Have you ever read a student narrative that was composed as one lengthy paragraph? knowing when come make brand-new paragraphs comes normally to some students, however not others. This write-up goes over five rules come teach. Start by downloading the teaching products for this lesson.

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Paragraphs Rule 1 – TOPIC CHANGE

Just together in writing nonfiction, start a new paragraph when a new topic bring away place. If the writer describes the setting and move on to define the character’s thoughts or reactions to the setting, develop a new paragraph. Right here are some examples from literature:

Stone Fox

Like the time grandfather dressed up together the scarecrow the end in the garden. The took tiny Willy an hour to catch on. Boy, walk they laugh. Grand laughed so hard he cried. And when he cry his beard filled up with tears. (This i tells about a time once Willy and Grandfather had fun.)

Grandfather always got increase real at an early stage in the morning. So early on that it to be still dark outside. He would make a fire. Then he would make breakfast and call little Willy. “Hurry up or you’ll be eating v the chickens,” he would say. Climate he would certainly throw his head ago and laugh. (This new paragraph clearly changes to another example.)

Once small Willy went back to sleep. When he woke up, he uncovered his plate out in the chicken coop. It to be picked clean. He never slept late again ~ that. (The beat line of the joke is in a paragraph by itself for emphasis.)

The City that Ember

The workdesks were arranged in 4 rows the six, one behind the other. In the last heat sat a slim girl called Lina Mayfleet. She was winding a strand of her long, dark hair around her finger, winding and unwinding it again and again. Periodically she plucked at a object on her ragged cape or bent over to pull on her socks, i beg your pardon were loose and had tendency to on slide down about her ankles. Among her feet tapped the floor softly. (This paragraph explains Lina, one of the main characters.)

In the second row was a boy named Doon Harrow. He sat through his shoulders hunched, his eye squeezed closeup of the door in concentration, and also his hand clasped strict together. His hair looked rumpled, as if that hadn’t combed it because that a while. He had actually dark, special eyebrows, which made him look severe at the finest of times and, once he was anxious or angry, came together to form a straight line across his forehead. His brown corduroy jacket to be so old the its ridges had actually flattened out. (This paragraph describes Doon, an additional main character.)

Both the girl and also the boy were making urgent wishes. Doon’s great was very specific. He recurring it over and also over again, his lips relocating slightly, together if he can make the come true by saying it a thousands times. Lina was making she wish in images rather than in words. In she mind’s eye, she observed herself running v the streets of the city in a red jacket. She made this photo as bright and real as she could. (This paragraph compares the desire of Lina and Doon.)

Paragraphs preeminence 2 – setting CHANGE-SKIPPING to A new TIME OR A brand-new PLACE

Remember that setting includes both time and also place. If the story move from one location to one more or one time to another, begin a new paragraph. Scenes normally take place in one location. As soon as the ar changes, this means a brand-new scene is around to take it place. 

Look because that time clues:

They waited and also waited.An hour later,The next afternoon,At the eleventh hour…A main passed.The seconds seemed prefer hours.Once in a blue moon…In the months that passed,

Look for ar clues:

Meanwhile, back at…In Brooklyn,They moved around Chicago…It was daunting to bring the wide load down the narrow street.Across indigenous the hospital,They boarded the plane,The home was situated…The taxi zipped v traffic.


The Giver

It was virtually December, and also Jonas was start to it is in frightened. No. Wrong word, Jonas thought. Frightened supposed that deep, sickening emotion of other terrible around to happen. Frightened to be the means he had actually felt a year back when one unidentified aircraft had overflown the community twice. He had seen it both times. Squinting toward the sky, he had actually seen the sleek jet, nearly a blur at its high speed, walk past, and a 2nd later heard the blast that sound that followed. Climate one much more time, a moment later, indigenous the opposite direction, the same plane. (This paragraph starts the story. The describes an occasion that fearful Jonas.)

At first, he had actually been just fascinated. He had actually never seen aircraft therefore close, for it was versus the rules because that Pilots to fly over the community. Occasionally, once supplies were ceded by cargo planes come the landing field throughout the river, the children rode your bicycles come the riverbank and watched, intrigued, the unloading and then the takeoff command to the west, constantly away native the community. (A new paragraph is make to describe what is regular in Jonas’s community. A shift takes location from the past to the present.)

But the plane a year earlier had been different. That was not a squat, fat-bellied cargo aircraft but a needle-nosed single-pilot jet. Jonas, looking roughly anxiously, had seen others—adults and children—stop what they to be doing and also wait, confused, because that an explanation the the dreadful event. (A new paragraph is created to go ago to relenten the event that took location in the past. An additional time transition takes place.)

Paragraphs Rule 3 – IN DIALOGUE once A new CHARACTER SPEAKS

Each time a various character speaks, produce a new paragraph. Note that this is likewise true v thoughts. If the narrator is relenten the think of one character and also a different character speaks or has his or her thoughts described, begin a new paragraph.


“What are you talking about?” ns said. (Auggie)

Mom looked surprised, prefer she hadn’t meant for me come hear that. (Narrator defines Mom.)

“You should tell him what you’ve been thinking, Isabel,” Dad said. He to be on the various other side of the living room talk to Christopher’s dad. (Dad)

“We need to talk around this later,” said Mom. (Mom)

“No, I desire to know what you were talk about,” ns answered. (Auggie)

“Don’t you think you’re all set for school, Auggie?” mother said. (Mom)

“No,” i said. (Auggie)

“I don’t, either,” stated Dad. (Dad)

Paragraphs Rule 4 – TO break UP long NARRATIVES right into PARAGRAPHS

If a character offers a lengthy speech, it is less complicated for the reader if the dialogue is damaged up.

Teaching minute – Encourage student to rest up lengthy bits of narration through action. For example, if a remind is acquisition place, have actually the personality come ago to the present, explain what is acquisition place, and then go earlier to the flashback.

Gary Paulsen is a grasp at storytelling. He regularly breaks the ethics of writing through sentence fragments and also other unconventional methods. Many short paragraphs save his creating sounding urgent. I have consisted of an excerpt native Hatchet no to illustrate paragraph breaks but to show how a flashback deserve to be interrupted with existing events.


Now Brian sat, looking the end the window with the roar thundering with his ears, and also tried to directory what had led as much as his acquisition this flight. The thinking started. Always it began with a single word. Divorce.

It was an ugly word, that thought. A tearing, ugly native that intended fights and yelling, lawyers—God, he thought, exactly how he hated lawyers that sat v their comfortable smiles and also tried to define to the in legal terms exactly how all the he stayed in was comes apart—and the breaking and shattering of all the heavy things. His home, his life—all the hard things. Divorce. A breaking word, an ugly break word…

When he observed Brian look in ~ him, the pilot appeared to open up a bit and also he smiled. “Ever fly in the copilot’s chair before?” that leaned over and also lifted the headset turn off his right ear and also put it on his temple, yelling to get rid of the sound that the engine…

But the pilot had actually put his headset back on and also the gratitude was shed in the engine noise and things went earlier to Brian looking out the home window at the s of trees and lakes. The burning eyes did not come back, yet memories did, came flooding in. The words. Constantly the words.


The Secret.

Paragraphs Rule 5 – because that EFFECT

Use a paragraph break to emphasize vital point, for a laugh, to drive a message, or obtain some advantage.

 Look again at the earlier examples. In the Stone Fox example, a brand-new paragraph begins when the narrator provides the punch line.

See more: Does Nf3 Have A Dipole Moment, Does Nf3 Have A Permanent Dipole Moment

Also, look at the Hatchet excerpt. An alert the native “Divorce.” and also the expression “The Secret.” room in paragraphs through themselves. This stresses their importance.