Paragraphing

A paragraph expresses a point, idea or argument and is typically several sentences long.

Good paragraphs start with a topic sentence, which highlights the point that is going to be developed. The point is then elaborated, possibly with evidence (usually from academic literature) being presented and analysed in support of the point being made. A paragraph contains only one main topic or point. When changing to a new topic or point, you need to start a new paragraph. In academic writing a body paragraph will have a linking sentences to provide a transition to the next paragraph. The one exception to this is the body paragraph preceding the conclusion.

Paragraph length depends on the amount of discussion needed to make your point clear, however it is important to keep paragraphs to a length that doesn't lose your reader's attention. If a paragraph extends to most of a page, it is likely that it can be reviewed and divided into smaller paragraphs. In academic writing, you should avoid using single sentence paragraphs.