Academic Paragraph Writing for ESL Students

Academic Paragraph Writing for ESL Students

Academic Paragraph WritingAcademic Paragraph writing remains one of the most important parts of English academic writing. The paragraph serves as the vessel  for each of the ideas of an essay or other piece of writing. Paragraphs are versatile and can take many forms that strengthen your writing, provide variety for readers, and help readers to organize the ideas you present.

Good essay academic writing is a skill that is developed over time. Conveying a series of connected ideas in an essay requires a student to understand the structure of an academic paragraph. Academic paragraph writing is not simply putting five or six sentences together and then going on to the next paragraph in the essay. On the contrary, a paragraph is a group of related sentences working together to support one main idea. A constructively written paragraph develops the writer’s point of view effectively. ESL Student’s should know their strengths and weaknesses in academic paragraph writing to improve the skills of paragraph organisation.

When writing a university or college essay, make sure that it is properly divided in to appropriate paragraphs. Students do not want to lose marks from silly mistakes, which is they should make sure that the essay meets all the requirements. To this student’s should do a peer review. However, how is that done if you don’t have anyone to check it for you? Usually, an ESL student will this themselves. If so, do it in more than one sitting to ensure you are using fresh eyes so to speak.

Academic paragraph writing generally involves placing the topic sentence at the start of the paragraph. A good paragraph tells the reader about the main point and the objective of writer by just looking it. Engaging titles are a must so that they catch the reader’s eye. Although topic sentences are often the first sentence in academic paragraph writing, it is acceptable to place one or two sentences before the topic sentence under certain conditions. One such condition occurs when a sentence provides a transition signal that links to the previous paragraph. Another condition is when a sentence provides some background information that helps make sense of the topic sentence and the remainder of the paragraph.

Stephen E. Dew, author of  “Academic Writing for Graduate Students – Paragraph Essentials for non English Speaking ESL Students”  describes teaching academic paragraph writing and discussing paragraph structure and its role in in essay academic writing as difficult because ESL students hasten to just put pen to paper without the planning phase. He has asked many students if they know the meaning of the term “topic sentence”, and he is frequently met with silence. His conclusion is that many ESL students have gaps in their knowledge about how sentences and paragraphs work. All authors should keep the basic rules of academic paragraph writing in their mind as they write. His tutoring service which can be found here is an example of an academic paragraph writing services is designed to fill the gaps in ESL Student’s English paragraph writing.

Many ESL students overlook the basic rules of academic paragraph writing or may not know them well. “Academic Writing for Graduate Students” teaches the elements of accurate, communicative writing with a focus on the paragraph as the unit for written communication. ESL Students learn the structure, format, and organisation. The different styles of academic paragraph writing are covered in our series of academic writing ebooks called “Academic Writing Skills“.

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