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body paragraphs

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Definition:

The part of an essay, report, or speech that explains and develops a main idea (or thesis).

Body paragraphs come after the introduction and before the conclusion. The body is usually the longest part of an essay, and each body paragraph may begin with a topic sentence.

See also:

Examples of Body Paragraphs in Student Essays:

Observations:

  • "The body paragraphs are the 'meat' of your work. Each paragraph should be composed of related sentences that make a single point. Together they should develop your controlling idea or thesis and maintain unity by supporting the claim made in your topic sentence.

    "Each paragraph should have a topic sentence that provides a supporting idea for the thesis and indicates to the reader what the paragraph will discuss."
    (Sara Hinton, Passing the Georgia End of Course Test in American Literature and Composition. American Book Company, 2007)


  • Structure of a Body Paragraph: TAXES
    "The following acronym will help you achieve the hourglass structure of a well-developed body paragraph:
    Topic Sentence (a sentence that states the one point the paragraph will make)
    Assertion statements (statements that present your ideas)
    eXample(s) (specific passages, factual material, or concrete detail)
    Explanation (commentary that shows how the examples support your assertion)
    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)


  • Key Traits of an Effective Body Paragraph: DUCTT
    "Here is an acronym for remembering some key traits of an effective body paragraph: DUCTT. . . .
    Development
    Unity
    Coherence
    Transitions
    Topic Sentence
    [U]sing the DUCTT acronym will remind you to put features into your body paragraph to make them more effective."
    (David Sabrio and Mitchel Burchfield, Insightful Writing: A Process Rhetoric with Readings. Houghton Mifflin, 2009)
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