Writing Effective Paragraphs for College and High School Essays

Good essays begin with good paragraphs. But if a student doesn’t feel sure about how to put a solid paragraph together, he might not feel confident about his overall paper. So how does a student make sure his paragraph is effective? Here are some suggestions.

Good Paragraphs Support the Essay’s Thesis

A paragraph’s main purpose is to support the essay, and a good essay is written one solid paragraph at a time.

A paragraph begins with a strong topic sentence, and the topic sentence should directly support the thesis. If it does not, it should be rewritten or removed. According to the pro essay writing service, If a topic sentence doesn’t support the main idea of the paper, it is a digression and, as such, should be saved for another essay.

Structuring a Good Paragraph

The paragraph begins with the topic sentence but doesn’t end there. That’s not to say that the topic sentence must begin the paragraph; many topic sentences can be found at the end of the paragraph, somewhere in the middle, or they can even be simply understood. Keep in mind, though, that the topic sentences the controlling idea of the entire paragraph.

The remainder of the paragraph supports or expands the topic sentence. It can either begin with the topic sentence and “grow” outward, leading from the simplest idea to the most complex, or it can be several sentences of assertions made about the topic sentence followed by “proofs,” that is, examples defining those assertions.

For example, in the above paragraph, the first sentence is the topic sentence: “The remainder of the paragraph supports or expands the topic sentence.” The topic sentence lets the reader know that the rest of the paragraph will expand upon that first idea.

One thing to keep in mind is that sometimes with longer or advanced writing, this structure can take several paragraphs. In other words, if the main idea is big or complex, sometimes it is broken down into several smaller chunks (topics/topic sentences) that are manageable for a paragraph.

Example of an Effective Paragraph

Sometimes it’s easiest to see an effective piece of writing broken down into its parts. The following paragraph is effective and follows the guidelines above:

  • GMOs (genetically modified organisms) are plants and other organisms whose DNA has been altered; many foods people buy have been manipulated through genetic modification, and this modification may cause toxic changes in food. Monsanto is a large American food company, well-known because of its genetic modification of soybeans. Monsanto has made its soybeans resistant to Roundup herbicides, and the company, along with many scientists, states that genetic modification does not affect the safety of the soybean, insofar as eating it goes. However, many people are not convinced that GMO foods are safe and would prefer further studies be conducted before they make their final decision.

The first sentence is the topic sentence. The remaining sentences expand the idea found in the topic sentence; the remainder of the paragraph further develops the main simple idea.

Writing an Effective Essay Paragraph Can be Simple

Writing an effective paragraph doesn’t have to be difficult. It takes a strong topic sentence, one that supports the essay’s thesis. Then, the writer simply needs to be sure the remaining sentences within the paragraph support or expand the idea found in the topic sentence; the topic sentence controls the rest of the paragraph. If a student writes each essay paragraph with these key ideas in mind, she’ll likely have a strong essay.


About the author: Nicholas H. Parker is a content editor at BuyEssayClub. He used to manage the content team at the company he worked for. Currently, Nicholas writes articles to share his knowledge with others and obtain new skills. Besides, he is highly interested in the web design sphere.

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