Have you ever read a student narrative that was written as one long paragraph? learning when come make new paragraphs comes naturally to part students, however not others. This article goes over 5 rules to teach. Begin by downloading and install the teaching materials for this lesson.

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Paragraphs Rule 1 – TOPIC CHANGE

Just as in creating nonfiction, begin a brand-new paragraph once a new topic bring away place. If the writer describes the setting and move on to define the character’s thoughts or reaction to the setting, develop a brand-new paragraph. Below are some examples from literature:

Stone Fox

Like the time grandfather dressed up together the scarecrow the end in the garden. It took tiny Willy an hour to catch on. Boy, go they laugh. Grand laughed so hard he cried. And also when he cried his beard filled up through tears. (This paragraph tells about a time as soon as Willy and also Grandfather had fun.)

Grandfather constantly got increase real beforehand in the morning. So beforehand that it to be still dark outside. He would make a fire. Then he would certainly make breakfast and also call little Willy. “Hurry increase or you will do it be eating v the chickens,” he would certainly say. Climate he would certainly throw his head ago and laugh. (This new paragraph clearly changes to one more example.)

Once tiny Willy went back to sleep. When he woke up, he discovered his plate out in the chicken coop. It to be picked clean. He never ever slept late again ~ that. (The beat line of the hoax is in a paragraph by itself for emphasis.)

The City of Ember

The workdesks were arranged in four rows the six, one behind the other. In the last row sat a slim girl named Lina Mayfleet. She to be winding a strand of she long, dark hair approximately her finger, winding and also unwinding the again and also again. Periodically she plucked at a subject on her ragged cape or bent end to traction on her socks, i m sorry were loose and had tendency to slide down about her ankles. Among her feet tapped the floor softly. (This paragraph defines Lina, one of the key characters.)

In the 2nd row to be a boy called Doon Harrow. That sat v his shoulders hunched, his eyes squeezed shut in concentration, and his hands clasped strict together. His hair looked rumpled, together if that hadn’t combed it for a while. He had actually dark, special eyebrows, i m sorry made that look severe at the best of times and, as soon as he was anxious or angry, came with each other to form a right line across his forehead. His brown corduroy jacket was so old the its ridges had actually flattened out. (This paragraph explains Doon, an additional main character.)

Both the girl and the boy were making urgent wishes. Doon’s great was an extremely specific. He repetitive it over and also over again, his lips moving slightly, as if he might make the come true by saying it a thousand times. Lina was making her wish in photos rather than in words. In her mind’s eye, she experienced herself running through the streets of the city in a red jacket. She make this photo as bright and real as she could. (This i compares the wishes of Lina and also Doon.)

Paragraphs dominance 2 – setting CHANGE-SKIPPING come A brand-new TIME OR A brand-new PLACE

Remember that setup includes both time and also place. If the story move from one ar to an additional or one time to another, begin a new paragraph. Scenes generally take location in one location. Once the location changes, this way a new scene is about to take place. 

Look because that time clues:

They waited and also waited.An hour later,The next afternoon,At the eleventh hour…A mainly passed.The seconds seemed favor hours.Once in a blue moon…In the months that passed,

Look for place clues:

Meanwhile, back at…In Brooklyn,They moved approximately Chicago…It was challenging to carry the vast load under the small street.Across indigenous the hospital,They boarded the plane,The home was situated…The taxi zipped v traffic.


The Giver

It was practically December, and Jonas was beginning to be frightened. No. Not correct word, Jonas thought. Frightened expected that deep, sickening emotion of miscellaneous terrible around to happen. Frightened was the means he had felt a year back when an unidentified aircraft had actually overflown the neighborhood twice. He had actually seen it both times. Squinting towards the sky, he had actually seen the sleek jet, nearly a blur at its high speed, go past, and a second later heard the blast of sound that followed. Climate one more time, a minute later, indigenous the the opposite direction, the same plane. (This paragraph starts the story. The describes an event that frightened Jonas.)

At first, he had actually been only fascinated. He had never viewed aircraft so close, because that it was versus the rules for Pilots come fly end the community. Occasionally, when supplies were delivered by cargo planes to the landing field throughout the river, the children rode their bicycles to the riverbank and watched, intrigued, the unloading and then the takeoff directed to the west, always away from the community. (A brand-new paragraph is make to define what is normal in Jonas’s community. A transition takes ar from the previous to the present.)

But the plane a year ago had been different. That was not a squat, fat-bellied cargo plane but a needle-nosed single-pilot jet. Jonas, looking approximately anxiously, had actually seen others—adults and also children—stop what they to be doing and also wait, confused, for an explanation that the frightening event. (A new paragraph is produced to go earlier to explicate the occasion that took place in the past. An additional time shift takes place.)

Paragraphs Rule 3 – IN DIALOGUE as soon as A new CHARACTER SPEAKS

Each time a different character speaks, develop a new paragraph. Note that this is additionally true through thoughts. If the narrator is relenten the thoughts of one character and a different character speaks or has his or her thoughts described, start a new paragraph.


“What space you talk about?” ns said. (Auggie)

Mom looked surprised, like she hadn’t intended for me to hear that. (Narrator defines Mom.)

“You should tell the what you’ve to be thinking, Isabel,” Dad said. He to be on the other side the the living room talk to Christopher’s dad. (Dad)

“We have to talk around this later,” stated Mom. (Mom)

“No, I want to understand what friend were talk about,” i answered. (Auggie)

“Don’t you think you’re ready for school, Auggie?” mommy said. (Mom)

“No,” ns said. (Auggie)

“I don’t, either,” stated Dad. (Dad)

Paragraphs Rule 4 – TO rest UP lengthy NARRATIVES into PARAGRAPHS

If a character offers a lengthy speech, that is simpler for the reader if the conversation is broken up.

Teaching minute – Encourage student to rest up long bits the narration v action. For example, if a recall is acquisition place, have actually the character come ago to the present, define what is taking place, and then go earlier to the flashback.

Gary Paulsen is a understand at storytelling. He frequently breaks the principles of writing v sentence fragments and other unconventional methods. Many short paragraphs store his writing sounding urgent. I have included an excerpt indigenous Hatchet no to show paragraph breaks however to present how a flashback deserve to be interrupted with existing events.


Now Brian sat, looking the end the window with the roar thundering with his ears, and tried to brochure what had led up to his acquisition this flight. The reasoning started. Always it began with a single word. Divorce.

It was an ugly word, he thought. A tearing, ugly native that intended fights and yelling, lawyers—God, he thought, exactly how he hated lawyers who sat through their comfortable smiles and tried to define to him in legit terms how all the he resided in was comes apart—and the breaking and also shattering of every the solid things. His home, his life—all the hard things. Divorce. A break word, an ugly breaking word…

When he witnessed Brian look in ~ him, the pilot seemed to open up a bit and he smiled. “Ever paris in the copilot’s chair before?” the leaned over and also lifted the headset off his right ear and put it on his temple, yelling to get rid of the sound that the engine…

But the pilot had put his headset ago on and the gratitude was lost in the engine noise and things went earlier to Brian looking out the window at the s of trees and lakes. The burning eye did no come back, however memories did, come flooding in. The words. Always the words.


The Secret.

Paragraphs Rule 5 – for EFFECT

Use a paragraph break to emphasize an essential point, for a laugh, to journey a message, or get some advantage.

 Look again at the earlier examples. In the Stone Fox example, a new paragraph starts when the narrator provides the beat line.

See more: In Macbeth, Why Do Malcolm And Donalbain Flee, Why Does Donalbain Flee To Ireland

Also, look in ~ the Hatchet excerpt. Notice the indigenous “Divorce.” and also the expression “The Secret.” space in paragraphs through themselves. This stresses their importance.