Body Paragraph brenda white, 2012 Body Paragraph: Basics



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Body Paragraph

  • BRENDA WHITE, 2012

Body Paragraph: Basics

  • Body paragraphs are the workhorses of an essay.
  • They carry all the supporting information and details that hold up the thesis statement.
  • All discussion about the thesis topic are handled in the body paragraphs.
  • Main points are presented in a logical and effective order to make them as effective as possible to the reader.

Body Paragraph Structure

  • Each body paragraph focuses on one main point that was presented in the thesis statement or introduction.
  • Each paragraph begins with a topic sentence that presents the topic for discussion in that paragraph.
  • Every subsequent sentence in that paragraph supports or provides details about that topic and supports the essay argument (thesis).
  • Transitions should be used to effectively lead the reader.

Body Paragraph Viewpoints

  • It strengthens an argument to acknowledge and refute an opposing point of view.
  • Choose an easily-defeated point and show its flaws. It should be smoothly incorporated into the paragraph.
  • A more sophisticated writer can choose a stronger argument, but it must be defeated completely or the writer runs the risk of upholding the opposing view.
  • Acknowledgement and refutation should be short.

Body Paragraph - TAXES

  • The following acronym TAXES is one way to help remember and achieve the structure of a well-developed body paragraph. It is not the only way, however.
  • T - Topic Sentence (a sentence that states the one point the paragraph will make)
  • A - Assertion statements (statements that present your ideas)
  • X - eXample(s) (specific passages, factual material, or concrete detail)
  • E - Explanation (commentary that shows how the examples support your assertion)
  • S - Significance (commentary that shows how the paragraph supports the thesis statement) TAXES gives you a formula for building the supporting paragraphs in a thesis-driven essay.
  • (Kathleen Muller Moore and Susie Lan Cassel, Techniques for College Writing: The Thesis Statement and Beyond. Wadsworth, 2011)

Body Paragraph Exercise

  • Look at the document Forty Essay Topics (website).
  • Choose one topic from items 1-10.
  • With a partner, write a brief outline of the thesis, introduction, and main points you would use with this topic.
  • Then, write a sentence outline of one paragraph focused on one of those main points.
  • Use TAXES or another structure for that paragraph; specify TAXES model if used.
  • KEEP this for use later.

Body Paragraph Quiz

  • T or F: Body paragraphs are responsible for carrying all the support for an essay‚Äôs thesis.
  • T or F: In order to be an effective paragraph or essay, items should be presented in logical order and supported well.
  • T or F: Transitions are not necessary within a paragraph.
  • T or F: To make a paragraph stronger, writers should never acknowledge the opposing viewpoint.
  • T or F: There is only one correct way to construct a body paragraph, and that is to use TAXES.


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