What is a paragraph?
A paragraph refers to a number of sentences in the body of an essay. It is expected that a paragraph carries a specific message or idea on the subject matter. A series of paragraphs make up a story that readers can follow.
In most subjects, essays are the most common forms of assessment that examiners use. Professors expect students to organize their ideas in paragraphs and not point form. So, when you are writing an essay for examination, the best practice is to write paragraphs. Therefore, it is important to learn how many paragraphs that your essay should have in order to score all the points.
An essay is usually made up of several paragraphs and there is no universal rule regarding the number of paragraphs that an essay should have. Anyway, it is vital to know how many paragraphs to put in your essay in order to avoid underwriting in your essay.
However, one thing to keep in mind when writing an essay, is that it must have at least three paragraphs that cover the introduction, body and conclusion.
The introduction paragraph starts with an interesting hook, and focuses on some brief background and what the essay will cover. When readers go through the introduction, they get a glimpse of what the essay is all about. For short essays, the introduction should end with a thesis statement summarizing the main argument.
The A-students have mastered writing a good introduction that acts as a thumbnail for your essay. When the thumbnail is done properly it attracts the attention of the readers. Reading through the introduction makes one to have an idea of what you are about to do in the essay.
The Body paragraph is where all the flesh of your essay should be put. Here, you are supposed to dive into deep points and details about your topic. The entire story should be in the body of your essay. For instance, if you are arguing about abortion, then put all your reasons to either support or oppose abortion.
The conclusion is the final paragraph of your essay. Here you are simply summarizing what you have discussed in the body of your essay and ensuring that it is tied to the thesis statement. As you conclude your essay do not introduce new points. A tip for the conclusion is to summarize the key points then give your opinion on the topic or suggest future research.
The conclusion should be a standalone paragraph just like the introduction. You should aim at writing at least three good sentences to conclude your essay by summarizing the key ideas. For longer essays you can write half a page as a conclusion.
There is a misconception among students that the minimum number of paragraphs in an essay should be five. I would like to disagree that such a rule may not apply in some essays especially if you’re not required to write on five main sections.
How to plan for the number of paragraphs
Whenever you are writing an essay and the instructions are silent about the number of paragraphs, the first thing to do is to apply the rule of the thumb. With this rule, it means that it may not be applicable in all essay writing situations.
Paragraphs that are well developed will earn you a good score. It is therefore vital to have all major sections of your essay in paragraphs. For example, if you have been given instructions to write a 1000 words essay, you may need to consider having at least 100 or 200 words for each major section. Keeping this in mind your essay will have 5 to 10 paragraphs.
A second method of determining the number of paragraphs in an essay is to be guided by the number of arguments. In your writing, each argument should stand alone in order to enhance clarity and flow of your paper.
As you plan your writing, you need to consider the main themes that emerge on your topic. This leads to research on the subject matter then points that need to be used to support or give evidence to the main topic. The more information you come across in research the more you’re likely to include it in the body of your essay.
For instance, when you are writing about the impact of media on young people, you may want to have strong arguments on networks such as Facebook, Youtube, Twitter and Instagram. You may therefore have a paragraph to cover each social network in order to have a more compelling argument.
Paragraphs for short essays
Short essays are essays of 100 words to 1000 words. For these essays here is a guideline on the number of paragraphs.
100 words essay write 3 paragraphs
200 words essay write 3 paragraphs
300 words essay write 3 paragraphs
400 words essay write 3 paragraphs
For a 500 words essay write 4 paragraphs
600 words essay write 4 paragraphs
700 words essay write 5 paragraphs
800 words essay write 6 paragraphs
900 words essay write 6 paragraphs
1000 words essay write 7 paragraphs
An essay that is well organized with the introduction, Body and Conclusion will be impressive to readers. Professors like students who are well organized in their writing. Remember that examiners don’t have all the time in the world to read your essay, so make a good impression by organizing your essay in paragraphs.
Essay writing can be challenging for some student especially if English is not your first language or if you have been out of school for a long time. So, many things are changing and it is vital to have someone check your essay before you submit it for marking.
You can subscribe to my email list and benefit from free proofreading and review of your essays. This will help you discover and fix some of the common mistakes that may otherwise lower your grade. For instance, if I review your essay I will help you fix the thesis statement, topic sentences and transitions to improve the flow. I can also help you eliminate passive voice and other grammar mistakes that can lower your grade.
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