The Skill and Art of Business Writing: An Everyday Guide and Reference

By Harold E. Meyer | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 6
Sensible Paragraphs

Definition

A paragraph is a complete thought. This follows from one of the definitions of a sentence: a single thought. A complete thought usually consists of a group of sentences all of which are related to a central thought, topic or idea. If part of a topic or idea is to be emphasized, it should be placed in a separate paragraph.

The purpose of a paragraph is to make communication with the reader easily understood. A paragraph keeps segments of the composition unified by helping to prevent digressions from the central idea. A new paragraph gives the reader a breathing and thinking break because the reader knows one topic is concluded and another is to begin.

Conversational statements, replies and exclamations can be one-word paragraphs, but in narrative, descriptive or expository writing, a paragraph is a minicomposition, most often written in the order of occurence or observation. Some magazine articles use long, well-developed paragraphs, complete with one or two topic sentences, a detailed development of the topic and a summary statement or two.

Here is an example using a business letter. Sentence 1 is the topic; it refers to disposal of equipment. Middle sentences provide details about the disposal. Sentence 4 summarizes the subject by suggesting action to be taken.

(1) I agree with your letter of March 25, 19—, except for the part
referring to disposal of leased equipment. (2) The lease says that so long
as the value of the plant is not materially affected, the lessee may dispose

-144-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Skill and Art of Business Writing: An Everyday Guide and Reference
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • How This Book Will Help You Write Clearly ix
  • Chapter 1 - Understandable Sentences 1
  • Chapter 2 - Action in Sentences 26
  • Chapter 3 - Order in Sentences 54
  • Chapter 4 - Positive Sentences 87
  • Chapter 5 - Words in Sentences 109
  • Chapter 6 - Sensible Paragraphs 144
  • Chapter 7 - Topics of Paragraphs 167
  • Chapter 8 - Tie It All Together 182
  • Chapter 9 - Composition Techniques 207
  • Chapter 10 - Why Spelling? 232
  • Chapter 11 - Punctuate It This Way 251
  • Chapter 12 - Three Diverse Reports 270
  • Chapter 13 - Confusing Words Clarified 286
  • Chapter 14 - Glossary of Terms 319
  • Bibliography 341
  • Index 345
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 354

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.