A paragraph is a section of a piece of larger writing that focuses on one topic or subtheme of the larger piece. Paragraphs are denoted with an indentation at the beginning of each new paragraph.
A paragraph is made up of several sentences and typically follows this format:
1. Topic sentence that tells what this specific paragraph is about and sometimes includes a link to the larger topic of the piece of writing.
2. Body sentences for the paragraph that expound on the topic by giving details, examples, and evidence to support or explain the topic.
3. A concluding sentence that wraps up this paragraph and prepares the reader to move to the next paragraph.
This paragraph may appear in an essay about a student's summer vacation:
The most exciting thing I did this summer was travel with my aunt to Florida to swim with dolphins. I have always wanted to swim with dolphins, since I would like to be a marine biologist and dolphin trainer when I am older. On this trip with my aunt, I was able to visit a marine park where guests are allowed to swim with dolphins. The trainers were with us the entire time, but I was able to swim with a dolphin, Luna, and then hold her fin as she pulled me back to the shore. Swimming with Luna and the other dolphins was truly one of the best experiences of my summer, and my life!
This paragraph might appear as an introductory paragraph in an essay on why a student's parents should allow him to have a cell phone.
Today's children live in a technological world. It is not uncommon for coaches and teachers to communicate online, or for them to post assignments and due dates online. In addition, parents often have their phones at their fingertips, so communicating via cell phone seems like a logical way for children to get in touch with their parents if they need to. In a world where every person seems to have a phone, but pay phones and public phones no longer exist, it makes sense that a teenager would be allowed to have a cell phone.
Literary Terms Examples