Each paragraph composes one element of your thesis which should be clearly stated in your topic sentence, and which should be in the form of an argument. The rest of the paragraph then supports your argument through the use of sources, analysis and reasoning. Thus, you will state your point, develop it, refer to relevant examples, analyze them and then conclude your point. Remember that paragraphs are the meat of the essay, and without them your thesis is meaningless and your research question remains unanswered.
A paragraph is considered good if it is unified, coherent and well-developed.
Unity: Deals with the development of one single idea and no other within a paragraph. Make sure you are not going off topic or rambling on. Make sure every sentence is relevant in proving your claim or explaining your specific point.
Coherence: Deals with the connections between the various points that you are trying to make. Lead the readers into your ideas, and don’t think that they should infer on their own. Spell out what you mean clearly and logically, and don’t think that it is obvious; it’s only obvious to you.
Techniques that you can use to stress your idea include:
- Repeating keywords.
- Establishing some logical order, such as cause to effect or general to particular.
- Using transitional words.
To check the coherence and organization of your paragraphs, write down your topic sentences one after the other, and make sure their order and logic makes sense and follows the thesis statement.
Development: Deals with fulfilling what you promise in your topic sentence. Since you are attempting to prove a point, give relevant and sufficient examples and be sure to analyze these examples.