Understanding Paragraphs
A paragraph is a group of sentences that work to develop unit of thought. Paragraphing permits you to subdivide material into parts and

arrange those parts into a unified whole that effectively communicates its message.

The purpose of a paragraph helps you determine its structure. In college, the most common purposes for academic writing are to inform and to persuade.

Some paragraphs introduce, conclude, or provide transitions.

Most paragraphs, however, are topical paragraphs, also called developmental or body paragraphs.

They consist of a statement of a main idea and specific, logical support for that main idea.


Unity: clear, logical relationship between the main idea of a paragraph & supporting evidence.

Coherence: smooth progression from one sentence to the next.

Development: logical arrangement of' sentences & paragraphs & concrete support
                          for the main idea.

Bedford Handbook 5th ed.
p.77 - 83
p.97 - 107