Writing tip of the week

by Harriet Castor

For today’s writing tip, I’m going to quote from one of the most useful books I know: ‘Brilliant Writing Tips for Students’ by Julia Copus (published by Palgrave Macmillan). It’s short, packed full of useful info, and small enough to fit into your pocket. Highly recommended!

Here’s part of a very handy section on paragraphs:

So what is the point of paragraphs? Paragraphs are there to organise ideas into manageable chunks. When we write in paragraphs we’re helping readers negotiate their way through our thoughts. […]

Paragraph content

Every paragraph should…

1 have a clear central point

Often that main point is expressed in the opening sentence, or ‘topic sentence’.

2 be uniform in subject matter

Each paragraph should have just one, clear focus.

3 contain only relevant information

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the more facts you put in the more marks you’ll get. All the material in your paragraph should be there to support or illustrate your main point. 

For a confidential one-to-one session with me to work on your writing skills, email Harriet.Castor@uwe.ac.uk.

I’m at Frenchay on Wednesdays and St Matthias on Thursdays.


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