Hints for beginners on Paragraph - writing
There may be a question in the composition paper requiring candidates to expand a given idea in a paragraph of about 200 words. The examiner may set a proverb or a quotation from a great writer to be expanded into a paragraph. Thus, candidates may be asked to expand the idea contained in the following
a. Strike when the iron is hot
b. Honesty is the best policy
c. Neither a lender nor a borrower be.
Or, the examiner may set some such subject for expansion as "The value of tact in life", or "The sense of honour", or "Disappointment missing a train". The student should learn the art of expansion by practice. He should carefully read the paragraphs that follow and that contain the expansion of given ideas. He should then attempt the exercises provided in the past papers.
Expansion means the amplification and explanation or elucidation of a given idea. For instance "if the subject is "Strike when the iron is hot" the student should first explain what the proverb means. It means that a man should utilize or avail an opportunity as soon it offers itself. Examples should be given to illustrate the meaning of the proverb -- seeking a favour from a boss when he is in a favourable mood, accepting a good business offer without too much thinking or delay, etc.
The paragraph may be defined as a group of sentences that are mutually inter-connected and that develop a single point or relate to a single topic. As the examiner requires candidates to expand an idea in a paragraph, the student should learn the following rules of paragraph-writing.
The first and formost rule is that it must deal with one topic or theme. Every sentence of a paragraph contributes to the expansion or development of one idea : there should be no digression of any kind. Unity is thus the keynote of a paragraph.
The second condition of a good paragraph is a logical sequence or development of thought. In other words, every sentence should grow out of the preceding one and there should be no suddenness or abruptness of thought anywhere. Sentence should succees sentence in such a way that the sequence appears quite natural to a reader. The peculiarity or a paragraph is that it is all art or progession.
Finally, a paragraph should , as far as possible , being with a striking sentence or, at any rate, a sentence that arouses the interest of the reader. As a general rule, the opening sentence states the subject of the paragraph. The last sentence should sum up or clinch the whole issue.
Points to remember in a paragraph - writing :
1. Each paragraph should begin with a sentence which contains the idea that is built or illustrated in the rest of the paragraph - this sentence is called the "topic sentence" and provides the base on which to build the paragraph.
2. Every paragraph should have unity and this is provided by the way sentences stand together and add up to the main idea.
3. The order of the sentences is important -- they must follow one another in a natural sequence.
4. It is extremely important that a paragraph should exhibit Coherence -- the facts and ideas should be arranged in logical order and there should be an easy transition from sentence to sentence.
5. Normally, the length of the paragraph is stated but ; in any case, one is advised to avoid writing long paragraphs -- because then every sentence in it may not have a definite relation to the main topic.