Sentence and Word Structure

What are the characteristics of an effective paragraph?


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Unity in paragraph

Unity in the paragraph means oneness of idea. A good paragraph possesses unity when all the sentences develop the main idea. Unity in the paragraph is achieved by the use of (1) a topic sentence with its controlling idea (2) supporting details, and (3) a clinching sentence.

Coherence in the paragraph

The word "coherence" derived from "cohere" literally means "to hold together". If the sentences in the paragraph should relate to the topic sentence to effect a unified whole, these sentences should further be arranged in an orderly sequence and linked to one another to ensure a smooth progression of ideas from one sentence to another.

Emphasis in the paragraph

Emphasis is concerned with how important the ideas can be made prominent. Ideas in the paragraph are made emphatic through (1) position in the paragraph, (2) proportion in discussion, (3) the use of parallel grammatical structures, (4) the repetition of key ideas, and (5) the arrangement of ideas in a climate order.