Paragraph Formation Tips, Questions, Exercises

The manner in which you present your material is vital. As you know, an essay (or any academic text) is built up around paragraphs. They help the reader understand the organization of your essay and grasp its main points. A paragraph is a series of sentences that are organized and coherent, and are all related to a single topic.

Paragraphs Writing Main Rule

One Paragraph= One new point in your argument
Furthermore, each paragraph typically contains a three-part structure:

  1. Introduction: including a topic sentence and transition words
  2. Body: discussing the main thesis, using various forms of evidence
  3. Conclusion: commenting and drawing connections

Paragraphs principles

  1. Each paragraph should contain one new point in your overall thesis
  2. Each paragraph should be able to stand on its own and have its own internal structure

Each paragraph should state its purpose early on, in the form of a topic sentence
Try extracting the first line from your essay paragraphs and see if you can follow your main line of argument. If you can’t, they your essay is not so easy to follow as you might want it to be. (Of course, not every argument has to be organized this way. But try to look up a few articles in some “serious” newspapers: you will find this structure widely used!)
The reason why paragraphs should be “headlined” with reference to the overall argument is to keep that argument in the reader’s mind, thereby making it easier for them to see the relevance of the rest of the paragraph. This way, the reader doesn’t lose track, and neither do you.

  1. Let the thesis decide how your arguments should be organized, not chronology! (Neither with literary texts nor “real” history).
  2. Paragraphs should be visually separated by either line shift or indents. Not both.

Connecting Paragraphs
Ideally, paragraphs should be well connected to each other. Order your paragraphs so that each one follows logically on from the previous one. To make this logic more obvious, you can use transition words (or “connectors”), so that the paragraphs flow better and the reader is always kept on track. The easiest way of doing this is by using words like similarly, likewise, by the same token, yet, nevertheless, however, etc. Or, you may use longer phrases such as “It is ironic, therefore, that…….” or “Although less obvious, an equally important point here is the fact that…..”


Solved Example for Paragraph Formation

Question 1.
A. Somewhere in the 90’, women were encouraged to join the office cadre in the Indian Army, which can be considered as a major breakthrough in women’s empowerment.
B. Though work place evils such as harassment and gender bias continue to create obstacles, today’s working woman does not fear to voice her opinion or seek resolution with calculated sensibility.
C. Kalpana Chawla and Sunita Williams marked the foray of Indian women into space.
D. Other unconventional careers, which have opened their doors to the Indian woman include pilots, cab, drivers and bus conductors.
Answer: d) ACDB

Question 2.
A. The strength of a company’s ethical culture lies in the extent to which the organization makes doing the right thing a priority.
B. Hence, it is imperative to continually share expectations and policies to create a clear understanding of acceptable and unacceptable behaviour at the workplace.
C. This creates a culture where employees independently behave in an ethical manner.
D. And, if a zero-tolerance policy towards unethical practices is adhered to, the myth of nice guys finishing last will be shattered.


Answer: (b) ABCD

Paragraph Formation Questions from Previous Year Exams

Paragraph Formation


Paragraph Formation Video Lecture


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Please comment on Paragraph Formation Tips, Questions, Exercises

1 Comment

  1. Karim Aliu

    Good work with pleasant examples


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