Hello. Do you know how to write a basic paragraph? This is not only for ESL students. This is for everyone around the world, even if you speak English, even if you don’t speak English. This is a very, very beautiful, basic lesson on how to write small, short, beautiful paragraphs. “How to Write a Basic Paragraph”. Now, I also want you to be very careful. This is not how to write a 200-word essay for your university exam. We don’t have enough time in the world for me to teach you that, and I probably forget. So this is, very simply, how to write a basic English paragraph. One, two, three, four rules.
Rule No. 1 is: Indent, indent. What does “indent” mean? Indent, basically, means — I learned this when I was a child — you take your finger. You can have a big finger, a small finger — I don’t care. You take your finger or two fingers, and you make a little space like so. This is called an “indentation” or “indent”. So “indent” means you leave a space at the very first line of the paragraph. And that’s it. You do not leave a space at any other lines in the paragraph, only the first line. So it’s very important that you only indent the first line of your paragraph like so.
Okay. The next thing that you have to do is you have to use a capital letter at the beginning of every sentence. Now, the word that I’ve written is “I”. Another rule in English is that every single time you write “I”, it must be a capital. So I’m going to write an example sentence for you to illustrate what I mean: “I am a teacher.” Okay? This is one sentence.
So rule No. 3: At the end of my sentence, I must use a period. A “period” is a dot, if you’d like. So “I am a teacher.” So what I’m going to do is my next sentence… I’m going to begin it with a capital letter. “My” — so I want to say, “My name — My name is Ronnie.” So what I’ve done: Rule No. 1, indent. Rule No. 2, you have to use a capital letter at the beginning of every new sentence. Rule No. 3, you’re going to use a period at the end of each sentence so that the person reading your beautiful paragraph knows when to stop and take a break. For example, if I did not have a period here, I’d say, “I’m a teacher my name is Ronnie.” You need to break up your ideas. So one sentence has one thought and one period. “I am a teacher. My name is Ronnie.”
Next one. No. 4. I see this in a lot of students’ writing. The two basic things about a paragraph are the form and the content. The form is the most important. The form is the indentation. And don’t use point form. Do you know what “point form” is? If you’re typing something on Word or on an email, “point form” is also called “bullets”, which [makes shooting sounds]. So “bullet” means you would put each new sentence on a new line. So if I was to write this: “I’m a teacher”, then I would put my next sentence here. This is not how to make a paragraph. This is “point form”. So this is a bad paragraph. What I’m going to do is I’m going to write until I almost reach the end of the page. Don’t write past the end of the page because then you’re writing on the desk and it gets messy. So “I am a teacher. My name is Ronnie. I live — so I’m going to use up all of my line until the end — I live in Canada.” What would you like to know about Canada? “Canada is very cold.” In the winter. So as you can see by my example, I only stop my sentence at the end of my paper. I don’t use each sentence on each line.
So four basic things to remember when you’re writing a basic English essay paragraph. The first one is: Indent the first line of your paragraph only. Use a capital letter at the beginning of each new line or each new sentence. And use a period at the end.