A paragraph is a group of sentences related to one topic or developing one point. These sentences are closely related in meaning and are arranged in a systematic manner. A paragraph may stand independently, that is, it may be a short composition complete in itself, or it may be a part of a longer composition like an essay.
The essential features of a good paragraph are; unity, coherence, emphasis and variety.
Unity: Unity means that a paragraph should deal with only one central theme, one central thought. Since a paragraph is only a short composition, unity of thought is very important to it. We can achieve unity by stating the theme of the paragraph in a sentence right in its beginning. We may call this sentence the topic sentence .For example, our opening sentence may be: Anup is the funniest boy I have ever known .In the rest of the paragraph, I have only to show how Anup is a funny boy.
Coherence: Coherence means that all the sentences in a paragraph should be well connected to each other as well as to the central theme. It suggests that each sentence should naturally follow the previous sentence and should naturally lead to the next one. If we write in a systematic manner, we should be able to achieve coherence.
Emphasis: We may be including in our paragraph a few ideas or a few events related to the central theme. These ideas or event cannot be equally important. Some of them will be more important than the others. Emphasis means that we should give each idea or event as much importance as it deserves in relation to the central theme.
Variety: When we talk of variety in a paragraph, it is not variety in theme. We should already see that a paragraph deals with only on theme. There should be variety in sentence construction so that the paragraph does not become dull.
If you have to write a paragraph on a given subject, you can proceed as follows:
- Think about the subject given to you and joy down all the points as they come to your mind.
- See that all the points are strictly related to the subject.
- Arrange these points in a systematic manner.
- If you think proper, begin your paragraph with a topic sentence suggesting the central theme.
- Develop your subject in well-connected sentences.
- Give to your sentences. They should not be all too long or all too short. They should have different patterns.
- The last sentence of your paragraph should give the impression that you have clearly said all that you wanted to say. Try to make your last sentence as impressive as you can.
- If a word limit is given for your paragraph, do not exceed it.