These kinds of paragraphs list or explain reasons related to a main idea.
This main statement may be at the beginning or at the end of the paragraph.
For example, from the following outline we can make an enumerative paragraph,
positioning the main idea either at the beginning or at the end of the text.
Main point: Things to take on a trip to Cartagena.
1st Thing: Sun block
2nd Thing: Sunglasses
3rd Thing: Cotton shirt
Main idea – Listing
When traveling to Cartagena, one must take some precautions against
the weather and be prepared to fight it [main idea]. It’s important to carry
sun block and use it every 3 to 4 hours . Also, wearing sunglasses will
help you being more comfortable while at the beach or when taking a walk
. Finally, cotton clothes will help you stay fresh and cool because the
temperature can rise up to 32 ° C! .
Listing – Main idea
Using sun block every day is a great way to
prevent sun damage on your skin . When it
comes to your eyes, sun glasses will do the job by
keeping them from irritation and dryness caused by
extreme weather conditions . Finally, wearing
light cotton clothes will help your body regulating its
temperature and keeping cool and fresh . That’s
why we recommend that when traveling to cities like
Cartagena you take these three things with you
The purpose of these kinds of paragraphs is to inform or explain something
to the reader.
It begins with an issue that the reader is supossed to be aware of, yet it must
be clearly stated in the text. Then, the issue is explained and clarified.
Issue: Making a sandwich
Explanation 1: Getting started, putting butter.
Explanation 2: Hands on it, ham and cheese.
Explanation 3: Adding something extra.
Making a ham sandwich is the easiest thing
on Earth [issue to be explained]. First, you get
sliced bread and put butter on 2 pieces, on the
sides that face each other [explanation #1].
Then you get a slice of ham and a slice of
cheese and tuck them in the middle of the
bread slices [explanation #2]. Finally, you can
put some sauce or even lettuce to enjoy a full
meal [explanation #3].
These kinds of paragraphs attempt to persuade the
reader to believe in the author’s point of view.
The thesis is the idea the author wishes to prove and
the arguments are the way to it. These paragraphs can be
presented with arguments for or against an opinion. They
are usually enclosed by introduction and conclusion
Example: On why the school fundraiser money should be used to buy
more books for our school library.
“First, our class is doing reports on different animals and there are only a few
books available on each kind. This makes it hard to do research and write our
reports if we all have to share books, or can't take them home to use. If the
library could buy more books, we would be able to do our reports better
Second, there is sometimes only one copy of a fiction book on the shelf and
kids have to take turns checking it out. If the library could buy more copies of a
book, then two kids could check out the same book and partner-read together.
This would help us get better at reading, plus it's fun to read with a friend!
Third, there are many new things happening in the world and new information
needs to be there for kids to learn and read about. For example, maybe a new
kind of dinosaur is discovered, or a new president is elected. Without new books
being bought for the library, kids will not be able to learn about these things if we
just have old books to check out [argument #3].” (Wayne-Westland Community
Opening and Closing Paragraphs
These paragraphs surround the body of a text and serve as an introduction and
conclusion for the subject.
A simple way to write an introduction goes as follows (Ismael, n.d.):
1. State one sentence in favor of the subject.
2. State one sentence against the subject.
3. State the thesis, that is the author’s opinion and how he will approach the subject.
Closing paragraphs serve as a conclusion. They should state the author’s point of
view, summarize main ideas throughout the text and open the possibility for further
exploration on the subject.
“Books are very important for
“(…) So, it is important to buy more
students in school. They can learn
books for the library and the school
many new things and improve their
fundraiser is a good way to get the
skills. However, our school library
money! Kids will have more choices
sometimes doesn't have enough
to read. We can keep up with new
types of some books. I think that
things that happen in the world. Plus,
the school fundraiser money should
we won't have to wait so long to have a
be used to buy more books for our
chance to read our favorite book!”
school library.” (Wayne-Westland
Community Schools, n.d).
• Conde, M. (November 17th, 2009). Tipos de párrafos. Retrieved from:
• Geneva Community – Unit School District 304. (n.d). Expository
Paragraph Example. Retrieved from:
• Ismail, G. (n.d). How to write an argumentative or opinion paragraph.
• Learn American English Online. (n.d). Lesson Ten: Types of Paragraphs.
• UC Santa Barbara. (n.d). Enumerative Paragraphs. Retrieved from:
• Wayne-Westland Community Schools Web site. (n.d). Persuasive writing.
Retrieved from: http://wwcsd.net/~widrigr/PersuasiveWriting.htm