Centre for Continuing Education

A Course in Writing Effective Paragraphs

English. Develop your command of the English language with us.

COVID-19 update: arrangement of our courses

We are now delivering courses online and in-person. Please check the delivery format of each class before enrolling.

Please note that course materials (excluding prescribed texts) are shared electronically within 48 hours of course commencement. Printing is not available.

Writers can struggle to draft a good paragraph if they didn’t learn grammar methodically at school. In this one-day intensive course, you will have the opportunity to first study phrases, clauses and sentences and then weave them into short and long paragraphs – once you have identified the purpose of your writing and targeted your reader/s.

This course is useful as a follow-on to the courses Grammar and Punctuation Fundamentals, Advanced Grammar and Editing and/or Editing and Proofreading. You are welcome to enrol in this course whether or not you have completed one or all of these other three courses, or any similar course.


The aim of this course is to give you the tools you need so your reader/s keep turning the page or scrolling because you have composed your sentences and paragraphs to be as readable and effective as possible.


By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • identify the subject, verb/s and predicate of any clause or sentence
  • compose simple, compound and complex sentences
  • construct an impactful topic sentence, paragraph body and transition sentence
  • incorporate a range of phrases and clauses in a paragraph
  • incorporate unity, coherence and development in a paragraph
  • use formal English, informal English, jargon or slang to write an effective paragraph
  • write sentences and paragraphs for various purposes: to amuse, convince, describe, educate, entertain, explain, inform, instruct, persuade, provoke, recount, reflect, remember, report or stimulate
  • more confidently compose your sentences and paragraphs, edit other people’s copy, and critique any piece of writing.


  • Subject, verb/s and predicate
  • The nine parts of speech
  • Phrases
  • Clauses
  • Writing sentences that contain both clauses and phrases
  • Simple sentences: statements, questions, commands and exclamations
  • Compound sentences
  • Deciding whether or not a sentence is passable
  • The ‘correspondence’ and ‘novel’ styles of subsequent paragraphing
  • Tailoring the language to suit the reader/s: formal English, informal English, jargon and slang
  • Unity, coherence and development
  • Discussing your paragraph-writing strengths and weaknesses in a collegial setting
  • Learning invaluable tips and tricks for getting your message across in as few words as possible
  • Analysing examples of paragraphs written for various purposes and readers
  • Drafting paragraphs for various purposes and readers
  • Partnering with other participants to copy edit each other’s sentences and paragraphs and make the magic even stronger
  • Justifying the decisions you make when you are writing or editing copy

Intended audience

You will benefit from studying and applying the elements of effective paragraph writing whether you write creatively or for business purposes.


You will benefit most from this course if you have a reasonable command of the English language and you want to improve your wordsmithing skills.

Delivery style

This course is a combination of lecture, show-and-tell and workshop. Delivery is face-to-face, on University premises.


Please bring a black pen, a blue pen, a red pen and a green pen; a pencil; an eraser; a ruled A4-size notepad; and correction fluid. Please bring your own laptop for note taking, if you prefer, but come prepared to write and edit paragraphs and complete other exercises by hand.


  • Expert trainers
  • Central locations
  • Course materials – yours to keep
  • CCE Statement of Completion

A Course in Writing Effective Paragraphs

<p>{block name:“Course Tagline - English”}</p><p>{block name:“Block - COVID 19 updates”}</p><p>Writers can struggle to draft a good paragraph if they didn’t learn grammar methodically at school. In

We acknowledge the tradition of custodianship and law of the Country on which the University of Sydney campuses stand. We pay our respects to those who have cared and continue to care for the Country.