Online Writing Lab

Body Paragraphs Exercise

Template for creating a body paragraph
The following template can be used for creating a body paragraph.  Simply follow the formula and change the information to fit the topic you are writing about.

Write the thesis above the body paragraph.  This will help you to ensure that everything in the body paragraph relates to the thesis.

Example thesis (taken from the thesis statement exercise page on this site):  Because writing is a skill that is required in most classes, college students need to learn how to write well in order to succeed academically.

Sentence #1 – (topic sentence) – make one claim about the overall topic of the essay that relates to the thesis:  Students who learn how to write well will earn better grades in most classes.

Sentence #2 – explain why the topic sentence is true, or develop it further:  This is true because most instructors assign a variety of written assignments, and depending on the class, these written assignments often encompass a large percentage of a student’s final grade.

Sentence #3 – give an example of the claim made in the topic sentence (make a "for instance" statement):  For instance, all college students seeking a degree will be required to take a composition class.  In this class alone, students will write five different essays.

Sentence #4 – give another example of the claim to better support it:  Furthermore, other classes, such as history, psychology, nursing, etc., also require students to write multiple essays.

Sentence #5 – support the claim with even more specific information (this is where integrating an outside source can be helpful):  According to John Doe, a Professor of English at Aims Community College, the average undergraduate student will write twenty-five different essays while seeking a bachelor’s degree.  This number increases dramatically for students who go on to seek a graduate degree(s).

Sentence #6 – write a sentence that wraps up the paragraph (an “in conclusion” sentence): Because all students, regardless of major, will be required to compose a large number of essays, it is important that they learn how to write well.

Now, simply put it all together and add transitions if needed. 

Complete body paragraph:  Students who learn how to write well will earn better grades in most classes.  This is true because most instructors assign a variety of written assignments, and depending on the class, these written assignments often encompass a large percentage of a student’s final grade.  For instance, all college students seeking a degree will be required to take a composition class.  In this class alone, students will write five different essays.  Furthermore, other classes, such as history, psychology, nursing, etc., also require students to write multiple essays.  According to John Doe, a Professor of English at Aims Community College, the average undergraduate student will write twenty-five different essays while seeking a bachelor’s degree.  This number increases dramatically for students who go on to seek a graduate degree(s).  Because all students, regardless of major, will be required to compose a large number of essays, it is important that they learn how to write well.

Notice that in this example, some sentences are actually broken into two.  Also, any sentence other than the topic sentence and concluding sentence can be repeated to provide more evidence for the reader.  Remember, the more evidence that is provided in a body paragraph, the better.  The key is to make a claim (topic sentence), support it with specific detail (give examples and provide specific information), and then conclude the paragraph by reinforcing the original claim (final sentence).