Paragraphs must be strong!
Effective paragraphs should:
- Contain only one main idea (break up paragraphs that contain 2 or more!)
- Clearly support your thesis statement
- Begin with a clear main point, then use facts, your own ideas, quotes from experts, examples, etc. To fully develop and explain that point
- Be made up of information that is grouped together in a logical way (example: if you’re writing about pets, everything about cats would be grouped together in a single section or paragraph, whereas the information about dogs would be found in a separate section/paragraph.)
Paragraph Revision Checklist
Check each paragraph’s effectiveness by asking yourself these questions:
- Does the information in this paragraph support my Thesis Statement?
- How do the ideas in this paragraph differ from the ideas being discussed in other paragraphs? Group similar information together!
- Does the first sentence of this paragraph make it clear what will be discussed? (See Using Topic Sentences)
- For the introduction paragraph: Does my introduction simply describe the layout of the paper, or does it give the reader a clear and intriguing introduction to the ideas that the essay will discuss?
- For body paragraphs: How can I clarify the connection between the ideas in this paragraph and the ideas in the previous paragraph? (See Cohesion for help)
- For body paragraphs: Have I fully developed and/or explained this point?
- For the conclusion paragraph: Is my conclusion too short? What other information could be added that might really reinforce the main points that I’ve discussed in this essay?
- For the conclusion paragraph: Does my conclusion simply re-state my thesis in different words? Could I leave the reader with a powerful statement or quote that might make a more lasting impression on him or her?