Paragraphs that try to convey more than one central idea can end up confusing the readers. That’s why writing teachers stress the importance of paragraph unity, the act of sticking with a single idea throughout a paragraph’s entirety.
When you want to write essays that demonstrate this essential quality, here are some things to keep in mind.
- Start paragraphs with a topic sentence that distinctly states the main idea it will develop. Doing so makes the topic of that section immediately clear to the reader, giving them a clear starting point to help understand what will come next.
- All sentences that follow the topic sentence should serve to either explain, illustrate or clarify that previously stated primary idea. If a sentence in the paragraph doesn’t fulfill one of those purposes, then it’s an intrusion that will only serve to disrupt the section’s unity, negatively affecting the reader’s understanding of it.
- If there’s a related idea that’s doesn’t directly concern the main point, but you’d like to express anyway, resist the temptation to include it. If you feel it’s necessary in your essay, then it will probably do well as a supporting point in its own separate paragraph.