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How to Write a Body

Lay the foundation

❶Choose a topic which interests and challenges you. Relevance You presented the main idea of your paper in the thesis statement.

Proper outline

Each body paragraph will have the same basic structure.
Writing the Body Paragraphs
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The body can stretch anywhere from three to seven paragraphs. In order to write a killer body paragraph you need to write a proper thesis.

It should express your opinion, be clear and direct. Try to also make it sound interesting and catchy, so that it stays with your reader throughout the essay. Work hard on polishing your thesis statement, since the purpose of every paragraph that follows is to support it. Being brash enough to think that you can plan it all out in your head, or worse — wing it — is a rookie mistake.

Start creating your outline by jotting down some broad thoughts you have on the subject. What is it that you have to say on the subject? Structure your arguments and paragraphs accordingly, and keep in mind that, ideally, every paragraph will revolve around one central idea. Put your arguments in order of least important to most, so that your paper keeps building up until the end. The body is the meat and potatoes of your essay.

As such, it needs to contain lots of juicy textual evidence and meaty support, not fluff. Each body paragraph contains one main idea, backed up by textual evidence and your own analysis. Your analysis should make up the majority of your paragraph. Have as many as you need to get your ideas across. The topic sentences of your body paragraphs should be determined by how you grouped your notes when you were outlining. When choosing quotes to put in your final paper, keep in mind that some information works better in quote form and some is better as an indirect quote paraphrased.

Take the following example: The best quotes contain analysis, opinion, or interpretation. When quoting directly from a source, be sure that the quote is interesting. Take the following example:. The opinion part—that local debts in China are a time bomb—is a direct quotation from a credible source a professor.

The fact—that debt is now 14 trillion yuan—is not quoted, since it would be a boring quote. Try to embed quotes into your writing smoothly by placing them in a sentence of your own, rather than just plopping them in your paper.

Your paper should contain a number of points that make your argument. These points should be substantiated by data—either in the form of direct quotes or paraphrasing.

Good points are usually written with the following framework: Why are you citing this particular evidence? What is the quote adding to your paper?

If you carefully organized your notes and made your outline, your ideas will fall into place naturally as you write your draft. The main ideas, which are building blocks of each section or each paragraph in your paper, come from the Roman-numeral headings in your outline.

The supporting details under each of those main ideas come from the capital-letter headings. In a shorter paper, the capital-letter headings may become sentences that include supporting details, which come from the Arabic numerals in your outline.

In a longer paper, the capital letter headings may become paragraphs of their own, which contain sentences with the supporting details, which come from the Arabic numerals in your outline.

In addition to keeping your ideas in logical order, transitions are another way to guide readers from one idea to another. Transition words and phrases are important when you are suggesting or pointing out similarities between ideas, themes, opinions, or a set of facts. As with any perfect phrase, transition words within paragraphs should not be used gratuitously. Their meaning must conform to what you are trying to point out, as shown in the examples below:. Other phrases that can be used to make transitions or connect ideas within paragraphs include:.

Remember, a sentence should express a complete thought, one thought per sentence—no more, no less. The longer and more convoluted your sentences become, the more likely you are to muddle the meaning, become repetitive, and bog yourself down in issues of grammar and construction.

In your first draft, it is generally a good idea to keep those sentences relatively short and to the point. That way your ideas will be clearly stated. You will be able to clearly see the content that you have put down—what is there and what is missing—and add or subtract material as it is needed.

The sentences will probably seem choppy and even simplistic. The purpose of a first draft is to ensure that you have recorded all the content you will need to make a convincing argument. You will work on smoothing and perfecting the language in subsequent drafts. Transitioning from your topic sentence to the evidence that supports it can be problematic. It requires a transition, much like the transitions needed to move from one paragraph to the next. Choose phrases that connect the evidence directly to your topic sentence.

If an idea is controversial, you may need to add extra evidence to your paragraphs to persuade your reader. Look for ways to incorporate your research without detracting from your argument. It is often difficult to write transitions that carry a reader clearly and logically on to the next paragraph and the next topic in an essay.

Because you are moving from one topic to another, it is easy to simply stop one and start another. Great research papers, however, include good transitions that link the ideas in an interesting discussion so that readers can move smoothly and easily through your presentation. Close each of your paragraphs with an interesting transition sentence that introduces the topic coming up in the next paragraph.

Transition sentences should show a relationship between the two topics. Your transition will perform one of the following functions to introduce the new idea:. Transitions make a paper flow smoothly by showing readers how ideas and facts follow one another to point logically to a conclusion. Each paragraph should end with a transition sentence to conclude the discussion of the topic in the paragraph and gently introduce the reader to the topic that will be raised in the next paragraph.

However, transitions also occur within paragraphs—from sentence to sentence—to add evidence, provide examples, or introduce a quotation. The type of paper you are writing and the kinds of topics you are introducing will determine what type of transitional phrase you should use.

Some useful phrases for transitions appear below. They are grouped according to the function they normally play in a paper. Transitions, however, are not simply phrases that are dropped into sentences. They are constructed to highlight meaning. Choose transitions that are appropriate to your topic and what you want the reader to do. How to make effective transitions between sections of a research paper? There are two distinct issues in making strong transitions:.

The first is the most important: Does the upcoming section actually belong in the next spot? The sections in your research paper need to add up to your big point or thesis statement in a sensible progression. This difficulty, if you encounter it, is actually a valuable warning.

It tells you that something is wrong and you need to change it. If the transitions are awkward and difficult to write, warning bells should ring. Effective transition sentences and paragraphs often glance forward or backward, signaling that you are switching sections.

Take this example from J. He is finishing a discussion of the Punic Wars between Rome and its great rival, Carthage.

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Writing a Research Paper This page lists some of the stages involved in writing a library-based research paper. Although this list suggests that there is a simple, linear process to writing such a paper, the actual process of writing a research paper is often a messy and recursive one, so please use this outline as a flexible guide.

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To write this important part of your paper, include only relevant information, or information that gets to the point. Organize your ideas in a logical order—one that makes sense—and provide enough details—facts and examples—to support the points you want to make.

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How To Write a Body Paragraph For a Research Paper: Tips For Students In any given research paper, the body is the toughest part to write. It’s the part that contains all the conducted research, reasoning and argumentation that you have to present. The body of that paragraph will be more information about the first subtopic and your evidence for why it supports your thesis statement. Use your note cards to get borrowed material (quotes, statistics, etc) to use as evidence.

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Keep the body of your research paper in good shape. The body is the largest part of a research paper; in it you collect and arrange evidence that will persuade the reader of your argument. It should, therefore, have a logical organization. If the paper is long, it is a good idea to partition the body into sections using headings and sub-headings. The body paragraphs are where you present your paper’s main points. Your body paragraphs should contain ample textual evidence, be correctly formatted, and have seamless transitions. The body is the meat and potatoes of your essay.