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Book: Understanding the Paragraph and Paragraphing

Chapter: Wrapping up the Paragraph

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.33985


The last chapter draws together the key themes of the book. The author suggests that none of the existing attempts to understand the paragraph and paragraphing are adequate. The author provides three definitions of the paragraph (from textual, reader, and writer perspectives), and puts forward a novel descriptivist pedagogy of paragraphing which is in accord with the current state-of-the-art knowledge of the paragraph. The author also reviews some of the relevant contrastive rhetorical work, and the possible role of culture and disciplinary effects on paragraphing practices in different languages. The book closes with a series of suggestions for further research into the paragraph and paragraphing, and by explaining how this research can help address current gaps in our knowledge. The author concludes by arguing that a key concept which must be introduced into our thinking of the paragraph and paragraphing is the word potential. It is suggested that an effective paragraphing pedagogy must place potential at its heart.

Chapter Contributors

  • Iain McGee ( - imcgee) 'Majan University College'