How to Write a Paragraph the Right Way
How to write articles and blogs so they're interesting and make sense. Writing a paragraph is one of the most basic parts of writing. No doubt you can write a sentence, that's easy. The problem comes when you try to lace those sentences together to make a paragraph, and then go on to write another paragraph.
No matter if you're just starting out as a writer, or have some experience under your belt, this little guide will get your work read and published. Sit back and take notes.
How to Write the First Line
There are several types of paragraphs. The type of paragraph you’re writing determines what your opening sentence will be. Types of paragraphs include:
An introduction paragraph- These are found at the beginning of a blog or article and are meant to draw the reader in while giving them a pretty firm idea of what the rest of the paragraphs are about. Think of it as a hey-I’ve-got-something-awesome-for-you-so-here’s-a-little-summary paragraph. Hit them with an interesting fact or statistic. Try to get this done in three to four sentences. Be sure to use your keyword as soon as possible, too.
“40 percent of writers don’t know how to write a paragraph correctly, according to Writing XYZ Magazine. That’s a shocking statistic, but you may be in that percentage and not even know it. Here’s what you need to know so that you’re not part of the clueless masses.”
Standard paragraph- The first line of a standard paragraph is meant to either introduce the reader to a topic or to continue a thought from the last paragraph.
Closing paragraph- A closing paragraph sums up what your post was about and tells the reader what to do next. This can be encouraging the reader to click on a link to an article, book, item you’re selling, whatever. No matter what you guide your reader to next, this bit is called a Call to Action (CTA).
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Inside the Paragraph
Once you have the opening sentence down, there are a few rules you need to follow.
First, don’t repeat the main word in every line. For example:
Wrong: “40 percent of writers don’t know how to write a paragraph correctly, according to Writing XYZ Magazine. That’s a shocking statistic about writers, but you may be in that percentage and not even know it. Here’s what you need to know so that you’re not part of the clueless writer’s club.”
Notice I used the word “writers” in every sentence. That’s bad. Not only does it make the paragraph boring, writing the same word over and over again will hurt the article’s SEO (I talk more about SEO here).
Next, be sure that each sentence is different. Using sentences that are the same length and construction is boring. Mix it up.
A short sentence
A compound sentence (a sentence that uses ‘and,’ ‘or,’ ‘but,’ ‘though,’ a semicolon or a colon, etc.)
A sentence that uses a comma
You get the idea. Sentence salad. Just make sure that each sentence makes sense in how to connects to the sentence before it. Using different lengths of sentences, but not making them stream together in a harmonious stream of thought isn’t going to work.
Check out the difference between these two paragraphs:
Writing is fun. It takes work. Keep being creative. Use variety. Keep readers entertained.
Writing is fun, but it takes work. Keep being creative. Use variety to keep readers entertained.
Thought the first paragraph is perfectly fine, it’s boring and choppy because it only used super short sentences. Mixing up the sentence structures made the paragraph more interesting.
Finally, be sure to always transition from one paragraph to the next. You can do this by using transitional words in the first sentence. These words continue the thought from the last paragraph.
Some transitional words and phrases include:
‘First,’ ‘second,’ and ‘third’
On the other hand
Take a look back at my previous paragraphs in this article and you’ll see I use transitional words a lot. They help your reader follow your thought process and they are particularly useful for guiding readers through how-to instructions.