Body paragraphs should all work to support your thesis by explaining why or how your thesis is true. Every sentence in your body paragraphs should work toward supporting your thesis statement. Each body paragraph has three types of sentences.
A topic sentence states the main idea, or focus, of the paragraph. The rest of the body paragraph will give evidence and explanations that show why or how your topic sentence is true. In many ways, a topic sentence is very similar to a thesis. The biggest differences will be the location of the sentence and the scope of the ideas.
An effective topic sentence—
- clearly supports the thesis statement.
- is usually at the beginning of a body paragraph.
- controls the content of all of the supporting sentences in its paragraph.
- is a complete sentence.
- does not announce the topic (e.g., "I'm going to talk about social media.").
- should not be too general (e.g., "Social media is prevalent in today's world.").
- should not be too specific (e.g., "Social media is bad for your mental health because of unrealistic standards of beauty and lifestyles, seeing only one side of an argument or issue and wasting time that could be spent more productively.").
Your body paragraph needs to explain why or how your topic sentence is true. The sentences that support your topic sentence are called supporting sentences. You can have many types of supporting sentences. Supporting sentences can give examples, explanations, details, descriptions, facts, reasons, etc.
Your final statement should conclude your paragraph logically. Conclusion sentences can restate main idea of your paragraph, state an opinion, make a prediction, give advice, etc. New ideas should not be presented in your concluding sentence.
Characteristics of Effective Body Paragraphs
All sentences in your body paragraph need to work together within the paragraph.
All the paragraphs need to work together within the essay.
As you draft and revise your paragraphs, you will need to write the sentences and paragraphs to be:
If the sentences and paragraphs have unity, development, and cohesion, they will more likely work better together in the essay to express your main idea.
Exercise 1: Body Paragraph Analysis
Read this example body paragraph.
- Is the topic sentence effective?
- Do the supporting sentences directly connect to the topic sentence? Or are there unnecessary or overly specific details included?
- Does the concluding sentence effectively end the point?
- Is it logically organized?
Second, people who start college after high school can grow in their professional life. A lot of college students who have finished their bachelors can get social security earlier to start working around 23 or 24 as full-time employees. Students who finish their studies can begin to gain work experience in the area they selected. For example, someone who has graduated with a finance degree can start as an employee in a bank. And then through the years, she can develop different skills and be promoted to another position in the same bank. Growing in a company takes time, and students need to spend time to do that; having said that, when people finish college, they can get a lot of professional experience early.
Exercise 2: Drafting Practice
A body paragraph's job is to develop and give support to the main idea of the essay, the thesis statement. Read the introduction below and consider the bolded thesis statement. What support does it need for the reader to understand or come to agree with your main idea? Write a body paragraph that would fit in an essay with the introduction below.
According to a YouTube video from The Economist (2022), this pandemic has been the most significant interruption to education in modern history. It has affected education in many ways and has changed traditional education in diverse ways. In-person or virtual classes are crucial in these times when it is challenging to receive an education due to external circumstances. Teachers have been learning how teaching and students have learned how to learn. through in-person and virtual classes. Some schools have discovered ways to improve face-to-face classes and others have decided to continue with the virtual class model. At the beginning of the Covid 19 pandemic, Dr. Murillo de Oliveira (2020) conducted research to find out the best way to teach and what effects it would have on students. The results showed that in-person and virtual classes have completely improved the old model of classes. He showed the changes and their high impact on students, teachers, and instructors. Through his research, new horizons for education are contemplated and how it will change classrooms. Like the pandemic, the world is facing and will face higher challenges such as wars, natural disasters, or other challenges in the world. Therefore, education around the world is having adjustments for the diverse needs that students are facing today. Under these extreme circumstances, virtual and face-to-face classes have some comparisons to consider, such as parental involvement, accessibility, and quality of education.
Your Body Paragraph:
De Oliveira Dias, M., Lopes, R. D. O. A., & Teles, A. C. (2020). Will virtual replace classroom teaching? lessons from virtual classes via zoom in the times of COVID- 19. Journal of Advances in Education and Philosophy, 4(05), 208-213.
The Economist, (2022, Jun 11). Covid-19: how tech will transform your kids' education [Video].