Recently, we looked at how to write thesis statements and then dove into three elements of a body paragraph: topic sentences, transitions words, and the conclusions sentence. These elements are necessary, make your body paragraph organized and clear. However, the heart of your body paragraphs, what can make or break your argument, is the details and commentary. Today, we are going to zoom in on the details of your body paragraphs. Without them, your argument will be unproven and unconvincing. With them, you will give the reader confidence in your opinion and present evidence in support of your reasoning.
Details are the Key
Details are the key to unlocking your argument! They are the supporting statements to your thesis statement.
How many body paragraphs do I need?
In order to write body paragraphs that are effective and well argued, you are going to need at least two per body paragraph.
What Should my Details look like?
Your details should be varied and brief. Having a lot of long details looks like you are padding your paper with the efforts of other writers and researchers, instead of telling
your audience what your opinion is.
Also, having different types of details keep a paper interesting and can convince a reader more effectively, since you are providing them with support from a variety of sources.
Different ways to write details
Evidence is information showing something is objectively, scientifically true, like a statistic.
Example: According to the 2013 National Assessment of Education Progress reading test, 80% of students score below grade level in reading.
2) Examples/Concrete Details
Examples are used when mentioning a specific person or thing that help explain or show truth.
Example: Also, a bully might speak cruelly in order to intimidate, steal a student’s belongings, or intentionally exclude a student from the group.
Illustrations are analogies, metaphors, similes, or pieces of information that paint a picture to make something easier to understand.
Example: Naturally, a bear when threatened, will rise up from the ground, growl loudly, and begin charging at a speed of up to 35 mph.
Facts are true or provable pieces of information.
Example: First of all, of 2,350,000 college students enrolling per year, only 1,750,000 graduate.
Occurrences show something that happened (use action verbs).
Example: For example, Benjamin Davis a recent college graduate with a degree in Business, struggled for many years to find a job because of the recent unemployment struggles in America.
What else should I know about details?
Be sure that your details support your thesis and are relevant to your argument.
You need at least two per paragraph to prove your point successfully.
Remember to use a variety of details when writing your body paragraphs.
With all this information you have learned, it is time to apply it.
Once you have developed a thesis statement for your essay with 2-3 points of support or contention (see our thesis statement blog), you can begin to develop your details through organization. Look at the following organizational steps:
Thesis statement – use a cluster web to generate your thesis statement.
Check out the printable here, to help you out: Step One of Writing Details
Brainstorm – use a T-chart to generate your details.
We have a worksheet for you here: Step Two of Writing Details
We hope this will help you write effective, strong details.
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