Paragraph Structure


We are going to looking at Structure of a Paragraph. This is slightly different from the structure of Essay.

Why Structure a Paragraph?

Each paragraph must make sense, and your markers need to understand what you’re trying to say.
Paragraphs must be arranged so the meaning is clear for a paragraph structure.
This isn’t necessarily an order, as much as it is a chain of ideas that must go together.

Topic Sentences of paragraph structure

Topic sentences (TS) must be short and simple.
They work like tabs in a binder-each stating exactly what the paragraph is about.
For instance: ‘Bats are nocturnal creatures.’
You are saying: ‘This paragraph answers the part of the question about bats being active at night.’

Why use ‘Simple’ Topic Sentences?

keep it simple paragraph structure
The hardest part of marking for a teacher is often working out what a student is trying to say.
With a simple topic sentence of paragraph structure, you help to bring a little bit of clarity to your work.
By having a topic sentence addressing each part of the question, you’re helping to ensure you have answered it.

Discussion and Evidence of paragraph structure

This is another area where students come unstuck.
The idea of discussion and evidence is that to prove your topic sentence correct.
They can go in any order, but you do need to use both.
Discussion should elaborate.
Evidence should be your proof.

Example of paragraph structure

Bats are nocturnal creatures for an example of paragraph structure
TS: Bats are nocturnal creatures.
Evidence: Animal Journal’s study of bats found that at night they look for food and potential mates.
Discussion: By conducting all of their activities at night, the only possible conclusion is that bats are nocturnal creatures.

Finishing a paragraph

Concluding your paragraph is a point where the argument is justified or expanded.
You can either:

  1. prove that your discussion and evidence matches the topic sentence and question OR
  2. lead-in to the next main point.

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