the writer’s position. It’s also vital that you, the writer, have sufficient evidence to support your argument and position. These may include reasons, statistics, personal experiences, expert research, or confirmed facts.

An argument paragraph should help you to argue for or against different points of view. It’s also vital to note that each paragraph argues for or against the development of one main point.

You will often find this type of paragraph in editorial essays, speeches, and other writing forms where the writer’s goal is to persuade the reader.

Classification Paragraphs

In this paragraph type, the writer groups separate items or ideas together according to their shared characteristics. The classification paragraph structure is, therefore, mostly used to organize information, ideas, or items into categories. Additionally, how you organize the information that you collect will depend on your subject area and purpose.

Compare and/or Contrast Paragraphs

Writers use the compare and/or contrast paragraph when examining similarities and/or differences in ideas. The comparison aspect focuses on the similarities of your ideas or data, whereas the contrast aspect focuses on the differences.

You can, therefore, only always use this type of paragraph structure when examining similarities and differences in your writings. Of the 7 types of paragraphs, this is perhaps the most useful paragraph structure for writing reports and literature reviews.

Definition Paragraphs

Definition paragraphs are usually the simplest and most commonly used of the 7 types of paragraphs. The writer usually just needs to start the paragraph with a simple definition right from the first sentence. Therefore, the topic sentence must clearly define what the entire paragraph is about.

You will also need to include supporting sentences and provide more information like examples, explanations, and descriptions to support your writing. Definition paragraphs are great for defining concepts and demonstrating the writer’s understanding of that concept. Still, it’s critical that the paragraph relates to your context or discipline from start to end.

Description Paragraph

Descriptive paragraphs are those that describe people, places, animals, things, ideas, or themes to the reader. A good descriptive paragraph should help make the reader feel like they are experiencing everything that you are talking about. This makes this type of paragraph the most powerful tool for fiction writers.

Descriptive paragraphs help to set the stage and tell the writer’s story. Descriptive paragraphs provide readers with information about people, animals, or ideas. That’s what makes them so effective when writing essays.

Explanation Paragraph

Of the 7 types of paragraphs, explanation paragraphs help to describe how things work or happen. You can, therefore, use this type of paragraph structure to explain how to complete a process or the steps to take to complete it.

well-structured explanatory paragraph should also help to provide the reader with information on certain subjects. This, therefore, makes explanatory paragraphs excellent for giving directions or describing how processes work in a more logical, linear manner. Additionally, explanatory paragraphs are also always factual in nature. Fiction writers cannot, therefore, benefit from using this type of paragraph.

Illustration Paragraph

This type of paragraph is used more to clarify and support general statements using specific examples. You will, therefore, benefit more from using this paragraph structure to clarify a particular idea. As a result, it’s always wise to use this type of paragraph if you have specific examples and know how to use them to relate to your main idea.

The Basic Rule: Each Paragraph Should Have One Idea

The most basic rule of using all the 7 types of paragraphs is that you must always stick to one main idea for each paragraph. Therefore, the moment you start transitioning into a new idea, then you know it’s time to start a new paragraph. Fortunately, there are several simple ways that you can identify if you are still on the same topic or already drifted to a new idea.

It’s always best to have a single idea for every new paragraph with several bits of supporting evidence to give your paragraph more flesh. Consequently, it is also possible to have several points in one paragraph provided that they relate to the main idea of your paragraph. However, if your single points are long enough, then you can always find a way to break them into paragraphs. This should help to make your work easier to read and understand.

Types of Paragraphs

Elements of a Good Paragraph

For a paragraph to be effective, it must have the following elements: unity, coherence, adequate development, and topic sentence. Basically, all of these traits overlap with each other. This makes it incredibly important that you use and adapt them to your individual purposes. This should help you to construct more effective paragraphs.

Unity

As a rule of thumb, every single paragraph should always have a single focus. Each paragraph must begin with one major point of discussion or point of focus. Your paragraphs shouldn’t start with one main idea and end with another or wander within several different ideas.

The unity aspect of your paragraph, therefore, refers to the extent with which all the ideas contained within your paragraph “hang together.” You must also remember to write your paragraphs in a way that is much easier for your readers to understand.

Therefore, you must always remember to start a new paragraph when changing to a new idea. This is especially true for writers who want to start new ideas that aren’t consistent with the topic sentence of that particular paragraph.

Unity also aids the reader in flowing with the writer’s ideas. Generally, the reader expects the writer to have one main idea or topic for each paragraph. Therefore, having a mix of ideas in the same paragraph can be very confusing to the reader.

A new paragraph also always signals the reader that the writer plans to move to a new topic. So, try to make your paragraphs as unifying as possible.

Coherence

The extent to which your ideas flow in your paragraphs is also just as important. Coherence helps to make your ideas more easily understandable by the reader. Being closely related to unity, coherence also helps the writer to prove to the reader how the ideas in each paragraph relate to the main topic.

Therefore, coherence is the attribute that will help to make your paragraph more easily understandable. Fortunately, you can create coherence in all of your paragraphs by creating verbal bridges and logical bridges:

Verbal Bridges

  • Use pronouns to refer to nouns in your previous sentences
  • The use of synonymous words repeatedly in several sentences
  • The use of transition words to link different ideas in sentences
  • Repetition of keywords in several sentences

Logical Bridges

  • The successive construction of sentences in parallel form
  • Carrying the same idea of a topic from one sentence to another

Adequate Development

A well-developed paragraph is one that adequately describes, explains, and supports your paragraph’s topic sentence. If, therefore, the promise of your topic sentence isn’t fulfilled, or the reader is still left with questions after reading your paragraph, then your paragraph hasn’t been adequately developed.

Basically, a paragraph that has just two or three sentences is usually under-developed. It’s, therefore, always best to write paragraphs that contain at least four sentences. This will enable the writer to adequately developed topic sentences.

Every topic sentence must be discussed fully and adequately. Still, this also varies from one paragraph to the next, depending on the writer’s purpose.

A Topic Sentence

This is the sentence that the writer uses to indicate the ideas or thesis that each paragraph will contain. Even though not all paragraphs will have a clear-cut topic sentence, it’s always best to put your topic sentence closer to the introduction of your paragraph.

Sure, a topic sentence can occur anywhere in your paragraph, in your first sentence, somewhere in the middle of your paragraph, or as your last sentence. However, the easiest way of making sure that your readers understand your paragraph is by using your topic sentence closer to your first sentence. Let your reader know what that particular paragraph is about right from the get-go.

Order

Another critical element of a good paragraph is ‘order.’ This refers to how you organize all your supporting sentences in your paragraphs. Therefore, whether you choose to use a chronological order, the order of importance, or any other logical presentation of detail, it’s vital that you have a definite organization.

Every well-ordered paragraph always allows the reader to follow along with the essay easily using the pattern that the writer establishes. When writing any of the 7 types of paragraphs, it’s always important that the reader grasps your meaning without getting confused.

Completeness

The completeness of your paragraph is determined by how well-developed your paper is. The 7 types of paragraphs mentioned above must all always be clearly and sufficiently written in support of the writer’s main idea to be considered complete. A complete paragraph must have a detailed topic sentence, a body, and a concluding sentence. All of these features are crucial in making all the 7 types of paragraphs complete.

Your concluding sentence should also always summarize your main ideas and reinforce your topic sentence. Generally, there’s more to writing a complete paragraph than most students comprehend.

types of paragraphs

 

When Should You Start a New Paragraph?

By this point, you probably already have a few ideas of when you should start a new paragraph. The steps for starting a new paragraph is usually standard for all the 7 types of paragraphs. Here’s what you should know and what should constitute starting a new paragraph:

When Starting a New Idea or Point

As aforementioned, it’s always best to start new ideas in new paragraphs. Don’t always cramp your new ideas in the same paragraphs. If, however, you have an extended point that spans several paragraphs, then it’s always wise to have a new paragraph for each extended idea.

To Contrast Information or Ideas

The best time to start a new paragraph is also when you want to contrast different sides in a debate. The same is also true when using different points in an argument.

When the Readers Need a Pause

Having breaks between your paragraphs also provide your readers with the break they need to make your papers more easily readable. It’s always wise to set little breaks between your paragraphs if they become too long. You should also develop the habit of breaking your paragraphs if they are discussing too complex subjects. This helps to make them more easily readable and understandable by the reader.

When Ending Your Introduction of Starting the Conclusion Summary

Your introduction and conclusion material must always be in separate paragraphs. This is common practice for writers of all the 7 types of paragraphs. You will also find that many introductions and conclusions have several paragraphs depending on their length, content, and writer’s purpose. Whatever your story is, it’s always vital that you have separate paragraphs for both your introductions and conclusions.

Ways to Improve Your Paragraph Transitions

The transition process of your paragraphs always helps guide the reader to your next subject topic. Usually, writers use transition words when starting new paragraphs from the previous ones. However, there are also other inventive processes that you can use to introduce your readers to new paragraphs. The tips mentioned below should help to improve your paragraph transitions:

Transition Words

Often, transition words are the cue for readers that the writer intends to start a new topic. Transition words are especially helpful for writers looking for a change of ideas. A few examples of transition words include:

  • Next
  • However
  • Then
  • First
  • In contrast
  • In addition
  • For example
  • In conclusion
  • Therefore
  • Obviously

It’s also essential to remember to vary the transition words that you use to make your paragraphs more interesting. Using a single transition word throughout your entire paper might sound repetitive and probably also confuse the reader.

Topic Sentences

As mentioned earlier in this excerpt, it’s always vital that you use your topic sentence at the beginning of the paragraph. This helps the reader to know that you are introducing a new idea and plan to discuss that idea in the new paragraph.

Organization

How you organize each of your paragraphs should also help to show the reader that you are starting a new paragraph. Properly organizing your paragraph should also make it more easily readable and understandable by the reader.

Relationships

Along with how you organize your paper, you can also always improve your paragraph transitions by how you discuss the relationship between paragraph ideas. For instance, you can always discuss how your previous paragraph complements your next paragraph. By this, we mean how each of your paragraphs complements and relate to each other.

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Conclusion

Essay writing can be a daunting process for all students, even the incredibly sharp ones. However, nothing is always more challenging than knowing how to use all the 7 types of paragraphs in your paper.

This excerpt has covered all the details that come with writing effective paragraphs. If you are still unsure of what the 7 types of paragraphs are or how to implement them in your paper, you can always visit myhomeworkwriters.com.

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