Guide to Writing a Basic Essay


Guide to Writing a Basic Essay

Write the Body Paragraphs

In the body of the essay, all the preparation up to this point comes to fruition. The topic you have chosen must now be explained, described, or argued.

Each main idea that you wrote down in your diagram or outline will become one of the body paragraphs. If you had three or four main ideas, you will have three or four body paragraphs.

Each body paragraph will have the same basic structure.

  1. Start by writing down one of your main ideas, in sentence form.
    If your main idea is "reduces freeway congestion," you might say this:
    Public transportation reduces freeway congestion.
  2. Next, write down each of your supporting points for that main idea, but leave four or five lines in between each point.
  3. In the space under each point, write down some elaboration for that point.
    Elaboration can be further description or explanation or discussion.
    Supporting Point
    Commuters appreciate the cost savings of taking public transportation rather than driving.
    Less driving time means less maintenance expense, such as oil changes.
    Of course, less driving time means savings on gasoline as well.
    In many cases, these savings amount to more than the cost of riding public transportation.
  4. If you wish, include a summary sentence for each paragraph.
    This is not generally needed, however, and such sentences have a tendency to sound stilted, so be cautious about using them.

Once you have fleshed out each of your body paragraphs, one for each main point, you are ready to continue.

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