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Paragraphing
The final sentence in a paragraph should lead into the next paragraph.

Paragraphing

Breaking text into paragraphs (paragraphing) is an essential skill to learn. This holds equally true for creative writing, such as narrative or persuasive writing, as for practical forms of writing, such as the explanatory. Paragraphs link one idea to another, guiding your reader from the introduction to the conclusion. Good paragraphing shows that you are in control of your writing and know exactly what you want to say.

Check your knowledge of this fundamental skill with this English quiz.

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1.
How many main ideas does a paragraph have?
One
Two
Three
As many main ideas as can fit in a paragraph
A paragraph will have only one main point
2.
The sentences which follow the topic sentence in a paragraph may contain...
examples
evidence
further details
All of the above
All of the sentences in a paragraph must be related to each other and to the topic sentence
3.
The final sentence in a paragraph should...
surprise the reader with a new point
repeat the topic sentence exactly
lead into the next paragraph
All of the above
4.
In writing, a new point requires...
an aside
a pair of brackets
a bullet point
a new paragraph
If you wish to make a new point, you will need a new paragraph
5.
The following sentences are from the same paragraph in George Orwell's essay, 'Notes on Nationalism'. Identify the topic sentence.
Actions are held to be good or bad, not on their own merits but according to who does them, and there is almost no kind of outrage [...] which does not change its moral colour when it is committed by 'our' side
All nationalists have the power of not seeing resemblances between similar sets of facts
The Liberal News Chronicle published, as an example of shocking barbarity, photographs of Russians hanged by the Germans, and then a year or two later published with warm approval almost exactly similar photographs of Germans hanged by the Russians
A British Tory will defend self-determination in Europe and oppose it in India with no feeling of inconsistency
The topic is that nationalists cannot see the similarities between opposing sides - the first answer explains the main point, while the third and fourth provide further evidence
6.
Three of the following sentences are from the same paragraph in George Orwell's essay, 'In Defence of English Cooking'. Identify the sentence which does NOT belong with the others.
And it is far better to cook new potatoes in the English way - that is, boiled with mint and then served with a little melted butter or margarine - than to fry them as is done in most countries
Then there are the various ways of cooking potatoes that are peculiar to our own country
Then there are the various sauces peculiar to England
Where else do you see potatoes roasted under the joint, which is far and away the best way of cooking them?
'Sauces' are a new topic
7.
The following sentences are from the same paragraph in David Crystal's book, The Story of English in 100 Words. Identify the sentence which concludes the paragraph.
For many people, that would be an impossible association of ideas, remembering a time when they were taught English grammar in school, trying to analyse complicated sentences into parts, and learning rules and terms whose purpose was never clear
For others, the association would be pointless, for they were never taught any English grammar at all
Grammar is glamorous?
Glamorous it wasn't
If you have worked out the order of the sentences, you can see what a beautifully-constructed paragraph it is. The order of the sentences above should be 3rd (Grammar is glamorous?), 1st, 4th, 2nd. The last sentence leads the reader to expect the next paragraph to be about people who had the misfortune not to learn grammar at school
8.
What is the purpose of a paragraph?
To organise writing logically
To break up the page so readers don't become distracted
To allow stream-of-consciousness writing
There is no point to writing in paragraphs
9.
To ensure that paragraphs are well-organised and cohesive, their sentences should include...
arrows and other annotations
connectives / conjunctions
numbers
organising words
Well-chosen connectives or conjunctions link your ideas together and help your writing to flow (in an essay, they help the reader follow your argument)
10.
What is a paragraph?
A summary which rephrases the main idea in a piece of writing
A chapter in a piece of writing
A separate section in a piece of writing
A random collection of sentences
A paragraph starts on a new line and should be indented. Although indentations are often omitted in work which is word-processed, essays should continue to follow this rule
Author:  Sheri Smith

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