Review: Thesis Statement

Remember that the thesis states the main idea, or focus, of the essay. The rest of the essay should give evidence and explanations that show why or how your thesis is true.

Review: Body Paragraph Parts

Don't forget to write all three types of sentences in each body paragraph: topic sentences, supporting sentences, and concluding sentences.

Topic Sentence

Don't forget that a topic sentence is the first sentence of a paragraph. It states the topic and an idea about the topic, called a "controlling idea." The controlling idea controls, or limits, the amount of information you will write about the topic in your paragraph.

An effective topic sentence—

  • is a complete sentence.
  • is usually at the beginning of a body paragraph.
  • clearly supports the thesis statement (topic of essay + one controlling idea).
  • does not announce the topic (e.g., “This paragraph is about natural phenomena.”).
  • should not be too general (e.g., “Natural phenomena are interesting.”).
  • ­should not be too specific (e.g., “Yellowstone has over 500 geysers.”).

Supporting Sentences

Remember that your body paragraph needs to explain why or how your topic sentence is true. The sentences that explain your topic sentence are called supporting sentences. You can have many types of supporting sentences. Supporting sentences can give examples, explanations, details, descriptions, facts, reasons, etc. Concluding Sentence

To finish your body paragraph, make sure your last sentence is your concluding sentence. Concluding sentences can restate the main idea of your paragraph, state an opinion, make a prediction, give advice, etc. New ideas should not be presented in your concluding sentence.


Exercise 1: Check your essay.

Remember to complete a self-check questions below for your essay before you ask someone for feedback. Good luck with your revisions!

  1. Does the introduction provide the general information a reader needs in order to understand the topic?
  2. Does the introduction end with an effective thesis? Does it match the style of the essay?
  3. Do each of the body paragraphs begin with an effective topic sentence?
  4. Are the body paragraphs sequenced in a logical order?
  5. Look at each body paragraph. Do the supporting sentences support the topic sentence?
  6. Look at each body paragraph. Are the supporting sentences sequenced in a logical order?
  7. Look at each body paragraph. Is there enough development? Are there more details or examples that would help the reader?
  8. Look at each body paragraph. Does the concluding sentence close the paragraph logically?
  9. Does the conclusion paragraph start by restating the thesis?
  10. Does the conclusion paragraph have a suggestion, prediction, or opinion at the end?

Exercise 2: Revise this paragraph.

On a piece of paper, revise this example paragraph.

       Limiting time on social media can improve relationships and academic performance. Social media can be a great way to contact people who live far away, but it can also push away people who are physically present with us. Limiting time on social media can help us make time for the people in our lives. Limiting time on social media gives us more time for our studies. People can limit their time on social media by getting an app that will control the time for you. They can also make their own rules like not using social media between specific hours when they should be working. Families can set rules like not allowing phones at the table during meals. We can solve the problems of having poor relationships and poor grades by limiting time on social media.

Revise A Problem/Solution Essay

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