Body Paragraphs

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Body Paragraphs

Body paragraphs should all work to support your thesis by explaining why or how your thesis is true. There are three types of sentences in each body paragraph: topic sentences, supporting sentences, and concluding sentences.

Topic sentences. A topic sentence is the first sentence of a paragraph. It states the main idea of the paragraph. The topic sentence will contain a 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.

In many ways, a topic sentence is very similar to a thesis. Remember that the thesis is the main idea of the essay; a topic sentence is the main idea of a body paragraph. Many of the same characteristics apply to topic sentences that apply to theses. The biggest differences will be the location of the sentence and the scope of the ideas.

Supporting sentences. Supporting sentences. 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 sentences. The last sentence in a body paragraph is your concluding sentence. Your concluding sentence should end your paragraph logically. 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.

Example: Body Paragraph

First, creating good habits will help prevent a sleep disorder. Regular habits include a consistent schedule. It is very important to go to bed around the same time every night and wake up around the same time in the morning. When your body has a regular time to sleep, it is easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. If your sleep schedule is not regular, it can be difficult to sleep. A routine around bed time is another habit that can help improve sleep. Your routine should include activities that do not use screens. You can also do something relaxing to prepare your mind to relax and sleep peacefully. Doing these things consistently will help train your brain to be ready for sleep. These simple routines can also make it easier to sleep at night.


Exercise 1: Write a topic sentence.

Using the same thesis statement from the example in introduction, write another topic sentence that could be used to create a second body paragraph in this essay.

Thesis: Some of the best ways to prevent sleep disorders are establishing good sleep habits, doing regular exercise, and making a comfortable bedreoom environment.

Topic Sentence: 

Now, evaluate your topic sentence. Is it effective? Now, exchange topic sentences with a partner and evaluate your partner's topic sentence.

Criteria - Is the topic sentence effective?


Partner's TS

1. Is it clearly connected to the thesis statement?  
2. Is it a complete sentence?  
3. Does it announce the topic?  
4. Is it too general?  
5. Is it too specific?  

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