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Writing Style

Paragraph Structure (¶)

Organize your paragraphs to help your reader(s) follow your thoughts and understand your main points.

Well-written paragraphs should 

 If a paragraph does not do these two things, your paper may be difficult to understand, and your teacher(s) may think you do not understand the topic of your assignment.


A paragraph is a group of sentences that support one main idea.

In general, paragraphs consist of three parts:

  • a topic sentence
  • body sentences
  • a concluding or a bridge sentence to the next paragraph or section

Paragraph Problems

Most problems with paragraphs are due to content or organization.

  • Problems with content are usually due to the paragraph having more than one main idea or having no main idea.
  • Problems with organization are usually due to how ideas are arranged or connected within a paragraph.



Watch this 4-minute introduction to paragraph structure.

SELL Team. (2020, July28). Paragraph structure [Video]. YouTube.

Watch this 33-minute video that gives an extended lesson on paragraph structure.

Inthavong, J. [Jessica Inthavong]. (2019, October 14). How to write a paragraph in English [Video]. YouTube.

Watch this 3-minute video introduction to paragraph unity and coherence.

Mastering the Fundamentals of College Reading and Writing. (2015, July 2). Unity and Coherence [Video]. YouTube.

Watch this 6-minute video that provides an extended lesson on paragraph unity.

Bahsoun, R. [Rayan Bahsoun]. (2020, March 27). ENGL201: Unity in paragraph writing [Video]. YouTube.

Watch this 14-minute video that provides an extended lesson on paragraph coherence.

Bahsoun, R. [Rayan Bahsoun]. (2020, March 27). ENGL201: Cohesion in paragraph writing [Video]. YouTube.

Watch this 4-minute video about making transitions within a paragraph.

WUWritingCenter. (2017, November 9). Types of transitions Part 2: Transitions within paragraphs [Video]. YouTube.


A printable handout outlining paragraph structure, unity, and coherence can be found below.

More Information

"Paragraphs," University of Toronto

"Writing Paragraphs," University of Ottawa

"Paragraph Development," University of Southern California

 "Organizing Ideas

"Writing Strong Paragraphs: Types of Paragraphs," University of Newcastle 

"Directed Learning: Cohesion," Loyola Marymount University (practice)