Paragraph Form: Definition, Types & Examples

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  • 0:05 What Goes in a Paragraph?
  • 1:42 How to Create Your Own…
  • 2:30 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Mary Firestone
Learn about the paragraph form and how to construct a paragraph. Find out how the paragraph form is similar to the essay form, then take a quiz to test your new skills.

What Goes in a Paragraph?

A paragraph is a brief piece of writing that's around seven to ten sentences long. It has a topic sentence and supporting sentences that all relate closely to the topic sentence. The paragraph form refers to its overall structure, which is a group of sentences focusing on a single topic.

There are three main parts of a paragraph:

  • Topic sentence - it has the main idea
  • Supporting sentence - details that relate to and support the topic sentence
  • Concluding sentence - a brief reflection or statement about the main idea

The topic sentence is usually the first sentence but it can appear at any point in the paragraph. The main thing is to be sure you have a topic sentence because it gives your paragraph its focus, similar to a thesis statement in an essay.

Let's look at our example paragraph:

Weather in Wisconsin has been especially fierce this week. It all began on Tuesday, when a tornado swept through the St. Croix River Valley. Wednesday evening another tornado dropped down on the suburbs of Milwaukee. Then on Thursday evening, River Falls experienced a torrential rain that flooded the streets. Many are wondering what Wisconsin city will be next.

Note that all the supporting sentences relate directly to weather in Wisconsin, which is the paragraph's main idea. The examples in the supporting sentences further support the claim in the topic sentence since they all happened this week and were fierce weather events. The concluding sentence shows what people are thinking about all of these weather events.

How to Create Your Own Paragraph

To write your own paragraph, you begin with your main idea. You might have to spend some time narrowing your topic down first. For example, if your topic is social media, your main idea might end up being 'Facebook addiction.'

Next, brainstorm to form your supporting sentences. For example, your supporting details about Facebook addiction might begin with all the hours wasted online. How has Facebook had an impact on people you know? List the good and the bad for starters.

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