An essay is comprised of three main parts: the introduction, body paragraphs and conclusion. The body paragraphs of the essay comprise the meat of your paper, and it is from them that you will be mostly graded. Therefore, it is important that you understand how to write an informative body paragraph that will earn you good grades. In this article on the essay writing process, we will discuss the composition of a body paragraph: the topic sentence and supporting sentences.
The following procedure is used in writing the body paragraph of an essay:
This is the topic sentence and in it, you make a claim about the overall subject of the essay. Writing this sentence will be discussed in detail later in the article.
In this sentence, you are to explain why the topic sentence is true. Alternatively, if the idea is extensive and cannot fit in the topic sentence, you can develop it further in the second sentence.
This is the statement in which you give an example of the claim made in the first sentence of the body paragraph.
In this sentence, you can give another example of the claim. You can also do away with the sentence if you don’t have another example.
This is the final sentence of the paragraph, and it is used, to sum up, your arguments. It is a conclusive statement.
In the article How to Write a Basic Essay, it was discussed that before delving into the essay, it is important to write your main points down. These points are the primary support for your essay.
When writing the topic sentence, the main arguments for the essay are incorporated.
For example, you can have your essay topic as “Literature in the 21st Century.” In this paper, you may decide to focus on the effects of technology on literature today. One of the primary support for this essay is that technology has made writing easier and faster. Therefore, you can have your topic sentence as:
“Technology has made writing much easier and faster.”
Now let us examine this sentence. First, it is very clear. The sentence clearly stated the positive effect of technology, which is the improvement in the efficiency of writing. Secondly, it is relevant to the topic of the essay, which is the effect of technology on literature in the 21st century. This statement is also very specific without delving into any unnecessary details.
These are the three main characteristics of any topic sentence: clear, relevant and specific.
Your topic sentence cannot stand on its own. It requires support using examples and evidence, and these are given in the supporting sentences. In the template above, we have indicated 4 supporting sentences that you can use when writing your body paragraph. Using the essay example above:
Sentence #2: This is especially seen in the typing of manuscripts which can now be done within a shorter period of time. The delivering of the work for publishing has also been made more convenient.
This sentence has been used to further develop the topic sentence, stating exactly how technology has made writing in this century faster.
The third and fourth sentences in the body paragraph are among the most important in essay writing. This is because it provides the evidence from which the writer is making the claims. This is done through examples as shown:
Sentence #3: For instance, if a writer today gets the idea for a story or article, all he has to do is get a computer, sit down and type it. Before technology, he might have needed to first physically write the article then get a typewriter on which to type it.
Sentence #4: Furthermore, delivering the manuscript to his publisher is now easier. He can simply send it through email, unlike previously where he might have had to deliver it in person.
In essay writing, the final sentence of the paragraph gives the conclusion of the ideas discussed in the paragraph. In the essay example above, you can have your final sentence as:
Sentence #5: It is, therefore, clear that technology has played a major role in increasing efficiency in writing.
The complete body paragraph as given above is:
“Technology has made writing much easier and faster. This is especially seen in the typing of manuscripts which can now be done within a shorter period of time. The delivering of the work for publishing has also been made more convenient. For instance, if a writer today gets the idea for a story or article, all he has to do is get a computer, sit down and type it. Before technology, he might have needed to first physically write the article then get a typewriter on which to type it. Furthermore, delivering the manuscript to his publisher is now easier. He can simply send it through email, unlike previously where he might have had to deliver it in person. It is, therefore, clear that technology has played a major role in increasing efficiency in writing.”
In essay writing, composing body paragraphs is essential to getting the best grades. The guide above has shown how to write a body paragraph. However, another issue that students have is linking different paragraphs together. How do you transition from a paragraph to another in an organic way? How do you ensure that you don’t seem like you are jumping to different ideas? Is there a way to ensure that you are flowing through them?
Transitioning through body paragraphs will be discussed in the next article “Transitioning in an essay” in this series of the essay writing process.
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