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The first rule is called TIL.

T – Theme

I – Initiating Sentence

L – Links


Theme (T):  First, find out the theme. If we understand what is being talked about, making an order out of it will be quite easy.


Initiating Sentence (I):  The initiating sentence is the one that initiates the theme within the paragraph. Place yourself in the writer’s shoes- if you were explaining the paragraph, how would you begin?


Links (L): Links give us an idea as to what should be the following or the preceding sentence, taking into account the position of one particular sentence. Any writer links up sentences so that the thoughts flow smoothly. The language should not be jerky and the paragraph should reflect the flow of linking words.  Links are found in various forms e.g. key words, grammatical links, contextual links, and concepts. 

ParaJumbles Strategy

There are several strategies to do this kind of question:

1.    Try to locate the introductory sentence

While going through the labelled sentences, try to look for one that makes a fresh beginning. It should not be a sentence that is extending previous ideas.


2.    Check for conclusive last sentences

The last sentence in the paragraph is one that summarises and has links to previous sentences.


3.    Look for logical sequences among sentence pairs.

Very often a pair of sentences can be chronologically arranged because of clues in one of the sentences. Standard clues include reference to a person or thing. The first time such a reference is made, a noun form is used. The second reference will be a pronoun or a preposition. For example,

A.   Its origins lie in Konark, where a huge chariot of Lord Jagannath is made every year to be taken out in a procession.

B. The juggernaut, though it seems very German in origin, is actually quite Asian.

The “Its” in sentence A refers clearly to juggernaut. So we can infer that sentence B precedes sentence A. Only using this information of the “its”, we do not know if B comes immediately before A or whether one or two sentences separate A and B. But by looking closely, we also see a common word - “origin”, which hints at the fact that the relationships is of immediate precedence.


4.    Anticipate the order of the sentences

Knowing that going through each choice is cumbersome, we must work towards generating some kind of order in mind which will help save us precious time.


5.    Confirm the closest option

In case that there is no exact match, our judgement about a close option being correct, will depend on the other options. If there is a match on the introductory and the concluding sentences then it is worth ticking that option. If there is more than one such match, then a closer examination of the sentences is required.


6.    Plug in the various options.

If everything else has failed, this is the last tactic. But this tactic needs to be used judiciously, especially where there is negative marking. 

Solved Example

Arrange the given sentences in a logical paragraph:

A. And at certain times under certain circumstances some players may require handicaps.

B. But to make the practice: live up to the theory, this game needs rules.

C. It is critical, however, that all handicaps be known and that the playing field; be level.

D. That cross-border trade is the win-win game par excellence is confirmed by nearly every major economic theory.


(a)      DBAC

(b)      CABD

(c)      BCAD

(d)      ABDC

How to attempt:

We will read the sentences trying to isolate some links.  We now are able to see that A and C are linked with the keywords “handicaps” and that B and D are linked with “game.”

Let us try to link B and D. Note a big hint in B: “this game…”. To use the word “this” the author must tell us which game first, which is given in D. By this logic, we are able to see clearly that the link is D-B. There is only one choice with this link, so we are able to get the answer easily. D is thus the initiating sentence, and we see this easily because handicaps should be talked about only after the game is mentioned, and not vice-versa.

So, by using the TIL approach, we can not only solve parajumbles but also save time.

Jumbled Paragraphs

In Parajumbles, a paragraph is taken from a published source and the sentences are jumbled up. Students are required to un-jumble them and arrive at the original paragraph.


Questions are of five types:

a)   Four statements are given which are to be arranged to form a logical paragraph.

b)   The question is made more difficult if 5 or 6 or more sentences are given for the students to un-jumble.

c)    The opening and closing sentence is given and 4 sentences between them are to be arranged in proper order.

d)   When one sentence is fixed either at the beginning or at the end and other sentences are required to be re-arranged around the fixed sentence.

e)   In certain exams, only one paragraph is given but there are 5 questions to it, asking you to identify the first, second, third, sentence and so on.


The idea is to take a quick look at the statements and find out what makes sense. Sometimes these questions can be solved by deciding what could be the starting or the concluding sentence. Then look at the choices and see which one has that sentence in the beginning or end. Some questions may not be that simple and may require a deeper thought. In such cases, concentrate on two sentences and find out which should follow. Only the order of two sentences will be enough to solve the problem.

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