Developing The Body Paragraphs The Tasty Middle



Download 12,9 Kb.
Date conversion10.04.2017
Size12,9 Kb.
  • The Tasty Middle
  • The body paragraph’s structure may remind you of a certain food.
  • Just as you may add lettuce, tomato, cheese, onions, and pickles to a burger to spice it up or add flavor, you need to add flavor to your body paragraphs through elaboration.
  • The most important part of the Writing test essay is the component of support. In order for you to score well, you must fully elaborate on two
  • ideas.
  • As you write, think of the reader as saying, “Tell
  • me more!”
  • The reader should have no more questions after reading the paragraph.
  • Importance of Elaboration
  • Elaboration is the process of developing ideas by providing supporting details. Elaboration means to tell the reader more about an idea using:
      • Specific words-adjectives, vivid words, examples
      • Onion-like layering of detail
  • A writer elaborates on his or her ideas so that a reader will understand more clearly what he or she is saying.
  • The sentences in your body paragraphs should expand from bare to elaborated.
  • Elaboration in the body paragraphs should follow the format below:
  • BARE – use of a detail that focuses on a reason
  • (from the thesis statement)
  • EXTENDED - use of additional information about the
  • reason to clarify it for the reader
  • LAYERED – illustrate with additional support that
  • shows proof or examples to clarify meaning
  • ELABORATED – use of additional detail that connects
  • a personal example, an anecdote, or an allusion to
  • life
  • The best writing has multiple layers of relevant elaboration.
  • You can elaborate by adding:
  • From the Sources:
  • • Facts
  • • Reasons
  • • Incidents/anecdotes
  • • Examples/expert testimony (quote)
  • • Statistics-numerical value for findings
  • e.g. 1 out 10 teenage girls gets pregnant before the age of 19.
  • Sensory details
  • Ways to Elaborate
  • FACTS – are pieces of information that can be proven to be true.
  • The high school dropout rate in the US increases each year.
  • (On the writing test, students can make up facts!)

REASONS – are pieces of information that help support your thesis statement.

  • Students who do not earn good grades have a tendency to give up.

Using Anecdotes to Elaborate

  • Last year my brother, one of the most mechanically gifted people I know, dropped out of school in the tenth grade.
  • INCIDENTS/ANECDOTES - An incident, also called an anecdote, is a short narrative inserted into an essay that develops an idea or argument.
  • An incident might be introduced by:
    • For instance
    • Once
    • I remember one time when
  • EXAMPLES – are cases or instances of something that provides more specific information about an idea.
  • An example might be introduced by:
  • Students have way too much homework. We can’t possibly get it done. For example, just last night my geography teacher made us read a whole chapter, write out answers to the chapter questions (in complete sentences yet) and then build a volcano out of paper mache. That took hours. Another example is my English teacher who assigned half of Of Mice and Men to be read by today. And we had a horrible test on it that most students failed. What did she expect? Next, I need to tell you about my math teacher who . . .
  • Using someone's exact words makes the writing realistic and believable.
  • “School sucks. I don’t need any more school,” a student bellowed while walking in the halls.
  • (On the writing test, get statistics from the sources.
  • STATISTICS - are facts that involve numbers.
  • Out of every 100 ninth graders, only 70 will finish high school.
  • SENSORY DETAILS – are words that appeal to the five senses. These details show the reader how something looks, sounds, smells, tastes, and feels.
  • The unpleasant smell of musty old books always reminds me of school.

By moving your details from bare to elaborated, you utilize the technique of “showing” the reader what you want them to know versus “telling” them.

  • Telling is to provide a general statement that lacks the visual clarity.
  • Showing is the use of specific details that makes the image the writer is presenting much more vivid and alive – to create a picture in the reader’s mind.

Showing vs. Telling Example

  • Telling
  • Today is a great day.
  • Showing
  • The sparkling sun is shining and breakfast is my favorite-- waffles, drenched with strawberries and whipped cream! My 100% math paper is stuck to the front of the fridge. I feel a win coming, with me as the hero, at today’s game.
  • Transition Sentence
  • The transition sentence, the first sentence in your expository body paragraph, it should be one of the reasons mentioned in your thesis statement to help support your opinion.
  • Transition Sentence
  • BARE
  • The first supporting detail sentence in your expository body paragraph should be an example used to further explain the reason provided in the transition sentence.
  • EXTEND
  • LAYER
  • The second supporting detail sentence in your expository body paragraph should be a quote or a sensory detail that further explains the transition sentence.
  • (a) The words said should be placed in quotation marks like these: " “
  • (b) The reader should know exactly who said the quote. If you write something like: Famous scientists say, "Nuclear weapons should be banned," the exact speaker is still unknown (which famous scientists?). It does not make your point clear and strong - in fact it does the opposite, it makes your writing weaker. It seems like you just invented this idea, not a scientist. If you write: Albert Einstein said, "Nuclear weapons should be banned." it is a real quote because we know who said it and what he said.
  • Important Tips About Quotes
  • ELABORATE
  • The third supporting detail sentence in your expository body paragraph should be an anecdote/incident that further explains the transition sentence.
  • The concluding sentence, the last sentence in your expository body paragraph, should refer back to the transition sentence and bring a logical conclusion to the body paragraph.
  • Example
  • Thesis Statement: The biggest change I experienced when transitioning from elementary to middle school was the need to be more responsible with budgeting my time and my choice of friends.
  • To begin with, the move from elementary to middle school required me to be more responsible with my time management. For instance, between the changing from one period to the next, I was only allowed five minutes to use the restroom, drink water, and speak to friends before the tardy bell would ring; this required real time management because I did not want to be late to any of my classes. The thought of being reprimanded because I was not on time to class would twist my stomach into knots. I can recall my first day of middle school, sitting in my first period Geography class as Ms. Tanabaum went over the rules and consequences, and the third rule spoke of punctuality; the consequence for being tardy was a DETENTION! Clearly, I had to be responsible and manage my time accordingly between the bells so as not to obtain a detention and be on Ms. Tanabaum’s bad list.
  • Body Paragraph 1
  • Transition Sentence
  • (Reason)
  • Supporting Detail 1
  • (Example)
  • Supporting Detail 2
  • (Sensory Detail)
  • Supporting Detail 3
  • (Incident)
  • Concluding Sentence
  • In addition, the change from elementary to middle school required me to be more responsible with my selection of friends. For example, in middle school the kids are not as genuine because they are so concerned with being popular; they would do next to anything to fit in, so I had to be careful with who I chose to hang around and put my trust in. Tanya, a seventh grader stated, “Some kids do the unimaginable just to be a part of the popular crowd.” I remember sitting in my seventh grade home economics class when Principal Dubosque came over the PA to say Kevin Jerkins and Carl Smith had just died in a car chase running from the police! Apparently, Kevin and Carl were trying to impress some eighth graders who were known trouble makers by stealing a car. It’s obvious I needed to be wise with my choice of friends so as not to end up in situations that may prove harmful or impede my success in school.
  • Body Paragraph 2
  • Concluding Sentence
  • Transition Sentence
  • (Reason)
  • Supporting Detail 1
  • (Example)
  • Supporting Detail 2
  • (Quote)
  • Supporting Detail 3
  • (Incident)
  • Remember to elaborate when writing your body paragraphs in order to make them clear and/or convincing to the reader of your essay.
  • If you write in bare statements the reader will not fully understand your thesis, and your essay will read as a lot of words with no meaning.


The database is protected by copyright ©sckool.org 2016
send message

    Main page