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The Paragraph 

The Paragraph

Stacy Christiansen

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PRINTED FROM AMA MANUAL OF STYLE ONLINE ( © American Medical Association, 2009. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the license agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in AMA Manual of Style Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 21 January 2020

A paragraph is a cohesive group of sentences. It presents a thought or several related thoughts. Each paragraph should be long enough to stand alone but short enough to hold the reader’s attention and then direct that attention to the next thought. Too many short paragraphs are jarring to the reader, whereas too many long paragraphs strain the reader’s attention. Sentences within a single paragraph should use parallel structure and consistent tense as much as possible. Transitions are words or phrases that signal a connection among ideas. Transitions build bridges between paragraphs (and between sentences) and help the text flow.

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