Every college student has to write many essays during their college years. However, writing essay seems to be a tough task to many students. In order to overcome the hardship of writing, in my opinion, it is really important to know how to write a good paragraph first, because an essay is a collection of paragraphs. There are three elements of a paragraph which are topic sentence, supporting paragraph, and concluding sentence. Mastering each of them will lead to a well-written paragraph.
First, topic sentence is the one that gives readers what a paragraph is about. Topic sentences is always the first sentence of the paragraph which includes a main subject and a supporting idea. Main subject is what the writer tries to make clear to the reader by giving reasons, explaining, and giving examples, while supporting idea gives the reader a specific area of the main subject which the writer focuses on. For example, in the sentence "Internet gives valuable education opportunities to kids in poor countries", the main subject is Internet, but Internet is huge topic which can range from history of Internet to threats to individual privacy, so the writer only choose a specific area of the topic for his writing which is education for kids in poor countries. Moreover, a good topic sentence should be specific, but not too specific because there is no more to write about if the topic sentence is too specific. In addition, a good topic sentence should not be a well-known fact. For instance, "Asians have black or dark brown hair", almost everyone knows the fact; therefore, they are not interested in it, and there is no more to discuss about the topic.In sum, a topic sentence gives readers the whole idea of the paragraph.
Second, supporting paragraphs give reasons, explain, describe, or give examples for the topic sentence. The supporting paragraph answers the question of what, why, when, where, how about the topic of the paragraph. For example, for the above topic sentence of "Internet gives valuable education to kids in poor countries", supporting sentences can be "Many parents in poor countries can not afford to gives their kids education at school, but Internet gives them very easy access to education" which gives reasons to the topic sentence, or "For example, over the past 5 years, many kids in rural Vietnam areas know how to write thanks to a literacy education website" which give an example for the topic sentence. A good supporting sentence is the one which make the topic clear so that the readers can have better understanding of the topic. Indeed, supporting sentences are the ones which make the topic sentence clear by giving reasons, explaining, giving examples, or describing.
Third, concluding sentence gives the reader a sign that the paragraph ends and restates the topic sentence. Concluding sentence is always the last sentence of a paragraph which tell the reader what the paragraph is about. Concluding sentence also includes a summary of all ideas discussed in the paragraph or the writer's opinion, or prediction. For example, for the above topic sentence of "Internet gives valuable education opportunities to kids in poor countries", the concluding sentence can be "Internet creates for the kids in poor countries precious education opportunities" which restates the topic sentence. Furthermore, some transitions can be used as a sign for the concluding sentence including: indeed, in sum, in conclusion, clearly, certainly, hence, thus, as a result, and so on.
In conclusion, mastering each element of a paragraph which are topic sentence, supporting sentences, and concluding sentence can lead to a well-written paragraph.