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“An Introduction to EAP – Academic Skills in English” Lesson 3

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1 “An Introduction to EAP – Academic Skills in English” Lesson 3
Writing: Paragraph Structure

2 Writing in paragraphs Academic writing is divided into paragraphs. If your writing is one continuous piece of text, it will be very difficult for any reader to follow your argument. Therefore your written work needs paragraphs.

3 What is a paragraph? A group of related sentences usually dealing with one main idea or topic. The topic of one paragraph should follow logically from the topic of the last paragraph and should lead on to the topic of the next paragraph. The paragraphs have different functions, but all develop an idea - that is, they add information, explanation, examples and illustrations to the central theme or idea until the theme is fully developed.


5 The parts of a paragraph
Three Parts: - Topic Sentence - Supporting Sentences - Concluding Sentence

6 The Topic Sentence It states the main idea or topic of the sentence.
It limits the topic to one specific area: this part of the sentence is called the controlling idea. It is a complete sentence with a subject, a verb and a controlling idea. It is neither too general nor too specific. It is generally the first sentence in the paragraph.

7 The Topic Sentence: examples

8 The Topic Sentence: Not Too General/Not Too Specific




12 The Two Parts of a Topic Sentence


14 Writing Topic Sentences


16 Supporting Sentences They support the topic sentence: they explain or give proof of the idea contained in the topic sentence providing specific details and facts. There are different types of supporting details: examples, statistics and quotations.




20 The Concluding Sentence
It marks the end of the paragraph. It often sums up the main points made in the paragraph or repeats the topic sentence using different words (paraphrasing). It generally uses end of paragraph signals. A concluding sentence is not necessary in every paragraph in a multiparagraph text.







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