A paragraph is a section of writing that covers a topic and will generally contain more than one sentence. In this regard, the perfect paragraph will start with a thematic sentence, will have detailed sentences in the middle, and will end with a final sentence. It will only cover one topic from start to finish. The length of a paragraph is supposed to be determined by the topic, but writers often create a paragraph simply to make sure they aren't presenting too much text in that portion.

When writing an essay, research paper, books, etc., the new paragraphs are indented to show their beginning. In this way, each new paragraph begins with a new indent. The purpose of a paragraph is to express opinions on a particular point in a clear, unique and specific way. In other words, the paragraphs should not be mixing thoughts or ideas. When a new idea is presented, generally, a writer will present a new paragraph.

Paragraph layout

A paragraph is part of a text that informs people, describes something, criticizes something, compares things, persuades people. You can also list a process, discuss, offer a solution, or tell a story. And, the level of detail will vary from one text to another. All this diversity means that it is not always easy to determine what a topic means by dividing the text into paragraphs.

If you have the feeling that the word topic is too big for a paragraph, think of a different section of the writing that covers one aspect of the topic. That is the point. Sometimes a paragraph will be an aspect of the topic, sometimes it will be a topic within another topic, and sometimes it will be a topic within an argument. It can also be a narration, a process, or a comparison. Whatever its scope, it must be perfectly delimited as one.

Paragraph characteristics

A good paragraph contains many elements. Here are some of them.

Unity and coherence

Ideas in a paragraph should fit together logically. Also, they should flow from one idea to the next. It must be organized in such a way that it is properly constructed. This could be by sequence of ideas or events. Also, transitions should be used from one sentence to the next that connect ideas and concepts.

Adequate development

To be considered adequate or sufficient, it must be well developed. The reader should not be left wanting more information. Similarly, it must include sufficient evidence to support the thematic sentence.


Good paragraphs have transitions between preceding and following paragraphs. These transitions must be logical and verbal. It should logically flow to the next one. Also, verbal transitions within and between paragraphs should help the reader move smoothly through the writing.

Basic structure of a paragraph

Topic sentence

A thematic sentence is the first sentence. Simply put, the topic sentence introduces the topic of the paragraph. A good thematic sentence will be broad enough to allow for an explanation, but narrow enough that it doesn't require a paragraph that is too long.

Support phrases

The supporting sentences of a paragraph are the sentences between the main sentence and the final sentence. Supporting prayers complement the thematic sentence. That is, they explain and elaborate the point.

Final sentence

The final sentence is the last sentence of the paragraph. You must finish succinctly and move on to the next, if applicable.

Techniques to establish consistency in paragraphs

Here are some techniques you can use to establish consistency in paragraphs.

Repeat key words or phrases. Particularly in the paragraphs that define or identify an important idea or theory, we must be consistent in how we refer to it. This consistency and repetition will make the link and help the reader understand its definition or description.

Create parallel structures. Parallel structures are created by building two or more phrases or sentences that have the same grammatical structure and use the same parts of speech. By creating parallel structures, you make your sentences clearer and easier to read. Also, repeating a pattern in a series of consecutive sentences helps the reader see the connections between the ideas.

We must be consistent in point of view and verb tense. Consistency in point of view and verb tense and number is a subtle but important aspect of consistency. If we change from the more personal "you" to the impersonal "you," from the past to the present, or from "one person" to "them," for example, we make it less consistent. Such inconsistencies can also confuse the reader and make our argument more difficult to follow.

Use transitional words or phrases between sentences and between paragraphs. Transition expressions emphasize the relationships between ideas, so they help readers follow your line of thought or see connections that might otherwise be lost or misinterpreted.

How long should a paragraph be?

There is no set length. Some have only one sentence. However, a short paragraph like that should be left to the expert writer alone, or a specific writing style. You won't find a single sentence paragraph in a research paper or academic journal. In this regard, they must be long enough to express any given idea (long enough to fully explain the topic sentence).

Research papers may require paragraphs of ten sentences or more. The general theme of the writing and the content will determine its length. But unfortunately, there is no single number of sentences. A general rule of thumb is to start with a thematic sentence; develop that topic with evidence, examples and explanations; and conclude the paragraph appropriately.

Differences between Essay and Thesis

Paragraph types

There are four types of paragraphs you should know: descriptive, narrative, expository, and persuasive.

Descriptive: describes something and shows the reader what a thing or person is like. The words chosen in the description often appeal to the five senses of touch, smell, sight, sound and taste. Descriptive paragraphs may be artistic and may deviate from grammatical norms.

Narrative: tells a story. Is there an action sequence or is there a clear beginning, middle, and end for the paragraph.

Expository: Explain something or provide instructions. You could also describe a process and move the reader step by step through a method. It often requires research, but the writer may be able to rely on his own knowledge and experience.

Persuasive: Try to get the reader to accept a particular point of view or understand the writer's position. This is the type of paragraph that many master's theses focus on because it is useful in constructing an argument. It often requires the gathering of facts and investigations.

Palabras de Transición

To give examples: for example, in fact, specifically, that is, to illustrate.

Compare: also, in the same way, equally, similarly.

Contrast: although, and yet, at the same time, but, despite, however, in contrast, despite, however, on the other hand, on the other hand, still, yet, still.

Summarizing or concluding: ultimately, in conclusion, in other words, in summary, in general, that is.

Time: after, as, as long as, finally, before, during, finally, immediately, later, meanwhile, after, since, little, later, then, until, when, while.

Place or direction: up, down, beyond, near, elsewhere, beyond, here, near, in front, to the left (north, etc.)

Logical relation: consequently, as a result, because, for this reason, therefore, if, otherwise, since, then, then, therefore, so.

When to start a new paragraph

Start new main points or new ideas in a new paragraph. If you have an idea spread across multiple paragraphs, each new point within that idea should have its own paragraph.

Use a new paragraph to introduce a different or contrasting position. Use a clear sentence to identify the main idea.

If it gets too long or the material is too complex, you'll need to create a break to make your writing more readable. Try dividing long paragraphs into two shorter paragraphs. This means that you will have to write a new thematic sentence at the beginning of the new paragraph. Introductions and conclusions are generally written as separate paragraphs.


Try dividing long paragraphs into two shorter paragraphs. This means that you will have to write a new thematic sentence at the beginning of the new paragraph. Introductions and conclusions are generally written as separate paragraphs. Paragraphs are the basic components of any type of writing, be it an article, essay or a thesis. Many students define paragraphs in terms of length: a paragraph is a group of at least five sentences, is half a page long, etc. However, in reality, the unity and coherence of ideas between sentences is what constitutes a paragraph. Length and appearance do not determine whether a section of a document is a paragraph.

Ultimately, it is a sentence or group of sentences supporting a main idea. Before you can begin to determine what the composition of a particular paragraph will be, you must first decide on an argument and a work thesis statement. The information must be related to that idea. In other words, they should remind their reader that there is a recurring relationship between their thesis and the information in each paragraph.

A work thesis works like a seed from which your work and ideas will grow. The whole process is organic: a natural progression from a seed to a complete document where there are direct relationships between all the ideas. We know how important it is to have a correct development of your thesis ideas, so that you can support your ideas, so that it can be understood by everyone involved. At Online-Tesis.com, we have writing experts in each subject area and in each career, so that you can have the coherence and strength you need in your arguments.

Bibliographic References

Pérez Matos, N. E. (2002). La bibliografía, bibliometría y las ciencias afines. Acimed, 10(3), 1-2

Diccionario de la lengua española (23.ª edición). Madrid: Espasa.

Montaner, A. (1999). Prontuario de bibliografía: pautas para la realización de descripciones, citas y repertorios. Gijón: Trea.

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