It is highly important that you know when you should begin a new paragraph. Sometimes writers get so carried away that they forget to make divisions in the material.
For example, imagine what would happen to your body if you habitually didn’t break up your food into bitesize pieces? It would make you tied and lethargic, because your body would have to work harder to process the substances.
Likewise, your work can become too tedious and overwhelming to read if you do not break it up into manageable pieces.
TOP TIP is popular mnemonic to remind you when to change paragraphs:
- The subject of the text.
- Location of the event or situation.
- When the event or situation is taking place.
- Description of a character or when a new person is speaking.
Another method of consciously crafting your writing for effect is by varying your paragraph lengths:
- Quickens the pace of the text. Emphasises key words and ideas. Definitely include a one word paragraph that features the word you want to be most memorable.
- Creates a balance between moving the plot forward and gaining insightful information.
- Slows down the pace of the text by giving a lot of information.
Use a range of sentence forms to produce an effectively engaging piece of writing. Always consider, which sentence would best suit the effect I intend to create?
There are commonly five types of sentence forms in English:
- Word or phrase that can stand alone but still be understood without a verb, No! Fantastic.
- EFFECT? Memorable for the reader.
- A word or phrase that features one verb. This new car has broken down twice.
- EFFECT? Moves the narrative along at a quicker pace.
- Features two verbs, as two independent clauses or two simple sentences are join together using a co-ordinating conjunction. (I call this the glue that holds them together and balances out the two sentences.) Each side of the co-coordinating conjunction must have a verb to keep it balanced.
- Co-ordinating conjunctions, For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet, So, (In English grammar there are only seven and you do not place a comma before them!) This new car has broken down twice so I must take it back to the garage.
EFFECT? Creates a balance between keeping a fluid pace, whilst providing more descriptive detail.
- Features two verbs, as one independent clause is connected with one or more dependent clauses. The Sub-ordinating conjunction acts as the glue holding the clauses together.
- Sub-ordinating conjunctions, Whilst, After, Although, Because, Since (In English grammar there many and you must place the comma either directly before them or within the clause!) This new car has broken down twice, since I bought it from the garage.
- What I like about complex sentences is that you can reverse the clause order and it should bear the same meaning. You could write: Since I bought it from the garage, this car has broken down on me twice.
- EFFECT? Lessens the pace but enables the reader to engage with more descriptive details.
- Features three or more verbs and one dependent clause and one or more independent clauses. You can merge the different sentences and place them in an order that will make sense, with accurate punctuation. Since I bought it from the garage, this car has broken down on me twice so I must take it back.
- EFFECT? Gives the reader more information to process at one time but creates a fully developed image.
Writing accurate sentences types reinforces where to place commas and full stops. Don’t limit yourself to only using full stops and commas. Employing a variety of punctuation can really enhance your piece of writing. Which punctuation will be most effective in your sentence?
Here is a rubric that has some useful prompts:
- What does TOP TIP stand for?
- Your answer should include: Topic / Place / Time / Person
- What is the benefit of using small paragraphs?
- Your answer should include: Memorable / Quick / Pace / Short / Emphasises
- What types of sentences quicken the pace of a text?
- Your answer should include: Minor / Simple