Paragraph structure

A paragraph usually contains:

  • A topic sentence – this tells the reader what the paragraph is going to be about.
  • The middle section – four or five new sentences are often added here to expand on the main idea introduced by the topic sentence.
  • The final or ‘hook’ sentence – this sentence can be used to link to the topic sentence of the next paragraph.If the text is a story, this might be information that leads into the next events or information that ends the events. If the text is an argument or persuasive text, the hook sentence may summarise what has already been said.

When analysing a text, the paragraphs can be important. Look at the three different areas.

The topic sentence

This is usually the first sentence. When looking at this, consider these questions:

  • How does the writer open the paragraph and what is the effect on the intended reader?
  • What does the sentence tell you?
  • Why has the writer chosen to do this, in this way?

The middle section

When analysing this section, consider both the length of the paragraph as well as the lengths and types of sentences used:

  • What is the effect of these choices?
  • What impact is the writer trying to have here?

The final (hook) sentence

When considering the effect of the last sentence, it is important to work out what the writer is trying to do:

  • What is the effect of the sentence?
  • What is the writer trying to achieve?