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Research Tips- How Do I...?: Construct a Paragraph

- The purpose of this module is to help you understand basic tools to expand your college-level research skills. Each "How Do I" section is designed to give you practical information and ways of thinking about information that will allow you to:

Writing a Paper

Always follow the guidelines set out by your professor.


The Basic Construction of a Research paper

Paragraph 1 - An Introduction

  • Grab the reader's attention.
    • Why should they read the paper?
    • Use a quote, statistic, or provocative statement to develop interest.
  • What is the context for your paper?
    • What will you write about in this paper?
  • End the paragraph with your thesis statement.
    • ​​​​​​​The thesis tells the reader what to expect from the rest of the paper.

Paragraphs 2+ - Body Paragraphs

  • Each paragraph should be focused on a specific topic within your thesis statement
  • Each paragraph should have the following components:
    • Topic Sentence
      • Usually, the first sentence of a body paragraph introduces the topic that will be discussed.
    • Supporting Sentences
      • 2-3 sentences that help to develop the paragraph topic and support it with evidence, logic, persuasive opinion, or expert testimonial.
      • The goal is to ensure that your reader understands the point that you were making in your topic sentence.
    • Concluding
      • ​​​​​​​Each paragraph will have a concluding or transition sentence that ends the statements made in the current paragraph and moves the paper forward.
      • This should summarize your evaluations and main point.
    • or Transition Sentence
      • A sentence that connects the previous paragraph with the current paragraph.
      • These sentences help make a paper flow together.

Last Paragraph - Conclusion

  • Helps the reader understand why your analysis and information should matter to them and sums up your paper.
    • Restate your stance on the topic/thesis.
    • Synthesize, don't summarize.
      • Show the reader how the points made support your thesis from your first paragraph.
    • Close the essay with a powerful final statement.
  • Do not introduce anything new in the conclusion.

Building a Paragraph