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Thursday, June 10, 2021

The Paragraph

 A paragraph can consist of one to several dozen sentences, depending on its function. The dictionary says the paragraph "forms a new rhetorical unit." That might be helpful, except that rhetorical is tough to define too. Practically speaking, a paragraph can be a brief development of a single idea or statement, or it can be a collection of information that hangs together. When you shift to another idea, or even a different emphasis of the same idea, it's time for a new paragraph. It's much like shifting gears in a stick-shift car. Modern usage prefers short paragraphs because they are easier for a reader.

Roger Garrison, How a Writer Works, 1985

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