What are the 4 parts of a paragraph? Let’s learn how to identify the different parts and how to write a great paragraph yourself.
What are the four parts of a paragraph?
A paragraph contains four main parts, which include topic sentence, supporting sentences, counterarguments or personal opinions, and concluding sentence. The first part if the paragraph is the topic sentence while the concluding sentence comes at the end of the paragraph.
Assume you were writing an essay about the ‘Impacts of Global Warming.’ One of the effects could be ‘increased mortality rate.’
Have a look at this paragraph to illustrate the four parts of a good paragraph. It is about the impacts of global warming.
Global warming contributes to increased mortality rate globally. Increased global temperatures is the biggest health threat today because hotter weather causes excessive heatwaves and life-threatening diseases such as heatstroke (Taskinsoy, 2019). Global warming directly affects agriculture and food supply. That leads to increases cases of obesity related to lack of healthy food, especially among low-income communities. However, climate change deniers claim that chronic illnesses such as obesity and cancer cause more deaths compared to rising temperatures. However, their arguments fail to consider that global warming also exacerbates air pollution leading to some types of cancers in elderly populations (Robine et al. 2020). Besides, deadly floods, intense tornadoes, and hurricanes are also driven by changing Earth temperatures. Therefore, efforts to address global warming should be intensified to reduce related increase in death rates.
From the paragraph above, we can see that a good paragraph contains four key components.
- Green – Topic sentence
- Red – Supporting sentences
- Black – Counterarguments/personal opinion
- Purple – Concluding sentence
Parts of a Paragraph
1. Topic sentence of a paragraph
- Contains the main argument in the paragraph
- The other sentences that follow support this topic sentence.
2. Supporting sentences
- These are largely the evidence of the claim you’re making in the topic sentence.
- They help make the topic sentence appear legit and valid.
3. Personal opinions/contrary opinions
- These are sentences that present counterarguments.
- Personal opinions why these arguments are not valid are presented here.
- This is part the part of the paragraph that is not always necessary.
4. Concluding sentence
- The concluding sentence in a paragraph restates the claim in the topic sentence.
- Restating the main idea in the paragraph in different words signals the end of the paragraph.
Notice that the first sentence of this paragraph is exactly the topic sentence we’re discussing. It notifies the reader that the entire paragraph will be elaborating global warming, and it highlights the effect that comes with hot temperatures on Earth.
Subsequent sentences in the paragraph support that initial topic statement by offering extra information about how severe temperatures cause mortality. The final sentence is the ending sentence. It reiterates the primary point that indeed as the Earth heats up, it causes death. This last phrase restates the key point by using different words from the topic sentence.
Paragraphs that start with a topic sentence advance from a general idea to the specific. They commence with a basic statement about a subject and then examine individual examples. Most academic writings feature the topic sentence at the beginning of the first paragraph.
How many sentences are in a paragraph?
A good paragraph should have at least 3 sentences. Three sentences guarantee that you will have a topic sentence, supporting argument, and a concluding sentence. However, a paragraph should not exceed 10 sentences. Aim for about 6-9 lines.
How many words in a paragraph?
How many words in a paragraph? A paragraph should have 150 words long. Some authors give a range of 100-200 words but that is usually based on extremes. Very short paragraphs with less than 100 words may not communicate an idea sufficiently.
Can a paragraph be 3 sentences?
Can a paragraph have 3 sentences? Yes, a paragraph can have a minimum of 3 sentences and should have a maximum of 10 sentences. However, three sentences is often considered too short to pass an argument.
Components of an Excellent Paragraph
Each paragraph in the body of a good essay consists of four basic parts: a topic sentence, some supporting phrases, a little bit of contrary opinions, and a concluding sentence. Transition words and phrases establish links between specific paragraphs, and hence are crucial to consider, as well.
Of these aspects, the topic sentences are the most vital to developing a successful essay, and demand the most attention.
Concise topic Sentences
A precise topic sentence in every paragraph will help with essay arrangement.
Consider creating topic sentences early in the process, when you’re still working on an outline or outlining your argument. You can come back later and complete the remainder of the text. Understanding these few sentences ahead of time makes writing the rest of the essay much easier!
Each body paragraph of an essay should be devoted solely to discussing the point made by the topic phrase.
If you come across something that interests you but isn’t directly related to the topic phrase, save it for later in the essay (or keep it for a future writing assignment!). This will assist you in maintaining the focus and effectiveness of your essay.
It is critical to make sure that your topic phrase is connected to your major argument or thesis.
Make certain that your topic phrase serves as a “preview” of the discussion to come later in the paragraph. As a result, many new writers fail to employ the first sentence in this manner, and their sentences lack direction for the rest of the paragraph.
For instance, consider the following two opening sentences:
- George Washington was born in 1879.
- George Washington, who was born in 1879, became one of the most important people in America by the end of the 18th century.
The first sentence in this case does not provide a clear direction for the remainder of the paragraph. It states a fact, but the reader is left in the dark as to the significance of the fact. The second phrase places the fact in context and informs the reader of what will be discussed in the remainder of the paragraph.
Supporting & Concluding Sentences
As part of its walkthrough of the three components of a good paragraph, this video provides good samples of what supporting statements and ending sentences might look like in practice.
It is only after spending a significant amount of time contemplating the themes in an academic essay that the connections between these ideas become crystal clear to you. Keep in mind, too, that the people who will read your essay aren’t quite as knowledgeable about the issue as you are, and they will require your assistance.
Transitional phrases, which are typically located at the beginning of body paragraphs, will assist your reader in following the flow of your thoughts and ideas. It is important to pay attention to the use of words like “likewise” and “in contrast” to determine the relationship between distinct paragraphs.
- Transitions assist in highlighting the overarching organizational logic of your writing. Example: Starting a paragraph with something like “Despite the many factors in its favor, Mystic Pizza still has several elements that prevent it from being the best pizza in town” assists your reader to comprehend how this paragraph ties to what has come before it in the paragraph.
- Transitions can be used both within and between paragraphs. They can assist you in connecting the concepts within a paragraph in a fluid manner so that your reader can follow along.
- If you’re having a hard time connecting your paragraphs, it’s possible that your organization is off. Experiment with alternative paragraph arrangements to see if it makes a difference.
Elements of a paragraph
Paragraphs are collections of sentences that work together to develop a single topic. When writing a paragraph, it is important to start with a topic sentence, include phrases that reinforce the main idea of the paragraph, and maintain a constant flow throughout.
It is necessary for a successful paragraph to include four basic components that are continuous throughout the paragraph: unity, coherence, a topic sentence, and appropriate development.
Unity. In order for a paragraph to preserve a sense of unity, the paragraph must be focused completely on a single topic, point, or argument that is being explored in the body of the paragraph. As a result, the paragraph should refrain from deviating from the topic and developing new ideas. In the event that you begin to compose sentences that deviate from the main idea of the paragraph, it is necessary to begin a new paragraph.
Coherence. The flow of your work is more frequently referred to as coherence in the writing world. It is easier for the reader to comprehend the key point that you have delivered when a paragraph flows smoothly and naturally. How do you ensure that the flow of your paragraph is maintained?
After you’ve presented your core point in your topic sentence, each sentence that follows should build on the previous one in a logical manner.
As soon as you have finished writing your paragraph, take a step back and read what you have written aloud to ensure that your thoughts are clearly communicated.
If they are, you have written a paragraph that is logically organized!
The main argument. This is the most significant element of your paragraph because it informs the reader of your overall point and should essentially “hook” them into wanting to read more!
The topic sentence contributes to the creation of a “general summary” for the paragraph.
When a reader encounters the topic sentence, he or she should have a basic notion of what the remainder of the paragraph will explore.
Sufficient development. Now that you’ve identified a topic for your paragraph, it’s critical that you devote enough time and effort to it. You are not need to use a specific amount of sentences.
Yes, your paragraph should not be too short or too long, but it should be of sufficient length to fully develop the notion that you are trying to convey in your paragraph.
After reading a well-developed paragraph, the reader should not be left with any unanswered questions.
If you want to accomplish this, you can present examples, cite previous work, provide required definitions, express your thoughts, analyze them, and organize them.
When to start a new paragraph
When should you consider introducing a new paragraph and a new idea? you should do so in a new paragraph. If this is not done, the cohesion of the paragraph will be compromised. The topic sentence of the following paragraph should be the starting point for new points.
Every writer has difficulty determining whether to begin a new paragraph. However, in order to retain coherence, authors must be aware of when it is necessary to transition to the following paragraph. If a new thought enters your writing, you need to start a new paragraph to accommodate it.
A new paragraph might also be introduced to contrast the concepts expressed in the previous paragraph. It is possible to have a paragraph that appears to have become too long—a page or more—and needs to be broken up in order to keep the flow of your work moving forward smoothly.
Find a point in your argument when your support is completely formed, and write another paragraph to tie the ideas offered previously together.