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Paragraph's Ten Commandments

An essay consists of several paragraphs, each with a controlling idea and the details necessary to develop this idea. Hence, to write an well organized, coherent and effective essay, you must be able to write organized, coherent and effective paragraphs. Does that make sense? 

A paragraph is a group of sentences which develop an idea. A paragraph in itself is an independent unit with its own purpose and focus. To present your audience with a clear and effective paragraph, you ought to observe certain guidelines. 

Paragraph's Ten Commandments
1- State the main idea of your paragraph in a topic sentence.
The topic sentence is the crucial part which joins all the sentences in the paragraph together. It supplies the direction. All sentences that follow the topic sentence clarify. Explain, add evidence, reaffirm, and develop the main idea. 
Although a topic sentence may appear anywhere in the paragraph, and may even be implied (not stated), you are advised to write it at the beginning. Writing your topic sentence at the beginning helps you focus thoughts so that your sentences that follow may not deviate from your main point
2- Your topic sentence must include a controlling idea
A controlling idea is the central idea of the paragraph.  i.e., Cigarette smoking is hazardous to your health.  While the topic of this sentence is cigarette smoking, the controlling idea is hazardous to your health. 
3- Your topic sentence must not be too broad or too narrow. 
  i.e. Computers have changed our society. Too Broad or The first car that I owned was a Ford. Too Narrow
4- Each sentence in your paragraph must relate to the controlling idea.
An irrelevant sentence confuses your reader and makes the purpose of your writing vague.  
5- Avoid long sentences.
Writing short sentences helps you focus on your idea and helps to prevent you from making errors or deviating from your point of focus. 
6- Use transitional device to show relationship between sentences. 
Refer to your writing text, or  College Writing Skills,
7- Avoid flowery words and wordiness
Refer to your writing text, or  College Writing Skills,
8- Be short, precise, specific, and to the point.  
Refer to your writing text, or  College Writing Skills,
9- Observe the logical relationship of cause and effect
Refer to your text, or College Writing Skills,
10- Pay attention to grammar and all elements discussed
Refer to your writing text, or College Writing Skills,
Note: It is important to remember that the purpose of writing, as with speaking, is to communicate information as clearly as possible. Don't try to impress people with your knowledge of uncommon words or your ability to make long sentences.



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