Body Paragraphs

The basic unit of the persuasive essay is the body paragraph.  It is important to be clear on the parts of the paragraph and how to develop them.  Here are some helpful points on developing good paragraphs.

For help planning out a body paragraph, check out these documents:

a. Paragraph Planning Page

b. Essay Paragraph Planning Sample

c. Sample Jamestown Paragraph

d. Sample Jamestown Paragraph #2


The 3 basic elements of your body paragraph are (Click on any of the three for more help):

1. Topic sentence (click to get more help on topic sentences)

Introduces the topic of the paragraph but also states the point you’re trying to make in this paragraph.  It should connect to your thesis statement.

2. Evidence: Historical evidence to support your point

Can be made up of historical events, facts, or ideas that help you prove your point as well as your thesis.  Make sure this matches your topic sentence.  Be careful to focus on one idea at a time and fully develop each. You know you are discussing evidence when you are discussing what actually happened.

3. Connection: Reasoning, analysis, your opinion and connection to your thesis. Answering the question.

The most important part of your paragraph. This is where you explain what the evidence means and how the evidence your provided proves your thesis to be true. You cannot assume that just because you listed some facts that the reader of your essay knows what the evidence means. You have to explain it. This should make up 1/3 to 1/2 of your paragraph. This doesn’t necessarily have to be after your discussion of evidence; it can be done at the same time as you discuss historical evidence.


Sample Jamestown Paragraph #1

Sample Paragraph with comments #1

Sample Jamestown Paragraph #2

Sample Bad paragraph (One to analyze how not to write)



4 Responses to Body Paragraphs

  1. Pingback: Humanities HW 10/16, 10/17 | Humanities 7

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