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Writing Center

Problems with Paragraphs or Organization

Imagine opening a book and discovering that it was all one continuous paragraph page after page! How enthusiastic would you be about reading that book? The brain can only digest one small chunk of information at a time, so when you see a page with no breaks, your brain is automatically overwhelmed.

When you create paragraphs in your paper, you are dividing your ideas into chunks that your reader’s brain can handle.

These chunks can’t be just random—they have to have one clear idea and logical support for that idea.

It also should be clear how that one idea connects to the rest of your paper.

Transitions

Transitions show your reader the relationship between ideas. Small transitions like because to show cause-and-effect or but to show contrast tell your reader how your ideas relate to the main point of the paragraph.

Bigger transitions like “A second major cause of water pollution in the Ohio River is…” or “While these three bills have been proposed, none addresses the most important issue.

Read more about creating a breadcrumb trail for your reader.

Keep it Simple

The most common paragraphing problem is putting too many ideas in one paragraph. Good paragraphs mean good organization because the argument of the paper is broken down into clear understandable steps. This often happens during the organization step of your writing process.

The University of North Carolina can tell you more about paragraphs.