Developing the Body of a Paper

Report
DEVELOPING THE BODY
OF A PAPER
Thesis Statements
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Thesis Statements should be ARGUMENTATIVE—not
descriptive.
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Thesis Statements should clearly asserts your own
conclusion based on evidence.
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Can you imagine someone disagreeing with your position?
It should be clear to us how your ideas differ or support the
ones Feagin includes. Remember to use attributive tags to
distinguish Feagin’s ideas from your own.
Thesis statements avoid vague language (like "it
seems").
Thesis statements should address both points of
agreement and disagreement.
Sample Thesis Statement
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While I agree with Feagin’s assertion that white
people are unlikely to identify themselves as racist, I
disagree with the idea that affirmative action is not
supported by white people for this reason.
Feagin’s discussion on “Everyday Racism” supports
experiences that I have had, but like the examples
he mentioned, I never thought of them as important
enough to be considered racist.
Body: Elements of a Paragraph
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Unity
Single focus
 Idea expressed in topic sentence should be only idea
explored in paragraph.
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Coherence
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Coherence is the trait that makes the paragraph easily
understandable to a reader.
A topic sentence
Indicates main idea
 Can be placed anywhere, but best at beginning of
paragraph
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Body: Elements of a Paragraph, cont.
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Adequate development
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Topic should be discussed fully
Short paragraphs often indicate poorly developed ideas
Some methods to make sure your paragraph is welldeveloped:
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Use examples and illustrations
Cite data (facts, statistics, evidence, details, and others)
Examine testimony (what other people say such as quotes and
paraphrases)
Use an anecdote or story
Define terms in the paragraph
Analyze the topic
Describe the topic
Body: Constructing Paragraphs
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A good paragraph should contain at least
the following four elements: Transition,
Topic sentence, specific Evidence and
analysis, and a Brief wrap-up sentence–
TTEB!
Transition Sentences
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A Transition sentence leading in from a previous
paragraph to assure smooth reading. This acts as a
hand off from one idea to the next.
Creating Transition Sentences
 Picking
up key phrases from the previous paragraph
 Making connections
 Being specific
Examples of Transition Sentences
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Previous paragraph: Amy Tan became a famous
author after her novel, The Joy Luck Club, skyrocketed
up the bestseller list.
Current transition/topic sentence: There are other
things to note about Tan as well. Amy Tan also
participates in the satirical garage band, the Rock
Bottom Remainders, with Stephen King and Dave Barry.
Revision: Though her fiction is well known, her work
with the satirical garage band, the Rock Bottom
Remainders, receives far less publicity.
Practice
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Previous paragraph: : Overall, Management
Systems International has logged increased sales in
every sector, leading to a significant rise in thirdquarter profits.
Current transition/topic sentence: Another
important thing to note is that the corporation had
expanded its international influence.
Revision: ?
Topic Sentences
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A Topic sentence tells the reader what you will be
discussing in the paragraph.
Summary topic sentences
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Response topic sentences
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Should address main idea being expressed by author
Example: Feagin discusses the reasons why whites are reluctant to
endorse affirmative action
I disagree with Feagin’s claim that lower class whites are more likely to
be violent towards black people.
Summary response topic sentences
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Should address Feagin’s perspective and your own
Example: Feagin asserts that many white people are unable to see
themselves as racist because they’re less racist than their parents, and in
my experience, that is true.
Evidence
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Personal Story or example
Information from Feagin’s text
Outside sources
Brief Wrap-Up Sentences
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The ending sentence in a paragraph or
essay should summarize what has already
been said.
The ending sentence should add ZING to
the paragraph or essay.
1.
Topic: My best holiday
celebration ever
Details:
•Christmas last year
•Remote controlled car
•Visit grandparents in Florida
Are you ready to
choose the best wrap
up sentence?
• As you can see, Christmas last year
was my favorite holiday since I
received a remote controlled car
and visited my grandparents in
sunny Florida.

As you can see, Christmas last year
was my favorite holiday, because I
had so much fun and got to play
with all my stuff; and it was cool.
• As you can see, Christmas last year
was my favorite holiday since I
received a remote controlled car,
visited my grandparents in sunny
Florida.

As you can see, Christmas last year
was my favorite holiday, because I
had so much fun and got to play
with all my stuff; and it was cool.
5. Topic: Babysitting my little brother
Details:
•Sneaky
•Picky eater
•Whiney
Click the box to choose
the best wrap up
sentence!
• I’m in double trouble when I have to
babysit my little brother, because he
is sneaky, a picky eater, and whines
like a cat.

I hate babysitting my little brother
because he is sneaky, a picky eater,
and whines a lot.
• I’m in double trouble when I have to
babysit my little brother, because he
is sneaky, a picky eater, and whines
like a cat.

I hate babysitting my little brother
because he is sneaky, a picky eater,
and whines a lot.
Body: When to start a new
paragraph?
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When you begin a new idea or point.
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When your readers need a pause.
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Hint: If you use a transition word within the same paragraph
(i.e. however), then you’ve probably moved on to a new
idea.
Hint: Long paragraphs are difficult for readers to manage.
When you are ending your introduction or starting
your conclusion.
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Hint: In longer papers, your intro and/or conclusion may be
many paragraphs long.

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