24.09.21

How to start a paragraph

I'm sure you will agree with me when I say this: starting a paragraph is hard. Although starting a paragraph should be easy - I mean, it's only using sentences to begin your paragraph after all - It's much harder than meeting the eyes. In this article, I'm going to show you how to choose engaging words to start your paragraph and improve your writing. If you want to know more, all you have to do is to read on.

The way you begin a sentence or a paragraph can determine the effect that paragraph will have on the reader. 

It also goes a long way to determine how you can pass the intended message across. You should start the paragraph carefully so that you can keep the reader engaged from start to finish. Obviously, starting your paragraph with good paragraph starters can encourage the reader to keep on reading. 

This write-up will enlighten you about the right words to start paragraphs so that you can always keep your readers engaged and make them take the desired action that will fulfill the purpose of your content.

But first, let's define a paragraph.

What is a paragraph?

A paragraph can be defined as a unit of a content comprising several sentences. Usually, a paragraph includes between 3 and 8 sentences with each sentence relating to one another; all the sentences in a section also refer to the same idea or theme. 

Paragraphs are of different types; some narrate fictional stories, while some others make argumentative claims. It would help if you always considered your audience when composing a paragraph. You should also choose carefully when looking for words to start a sentence since the terms can make or mar your article, content or essay. 

Since we are clear on the definition of a paragraph, let proceed with ways in which you can start one.

 

1) Start with a topic sentence.

A topic sentence helps to explain the purpose of the paragraph to your reader and explains why that paragraph is part of the write-up. The topic sentence may not be more than 2 or 3 sentences; there are times it can be a single sentence.

To put it in clear terms, the topic sentence is the most important of all the sentences in the paragraph since it tells the reader your intentions. It should be in agreement with other sentences in the section. Also, it makes the paragraph more natural to read and understand. 

Examples of topics sentences include:

  • A high poverty rate may be prevented by improved education.

“High poverty rate may be prevented” is the topic while “improved education” is the controlling idea.

  • Having a college degree is important because of long-term financial gain, job stability, and career satisfaction.

“Having a college degree is important” is the topic and “long-term financial gain, job stability, career satisfaction” is the controlling idea.

  • Writing an essay requires lots of research and analytical writing skills.

The topic is “writing an essay” while the controlling idea is “lots of research and analytical writing skills.

These examples are to show you that starting your paragraph with a topic sentence helps you stay focused while the “topic and “controlling idea” helps the reader understand your paragraph clearly.

 
 
2) Start your paragraph with transition words
 
Transition words are essential words to consider when starting a paragraph. They help the writer resist the use of a subject-verb sentence structure so that the entire section can pass across the intended meaning to the reader. 
 
Transition words as starting words can improve the effectiveness of the sentence and pass the ideas across better, as well as create more nuanced meaning.
 
Furthermore, transition words add a tone of professionalism to the entire write-up. The use of transition words as paragraph starter words helps the writer to explain all the connections between each of the ideas put forward in the paragraph. Good examples of transition words that you can use when starting a new paragraph are:
  • Moreover
  • However
  • Furthermore 
  • Additionally 
  • Obviously 
  • Especially

And so on

It would be best if you considered the following rules when starting paragraph words with transition words:

  • Do not repeat the same transition word too often; varieties make things better
  • Always add a comma after each transition word
  • The subject of that particular sentence must be added after the comma. 

 

3) Use active voice

Using active voices as phrases to start a paragraph makes you sound authoritative and can get your readers engaged throughout the paragraph. 

You should, therefore, consider using active voice when contemplating how to start a paragraph. Active voice equally makes each sentence look concise and positive, as well as make it look assertive.

It drives the point home better and can lock the message in the memory of the reader for longer. Passive voice makes the sentence look less dynamic and active voice does the opposite. 
 
For example:
  • Sentence A - "The kids opened the door"
  • Sentence B -  "The door was opened by the kids"; 

Let me give you a minute to pick which one of these two sentences is more engaging and easier to read.

Answer: Sentence A which is in an active voice sounds more engaging, and concise than sentence B which is in the passive voice. 

 

4) Passive voice has its place

There are instances where passive voices are better ways to start a paragraph than active voices. This is usually the case when writing a novel of a mystery story. At such times, you may place more emphasis on, for example, the person that was killed than the killer. 

In most instances, crime reporters are written in passive voice rather than active voice; this is so because the reporter may not have all the facts ready at the time of filing the report. Consequently, words to begin a paragraph can depend on the type of writing.

Passive voice is equally the preferred tone of writing when writing reports about scientific findings since it helps to exclude the opinions of the writer from the paper. 

 

5) Dependent clauses also work.

Words to start a paragraph can include dependent clauses. They work wonders all the time. They help to shake things up and remove dependence on state-of-being verbs as words to start a body paragraph. They help to switch up your opening and phrasing in the paragraph, which makes for better writing. 

 

Bottomline 

This blog post is the guide you need on how to begin your paragraph and cease to be a dull writer. Make your contents more exciting and make your readers stay engaged more than ever before. 

If you have learned something, kindly use the social media button to share with your friends and if you have a method that we haven’t mentioned, kindly share with us in the comment section below. 

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