It is very important to start a paragraph well. You need to try to summarize what you are about to say whilst also setting the reader up for what’s to come.
Mixing up your paragraph starters is quite essential as well. Figuring out how to start a paragraph can also be complicated, though. Everyone from newbie writers to more experienced ones will face difficulty in this regard.
Learning some phrases to start a paragraph can be quite useful. They can help you to diversify your writing. Following the same format, all the time can make your writing a little boring. The correct use of paragraph openers and sentence starters can help you form a coherent narrative in your writing. This is a great way to connect the various ideas you are trying to portray as well.
Types of Paragraph Starters
This sets the stage for your writing. Commonly used in academic and essay writing. The purpose of introductory paragraph starters is to introduce some of the ideas that will be discussed in the essay or paper. An important part of introductory paragraph starters is to help you avoid using “I” in your writing. Academic writing in particular does not view “I” statements favorably. You should opt for more generalized language in your paragraph starters to indicate the objective nature of your research. Here are some examples of introductory essay paragraph starters.
Here are some examples of introductory paragraph starters:
- In this essay
- Views on (example) are
- The central theme of
As you can see, all of these paragraph starters can help you lay out your ideas in an easy-to-read manner. But these are only the very beginnings of your sentences. Continuing and completing the sentence is important too. Here is an example of a complete introduction to a paragraph:
“Views on advances in artificial intelligence range from positive to negative. In this essay, the impact of artificial intelligence is explored.”
Your concluding paragraph matters. No matter how good your writing is, if you don’t wrap your essay up properly people might not absorb all of the information you have presented. People need a good closing paragraph to contextualize their essay. An abrupt ending can get in the way of that. The purpose of these types of paragraph starters is to transition into the conclusion of your essay or piece of writing.
While your concluding paragraph should tie back to your thesis statement, you should avoid repeating too much of it. Diversifying your concluding statement is useful because repetitive statements can take away from the veracity of your claims. Here are some examples of statements you can use to start a concluding paragraph:
- In conclusion
- To sum up
The last sentence of your concluding paragraph should offer users some closure. It should have an air of finality to it. A proper concluding paragraph can help the information sink in. As well as helping readers to think about the ideas and information that you have discussed.
A big part of presenting information is to compare it to something. This can be previously available information. Overarching narratives surrounding your field can be addressed as well. In this case, you will either be displaying similarities or differences. These paragraphs help to connect your essay to the background that you are drawing from. Not everyone will be familiar with this information. So it’s important that you use comparative paragraph starters to fill them in. Otherwise, they won’t have any information to compare what you are saying to.
Here are some examples of comparative paragraph starters:
- In comparison
- On the other hand
- That said
- Having said that
Creating comparisons is a very effective way of getting your message across. The bulk of your writing will consist of comparative paragraphs. This means that you will need as many comparative paragraph starters as you can find. Refuting or confirming preexisting information is a big part of academic writing and essays.
Simply presenting information will make your writing really dry. Examples can help illustrate what you are talking about. Much of your essay will involve you repeating the same point. This is usually considered a sign of bad writing. But it is unavoidable in academic writing. So you need to use examples to convey your point without getting repetitive. Examples can demonstrate your ideas in real-world scenarios. People need them to draw their own conclusions about what you are trying to say. You don’t want them just repeating your words after all. Rather, you would want them to obtain a deeper understanding of your work.
Example paragraph starters might seem easy. A simple “for example” will work. But you have to provide lots of examples in your writing. Using “for example” repeatedly will make your writing seem unprofessional. It also ruins a reader’s ability to immerse themselves in your writing.
Here are some alternatives to “for example” that you can use as paragraph starters:
- Such as
- To illustrate
- For instance
You can also add exampling statements in the middle of your opening sentence. Here are some examples:
- …as shown by
- …as can be observed
- …which can be seen in
Mixing your statements up can help you provide examples without wearing the reader down. You need to keep offering something new. Otherwise, the reader might lose interest. Diverse exampling statements can keep your readers invested in what you have written. Your main priority should be getting them to the end of your essay after all.
- Idea Adding
We stated previously that comparative statements will form the bulk of your paragraph starters. This holds true, but adding ideas that you can compare is essential as well. Transitioning from one idea to the next can help create a smooth narrative. So many of your ideas will come in the middle of a paragraph. But you would still need to provide start certain paragraphs off with ideas as well. These examples can help you introduce ideas in your writing:
- Here we will discuss
- In this paper
- To elaborate
Sometimes you would want to refer to an idea halfway through your sentence. This is done in a comparative manner. These paragraph and sentence starters can help you with this:
- To elaborate
- As a result
Over time you will learn to use these statements to connect your ideas. Developing a theme in your essay makes the ideas more pronounced. Make sure that you use these statements carefully.
- Time Connective
You should try writing as if you are constructing a timeline. Ideas should be presented sequentially. The sequence can be pieced together slowly through the use of time connective paragraph starters. Presenting an idea or a comparison at the start of a paragraph won’t always work. Sometimes you need to remind readers of where they are on the timeline you have constructed. These sentence starters also help provide context regarding the history of your field or discipline.
These paragraph starters are fairly simple. “Firstly”, “secondly” and so on can all work well here. You can also use words like “before” and “afterwards” as well as “eventually”.
Tips to Help You Write Better Paragraphs
The types of paragraph starters we have provided above will help you improve your writing. But you will also need a few general tips that you can follow. It would be best if you didn’t look at these tips as rules. Instead, see them as a general guideline. You can choose which tips you want to implement based on your preferences. As you develop experience you will start to get an idea of what you should use where.
- Avoid Using “However”
This is a very versatile word. But its versatility often leads to it being overused. There are plenty of alternative words that you can use instead. “That said”, “conversely”, “although” and “regardless” can all be used to substitute however. This adds some variety to your writing. Comparative paragraphs can become a chore if you have to avoid using “however”. But overusing this word will do a lot more harm than good. This is why you should try some of the examples that we have given.
- Try Starting With Adverbs
Adverbs are great for connecting your ideas. They often don’t do much good in the middle of a sentence. You should try starting your sentences out with them. This helps you avoid some of the pitfalls of starting sentences. Using adverbs as paragraphs starters might make your writing a little informal. So you should be careful about where and when you use them. But sprinkling them in sparingly works really well. Some examples of adverbs are “similarly” and “fortunately. Modifying any adjective and adding verb-like attributes to it will turn it into an adverb.
You can also use these words to transition from one paragraph to the next. Transitory paragraph starters are vital for connecting your ideas. Adverbs are the most effective way to make this transition as smooth as possible.
- Avoid Coordinating Conjunctions (Sometimes)
The oldest rule of writing that we all tend to learn in school is to never start a sentence with a coordinating conjunction, let alone a paragraph. Starting a sentence with “but” or “and” can often make your writing seem amateurish.
That said, this rule is not as hard and fast as you might expect. Teachers only teach children to avoid starting sentences with “and” and “but” because this can help children to learn how to write differently from how they speak. It’s more of a mindset tool and a training exercise rather than a strict rule that should always be followed.
You can use coordinating conjunctions in certain situations. “But” can be a reasonable replacement for “however” for example. Similarly, you can use “and” as a replacement for “additionally” which is another really overused sentence starter.
There are lots of other coordinating conjunctions as well such as “yet” and “so”. These conjunctions are perfectly acceptable to start a sentence with. Most rules surrounding starting sentences with coordinating conjunctions focus on “but” and “and”. We have shown you how these words can be used without breaking any writing rules.
- Use Dependent Clauses Where Applicable
Dependent clauses can deliver a softer entry into a paragraph. Starting every paragraph with a noun can become tiresome. Clauses like “while” and “as” are perfect for these types of uses. “Because” is a dependent clause that we are often taught not to use. But this is just another example of a childhood rule that’s not as important as you might think.