In this post I’ve discussed the definition, types and writing method of a ‘paragraph’. Student of English language and grammar often confuse themselves identifying the difference between an essay and a paragraph. This post may be helpful for everyone to understand what a paragraph is and how to write it.
Definition of paragraph:
A paragraph is short composition or note dealing with one main idea. Usually a paragraph contains around 150 to 200 words; although there is no hard and fast rule about the length.
Generally, the main idea of a paragraph is known as topic. The sentence in which the topic is mentioned is called the topic sentence. The topic sentence can be positioned anywhere within the paragraph yet it is better for beginners to include it in the opening. The opening sentence or topic sentence should be followed by a series of supporting sentences which develop the main idea. These supporting sentences are also known as developers. Every paragraph contains a closing sentence or statement that restates the main idea and gives it a satisfactory ending. It is also known as the terminator.
So, we can see that a paragraph has three sections.
- Topic / Opening sentence which deals with the main idea,
- Supporting sentence / developers which develop the main idea and
- Closing / concluding sentence / terminator which repeats the main idea and provides the ending.
Now, let’s have a look at a sample paragraph:
William Wordsworth believed that the act of poetic creation comes about through four phases. Initially, the poet monitors the object or subject matter and it produces a surge of powerful emotion on his/her mind. Afterwards, the poet recollects the emotion which he/she gathered by observing the object. In most cases the recollection happens at a convenient time. Then, he/she renews the emotion through reflection. Finally, he/she converses the emotion or feeling to his/her reader. These four stages contribute to the poetic creation, as Wordsworth considered.
This is a very short paragraph with seven sentences only but this is a complete piece of writing which introduces the main idea with the opening/topic sentence. Now, take a look at the next five sentences; all these sentences are supporting the first/topic sentence. The last sentence closes the paragraph by restating the main idea.
Types of paragraph:
There are four types of paragraph.
- Descriptive paragraph:
In this kind of paragraph, readers find a description of something or someone. Readers often find the touch of five human senses such as touch, sight, smell, hearing and taste. Descriptive paragraphs are often artistic and they sometimes diverge from grammatical standards.
- Narrative paragraph:
Generally, a narrative paragraphs is a short journey through a story. Readers find a sequence of action in this kind of paragraph.
- Expository paragraph:
This type of paragraph explains something to the reader for better understanding. It may also provide instruction. It could also explain a process in a step-by-step explanation. The example paragraph on ‘poetic creation’ in this post is an expository paragraph.
- Persuasive paragraph:
In this type of paragraph the aim of the writer is to persuade the readers to accept a particular point of view or comprehend the writer’s position. This type of paragraph is particularly useful to build up an argument.
How to write a basic paragraph:
Now, let’s try to write a paragraph maintaining the structure that we’ve just learnt.
What subject can we write on?
Well, in my opinion, the best thing to do is to write on something very easy and common everywhere. Let’s write a paragraph on “A memorable moment”.
We can write about a birthday party that was a surprise for us; we can write about our first day at school, or a competition we won. There are so many options.
Here, for your easy understanding, I’m picking a very easy topic. I’m going to write on ‘The first day of my elementary school’.
A memorable event
Many memorable events are a part of every person’s life as they have a profound influence to shape the life. I remember my first day at my elementary school most because this was the first time I was introduced to a big community for the first time ever. I woke up early that morning and my mother helped me in my shower. I got ready by wearing the new uniform which my father bought earlier. It was beautiful blue uniform. I took breakfast and my father took me to my school in his car. I went to the Principal’s room and she asked my some basic questions from the math book. I remember that I answered all the questions and she praised me. She took me to my classroom where I saw some students of my age and a beautiful lady. My father bade farewell and I felt a little sad. The Principal introduced me to the class and showed me my seat in the middle. I sat down with two girls, Samantha and Jessie. I enjoyed all the classes as all the teachers were very friendly and helpful. Our classes ended at 1.30 pm. I made two friends that day, Samantha and Jessie. My father came back to take me back home. I felt sad when I said goodbye to my friends and classmate. However, my father told me that I would return to school the next day. So, I became happy again. I always remember the day as it was first time I met so many people outside my family and they became a part of my life.
This is how you can write a paragraph.
Keep trying to write on basic topics. Hopefully, you will be able to write on more complex issues eventually.