Parts of a Paragraph Amanda sellers

What Is A Paragraph?

A paragraph is a composition of multiple sentences with a single idea

The different parts of a sentence compare to the different parts of a hamburger!

A Topic Sentence

Tells the reader the main idea. When writing a topic sentence, you have to be sure to give the reader a clear idea of what you are going to write about.

If we were going to start a paragraph about a puppy named Molly, we could say something like

Molly was the best pet in the world.
You can also think of a paragraph like a stop light. The topic sentence is green, followed by the details which is yellow.

Supporting Details

The supporting details make up the meat and condiments of the hamburger. Supporting sentences 1, 2, and 3 are the information you want to give the reader. They are yellow on the stoplight above because you should "slow down" and take the time to present your details/facts effectively.

Supporting details aka "the yellows" typically start with transition words, so they can be easy to point out. First, second, next, last, and more can be seen as transition words for these sentences. It is important to use transition words because it lets the reader know that a new idea is coming! To continue on with our paragraph we started above, here are some example supporting sentences.

Molly was the best pet in the whole world. She was a beautiful, black puppy that followed Joe and his brother Jake all around the yard. When they played in their clubhouse, Molly would sit outside the door and wait for them. When they swam in the pool, Molly would wait at the gate.

After the yellows come the red. The red sentences are sentences written to follow up the yellows to give examples or explanations. They provide the reader with more information, but they are not necessary. These sentences make your paragraph more interesting, like the sentence we added to our paragraph below.

Molly was the best pet in the whole world. She was a beautiful, black puppy that followed Joe and his brother Jake all around the yard. When they played in their clubhouse, Molly would sit outside the door and wait for them. When they swam in the pool, Molly would wait at the gate. If Joe and Jake rode their bikes, Molly would run happily beside them.

Conclusion Sentence

The conclusion sentence is the last part of a paragraph. In the stoplight, it is green because it restates the idea of the topic sentence to make the point of the paragraph stronger. The sentence we added below closes off the paragraph by summing up the main idea again.

Molly was the best pet in the whole world. She was a beautiful, black puppy that followed Joe and his brother Jake all around the yard. When they played in their clubhouse, Molly would sit outside the door and wait for them. When they swam in the pool, Molly would wait at the gate. If Joe and Jake rode their bikes, Molly would run happily beside them. Joe and Jake were lucky to have a best friend and pet like Molly.

To learn more about the structure of paragraphs and why a paragraph relates to a hamburger, watch the video below and read the various example paragraphs below for more help!

Created By
Amanda Sellers
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