BASIC PARAGRAPH STRUCTURE                                                      
(also commonly used for body paragraphs in an academic essay)


                
                 
THE TOPIC SENTENCE (MAIN IDEA SENTENCE) is
                             * often the first sentence of the paragraph
                             * the overall point of the paragraph
                             * Every element of the paragraph directly shows/supports/explains
                                                                                                                     the topic sentence
THE EVIDENCE
* the supporting details,
including
major details
(primary details)
& minor details
(secondary details)
* directly explain/
support/show/prove
the topic sentence
* may involve a variety of
paragraph development strategies,
such as illustration, description,
and process analysis

Click here for additional information  
about using different kinds
of paragraph development
strategies.






THE CONCLUDING SENTENCE
* may restate the topic sentence in different words
(may summarize the overall point of the paragraph)
* may provide a transition to the next body paragraph in an essay or other composition
* may bring a sense of closure to the paragraph










In an academic essay, each body paragraph, usually featuring the structure above,
supports the essay's thesis statement (essay's overall point).  





















HELPFUL LINKS: THE PARAGRAPH

THE PARAGRAPH
FROM PURDUE'S ON-LINE WRITING LAB

ON-LINE HANDOUTS: PARAGRAPH DEVELOPMENT
IS OF IMPORTANCE IN WRITING ACROSS COLLEGE-LEVEL CURRICULUM.  VIEW RELATED
EXAMPLES FROM
SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL WRITING, JOURNALISM, HISTORY, AND
OTHER ACADEMIC WRITING.





Created by Melissa Utsler, Chaffey College
EFFECTIVE BODY PARAGRAPHS USUALLY FEATURE THE FOLLOWING
COMPONENTS:

a.) The Topic Sentence =
the overall point of the paragraph

b.) The Evidence = Supporting Major (primary) and Minor (secondary) Details
- the information which demonstrates and/or explains the topic sentence
- R.O.A.D. (relevant, organized, adequate, detailed)

c.) The Concluding Sentence = brings the paragaph to a close and/or provides
an effective transition to the next paragraph

PARAGRAPH
Sample Paragraph (Click and scroll down.)