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[MUSIC] Paragraphs can be of varying lengths, but they must present a coherent argument,
unified under a single topic. The length of a paragraph
depends on various factors. One of the main factors is
the journal requirement. Before you start writing your own research
paper, you should analyze journals for structure and language. Different journals might recommend
different paragraph length or paragraph structures. Nevertheless, there are some general
guidelines, one of which is this. A paragraph must be tightly focused,
and the reader must be able to absorb its content in one reading without
needing either a break or rereading. The overall strategy is to
consider 10 to 12 lines as your guideline for
maximum paragraph length. With such a length as your guideline,
you can either shorten or lengthen your paragraphs as necessary, according
to the style of the journal you choose. Typically, the structure of
a paragraph is as follows, the topic sentence,
which serves two functions. First, it functions as
the thesis of your paragraph. Second, it pushes the thesis forward and
presents an arguable point. The topic sentence is usually the first or
second sentence of a paragraph, occasionally you may
find it interesting or necessary to place the topic sentence
as the end of the paragraph. But do not make it a habit. Supporting evidence or
analysis makes your claim digestible. You need to find a balance between
evidence you provide, facts, quotations, summary, or events, and analysis,
interpretation of this evidence. If your paragraph is evidence heavy,
you have not presented an argument. If it is analysis heavy, you have
not adequately supported your claim. The concluding observation closes
your paragraph with an observation that is more than just summary of
the contents of the paragraph. The concluding observation
provides a final idea that leads to the next
step in your argument. The observation is usually the last or
second to last sentence in the paragraph. The following paragraph has been broken
down into eight constituent parts. The means by which environmentalists
seek to achieve their political goals demonstrate a willingness to operate
within traditional political channels. That's the topic sentence of the paragraph
and because it makes an arguable point. Some people may believe environmentalist
largely use anti-democratic strategies. Like many other special interest groups,
advocates for the environmentalist movement use
lobbying tactics such as contributing financially to the campaigns of
environmentally friendly candidates. That's supporting analysis. Lobbying provides a source of
political influence and power. This is evidence. As one analyst of
environmental politics notes, in "making some commitment to
work within the political system, environmental lobby groups,
succumb to pressure to 'play by the rule of the game' in the compromise
world of Washington, DC". That's a blend of supporting evidence and
analysis. Some might argue that environmentalists
have taken a distinctly anti-American approach to policy change,
claiming that lobbying is inherently undemocratic in its bias towards
certain segments of the population. And that's observation. Lobbying remains a constitutionally
legitimate form of political activism. More than just summary,
the point is arguable and could easily lead to another point. In this lecture,
I will focus on an explanation paragraph as I find this type of paragraph
most important in research writing. In an explanation paragraph,
all statements are written in sequential order to explain how
something works or why something happens. An explanation paragraph has very
specific grammatical features. Processes, for
this you should use mostly verbs of being. Tenses, use present tense and
passive voice, for example, is designed, is made. Cohesive words, use conjunctions to
combine compound and/or complex clauses. Purpose, use factual or
detailed information. And participants, use generalized
explanations, avoiding first or second person, I and you. Examine the following example of an
explanation paragraph, its structural and grammatical requirements are in bold. The human heart. How does the human heart work? In the first sentence, the introductory
statement, a definition or description. The human heart is a strong,
muscular pump a little larger than a fist. Second sentence, what it does. It pumps blood continuously
around the body. Third, fourth, and
fifth sentences are this. How the parts work in
conjunction with something else. It pumps blood through
the circulatory system. Each day the average heart beats,
expands, and contracts 100,000 times and
pumps around 2,000 gallons of blood. In a 70-year lifetime, an average human heart beats
more than 2.5 billion times. A paragraph in English is like
a little essay all on its own. It has an introduction,
a body, and a conclusion. The introduction is the topic sentence. The body is made up of sentences that
provide supporting evidence of the topic or about the topic. And the conclusion is the last
sentence of the paragraph.

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