Introduce the topic
Set the context
Get the reader interested
Lead up to the thesis statement
State the thesis
Why should someone
read the essay?
What point is being
made in the paper?
Develop ideas that support the thesis
Provide concrete and specific details for
each supporting idea
At least one body
As many paragraphs
as it takes to explain
the thesis well!
Each body paragraph should include:
› A topic sentence
› Body sentences: facts, examples,
› As many body paragraphs as needed
› New paragraphs: change of time, change
of place, logical spot to break up too-
Add more supporting ideas
Develop additional body paragraphs for
Note: When developing additional body
paragraphs for one idea, a topic
sentence is needed only for the first
paragraph of the group.
All topic sentences support the thesis.
All body sentences support the
paragraph’s topic sentence.
Elements of Coherence:
› Transitional words and phrases
› Transitional sentences
› Repeated important words
Purpose: bring essay to logical close
Length: at least two sentences
It’s not really the end! There’s a lot more
information on basic essay structure in
Chapter 2 of Formulas for Composition.