Consultant’s Corner, Vol. 33 Issue 7


Writing Support Studio

Dear Writing Support Studio,

Oftentimes, when I have finally completed the draft of a given paper, upon reviewing it I find that the ideas lack a sense of unity. Sometimes, the ideas in the paper connect very minimally and I feel as though I have not proven my main point. I would like to be able to write longer, more complete paragraphs that actually add coherence to my writing. Do you happen to have any tips?
An Unstructured Writer

Dear Unstructured Writer,

To truly come to a better understanding of any topic, one has to put its components in the format where the ideas are the most digestible for them. Though a proper mindset is the indispensable tool all writers are capable of using, the ability to smoothly transition between paragraphs by using phrases is always helpful in keeping readers’ attentiveness. The two primary means for doing this include highlighting the order of the ideas and showing the relationship between a newly introduced idea and the one that was addressed immediately prior to it. There are plenty of available transitional phrases, but it can be good to add entire clauses that provide context in lieu of the information the paper has already shared. Each paragraph has a job to do in order to prove the paper’s point. So, when moving on to the point of a new body paragraph, one can ask the following questions: How does this point help me to prove the thesis of my paper? Is this point related to any of the other ideas that I have put forth? How so?
There are far more questions that can be posited about the ideas in an essay than most writers assume. Outside of transitions and interrelatedness, there are three key sections that are present in the standard paragraph. These include making a point, illustrating that point, and explaining that point. A writer’s point is their point that they have formulated based on the research they have done. The point is an expansion of the thesis. It is one of the reasons why the thesis is true, and illustrations are the ideas that show why the point of a given paragraph is true. Effective illustrations include research summaries, statistics, and quotations. The third portion of the paragraph, or the explanatory portion, serves to show how those illustrations help to prove the paragraph’s main point. It shows how the evidence proves the point is valid, as well as what the point means for the paper’s thesis as a whole. Always be sure each sentence is playing a clear role in its respective paragraph. This is an especially important goal during the revising stage, and one reason why that stage of an essay’s completion is crucial for making your paper the best it can be! As always, should you be looking to revise the arrangement of a paper’s ideas, our Peer Consultants are here to work with you.
The Writing Support Studio