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Paragraph Organization & Flow

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This vidcast talks about major components of paragraph-level writing such as unity, coherence, and development. Solid, clear paragraphs that are well-connected create a foundation for an argument and contribute to what writers often call "flow." The handouts on patterns of paragraph organization, flow in scholarly writing, and transition words examine various aspects of a document that contribute to a sense of flow and share detailed information about patterns of paragraph organization. They should be used in conjunction with this vidcast. 

Note: Closed-captioning and a full transcript are available for this vidcast. 


Patterns of Paragraph Organization

There is no one perfect way to organize your paragraphs. However, depending on the genre and size of the document you're working on, there are a number of logical ways to organize your text. Here you'll find a number of possible options. Note that while this resource talks specifically about writing a rhetorical analysis, the information is applicable beyond this genre. 

Flow in Scholarly Writing (PDF)

Flow in writing refers to how easily readers move past the text itself and into a reading experience where they are connecting with the ideas presented within the text. This handout talks about the notion of flow and explains what well-flowing writing looks like at the sentence, paragraph, and textual levels.  

Transition Words & Devices

Good transitions can connect paragraphs and turn disconnected writing into a unified whole. Instead of treating paragraphs as separate ideas, transitions can help readers understand how paragraphs work together, reference one another, and build to a larger point. The key to producing good transitions is highlighting connections between corresponding paragraphs. This resource offers a list of some common transitional devices.