If a paragraph is written well, its main message can be understood without the need for preceding or following material.
Paragraphs that are well designed can help a writer construct an argument in stages and can be thought of as “signposts” to guide a reader through the argument.
Restating the main point of the paragraph in the last sentence ensures that the reader has a clear understanding of the author’s interpretation of the supporting evidence presented in the body of the paragraph.
Constructing effective paragraphs can be challenging due to the effort involved in planning the overall structure of each unit.
Before considering how to structure a paragraph, it is helpful to understand the role that paragraphs play in a manuscript.
In the broadest terms, a paragraph presents a complete thought.
Scholars of English rhetoric have offered a number of definitions of the paragraph, but all of these definitions mention groups of sentences about a single topic.
The number, length, and order of these sentences are frequently disputed among these scholars, but the unity of thought remains a constant.
The example topic sentence (sentence 1, ) tells the reader that the paragraph is going to discuss why the mouse has become such an important model organism for biomedical research and how researchers can manipulate environmental and genetic factors in mice to answer important biomedical questions.
The supporting evidence composes the body of the paragraph.