Essay writing ideas: developing paragraphs

Writing quality essays is one of the most important skills a student can have. One of the reasons essay writing is so heavily emphasized is because it is great training for communicating well in writing, in general. Almost every workplace requires that employees be able to communicate clearly, and depending on the career one chooses to pursue, this skill could be critical. Essay writing assignments refine a student’s writing skills in a number of ways, increasing their ability to write clearly and capably on complex subjects.

In order to do so, students have to learn how to organize their ideas. This starts with outlining the essay itself in a general manner. From there, each paragraph should be well-developed. While writing styles can vary greatly, most students begin developing their paragraphs in a similar manner. A simple approach is usually best for beginners, and even experienced writers often create simplified paragraphs for their rough draft. More complexity can always be added during the editing process; keeping it simple to start with ensures that they can focus on the content of the essay while adhering to their outline.

Parts of a Paragraph

Just like an essay or a research report, paragraphs can be divided into some basic parts to make their development easier.

  • Introduction sentence
  • The first sentence of your paragraph should highlight the topic of the paragraph. This is usually a point or points used to support your essay’s thesis.

  • Body
  • The middle section of your paragraph should be used to expand on these points, link them to your thesis, and provide citations

  • Transition
  • The final sentence or sentences of your paragraph should solidify its link to the essay’s thesis as well as provide a transition into the material you will cover in the next paragraph


For many new writers, the transition is the most difficult part. Consider how you will organize your points in the essay. There are several options for doing so in a way that makes the essay more enjoyable and intuitive for the reader:

  • Chronological
  • Points can be arranged based on a chronological theme; those that relate to earlier research can be listed first. This can make transitioning between paragraphs very simple.

  • General to specific
  • Writers can also begin with very general information and progress to more specific information. Transitions of this type can be made easier because of this natural progression.

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