Paragraph Structure

Cohesive writing flows so that the reader understands each point that you make from sentence to sentence.  
Sentences are linked to form paragraphs, which are linked to form the essay that is the introduction or
discussion section.  The topic statement anchors these sections, which are organized accordingly.  The
paragraphs of the discussion and introduction contain topic sentences, which in turn are supported by
evidence, the individual sentences of the paragraph.  Thus, cohesive writing contains logical statements,
sentences arranged in a specific order.



















Examples of sentence structure are shown schematically in the above diagrams.  In the example shown on
the left, the paragraph has five sentences and a topic sentence.  The sentences may be arranged in any order,
without affecting the overall meaning.  In the example shown on the right, the paragraph also has five
sentences and a topic sentence, but in this case the order is fixed, as each sentence logically links the
neighboring sentences.  In the first example, we may place sentence 2 at the end of the paragraph just as well
as we could place sentence 5 at this position.  Thus, we have flexibility in this paragraph, and our essay may
go in any of 5 different directions.

As you place more emphasis on topic sentences, you will learn to use these strategies in your writing.  
Recognize the structure of paragraphs, and you will find that your essays are better organized and more
effective.
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