Essay Writing Guide

  • Brainstorm topic ideas
  • Choose a good topic
  • Do a research for sources
  • Write a catchy introduction
  • Structure the essay body
  • Summarize the essay in the conclusion
  • Proofread and edit

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Writing the body of your essay


When writing an essay, several parts and pieces come together to create the cohesive whole that gets you the grade that you want. Once your thesis and outline are done, it’s probably time to get started creating the body of your essay.

One quick note: if you’re writing a narrative or descriptive essay, then much of this information won’t specifically apply to your essay. In both of those cases, the traditional expository structure is eschewed in favor of a beginning-to-end, storytelling kind of approach. This means that the body of your essay will be, essentially, the whole thing. Look up some resources on plotting a narrative for more information on this.

But if you are writing an expository essay, then there are a few important things that will make a good body versus a weak one.

Support Your Claims

You wrote a thesis statement that set out what you were going to say in your essays. Well, at least hopefully you did. If not, start over and write down your basic point. Without it, you can’t write the body of the essay, and if you try, you’ll probably end up re-writing the whole thing later.

The body of your essay will both expand upon and support the claims of your thesis. For this, you’ll need evidence. Evidence normally consists in research that you did online or in the library (or, in some cases, inside your own head).

Be Clear

Each supporting paragraph—and there should be several—will address a different part of your thesis. How you’ll organize all this will depend upon the nature of your thesis. If your thesis was, “Good body paragraphs support the thesis with evidence, expand on it, and help the reader see that it is correct,” then you might create body paragraphs for each of the statements separated by commas. Thus, one paragraph would talk about how a thesis supports its claims, the next would address how they expand upon it, and the final paragraph would help the reader to see why this is the best way to organize an essay.

Develop Your Ideas

If you have a nascent idea in your thesis—one that’s not fully formed—such as “supporting sentences are easy,” you may want to take the time in the essay to further explain what you mean by this relatively general statement. The longer your essay, the more you’ll want to detail exactly what you meant with each word and clause in your statement. You might add details about how supporting sentences can be easily constructed, how a clear idea of what the paper is going to say will make knowing where to put each one easy, and how understanding the flow of ideas in the paper will help you know what to write next.

The body of your essay is by far the longest and most tedious part of the essay. But it need not be difficult to write at all. Getting started is always the hardest part. If nothing else, be like Hemingway: just write one, true, sentence. The rest will take care of itself.