- About perfecting paragraphs
- Different types of paragraphs
- Techniques to help your writing flow smoothly
- Examples of paragraph types
- More information
Key words: paragraph types, chronological order, description, argument & persuasion, compare & contrast, word repetition, transitional words & phrases, pronoun reference
About perfecting paragraphs
The topic sentence will let your reader know the purpose of the paragraph. This will vary according to the question you are exploring (e.g. describing, explaining, comparing, critically analysing). Paragraphs that have a specific job to do are called paragraph types.
Different paragraph types use sentence patterns and special linking words to get the message across (e.g. a comparison paragraph may need words like similar to, different from). If you learn these techniques for writing different paragraph types, it will help you to be flexible in your writing.
Different types of paragraphs
In a good paragraph, information is presented in a systematic way. There are many types of paragraphs that you will be required to develop in your essays. Following are five of the most common types that you need to recognise and master.
2. Description (provides specific details, features)
3. Argument & persuasion (proves a point)
4. Explanation (tells step-by-step how to do something)
5. Compare (describes similarities) and contrast (describes differences).
Exercise 1: Paragraph types
Match the following paragraphs to one of the five types.
Techniques to help your writing flow smoothly (text flow)
In a good paragraph, one sentence leads smoothly on to the next (text flow). There are three main techniques you can use to achieve this.
2. Use pronoun reference (e.g the essay=it; the essays=they)
3. Using transitional words and phrases (information connectors e.g. firstly, however, as a result, although, finally).
Exercise 2: Text flow
Match the technique for text flow to the example.
There is some more very helpful information about Signposts (Transition sentences)(Monash University) to help you to understand the finer points of using transitions in your writing.
Examples of paragraph types
The ASO has a number of detailed fact sheets to help you with some of the paragraph types you will encounter in your study subjects.
ASO fact sheets: Writing different paragraph types
- Comparison and/or contrast