The four elements of a good paragraph (TTEB)

One of our favorite sources of writing advice for academic writers is the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL). For authors seeking to improve the cohesiveness and logic of their paragraphs, the OWL offers a straightforward paradigm, complete with mnemonic:

The four elements of a good paragraph (TTEB)
A good paragraph should contain at least the following four elements: Transition, Topic sentence, specific Evidence and analysis, and a Brief wrap-up sentence (also known as a warrant) – TTEB!

  1. A Transition sentence leading in from a previous paragraph to assure smooth reading. This acts as a hand off from one idea to the next.
  2. A Topic sentence that tells the reader what you will be discussing in the paragraph.
  3. Specific Evidence and analysis that supports one of your claims and that provides a deeper level of detail than your topic sentence.
  4. A Brief wrap-up sentence that tells the reader how and why this information supports the paper’s thesis. The brief wrap-up is also known as the warrant. The warrant is important to your argument because it connects your reasoning and support to your thesis, and it shows that the information in the paragraph is related to your thesis and helps defend it.

©Susan Hatch Morgan and Oxford Editing, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Susan Hatch Morgan and Oxford Editing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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