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Skip to 0 minutes and 8 secondsThe overall message of the paragraph is that privatisation (of utilities) has failed. This is clear in every sentence, as the highlighted phrases show. So the first sentence presents this overall message - Privatisation has failed on several counts. The main reason for this failure is that private investors have not been interested in investing in this region, which is sub-Saharan Africa. This sentence is linked to the previous one with the word “So”. This shows that this sentence is a consequence, or result, of the previous sentence. The only way that governments have been able to encourage private investment is by offering financial incentives, possibly bonus payments for achieving targets, or tax discounts.

Skip to 1 minute and 2 secondsThe word “Moreover” introduces a second reason for the failure of privatisation. One of the aims of water privatisation was to improve access and develop a more reliable, and cheaper, water supply for poorer people, but the need for private companies to recover their investment has meant they have focused more on distributing water and collecting payments, than on improving the infrastructure.

Organising ideas in a paragraph

In this video you will see how the sentences provided in the previous Step are correctly organised in the finished paragraph.

Did you get the sentences in the correct order?

Jonathan reviews this structure and explains how the writer uses supporting sentences to reinforce the overall message conveyed in the paragraph leader.

You can view the paragraphs from the video in this PDF document.

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This video is from the free online course:

An Intermediate Guide to Writing in English for University Study

University of Reading