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English Language Support: Creating Successful Paragraphs

Creating Successful Paragraphs

Paragraphs are more than just a collection of sentences.  A good paragraph organises those sentences into a group that communicates an idea.  Written well, paragraphs provide a framework to your assignment and help the reader follow the information you want to convey.  In Crafting Successful Paragraphs we focus on the different functions paragraphs can have, how to organise them, and how to ensure they link together.


Important Information

  • Creating Successful Paragraphs is a course consisting of 4 sessions.
  • Each session is 90 minutes long.
  • The course runs for four weeks
  • There are regular start dates each month.

Scroll down to find more information about each session and its learning outcomes.

Next course starts

1 - What makes a paragraph a paragraph?

Any piece of academic writing needs to be divided into paragraphs in a meaningful way. This workshop will explore the key components of the 3 basic paragraph types; the introduction, the main body and the conclusion in order to provide a framework which you can use to structure any written work.

In this session, you will:

  • look at what makes a paragraph.
  • identify key components of an effective introductory, main body and concluding paragraph.
  • work on editing and shaping sentences into effective paragraphs.


2 - Introductions - making a good first impression

First impressions are so important and your introduction needs to work very hard to fire your reader’s interest. This workshop will look at the key conventions of an academic introduction and how you can ensure a good start to your essays.

In this session, you will:

  • look at the key components of an introduction.
  • how to create an effective bridge between the title and your essay.
  • work on writing an effective thesis and organisational statement.

3 - The main event; how to build a strong main body

Each main body paragraph needs a topic sentence to define the focus which is then developed in a series of supporting details which are clearly and fluently linked with each other. This workshop will give you practice in the skills necessary to write a cohesive paragraph which follows on from the previous paragraph and leads naturally into the next one.

In this session, you will:

  • identify what makes an effective topic sentence.
  • practise writing relevant supporting details.
  • look at how to link one sentence to another and one paragraph to another.

4 - Coming to a successful conclusion

Poor concluding paragraphs just repeat the writer’s main ideas. This workshop will explore the structures and academic conventions you can use to write conclusions that effectively show your reader how your essay has answered the questions it presented at the beginning.

In this session, you will:

  • look at how to write a well structured conclusion.
  • focus on a range of language to signal your conclusion.
  • practise making recommendations using appropriate language.