Learn the Correct Essay Paragraph Structure

Effective Paragraphs…

– Include a clear TOPIC SENTENCE.

When a paragraph has no TOPIC SENTENCE, it is much harder for the writer to keep it focused and on topic. It also makes it harder for the reader to follow the ideas.

– Stick to a SINGLE MAIN IDEA without getting sidetracked.

– Include SPECIFIC examples, statistics, facts, or quotes that fully support the main idea.

– Have details that are ORGANIZED in a way that makes sense.

– Include TRANSITION words, phrases, or sentences to improve the flow of ideas.

Essay Paragraph Structure

D Emerging Grading. Does Not Meet Expectations.

* The paragraph does not have a recognizable topic sentence.

* Some details are off-topic and should be deleted.

* Supporting details are not organized in any logical way and seem random.

* The paragraph may cover two separate topics that should be split into two different paragraphs.

* No transitions are used.

C Developing Grading. Approaches Expectations.

* A topic sentence is present but is not strong.

* Most details are on-topic.

* Supporting details are not specific enough, and the evidence given may not be sufficient to fully support the topic.

* The organization is occasionally difficult to follow.

* Simple transitions are occasionally used.

B Proficient Grading. Meets Expectations.

*The paragraph has a topic sentence that clearly states the main idea.

* Specific examples, statistics, facts, or quotes support the topic.

* Details are organized in a way that makes sense.

* No irrelevant details detract from the main idea.

* Simple transitions make the flow of ideas easy to follow.

A Advanced Grading. Exceeds Expectation.

In addition to PROFICIENT…

* The paragraph successfully goes beyond the standard format to be unique and engaging.

* The organization of details is subtle but still easy to follow.

* Logical, insightful connections are made between ideas.

* Transitions are more sophisticated and blend in with the writing.