Getting a Head Start
If you import a mass effect 2 character you get a certain amount of Renegade or Paragon points depending on the imported character. This is a good way to get an initial boost which will help you later on have the required Renegade or Paragon to pass conversation checks. If you don’t have your save files or have never played Mass Effect before you can go to www.masseffect2saves.com which also provides a full guide to import a character into Mass Effect 3.
Renegade versus Paragon
Renegade is the aggressive bossy type of option that doesn’t compromise and has it all his way. I find myself using this because I don’t like to be told what to do. Paragon is the diplomatic version that solves conflicts so that everyone is happy.
In the key conversations there will usually be a Paragon and Renegade option, although I haven’t found them in Mass Effect 3 as much as before. It doesn’t matter which way you go, you will always pass them if you have the required amount of points. However, you will have to choose either Renegade or Paragon and stick with that otherwise you will end up with a mixed character that doesn’t have enough points in either.
Choosing the Right Conversation Options
In Mass Effect 2 it was always very clear which option was Renegade and which is Paragon. The top right option was Paragon, the bottom right was Renegade and anything to the left was just extra story time. This is also true for anything behind the “investigate” option. Sometimes you have a neutral option in between the Paragon and Renegade option. This seems to be the case in Mass Effect 3 as well. If you are unsure about it though read what the option is, usually the arrogant and outspoken option is Renegade and the passive helpful option is Paragon.
Talking to as Many People as Possible
Whenever you visit a friendly location like the Citadel look around for people to talk to. Often time you will get some Renegade or Paragon option in the conversation, or you will gain reputation or experience doing so. Also sometimes you find out interesting things about the Mass Effect universe.
Also be sure to walk about the place and try to listen in to conversations. Often times you will get a bonus mission or part of a mission that will give you extra experience or money or reputation.
Go around and talk to the people on board the Normandy. I found myself enjoying the conversation and, whenever it goes into cut scene mode, there are usually a few Paragon or Renegade options to be had. New conversation options open after every mission, but they don’t always trigger the cut scene mode.