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A Paragraph

Paragraphs, as I’m sure you know, are collections of sentences usually related to each other. If a paragraph is the first one in a story or essay, it introduces what will follow. If a paragraph is the last paragraph in a story or essay, it will conclude the collection of paragraphs composing the story or article. Any other paragraph in the story or article springs from the preceding paragraph and leads to the paragraph that follows.

A paragraph, as you know, is a series of sentences describing something. If the paragraph is the first in an essay or story, it will act as the introduction to all that follows. If the paragraph is the last paragraph of the piece, it will end the story or essay. However, if the story is a chapter in a longer work, the last paragraph of the chapter may (or may not) hint at what is to follow. Any other paragraph in the story or essay is usually influenced by the preceding paragraph and usually suggests what the subsequent paragraph will be concerned with.

You almost surely know what a paragraph is: a sequence of sentences arranged to describe something to the reader. The paragraph might describe what a person looks like. Or it might describe a particular action, someone making coffee or jumping out a window. If the paragraph is the first one in a story or an essay, it will act as an intro, though not necessarily as an introduction to whatever follows. If the paragraph is the last one in the collection of paragraphs composing the piece, it will be an ending even if whatever is happening in the piece doesn’t necessarily end. If the paragraph is not the first or the last, it will be sandwiched between two other paragraphs, rubbing shoulders with them, as it were, and feeling connected to them if only by proximity, but also maybe by a continuum of content.

Let us begin by assuming you are aware, at least in a general way, of what a paragraph is, and my saying a paragraph is a sequence of sentences describing something to the reader is perhaps annoyingly obvious, though I have no intention of annoying you. I’m merely rewriting the previous paragraph in an attempt to… what? Demonstrate the process of rewriting? Maybe. We’re not sure. In any case, assuming you know what a paragraph is, you don’t need me to tell you that the first paragraph in a story kicks off the show, so to speak, and the last paragraph closes the act, in a manner of speaking, and the paragraphs in between the first and last paragraphs are the body of the story, the first paragraph the head, the last paragraph the tail. And I do hope you’ll forgive me for mixing my metaphors or similes or whatever they are.

You know what a paragraph is. Right? A collection of sentences, or one long sentence with lots of dependent clauses, a mass of words describing something that doesn’t want to be broken into two or more paragraphs, but wants to be one unit of (meaningful?) words describing a particular something. And you also surely know the first paragraph in a story is like the opening act, the comedian who comes on to loosen up the crowd for the main act to follow, and it, the paragraph, should be enticing and intriguing, so the readers will want to read the next paragraph, and the next and the next until they, the readers, come to the end of the collection of paragraphs composing the story, for which the final paragraph is the last hurrah of the ensemble of paragraphs. Or maybe not the last hurrah. Not if the story turns out to be a chapter in a longer work, a novel or a memoir, in which case the first story or chapter is the opening act of a longer work composed of multiple chapters, each chapter composed of paragraphs, each paragraph containing sentences, and each sentence made of words. In that case, the first story (or chapter) is some sort of harbinger (comedian or seer?) of what is to come in the subsequent story chapters, and the first paragraph of the first chapter is the comedian’s opening joke or the seer’s opening prophecy. For instance: So a guy goes to see a psychiatrist or Beware the Ides of March.

fin

Real Good Joe song by Todd

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