Your paragraphs should be around 3-8 sentences and focus on one major idea. Writers use paragraphs to structure and organize their ideas, so it’s important to understand how to properly structure one in order to write clearly.
Just like a paper, a paragraph has a beginning, middle, and end. The beginning, or first sentence, of a paragraph should be a topic sentence: a sentence that states what that paragraph is going to be about, i.e., the main idea. Do not leave your reader guessing. Always start your paragraphs with clear topic sentences. The middle of the paragraph will contain the explanation and support for that main idea. This is where you would bring in examples or evidence to support your idea as well as further analyze the topic. The end, or last sentence, of a paragraph should wrap-up or restate your main idea and transition to the next paragraph. Below is an example of this structure:
Should all hospitals use electronic health records?
Electronic health records should be used because they are permanent. Unlike paper records, electronic health records do not wear or break down over time. They are stored on computer hard drives and servers, so their data remains intact despite the years that pass or what happens to the provider. Smith1 mentions that over time, many hospitals or organizations that use paper records lose track of them or find that they are destroyed due to fire or flooding. Electronic health records, on the other hand, are disaster-proof and will last as long as the servers that store them are operational. Because of this permanence, they should be used by hospitals instead of paper records.
Last Updated September 27, 2017