The Simple Structure of the Paragraph

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Sometimes a few shapes make it easier to understand what is going on in your writing.  A paragraph and its parts can be symbolized with a rectangle.

The topic sentence comes first and tells the reader exactly what the paragraph is going to talk about-- what it will prove, explain, decribe, or relate.  If you have a writing prompt from which to work, be sure to point yourself and the reader in the right direction by using words from the prompt in your topic sentence (and throughout your paragraph).
The supporting sentences come next, and they do the grunt work of  proving with reasons and facts (persuasion), explaining and informing with facts and examples (exposition), describing with details from your five senses (description), and telling a story with events and details (narration).   Paragraphs typically focus on one of these four types of writing, but elements of the rest do often show up.  For example, a paragraph trying to prove something may use a decriptive narrative as an example.  

You will want to show the connections between your ideas using transitions.  These help the reader go from idea to idea like a clutch helps a transmission go from gear to gear.  Don't start all your sentences with the subject and verb construction.  That will happen a lot, probably too often unless you try one of the other sentence beginnings.  Many of the style sentences alleviate this problem, and they allow you to have sentences worthy of an intellectual like yourself.  A variety of sentence styles really makes your writing look different from your fifth grade writing style.

Coming up with enough reasons, examples, facts, etc. to fill the paragraph is the result of pre-planning, not think-as-you-go writing.  Brainstorm until your paper is flooded with braindrops (thanks, Ali Pickering, for the metaphor).  The result of good writing is the reader doesn't have to think for himself or herself:  you  have presented your ideas so well that they don't need to stop and decode your writing.  It seems like their own thoughts because you presented your ideas so well.  
The clincher sentence is where you remind the reader of exactly what this paragraph was about.  It has the same idea as the topic sentence, but it is stated in a fresh way.