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Making Long Paragraphs Work


writingParagraph quality is not determined by its length, long or short. Rather, quality is determined by how well the paragraph communicates a single idea. Long paragraphs, however, can be difficult simply because they are long.

The following 2 strategies will help you write long paragraphs that work.

Day 137: Use topic chains to create cohesive paragraphs.

If you write a long paragraph (more than 4 or 5 sentences), how do you keep focused on the topic? How do you keep the reader aware of the main idea being discussed?

You do this with topic chains. A topic chain is basically a series of words and phrases that refer to the main idea. In most cases when you use a topic chain, each sentence will have one or more words that refer to the idea. If this is not possible with a particular sentence, you may need to consider whether or not that sentence belongs in the paragraph. Consider this paragraph from a proposal for state authorization to provide after school services to at-risk children. Continue reading

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