How to Write a Paragraph for an Essay
Published byat August 18th, 2021 , Revised On August 22, 2023
Struggling to figure out how to write a paragraph for an essay?
Paragraphs are the fundamental element of any form of academic writing. However, an essay is slightly different from other assignments because it allows authors to express their views on any topic freely.
The paragraphs in the main body of an essay are where you develop the central argument. While the sequence, length, and number of paragraphs can vary depending on the type and topic of your essay, each paragraph needs to be relevant, coherent, and cohesive.
- Relevance – Each paragraph must relate to the overall purpose and focus of the paper.
- Coherence – The structure of the paragraph and the organisation of the sentences should be clear and logical.
- Cohesiveness – Every sentence of the paragraph should relate to the main point.
Essentially, the body of your essay is where you present the central point. Each body paragraph in an essay will be expected to provide one key idea which needs to be supported by relevant evidence, examples, and academic sources.
How to Structure Paragraphs?
To understand how to structure paragraphs in an essay’s body, we will first take a look at the TEECL technique. TEECL stands for Topic sentence, Explanation, Evidence, Comment, and Link. Together, these elements form a paragraph that will be well-organised and relate to your essay paper’s theme and focus.
Also Read: How to Organise an Essay
Write a Topic Sentence
A topic sentence is the first sentence of each paragraph, giving readers insight into the central claim or idea. If you have developed an essay outline or plan, you could already have a rough idea of what you intend to discuss in each paragraph of the essay.
However, if you don’t have an essay outline, you might want to use topic sentences to introduce each paragraph’s key idea or argument.
Here is an example of a topic sentence starting a new paragraph;
The above topic sentence;
- Uses a transition word
- Clearly identifies the focus of the paragraph (the coming of age of Donald Trump, the politician)
- This relates to the central argument of the essay.
- Provides sufficient space for supporting evidence and critical evaluation.
Next, you must explain in detail what you meant by the first sentence. For example, you could explain why and how this point relates to the central theme of your essay.
The above sentence expands on the topic sentence and details how Donald Trump managed to gain wider acceptance in the political arena.
Once you have provided sufficient details pertaining to the central point of the paragraph with the help of a topic sentence and the explanation sentence (s), you will be expected to provide supporting evidence and examples.
The type of evidence and examples you can provide to support your main argument depends on your academic level, the topic of the essay and the academic subject you are studying.
However, in general, your evidence can be presented in the form of any of the following qualitative or quantitative sources;
- Journal Articles
- Academic Books,
- Documentary Evidence
- Case Studies
- Quotations from interviews, library texts, and other primary reference resources
- Quotations, paraphrases, or summaries of secondary reference resources
Comment on the Evidence
You will be expected to take into consideration the weaknesses and strengths of the examples and evidence you provided.
The argument you presented in the topic sentence and the explanation sentence (s) need to be supported by evidence and examples.
If the evidence does not relate to the point made in the topic sentence, it will neither endorse nor reject the claim.
The above sentence adds weight to the evidence by highlighting a specific fact that brought about a significant change in people’s attitude towards how they looked at Donald Trump as a politician.
Now you can repeat steps 3 and 4 multiple times until you have successfully put your point across.
The above evidence confirms that people began to realise the importance of what Donald Trump was campaigning for over time. The explanation of the evidence claims that it worked in Trump’s favour because it was also what the people wanted.
Establish the Link
You can conclude the paragraph by establishing a link between the topic sentences, evidence, and explanation sentences to demonstrate how the paragraph relates to the overall argument of your essay.
The example paragraph we have used in this article provides evidence and assessment towards Donald Trump’s recognition as the leader of the world’s most powerful country.
The last sentence of the paragraph brings to light the end result of the story.
It will always help read through the whole of the paragraph to ensure it flows logically and naturally from one sentence to the next and takes the shape of one coherent and meaningful paragraph.
The 5 steps of paragraph writing are:
- Topic sentence introducing main idea.
- Supporting sentences with details or evidence.
- Explanation or analysis of supporting points.
- Examples or anecdotes to reinforce ideas.
- Concluding sentence summarizing the paragraph’s focus.