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University of Newcastle Library guides

How to write an essay: Body

The basics on how to write an academic essay for university

Body paragraphs

The essay body itself is organised into paragraphs, according to your plan. Remember that each paragraph focuses on one idea, or aspect of your topic, and should contain at least 4-5 sentences so you can deal with that idea properly.

Each body paragraph has three sections. First is the topic sentence. This lets the reader know what the paragraph is going to be about and the main point it will make. It gives the paragraph’s point straight away. Next – and largest – is the supporting sentences. These expand on the central idea, explaining it in more detail, exploring what it means, and of course giving the evidence and argument that back it up. This is where you use your research to support your argument. Then there is a concluding sentence. This restates the idea in the topic sentence, to remind the reader of your main point. It also shows how that point helps answer the question.

Body paragraph example

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