Paragraphing in Academic Writing Essay


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Although it often seems that paragraphs can take an infinite number of forms, there are really only a few formats for paragraphing in formal, academic prose. What makes paragraphs seem unique to the reader is the style of the writer’s prose, not the actual format of the information. There are four main types of paragraphs in academic prose: the standard paragraph, the explanatory paragraph, the evidential paragraph, and the introductory paragraph (whose format is sometimes mirrored in the conclusion). Note that the rules and formats described here apply to formal, academic prose, as opposed to paragraphing in newspapers, business, or electronic discourse. Each kind of writing has its own conventions, that is, rules and rhetorical strategies unique to a particular form of composition.


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This reminds the reader of the argument in progress, its essential points, and the connection between points. B. Explanatory Paragraphs . Explanatory paragraphs are used to allow the writer to expand on and explain particularly complex points before providing the reader with a lot of examples or evidence. In particular fields, like the sciences or philosophy, such paragraphs are common in writings that attempt to explain or analyze difficult ideas, theories, or concepts. An explanatory paragraph can also be used to summarize someone else’s ideas or concepts that you plan to utilize in your own paper.


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In books, they could run to a whole chapter. Stereotypically, the academic conclusion is merely a repeat of the essay’s main points and overall thesis. A truly innovative conclusion may repeat the essential point, but suggest other avenues to pursue with the topic–suggesting your awareness that you are only one voice in an on-going discussion of the topic. E. Standard Paragraph Checklist Use the following checklist to analyze the format of your paper’s paragraphs. If a particular paragraph does not fit the standard format, re-evaluate it: does it at least fit the format of an explanatory, evidential, or introductory paragraph and is its format consistent with the purpose of the paragraph?


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