23 junio, 2024

Paragraphs: characteristics, types, structure, elements

The paragraphs They are unitary structures of communication through which ideas related to the same topic are developed. In other words, they are extracts from a text that are made up of statements or main and secondary expressions.

On the other hand, the dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) defines a paragraph as the minimum part of a prose writing that is made up of similar and consecutive ideas. These fragments are identified because they start with a capital letter and their end is determined by a full stop.

The etymological origin of the word paragraph comes from the Greek word paragraphs. This in turn is composed of the prefix for, which is translated as «similar», close and next to, and by the verb grapho, which means writing So the paragraphs are writings made up of similar approaches.

One of the primary characteristics of paragraphs is the way in which ideas are placed. In such a way that the main ones are expressed first, followed by the secondary ones, which serve as reinforcement and together give the writing coherence and uniformity.


Paragraph characteristics

Paragraphs have the following characteristics:

Start and end

A paragraph is easily identified because it begins with a capital letter that is preceded by a small space, which is known as an indentation. On the other hand, it culminates with a full stop that suggests the end of the idea to make way for a new one that is linked to the same topic.

Main sentence

Every paragraph is made up of a main sentence, which is easily recognized because it is the one that is in charge of exposing the most important idea of ​​all the statements that occur in that part. It is this linear unit that begins to give meaning and coherence to the text.

The topic sentence can be located at the beginning, middle, or end of the paragraph.

Secondary sentence

The secondary sentences are those that are derived from the main one, that is, they continue with the sequence of the statement or idea. In such a way that within a paragraph they can be presented in two ways: coordinated and subordinate.

Now, coordinated sentences are those that by themselves have logic and sense, and are also intertwined or linked by links. On the other hand, the subordinate clauses are those that have meaning according to the statement expressed by other sentences.

Paragraph Types

Paragraphs can be of different types, including the following:


As its name suggests, this variety of paragraphs is responsible for introducing the main ideas of a given topic.


The development paragraphs are those that conceptualize and argue the idea that was raised in the introduction.

of conclusion

Quite simply, these types of paragraphs are responsible for finalizing all the ideas and approaches presented throughout the development of a particular text.

of cause and effect

In the cause and effect paragraphs, events or occurrences are communicated and consequently the causes that produced them are explained.


This variety of paragraphs consists of stating or exposing events sequentially and in chronological order. So they are very common in stories, literary texts, news, reports and chronicles.


The descriptive paragraphs detail in detail the information on the topic that is treated in order to awaken the senses of the receiver. The author uses the power of words to unreservedly express the qualities and aspects of what is dealt with. In general, in these paragraphs literary devices are used.


This class of paragraphs is focused on convincing or persuading the reader on a certain topic. The writer usually contrasts, debates and opposes approaches with the intention that the receiver establishes a position on the matter.


Expository paragraphs are characterized by broadly and deeply explaining the ideas or approaches of a specific topic. However, its extension and complexity will depend on the content that is developed.


In this type of paragraph, the information that is exposed is not concrete, but the interpretation is subject to the understanding and knowledge that each recipient has. Commonly, the relative paragraphs are observed in documents with a scientific, technological and medical nature.


Comparative paragraphs have the objective of establishing similarities or differences between two or more ideas.


The enumeration paragraphs are those that expose a series of events, concepts, definitions, elements or characteristics from the most relevant ideas to those of less importance or value.


In simple terms, dialogue paragraphs express conversations and exchanges of ideas between a sender and a receiver. They are common in stories, fables and novels.

Paragraph structure

Paragraphs are composed of an internal and an external structure. Each of them is briefly explained below:

Internal structure

The internal structure of the paragraphs is made up of a series of ideas that are related to each other with respect to a particular topic, which are linked or joined through connectives. In addition, all approaches arise from a central statement or sentence.

To this is added that the central sentence becomes the main one because it contains the most relevant information in a summarized and explicit way. On the other hand, the secondary ideas complement, expand and specify the rest of the arguments that the writer wishes to present to the readers.

external structure

Regarding the external structure of the paragraphs, these are made up of a capital letter at the beginning, spelling pauses and punctuation marks, to finally complete the idea with a full stop. As for the extension, this will depend on the content of the topic and the author.


As mentioned in previous lines, paragraphs are made up of a group of sentences structured and ranked in terms of their level of importance.

So the main elements of these communicative units are the set of main and secondary sentences that shape the ideas and approaches.


Paragraphs are made up of a series of qualities that allow them to be developed with particularity, organization and compatibility. The following are the most prominent:


The cohesion within the paragraphs is related to the link and the agreement between the words and sentences. By means of this quality, it is possible for the text to make a logical sense, which in turn facilitates the understanding by the readers.


Coherence refers to the way in which the sentences and ideas are distributed within the paragraph. That is to say, to the way in which they are organized so that the text or writing enjoys hierarchy, clarity and logic. This quality is evidenced in the sequence that exists between the main and secondary sentences.


The unit is associated with the criterion and the continuity of the ideas in a paragraph. In other words, this quality refers to the communion that exists between the main approach and the secondary ones. Therefore, all sentences must point in the same direction to achieve compatibility.


The rhythm of the paragraphs is closely linked to the elements that compose it. This means that the dynamism and speed are conditioned by the punctuation marks and above all by the statement that is exposed in the main idea.


The style of the paragraphs is marked by originality, creativity and the intention that the author or writer has when transmitting a message. However, the fact that there is particularity at the time of writing does not mean that the characteristics, structures and elements that make up these units of expression are left aside.

examples of paragraphs


A house is a construction created to be inhabited. This term is commonly used to talk about those buildings with a variable number of floors, with doors, windows, bathrooms and other facilities and that are intended to be inhabited by a family.

A house is different from an apartment, since the latter belong to a larger construction than them and share space with others of the same shape. The houses are individual units.

The main objective of the houses is to give shelter and protection to a family nucleus from all the adversities that the environment can present. The materials with which a house is built are variable, as are the environments that it may possess. The size of the houses is conditioned by the purchasing power of the owner and his tastes.

The sea

The word sea comes from the Latin mare, which means “portion of salt water”. This word is used to identify the large expanses of salt water that the planet earth has. It is necessary to say that a sea is also considered a lake whose dimensions are considerable.

It is also important to note that when speaking of the word sea, reference is made to a portion of water less than that of an ocean. That is, in order of size (from small to large), bodies of salt water can be arranged like this: lake, sea, ocean.


Paragraph. (2019). Spain: Wikipedia. Recovered from: es.wikipedia.org. Paragraph meaning. (2018). (N/A): Meanings. Recovered from: significados.com. Pérez, J. and Gardey, A. (2013). (N/A): Definition. From. Retrieved from: definition.de. Paragraphs. (2014). (N/A): Language, Communication and Culture. Retrieved from: petitionlenguaje1.blogspot.com. Arias, E. (2019). The paragraph. (N/a): Dictionary of Doubts. Retrieved from: dictionarydedudas.com.

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