English: skills for learning
English: skills for learning

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

English: skills for learning

2.1 Linking paragraphs

One way to lead readers into the topic introduced in a new paragraph is to use the first sentence to mention something the reader already knows something about. This is usually a person, a concept or an event that has already been mentioned in the previous paragraph (Figure 2). This familiar information is used to introduce new information.

Described image
Figure 2 Linking paragraphs by reusing familiar information

For example, the last two sentences of Fred’s second paragraph introduce the concepts of ‘hospitals’ and ‘public space’. These will be perceived as familiar information by readers when they are reused at the beginning of the following paragraph (Figure 3).

Described image
Figure 3 Example of linking paragraphs by reusing familiar information

A similar way to help readers follow a writer’s reasoning is to mention the same familiar information in the topic sentences of two or more paragraphs. Therefore the topic sentence of each paragraph starts by mentioning the same familiar information. This is usually done when the writer needs two paragraphs to deal with the same topic. In this case, the writer can break each topic into two or more subtopics and deal with each in a separate paragraph (Figure 4).

Described image
Figure 4 Linking paragraphs by placing the same familiar information in each of their topic sentences

This is the approach Fred takes in paragraphs 4, 5 and 6. Each paragraph starts with a topic sentence that introduces an aspect of care in residential homes:

[P4] In the residential care setting too, it is important that staff recognise the differences between public and private spaces. …

[P5] In a good residential home, the staff will acknowledge the residents’ wishes to control their private space. …

[P6] The story is very different in poorly run residential homes. …

Activity 4

By signing in and enrolling on this course you can view and complete all activities within the course, track your progress in My OpenLearn. and when you have completed a course, you can download and print a free Statement of Participation - which you can use to demonstrate your learning.

Click on 'SIGN IN to enrol' to get started.

You can find out more about registering and OpenLearn in our FAQs.

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has over 40 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus