Answered By: Rachel Willard
Last Updated: May 02, 2017     Views: 745

A paragraph should thoroughly explore one idea or aspect of a topic. Paragraphs in academic writing are usually a minimum of 4-6 sentences long with a clear focus, evidence, analysis, and mini conclusion.

Paragraphing tips

To create strong paragraphs, consider the following:

  • Discuss one topic at a time. When the topic shifts, the paragraph should shift as well.
  • Use evidence to support or negate your ideas, and clearly analyze and discuss the evidence.
  • Connect your ideas to one another within the paragraph. Use strong transitions and connecting words to show how your ideas are related.

The MEAL Plan  

Additionally, follow the MEAL plan to help you fully develop your paragraphs:

  • M—Main idea or topic sentence
  • E—Evidence or source information
  • A—Analysis
  • L—Lead out or concluding sentence

See "What is the MEAL plan?"

Make a mini outline for each paragraph. This process will allow you to more clearly visualize the progression of ideas in your paragraph as you support your topic sentence and move the reader toward the next paragraph.

 

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