IELTS Writing Skills: How to Write a Paragraph

What is a paragraph?

A paragraph is a group of connected sentences on one idea. It has a topic sentence, supporting sentences and a concluding sentence. If linkers are used to connect different supporting sentences, it becomes cohesive; if the sentences have a proper order giving good clarity of the topic or the idea, it becomes coherent.

Why do you need a topic sentence in your paragraph?

You give your thesis statement in the first paragraph of your essay. The Topic Sentence of each consecutive paragraph supports the thesis statement.  In addition, it gives direction for developing the content of a paragraph. You include other sentences to substantiate the point given the topic sentence. To develop it, you may draw comparisons, give examples, describe it by giving definitions.

But, sometimes it becomes essential to have another sentence before the topic sentence if the paragraph is to be linked with the previous paragraph or if it necessary to give a shocking statement or to draw attention to some information.

Most of the paragraphs have a structure just like that of an essay – Introduction, Body and Conclusion.

Introduction: Physical exercise helps you to maintain good physical fitness.

Body: Your bones, muscles and joints remain healthy with regular exercise and you have good flexibility even in old age. In addition, your cardiovascular endurance increases by walking and running regularly. Also, along with physical fitness, exercise in any form keeps you mentally fit.

Conclusion: Thus, the key to a healthy life is regular physical exercise.

Different types of paragraphs

Tips to write good coherent and cohesive paragraphs in IELTS essays

  1. Maintain parallelism through sentence structure and phrases.
  2. Use transition words or linkers.
  3. Be consistent – if you use ‘one’, use it throughout; if you use ‘you’, use ‘you’ throughout.
  4. Create some key phrases and repeat them.

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