Chapter 5: The Essay
5.2 The Body
The body of the essay is a longer version of the body sentences you practised in Chapter 3: Paragraph Structure. Just like in those shorter, more concise sentences, you’ll need to use the body paragraphs to prove your argument.
You’ll need to continue doing the same things you did in the introduction: maintain an academic (as opposed to informal) tone; follow the principles of style outlined in Chapter 11: Tone and Style; continue to indicate your point of view; and introduce and cite your evidence.
Just as you did while practising in Chapter 3, you’ll follow the format for a successful body sentence in each sentence of your body paragraph. In review, writing a body paragraph has four steps:
- Begin with a topic sentence that reflects your argument (sometimes called a thesis statement or claim).
- Cite your supporting evidence: quotations, findings, your experience, expert views, etc. (Hint: for more about how to include evidence and how to write about and cite it, see Chapter 1.2: Citation Styles and Chapter 5.4: Handling Evidence.)
- Briefly explain each piece of evidence and indicate why it is important to your argument.
- Transition into the next body paragraph.
- Write a body paragraph that follows from the introduction you wrote for Chapter 5.1: The Introduction. Use the format suggested above. (Hint: For an example of a body paragraph with all of its parts labelled, see Figure 3.2 in Chapter 3.3: Expository Paragraphs.)
- In a group, read each other’s body paragraphs. Can you identify the topic sentence, support or point, explanation, significance, and transition sentence to the next body paragraph? If not, can you help each other revise? (Hint: For a suggested format to help each other revise, please see Chapter 7.2: Peer Review.)