Paragraph Writing- How to Write a Paragraph

Students often overlook paragraph writing in their preparations for the CSEC English A examination; however, paragraph writing is one of the most important aspects of your exam preparation. This is due to the fact that paragraphs are the building blocks to your CSEC English essays; therefore, without proper paragraphs there will not be proper essays.

What is a paragraph?

A paragraph is a series of related sentences developing a central idea, called the topic. Therefore, a paragraph is a  group of sentences that supports one central idea.


Parts of a Paragraph

  • A paragraph consists of a topic sentence, a main idea, and supporting sentences.
  • A topic sentence states the main idea of the paragraph (the main idea is what the paragraph is about)
  • The supporting sentences make up the body of the paragraph
  • Concluding sentence is used to end the paragraph

Sample Paragraph

Read the following paragraphs and circle the topic sentence and underline the supporting ideas

Aspirin can be a fatal poison. People are used to taking aspirin whenever they feel pain. It is true that aspirin is an efficacious pain-killer for example in headache cases. However, aspirin is like any other medicine can be dangerously harmful. Any unregulated use of it may result in the damage to the lining of the stomach, prolonged bleeding time, nausea, vomiting, ulcers, liver damage, and hepatitis. It is scientifically proven that excessive use of aspirin turns it into a toxin. Its toxic effects are Kidney Damage, severe metabolic derangements, respiratory and central nervous system effects, strokes, fatal haemorrhages of the brain, intestines and lungs and eventually death. Thus, the careful and regulated use of aspirin is most advisable so as not to turn into a deadly poison.


Steps to Writing a Paragraph


Step 1-Decide on a Paragraph Topic

Before you can begin writing, you need to know what you are writing about. First, look at the writing prompt
or assignment topic. As you look at the prompt, note any key terms or repeated phrases because you will
want to use those words in your response. Then ask yourself:
• On what topic am I supposed to be writing?
• What do I know about this topic already?
• If I don’t know how to respond to this assignment, where can I go to find some answers?
• What does this assignment mean to me? How do I relate to it?


Step 2- Develop a Topic Sentence

Before writing a paragraph, it is important to think first about the topic and then what you want to say about
the topic. Most often, the topic is easy, but the question then turns to what you want to say about the topic.
This concept is sometimes called the controlling idea.

Strong paragraphs are typically about one main idea or topic, which is often explicitly stated in a topic

The topic – The main subject matter or idea covered in the paragraph.


Step 3-Develop your Supporting Details

After stating your topic sentence, you need to provide information to prove, illustrate, clarify, and/or
exemplify your point.
Ask yourself:
• What examples can I use to support my point?
• What information can I provide to help clarify my thoughts?
• How can I support my point with specific data, experiences, or other factual material?
• What information does the reader need to know in order to see my point?


Step 4-Conclude Your Paragraph

After illustrating your point with relevant information, add a concluding sentence. Concluding sentences
link one paragraph to the next and provide another device for helping you ensure your paragraph is unified.
While not all paragraphs include a concluding sentence, you should always consider whether one is

Concluding sentences have two crucial roles in paragraph writing:
First, they draw together the information you have presented to elaborate on your controlling idea by:
• Summarizing the point(s) you have made.
• Repeating words or phrases from the topic sentence.
• Using linking words that indicate that conclusions are being drawn (e.g., therefore, thus,

Second, they often link the current paragraph to the following paragraph. They may anticipate the topic
sentence of the next paragraph by:
• Introducing a word/phrase or new concept which will then be picked up in the topic sentence of
the next paragraph.
• Using words or phrases that point ahead (e.g., the following, another, other).


Write a paragraph based on one of the following:

  1. Your country
  2. Your favourite sport
  3. Your favourite food



Resource sites:



CSEC English Made Easy 2019 Exam Countdown

Exam is in the air. We are currently gearing up for the May/June 2019 sitting of the CSEC English A and B exam. As such, we are preparing videos, courses and posts that will help you to master the 2019 sitting of the CSEC English A and B exam.

The exam dates are:

May 10- English B- Papers 2 and 1

May 14- English A – Papers 2 and 1


You can follow us on:

Youtube for video lessons:





Finally, please comment below what you would like us to cover in this year’s countdown.


Section B of the CSEC English A Paper- Expository Writing- 2018 Format

Section B of the English A paper was once Comprehension; however, as of the 2018 sitting of the CSEC English A exam Section B will be Expository Discourse. This means that there are a few different topics that fall under this heading. You must also remember that there will be only one question in this section (a mandatory question). Below we will explore some of the different types of topics that comes under expository discourse:

  1. Outline of Expository Writing
  2. Expository Writing Explained
  3. Business Letter Explained
  4. Statistical Report
  5. Statistical Report Writing

Sample Questions

Letter of Complaint


1) Write a letter to the principal detailing a pressing problem facing the school. Explain what makes the issue worthy of attention and suggest possible solutions.

2) Write a letter of complaint to a business that has disappointed you. Explain what dissatisfied you about the product or service offered by that company and what you expect the company to do to remedy the situation.

3) Write a letter complimenting a business or company for its outstanding services or products. Be specific about what you like, and give details on your positive experience with the company.


Business Letter- Letter of Request

Imagine that you are keeing a fundraising event for your school. Write a letter to a company of your choice seeking sponsorship for your event.

Your letter should include information about the following:

• Description of the event

• Date of the event

• Time the event will begin

• location of the event

• Statement of how the school will benefit from this venture

• Details of the type of sponsorship you are requesting


Business Letter

  1. Letter format- salutation , address,date,body,complimentary close ( 10 marks)
  2. Writing conventions – appropriate use of punctuation marks, capital letters, subject and verb agreement ( 10 marks)
  3. Content – relevance of information and clarity of instructions ( 10 marks)

Choose any ONE of the following topics. PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO THE INFORMATION ABOVE

  1. Write a letter to the Minister of Culture and Sports outlining to him or her how important traditional games or sports are to your community.
  2. Write a letter to the Minister of Culture and Sports outlining to him or her the importance of culture in your community.