Essays and research papers have their distinctive set of rules to follow when writing. As such, every student must adhere to the rules that mostly touch on their structure to write a good research paper or essay. Both papers have to contain paragraphs that discuss different elements of the general idea. Writing a paragraph does not just happen on a whim. Some basic elements have to account for one to say is a perfect paragraph.

Therefore, there are some elements that every writer must know and understand for them to write perfect paragraphs. These elements are unity,coherence, order and complete. They are the rudiments that make an excellent paragraph, and they work together to contribute to the whole idea.  Other aspects about paragraphs are the basic parts that it must contain. We are talking about the topic sentence, the body, and the conclusion sentence

Topic sentence

This tells the reader what the paragraph is going to talk about. It keeps the writer in control, which is why at times it is referred to as the controlling idea of a paragraph. It is usually the first sentence in every paragraph, whether in an essay or a research paper.

The Body

This is the main part of the paragraph that tells the reader about the topic. It contains specific details and all the sentences in the body ought to relate to the topic sentence of that paragraph to help the reader in understanding the whole idea. All the sentences in the body must have interesting details explaining more clearly, what the topic sentence is all about. You have to organise them in the best possible chronology.

Concluding remark/sentence

Thisis the last statement that you include after you have exhausted all the detailsin the body of the paragraph. It reminds the audience what the paragraph was talking about and its meaning. When writing your closing sentence in a paragraph, it should contain a transitional word that ushers the reader to the next topic sentence in the subsequent paragraph.

Elements of a paragraph

As earlier said, a good paragraph must have unity, order, coherence, and completeness.  Let us look at a simple exposition on theseelements one at a time.

  • Unity

This starts with the topic sentence. Every paragraph must revolve around a single controlling idea (topic sentence) which comes in the first sentence of the paragraph. A paragraph unites around this idea, and the supporting sentences must provide details and discussion. When writing a good topic sentence, pay attention to the theme and the points you intend to make here. The point that drives the rest should be your topic sentence. The rest of the paragraph will work towards supporting it.

  • Order

This refers to the way you organise your supporting details in your paragraph. You can decide a definite organisation that is either chronological, logical presentation of detail or order of importance. This is how the reader will follow your ideas and discussion within your paragraph and is aided by the pattern that you adopt. Order helps the audience in grasping the meaning, and it eliminates confusion.

  • Coherence

This is what makes your writing understandable. The entire sentence within your paragraph has to connect and work together as a whole. Using transition words is one way of achieving coherence. They help in creating the bridges from one sentence to the next.  To make it even better, you can use transition words that show order (first, second, third) or spatial relationships (above, below) or logic (furthermore, in addition, in fact). You also need to employ a consistent verb tense and point of view because they enhance coherence.

  • Completeness

Completenessrefers to how well developed a paragraph is after everything is included. If the sentences within the body of the paragraph support the topic sentence, then you have achieved completeness. Lack of enough sentences and information that proves your thesis makes your paragraph incomplete. In most cases, it is crucial that you include three supporting sentences to your topic sentence, and then include your concluding sentence in that paragraph.  The concluding sentence ought to summarise the main idea by reinforcing the topic sentence.

Writing good paragraphs means writing good essays and research papers. However, this is not something you can wake up and start writing. You have to practice and follow the rules of writing the perfect paragraph. Remember the paragraphs in your essay or research paper are the ones that provide your discussion to the audience. If they are written according to the rules, they definitely will play their part. Follow the basics of writing a paragraph everytime you are writing an assignment or even when practising.  Consider the prompt that your tutor may provide you with and use them as the training ground to write perfect paragraphs.