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Chapter 4. Purposeful Paragraphs > What is a Paragraph?

What is a Paragraph?

A paragraph is a group of related sentences about one topic or idea. Each sentence fits into a logical pattern and relates to the other sentences in the paragraph. A well-written paragraph is like a bushel of tasty apples. The main idea of the paragraph is called the topic sentence. It is usually the first sentence in a paragraph. The topic sentence is the basket that holds the sentences (apples) together. The sentences that follow the topic sentence develop the topic sentence in a clear, orderly arrangement of supporting details. Sentences in a paragraph should have a close connection to the topic sentence. Sentences in the paragraph that do not relate to the topic sentence should be left out.

Paragraphs vary in length. Most are two to eight sentences; however, some paragraphs are only one sentence. One-sentence paragraphs do not give you the chance to develop your ideas, so they should not be used too often.


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