Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Paragraph Theory

Paragraphs make it easier for the reader to follow the directions given to him by a word or words.  They make it easier to see what the words are pointing to.  A paragraph is an organizational tool, reducing the strain on the reader’s eyes and mind.  Writers use paragraphs to help the reader find the pieces that construct his/her picture.  Effective paragraphing, therefore, improves the pace of comprehension.  This quicker comprehension helps the mind hold the picture together.  In other words, paragraphs help a reader see your picture.

Paragraphing Models
A)    Picture (paragraph v)
             Piece 1 (paragraph v)
              Piece 2 (paragraph w)
              Piece 3 (paragraph x)
              Piece 4 (paragraph y)
              Piece 5 (paragraph z)
B)    Picture (paragraph v)
                   Piece 1 (paragraph v)
                   Piece 2 (paragraph v)
                   Piece 3 (paragraph v)
                   Piece 4 (paragraph v)
                   Piece 5 (paragraph v)

A)  Helps a reader most when the pieces are large: more than one sentence.

B)  Helps a reader most when the pieces are small: usually just one sentence.

Paragraph Utility

Writers use paragraphs

               to shift in person.

               to shift in tense. 

               to shift in speaker.

to aid the reader’s eyes.  (It is easy for a set of eyes to get lost in a sea of words.  Words tell ‘where’ but words don’t control a reader and, what's more, they don't control the reader's eyes.  The reader’s eyes have to be able to find their way around prose on their own.)

to organize the parts of their pictures.  (Paragraphs help a reader find the constituent parts of a picture quickly, and they help clear up ambiguous relationships.)

Put simply, paragraphs make comprehension quicker and easier.

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