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Characteristics of a Paragraph

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Characteristics of a Paragraph

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  • March 2007
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CHARACTERISTICS OF A PARAGRAPH

Unity in paragraph

Unity in the paragraph means oneness of idea. A good paragraph possesses unity when all the sentences develop the main idea. Unity in the paragraph is achieved by the use of (1) a topic sentence with its controlling idea (2) supporting details, and (3) a clinching sentence.

Coherence in the paragraph

The word "coherence" derived from "cohere" literally means "to hold together". If the sentences in the paragraph should relate to the topic sentence to effect a unified whole, these sentences should further be arranged in an orderly sequence and linked to one another to ensure a smooth progression of ideas from one sentence to another.

Emphasis in the paragraph

Emphasis is concerned with how important the ideas can be made prominent. Ideas in the paragraph are made emphatic through (1) position in the paragraph, (2) proportion in discussion, (3) the use of parallel grammatical structures, (4) the repetition of key ideas, and (5) the arrangement of ideas in a climate order.

Important ideas are given prominence by placing them at the beginning or at the end of the paragraph.

PARAGRAPH BY ANALOGY

A paragraph by analogy compares two different things on the basis of their similarities in certain aspects. This kind of paragraph development premises its explanation on the familiar or known, so that the logical order (from the familiar to the unfamiliar) is presumed to be the best paragraph order.

PARAGRAPH BY PROCESS

The paragraph by process is concerned with "how" topics, such as "how garbage is turned into compost", or "how ready-made dresses are made". It may involve the giving and receiving of instruction on a certain task or operation; or it may entail an explanation of process too intricate or complicated for the ordinary reader to perform and bring to completion. To cite an example for each type of process writing: a paragraph on "how to operate a calculator" will include...