What are the methods of organizing the ideas in a paragraph?


Quick Answer

Each paragraph must relate to the main thesis in a clear way. Open each paragraph with a statement that defines your argument, and use the rest of the paragraph to expand on that facet of the main argument.

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Full Answer

Depending on your opening sentence, you may want to unpack your guiding statement in the second sentence of your paragraph. This is not necessary, but it allows readers a second opportunity to understand more complex or nuanced arguments.

Cite specific examples in the main body of the paragraph to support your argument. Remember to stay on topic; do not use examples that lead your writing into another topic within the same paragraph. Each paragraph must have its own unique argument that adds to the main thesis. Explain each piece of evidence you use: why did you choose this specific example, and how does this example relate to your paragraph's theme? If the evidence cited is from a well-known source (for example, a scholar who is famous in your field, or a well-known song lyric), be sure to mention the author in the text of your paragraph, not just in the citation.

The end of your paragraph is a transition into the next paragraph. Bring your evidence together, and show how that paragraph's argument relates to the main thesis. Use this space to raise a question about a point made in this paragraph that is explored in more depth in the following paragraph.

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