How to write perfect paragraphs for personal essays

Writing effective paragraphs for your essay

There is nothing worse than to focus on a piece of writing for days and have it not be good enough because the body refused to support the main idea. Previous how-to articles have pointed out that the thesis statement is most important and the Introduction second only to that, however the body of your essay must keep up the momentum that they’ve set.

Earlier in the writing process you generated ideas which were later turned into a thesis statement and introduction. You grouped other ideas together according to associated connections and placed them on your draft under the thesis statement no particular order. Now it’s time to figure out what to do with those jumbled ideas.

The body of an essay consists of paragraphs that break the thesis down so readers can fully understand the main idea, the authors perspective on the idea, and why the author chose his perspective on the idea, and in some cases, reasons why the reader should view things the same way. In order for the body to accomplish this, each paragraph must have purpose and structure.


Step 1

Understand structure

Understand that paragraphs are typically structured with a topic sentence, restatement of the paragraph topic, and an illustration of the idea. Click here to see and example.

Step 2

Create topic sentences

Using the groups of jumbled ideas that you placed on the draft, create at least one concise sentence per group that communicates the overall idea of each group.

Step 3

Elaborate on ideas

After creating several working topic sentences for paragraphs you must elaborate so readers will understand the «hows» and «whys» of your ideas. A good way to do this is to use the SEE method (statement, extension, elaboration). The «statement» component has already been done, it’s the newly created topic sentence. Next you will want to extend the idea by revealing more detail, then go further by elaborating on those details. Click here to see an example.

Step 4

Ensure that everything you have written has purpose and is relevant to your main idea. Also be sure to use transitions between ideas to guarantee a smooth read. There is nothing worse than frustrating readers with an essay that unexpectedly jumps from topic to topic.

Things Needed
• Pen
• Notebook (or computer)
• Writers Handbook
• Dictionary
• Thesaurus
• Quiet place to work
• Open Mind

Tips & Warnings
• Stay on topic.
• Avoid «wordiness.»
• Take breaks.
• Never give up.


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