Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Logo
Apply to SIUE
Instructional Services
Instructional Services
Institutional Header

Body Paragraphs

The initial brainstorming process will often help writers beginning to write body paragraphs. Each idea from a list, outline, or diagram might become a body paragraph. If a writer has just three main ideas, he might have three body paragraphs.

To develop a well-structured body paragraph, first write down a main idea, then elaborate on that point with specific examples, researched data, or quotations. A summarizing line can end the paragraph if the writer desires.

Various types of essays have varied body paragraphs. For example, the body of a response essay will carefully exam a novel or book chapter, analyzing several aspects of the text. An analytic essay will have body paragraphs supporting the main thesis with research, examples, and facts. A narrative essay told from a particular point of view will have body paragraphs with vivid scenes, descriptive and telling details, will usually be in chronologic order, and might even include quotations. Persuasive essays use history, facts, and opinions to persuade the reader to agree.

Organization in body paragraphs helps the reader follow your thoughts. Do not confuse the reader by jumping around from point to point - make the paper flow logically.