First-Year English


Body or support paragraphs should specifically support the thesis or main point of the paper.  Support paragraphs should not vaguely or loosely discuss the topic of the paper.  Each body paragraph should be unified, meaning that nothing in the paragraph strays off the main point of the paragraph.

Good body paragraphs contain the following:

Topic Sentence
A topic sentence in a body or support paragraph should:

1.  Clearly state the topic of the paragraph.
2.  Clearly link the topic of the paragraph back to the thesis statement.
3.  Make a smooth transition between the previous paragraph and the present paragraph.

Generally the topic sentence comes at the beginning of each body paragraph.

Discussion, Support, or Elaboration of the Point Made in the Topic Sentence
Some of the weaknesses found in English 101 and English 102 papers occur in the development of body or support paragraphs.  Usually students do not explain or discuss their topic sentence in enough detail within a body paragraph for the reader to really understand the significance of the issue.  Discussion and explanation are crucial to a well-developed body paragraph.

Concrete Examples, Statistics, or Facts
Good writers always include concrete evidence to support the topic sentence and the explanation and development.  They follow any generalization with a concrete, specific example.

A Concluding Sentence that Restates the Main Point of the Paragraph
It is very easy to wander off topic in a paragraph, and a concluding statement that restates the topic or point of the paragraph keeps the reader focused on your argument or discussion.

PVCC - The Learning Support Center's Online English Tutor - First-Year English - FAQs - How Do I Write Body or Support Paragraphs?
© 1998 MCCCD. This page last modified on July 27, 2005.
Questions and Comments to Jeanne Franco at franco@pvc.maricopa.edu