When to Start a New Paragraph

There is nothing more ominous to the time-pressed reader than a dense paragraph taking up half or more of a page. This not only dilutes your message; it runs the real risk of the reader simply skimming the page and ignoring vital information. Effective business writers make use of short, crisp paragraphs to develop points, clarify ideas or signal a change in direction. The reader can then locate specific information. Short paragraphs also open up white space on the page, a blessing to the weary-eyed reader. When you have a clearly defined topic sentence, the supporting details should … [Read more...]

The Structure of Paragraphs

Proper, effective paragraphs should have a structure. This gives clear, confident direction to the reader and presents a logical flow to the material. The three main components of a paragraph are the topic sentence, supporting details and a closing sentence. (i) The topic sentence introduces the main idea of the paragraph. You should spend time developing three or four key topic sentences in a business letter. These can become the basis for your response or explanation to an external source. Ask yourself: What points do I want to make in this business letter? What exact messages do I … [Read more...]