If they do persevere reading they may not correctly identify the now submerged topic sentence, and then find that the wrap sentence seems unjustified or tendentious, because it does not fit with the apparent topic., for instance: ‘Harding (2007: 593) argues …’ This is a beginning especially beloved of some Ph Ders and other unconfident authors, creeping forward with their argument propped up on the supports of other peoples’ work.Some postgrad students will construct whole sets of paragraphs in this manner, running over several pages, every one of which starts with another author’s name, especially in ‘literature review’ sections.
Readers may conclude that this is simply ‘more of the same’ and so skip onwards to the next paragraph.
Even those who persist may become confused — what is the paragraph really about? Or the different point given in the now ‘submerged’ topic sentence that comes second? For instance authors might begin by discussing a caveat, a definition, a difficulty or a methods issue that form part of the provenance of the argument to be made.
And the next paragraph 2 starts with the displaced wrap1 sentence, and has a buried topic2 sentence.
Readers will get a bit lost at the end of paragraph 1 here, as a token or body sentence ends the paragraph with no form of recap.
The solution to very long paragraphs has to be brutal.
Once a paragraph passes 250 words, it must be partitioned, usually as equally as feasible, and separate topic and wrap sentences provided for each part.Check how they read, how substantive and informative they are, and how they might be improved.Six things most commonly go wrong in writing paragraphs:, instead of a fresh topic sentence.Short paragraphs happen because an author is unsure what to say, or has not properly thought through how a point or a set of points fit together or can be sequenced into the overall argument.Some reflect miscellanies of points that the author has not acknowledged as such.In English the core building blocks of any intellectual or research argument are paragraphs.Each paragraphs should be a single unit of thought, a discrete package of ideas composed of closely linked sentences.It follows that the beginning and endings of paragraphs should always be the most carefully written materials.Try to separate out these two sentences and look at them together.The effect is again to bury the real topic sentence one or two sentences deep in the paragraph.Readers may conclude on a quick look that the whole paragraph is just an insubstantial caveat, or navel-gazing of the familiar academic kind, and so skip forward, missing the change of focus completely.