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Answered By: Cassie Sampson, Education & General Education Librarian
Last Updated: May 11, 2016     Views: 204

Sometimes an instructor or proofreader will tell a student to check for unity in a piece of writing.  Unity means that each paragraph has only one main idea (expressed in the topic sentences) and that all other sentences and details in that paragraph revolve around that main idea.  If a sentence or detail does not adhere closely to the central idea expressed in the topic sentence, it does not belong in that paragraph.  If a new main idea comes up, a new paragraph is needed.

TIP:  Remember that while a story or example maybe be interesting to you, it should not be included if it does not support the thesis statement or if it does not clearly illustrate the main point.

TIP:  Use topic sentences.  If you find that you're writing about a second main idea, determine the best place to start a new paragraph, and begin that new paragraph with a topic sentence.

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