Paragraphs provide a visual representation of your ideas. When revising your work, evaluate the logic behind how you have organized the paragraphs.
Question whether your presentation would appear more logical and persuasive if you rearranged the sequence of the paragraphs. Next, question the structure of each paragraph to see if sentences need to be reordered. Determine whether you are organizing information deductively or according to chronology or according to some sense of what is most and least important. Ask yourself these five questions:
- How is each paragraph organized? Do I place my general statement or topic sentence near the beginning or the end of each paragraph? Do I need any transitional paragraphs or transitional sentences?
- As I move from one idea to another, will my reader understand how subsequent paragraphs relate to my main idea as well as to previous paragraphs? Should any paragraphs be shifted in their order in the text? Should a later paragraph be combined with the introductory paragraph?
- Should the existing paragraphs be cut into smaller segments or merged into longer ones? If I have a concluding paragraph, do I really need it?
- Will readers understand the logical connections between paragraphs? Do any sentences need to be added to clarify the logical relationship between ideas? Have I provided the necessary forecasting and summarizing sentences that readers will need to understand how the different ideas relate to each other?
- Have I been too blatant about transitions? Are all of the transitional sentences and paragraphs really necessary or can the reader follow my thoughts without them?