Home | Paper Guide
Paragraphs and specific methods of organizing create the shape of the essay.
- Length - A paragraph may be a single
sentence or several sentences as long as it's coherent and serves
its purpose. You may use a single sentence paragraph in dialog or to
express a transition in an essay. (In dialog a new paragraph usually
begins whenever a speaker changes.)
- Topic - In determining the shape of an essay, divide the subject
into topics and use a paragraph to develop each topic. Each paragraph
presents a visual cue telling the reader of a new section.
- Opening - The opening sentence usually serves as an introduction
to the topic or as a transition within the essay.
Methods of Organizing
The most appropriate design for an essay
depends on the topic. Following are some methods of organizing which may
be used for the entire paper or for individual paragraphs.
- general <-> specific
- cause(s) <-> effect(s)
- chronologial (for narrative or process)
- main idea plus supporting examples
- extended metaphor or illustration
- claim followed by proof or evidence (for argument or position)