A paragraph is a group of sentences related to one topic or developing one point. These sentences are closely related in meaning and are arranged in a systematic manner. Aparagraph may stand independently, that is, it may be a short composition complete in itself, or it may be a part of longer composition like an essay. The essential features of a good paragraph are unity, coherence, emphasis, and variety.
Unity means that a paragraph should deal with only one central theme, one central thought. Since a paragraphis only a short composition, unity of thought is very important to it. We can achieve unity by stating the theme of the paragraph in a sentence right in its beginning. We may call this sentence the topic sentence. For example, our opening sentence may be: Anup is the funniest boy I have ever known. In the rest of paragraph, I have only to show how Anup is a funny boy.
Coherence means that all the sentences in a paragraph should be well connected to each other as well as to the central theme. It suggests that each sentence should actually follow the previous sentence and should naturally lead to the next one. If we write in a systematic manner we should be able to achieve coherence.
We may be including in our paragraph a few ideas or a few events related to the central theme. These ideas or events cannot be equally important. Emphasis means that we should give each idea or event as much importance as it deserves in relation to the central theme.
When we talk of variety in a paragraph, it is not variety in the theme. We have already seen that a paragraph deals with only one theme. There should be variety in sentence construction so that the paragraph does not become dull.
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