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Three-Point Thesis Statement and the Five-Paragraph Essay

When first learning how to write essays, it is helpful to have a basic structure or formula to follow. The five-paragraph essay is a simple and effective formula to use. Its basic parts are: Introductory paragraph with one-sentence thesis statement at the end Three body paragraphs with topic sentences and details Concluding paragraph

Introductory Paragraph: In the first paragraph, the author should clearly state a summary of what will be proven, explained, or clarified or shown in the body of the paper. The thesis statement, or main idea of the paper, should be one sentence that states your limited subject, your opinion on the subject and three discussion points (reasons why you hold this opinion about the subject). This sentence should be placed at the end of the first paragraph. Body Paragraph: The second paragraph starts with a topic sentence that states the concept that will be addressed in the paragraph to prove or support the thesis statement. The goal is to prove or support the thesis found in the introduction through the use of specific, connected presented in the body of the paragraph. Body Paragraph: The third paragraph should address another concept that will be addressed to prove or support the thesis. This paragraph should begin with a topic sentence which states the concept. Again, the goal is to prove or support the thesis statement found in the introduction through the use of specific, connected, solid details presented in the body of the paragraph. Body Paragraph: This paragraph should address another concept that will be elaborated upon to prove the original thesis statement found in the introduction. The paragraph should begin with a topic sentence which states the concept that will be covered to prove or support the thesis statement. Specific details relating to proving or supporting the thesis concept should make up the body of the paragraph.

Concluding Paragraph: The concluding paragraph summarizes and reemphasizes all that has been proven or supported in the body of the paper. Key points that proved or supported the thesis sentence of the paper should be emphasized. The thesis statement from the introductory paragraph should be restated in this paragraph.

The five-paragraph essay uses a three-point thesis statement and breaks down into this format:

Paragraph 1: Introduction & Three Point Thesis Statement Paragraph 2: Discussion Point 1 Paragraph 3: Discussion Point 2 Paragraph 4: Discussion Point 3 Paragraph 5: Conclusion

HOW TO WRITE BODY PARAGRAPHS


How to Write Body Paragraphs. In essays of any kind, body paragraphs are essential. These are where you provide your supporting arguments to your thesis. These are also where you write your refutations or rebuttals against the challenges to your claim. In short, they serve as the very "meat" of your essay. Here are several tips on how to write the body paragraphs of your essay. Stick to your topic sentence. The first sentence of the paragraph should be the idea that you want to develop within the same paragraph. Use it as a guide in writing your succeeding sentences. Avoid drifting away from your topic sentence as doing so may confuse your readers or, worse, lose the coherence of your essay. Take note of the key words in your topic sentence as these will help you develop the rest of the sentences in the paragraph. Keep the paragraph within 5 to 7 sentences. Let's face it. Nobody wants to read a very long essay. Thus, keep your paragraphs at just the ideal length. The challenge, then, is to write what only needs to be written. Avoid cluttering your sentences with unnecessary words and phrases. Skip anything that is irrelevant or that doesn't make any clear sense. Always remember that your essay need not be very long just to make a valid point. Write to primarily to express, not to impress, unless you're told to do so. Maintain transitions between paragraphs. To achieve this, you should end a paragraph using a sentence [a "transition" sentence] that smoothly connects to the first sentence of the next paragraph. In other words, end a paragraph with an idea that logically leads to the idea in the succeeding paragraph. This will make your paragraphs read tight and interconnected

which, apparently, saves your essay from reading like a couple of distinct paragraphs simply lumped together. Have a logical flow of sentences within paragraphs. Since your first sentence is your topic sentence, continue with the next sentence by developing the idea from the first. Do the same pattern for the rest of the sentences until you reach the transition sentence. For example, if your topic sentence is "Blue looks more beautiful than red," the next sentence should develop that idea by saying "Blue has admirable visual characteristics that red does not have". Following that sentence, you may proceed by writing that "Blue has the characteristic of looking relaxing to the eyes". And so on. Having a logical flow of sentences allows your reader to follow your arguments closely and understand better what it is that you are trying to say. These are just some of the tips on how to write the body paragraphs of your essay. Always remember: to stick to your topic sentence, to keep the paragraph between 5 to 7 sentences, to maintain transitions between paragraphs, and to have a logical flow of sentences within paragraphs. Follow these tips on how to write the body paragraphs of your essay and you'll certainly send your message clearly and effectively.

What is the topic sentence?


The topic sentence is the first sentence in a paragraph. What does it do? It introduces the main idea of the paragraph. How do I write one? Summarize the main idea of your paragraph. Indicate to the reader what your paragraph will be about.

The Topic Sentence


A topic sentence usually comes at the beginning of a paragraph; that is, it is usually the first sentence in a formal academic paragraph. (Sometimes this is not true, but as you practice writing with this online lesson site, please keep to this rule unless you are instructed otherwise.) Not only is a topic sentence the first sentence of a paragraph, but, more importantly, it is the most general sentence in a paragraph. What does "most general" mean? It means that there are not many details in the sentence, but that the sentence introduces an overall idea that you want to discuss later in the paragraph. For example, suppose that you want to write a paragraph about the natural landmarks of your hometown. The first part of your paragraph might look like this:

My hometown is famous for several amazing natural features. First, it is noted for the Wheaton River, which is very wide and beautiful. Also, on the other side of the town is Wheaton Hill, which is unusual because it is very steep.

BODY PARAGRAPHS
Body paragraphs are the meat of your essay, and as such are the most important component of your essay. In the body paragraphs, you will expand upon and provide support for the theme you introduced in the first paragraph and will provide the details that move that theme forward. A two page essay will typically contain 2-4 body paragraphs. Each paragraph contains: o o o A topic sentence that expands your theme and makes a transition from the previous paragraph Development of ideas that support your essay's theme An ending sentence that wraps up the paragraph and helps to transition into the next paragraph

How many sentences should the body of the paragraph have?


Length A paragraph may vary in length. Some paragraphs are quite short; others are very long. Most paragraphs have more than three sentences in them, and usually have between 100 to 200 words. Although, the length of a paragraph is dependent on the quality of the content, not on some arbitrary number. However, only five sentences are okay.

What is a concluding sentence


A concluding sentence is the last sentence of the paragraph. Sometimes a concluding sentence is the only topic sentence of the paragraph which also acts as a kind of summary. Sometimes after stating the topic sentence at the beginning of the paragraph, the writer also write a conclusion at the end of the paragraph. The concluding sentence usually summarizes the whole idea of the paragraph or it is a restatement of the main idea or the topic sentence.

NONFICTION: The Main Idea : On the line provided, write the letter of the best answer to each of the following items.

____ 1. The topic of a paragraph is


a. the person mentioned in the paragraph b. the facts of the paragraph c. what the paragraph is about d. a clear sentence

____ 2. The main idea of a paragraph must be supported by


a. a list of times and dates b. at least two sentences c. the topic d. examples and evidence

____ 3. Which of the following might be used as evidence in a paragraph?


a. a statistic b. a topic sentence c. a main idea d. the authors opinion

____ 4. If a paragraphs main idea is stated, that means the


a. rest of the sentences are loosely related b. author has made the topic and main idea clear in a sentence c. author has previously discussed the idea d. other sentences in the paragraph are less important

____ 5. When a paragraphs main idea is implied, you may have to


a. read other articles to learn about the authors opinion b. assume the author does not have a main idea in that paragraph c. doubt the authors knowledge of the subject d. consider all the details and decide on the authors point yourself

1.

What is a topic sentence?_____________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________

2.

What is the purpose of a topic sentence? _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________

3.

Where in the paragraph does the topic sentence usually come? _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________

4.

What is one way to describe a bad topic sentence? _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________

5.

What is the body, or development of a paragraph? _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________

6.

What are the elements of a Body paragraph? _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________

7.

How many sentences should the body of the paragraph have? _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________

8.

What is the concluding sentence? _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________

9.

What is the purpose of the concluding sentence?

_______________________________________________________________________