Essential Tips for Paragraph Development: Paragraph development is a very important topic to everyone who has business with writing, Because understanding when, how and where to start and end a paragraph will help you to write better. I shall be discussing in this article very essential Tips for paragraph development, just focus.
A Paragraph can be seen as a group of related sentences that deals with one main idea in a piece of writing. It is usually begun on a new line and may be indented or block format. In the indented style, a small space is left between the margin and the first letter of the sentence, whereas in block style a single or double space is used to demarcate one paragraph from another.
Constituents Of a Paragraph
A paragraph is composed of two categories of sentences-(i)the topic sentence and the (ii)supporting sentences. The topic sentence contains the controlling idea of the paragraph. On the other hand, the supporting sentences serve to develop the point made in the topic sentence further. They may define, Justify, illustrate or elaborate on the topic sentence.
Position of the Topic Sentence.
The topic sentence may be placed at the beginning, middle or end of a paragraph depending on the choice of the writer. Whatever the case may be, it usually stands out from other sentences in the paragraph, as it is exemplified by the following paragraphs culled from Onuma pp. 18-20
A. Initial Position
“Polyandry is practiced in communities with acute shortage of women. This is a situation whereby a woman marries more than one husband. Since in such communities, men are more than women, a one-to-one relationship is unrealistic. Women therefore have to marry more than one husband.
B. Middle Position
” You wriggle your waist furiously, shake your body at the same time and nod In time with the music. Dancing can be a tiring pastime. You stamp your feet hard on the dance floor and flail your arms wildly around you, all in the name of dance.”
C. Final Position
“He was dressed in a smart double-breasted-costom-made suit. A black bow tie adorned his neck, and a triangular white handkerchief that jutted out of his breast pocket matched his white shirt. A gold tie-clip, cuff-links and a wristwatch flashed as he moved. He topped it all with a wide-brimemed, low crowned hat. His dressing was artistic.”
The Italised sentences in the above three illustrative paragraphs are the topic sentences. The supporting sentences in each of the paragraphs give relevant details which help to fully develop the paragraphs.
Qualities of a Good Paragraph
A good paragraph should possess the following qualities.
1. Unity: A unified paragraph requires that all the sentences it contains must focus on the idea housed in the topic sentence. Any sentence that strays from the topic sentence is considered to be irrelevant and extraneous.
2. Coherence: this entails that all sentences contained in a paragraph must be logically linked in such a way that a sentence leads to another or follows from preceding ones. To achieve coherence, it is necessary to use transitional words and phrases. Pronouns and the definite article are also used to refer to earlier mentioned words, helping to bind them together.
Transition markers are numerous and serve as a variety of function In writing. The choice is made according to the nature of relationship the writer wishes to express.
3. Completeness: A good paragraph must be adequately developed to the satisfaction of the reader. Sufficient information that develop the topic sentence should be supplied so that the readers’ curiosity will be adequately resolved. Unresolved issues in a paragraph may make the reader unfulfilled.
4. Clarity: The sentences that make up a paragraph should be clearly expressed and unambiguous. They should be devoid of grammatical blunders which Mar meaning and make comprehension very tasking. Effort should therefore be made to read over one’s work to ensure that words convey the indented meanings.
5. Variety: Sentences contained in a paragraph should have varying patterns to avoid monotony. The writer should skillfully construct his Sentences in different but meaningful styles. He may introduce the main idea first followed by qualifying phrases or clauses(Loose style) or he may begin with subordinate clauses or phrases and keep the main idea at the end (Periodic style). A judicious combination of simple, compound and complex sentence in a paragraph is essential.
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