The process for writing a paragraph is the same as the process for writing an essay.

1. Pre-writing

Collect and focus your thoughts by brainstorming, clustering, making lists, or asking yourself questions. Here is where you consider your purpose, voice, and audience and also start to list your main ideas and supporting ideas. Here is where you answer the questions: Why am I writing this? What do I want to say? Who will read this? What is my attitude towards my topic?

2. Planning and Organizing

Now you need to organize all the ideas you had in the pre-writing. Here is where you answer the question: How can I show my reader what I mean?


Work out what you want to say and in what order by writing an outline. Remember to include the following parts of a paragraph or essay:


In paragraphs you call this the topic sentence. It is usually only one sentence and is where you put your controlling idea. In an essay it is a paragraph where you express your main impression and give some idea what your main points are and/or what your opinion is. This is where you put your thesis statement.


This is where you put the points that support your main thesis or controlling idea. In a paragraph it is at least three sentences and in an essay it is at least two paragraphs.


In both a paragraph and an essay this summarizes and makes a final comment.


Once you have got all your points organized in an outline, write a first version of the essay. Be sure to write a conclusion and give the essay a title.

3. Revising

Reread your draft and improve it, concentrating on unity and coherence. Then edit the revised draft, correcting mistakes in grammar, mechanics, and style. Prepare it for submission by writing a final good draft.