ObjectivesThe Writing ProcessPrewritingWritingRevisingOriginalityIntroduction to Academic EssaysStyleShapeOrganizationIntroduction ParagraphsBody ParagraphsConclusion ParagraphsExample Essay 1Example Essay 2Process EssaysProcess Essay Example #1Process Essay Example #2PrewritingWritingRevisingRevise A Process EssayComparison EssaysComparison Essay Example #1Comparison Essay Example #2PrewritingWritingRevisingRevise A Comparison EssayProblem/Solution EssaysProblem/Solution Essay Example #1Problem/Solution Example Essay #2PrewritingWritingRevisingRevise A Problem/Solution EssayRefining WritingDevelopmentUnityCohesionWriting A SummaryTOEFL WritingTOEFL Integrated WritingTOEFL Independent WritingPunctuationUsing Academic VocabularyGlossaryAnswer KeyThe Writing Process AKIntroduction to Academic Essays AKProcess Essays AKComparison Essays AKProblem/Solution Essays AKRefining Writing AKWriting a Summary AKTOEFL Writing AKPunctuation AKUsing Academic Vocabulary AK

Unity

Writing has unity when the supporting sentences all work together to support the topic sentences. Paragraphs that lack unity are confusing to the reader because some ideas do not seem to belong.

Compare the examples below. The first paragraph has poor unity because there are sentences that do not support the topic sentence. The topic sentence is about the various places in Utah where there are hiking trails for people to enjoy nature.

Example: Body Paragraph (Poor Unity)

       Hikers all over Utah can access hiking trails and enjoy nature. Hiking is a good way to get exercise. In southern Utah, hikers enjoy the scenic trails in Zion’s National Park. In northern Utah, trails have been made to showcase the beauties of nature like Waterfall Canyon. Waterfalls all over the world are beautiful. There are hiking paths in Utah’s Rocky Mountains as well that provide beautiful views. But you don’t have to go up to the mountains or drive up the canyon to access hiking trails in Utah. Many cities in Utah have created hiking trails in city parks for people to use that are closer to home. If you like to spend time hiking in nature, there are many hiking trails you can access in Utah.

Example: Body Paragraph Revised for Unity

       Hikers all over Utah can access hiking trails and enjoy nature. Hiking is a good way to get exercise. In southern Utah, hikers enjoy the scenic trails in Zion’s National Park. In northern Utah, trails have been made to showcase the beauties of nature like Waterfall Canyon. Waterfalls all over the world are beautiful. There are hiking paths in Utah’s Rocky Mountains as well that provide beautiful views. But you don’t have to go up to the mountains or drive up the canyon to access hiking trails in Utah. Many cities in Utah have created hiking trails in city parks for people to use that are closer to home. If you like to spend time hiking in nature, there are many hiking trails you can access in Utah.

You can revise a paragraph that lacks unity by removing any sentences that do not support the topic sentence.

Exercise: Revise for unity.

Read the paragraphs. Cross out sentences that are not connected to the topic sentence. 

  1. It is dangerous to preserve old buildings. According to some engineers, every building has a lifetime, and after the building reaches its lifetime, it is dangerous to keep those buildings. It also becomes more expensive. In addition, if the city is in a seismically active area, the problems that old buildings create will become worse because those buildings will not resist an earthquake. Some people say that old buildings can be used as tourist places and people enjoy visiting a historic location. It is clear that old buildings are not very safe. 
  2. There are many varieties of English spoken today in the world. American English British English, Indian English, and Australian English are just a few of these varieties, and they are all a little distinct. Pronunciation is one obvious difference, but other things vary as well, like vocabulary and even grammar. The word shiela is the Australian word for girl. English may be a global language, but it isn’t exactly the same all over the world. 
  3. The environment is something that can affect students positively or negatively. For example, if classmates are sleeping or talking during classes, that environment can make it difficult for students to concentrate. A noisy, dirty, or distracting environment can have a similar impact. Some roommates never help clean the apartment. On the contrary, an environment that is clean and has no distractions will make it much easier to focus on homework. It is important to recognize the impact that the environment can have on students. 
  4. Students like to listen to music in many different situations. Students listen to different types of music. Many students listen to music while they are studying because it helps them concentrate. Some people like to be quiet while they study. Some students listen to music while they work. Some enjoy listening to music while they walk to work or school. There are many different places where students enjoy listening to music.

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