Unity and Coherence in Essay Writing
Skills for unity, coherence and development of a paragraph are not only applicable to writing an
individual body paragraph when we write an essay, but can also help with handling the relations between
Paragraph unity refers to the harmony between the topic sentence and supporting sentences in a
paragraph. If we want to achieve such unity, the first thing we do is to decide on a topic sentence.
When we write a single paragraph composition, the topic sentence is usually very broad because the
paragraph may be dealing with many things which need a broad topic sentence to cover them all. However,
when we write an essay of several paragraphs, the topic sentence for each body paragraph should be fairly
specific because each body paragraph deals with only one of the many things stated in the thesis sentence.
Take, for example, one of our familiar subjects, describing one’s hometown. If we are assigned to write
one paragraph, we can begin with such a broad topic sentence as “My hometown is an unforgettable
place,” and then proceed with describing the things that make it unforgettable, for instance, its beautiful
landscape, its hospitable people, and its impressive modern industry.
However, if we are to write an essay on the same subject, a statement like “My hometown is an
unforgettable place” will become the thesis statement, while the things that make it unforgettable will be
discussed in body paragraphs, perhaps one thing in each paragraph. The topic sentence of a body paragraph,
therefore, handles a narrow, specific aspect of the “hometown,” either its landscape or people or industry.
Can you write down the three topic sentences for the body paragraphs of this essay on “my
hometown”? Have a try. Then, compare them with the topic sentence of a single paragraph composition.
The position of a topic sentence may vary in the paragraph. So far, when we talk about the topic
sentence, we often...