The Ultimate Guide on How to Write an Essay Paragraph

Whether you are writing a long academic work or a short non-academic work, a good essay paragraph format is always a vital part of every piece of writing. A paragraph is a unit of writing that is made up of multiple sentences. They act as connecting units, giving meaning to the entire content of your writing.

A major concern of students when writing essays is the length and style of a paragraph. The most common question is, “How do I approach a multiple paragraph essay?” This article will provide you with guidelines and tips on how to start a paragraph in an essay.

How to write an essay paragraph

The importance of a well-structured paragraph cannot be overemphasized. Seeing that the organization of your essay relies largely on the flow and comprehensiveness of your paragraphs, it is essential that you learn how to structure a paragraph in an essay.

Structuring an essay paragraph involves understanding the sections of a paragraph and organizing them accordingly. Just like a complete essay, a paragraph consists of an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. These parts play a major role in simplifying your work. Below are ways you can accurately structure these sections.

How to write an introduction paragraph for an essay

A strong essay paragraph structure begins with a great paragraph introduction, otherwise known as a topic sentence. The topic sentence introduces the idea you intend to talk about in that specific paragraph. Keep in mind that each paragraph in your essay should contain the main idea. This introduction (topic sentence) should not reveal so much information; instead, it functions to inform your readers of the content of the paragraph.

Various indentation styles for essay paragraph starters exist. Usually, when writing an essay, you are required to use the indentation style given by your teacher. However, if none is given, you could choose your style.

The major indentation styles include the Chicago manual style, the APA style, and the Harvard style. The Chicago manual style requires students and writers to create indentations on the first line of a paragraph by using the “tab” key on their keyboard. The APA style for indentation requires you to indent the first line of each paragraph by half an inch from the left. The Harvard style encourages you to create your indentations while you type; it is believed that this improves organization.

How to write an essay body paragraph

The body of your essay comprises your development and support sentences. The former provides details of the topic sentence, while the latter provides proof that supports your elaboration and explanation. This body paragraph is characterized by sentences that expand your idea and convey it to your reader/readers.

When developing your paragraph body, it is necessary to organize your thoughts and sentences in a comprehensive manner. No matter how good your grammatical structure might be, if you write sentences that are disconnected, your essay will become meaningless and confusing.

To avoid this confusion, students and writers are often advised to use transitory words and phrases. These words aid in the flow and organization of your writing. Some transitory words and phrases include: however, therefore, moreover, meanwhile, in the meantime, while, consequently, accordingly, similarly, etc.

How to write a conclusion paragraph for an essay

The conclusion paragraph can either be a summary of your paragraph body or a concluding supporting sentence. Your conclusion typically has no rigid writing style; it is dependent on the context and content of your paragraph. Sometimes, it is recommended that students wrap up a paragraph by writing an introductory sentence in the subsequent paragraph. Of course, this should be done after concluding the present paragraph.


A frequently asked question is: how long should a paragraph be in an essay? Truth is, there is no express answer to this. A paragraph usually contains 3 to 5 sentences; however, this is not a standard measurement. A paragraph can contain more or a smaller number of sentences depending on the type and style of writing. While some writers would rather write long and intensely descriptive paragraphs, others prefer writing short paragraphs.

Whichever category of writing style you fall under, the above guide will help you accurately write a strong and good paragraph.