8 Points To Keep In Mind When Writing A Research Paper Body Paragraph

Writing research papers is an important part of your secondary school and university education. A typical research paper follows a predictable structure, excluding any abstract or summary that might be present at the beginning. It beings with an introductory paragraph that outlines the topic and contains a clear thesis statement. This is followed by several body paragraphs, which contain the bulk of the information in the paper. Finally, a conclusion ties the entire piece together, linking the the introduction and reiterating the writer’s thesis statement. Although the introduction and conclusion are certainly important to your research paper, the body is where the real substance of your argument lies. This is where you discuss the information and ideas in detail, elaborating on your claims and supporting them with relevant, verifiable evidence from authoritative sources.

  1. Do your research and gather information ahead of time. Before you start writing your paper, you should gather all of the information and evidence that you will need. Many students keep track of this information by using written or typed notes, index cards, and other organizational tools. You can then use the information to create your outline.
  2. Outline your body paragraphs. In your paper’s outline, which provides a basic structural skeleton before you begin drafting it, you should list the elements that will be included in your body paragraphs. This includes main points, arguments, and the sources you’re using to back up your claims.
  3. Include a topic sentence. While your topic sentence doesn’t have to literally be the first sentence of the paragraph, it establishes and clarifies the body paragraph’s subject and content.
  4. Introduce your evidence. In each body paragraph, you will be introducing and discussing relevant evidence that you’ve gathered prior to writing your paper. If you’re either introducing a direct quotation, or referencing information that you read somewhere, it’s important to cite your source correctly in MLA or APA format, depending on what academic subject area you’re writing about.
  5. Explain and discuss your evidence. In addition to merely presenting evidence, you will need to discuss what it means and signifies in relation to your thesis.
  6. Include a paragraph that refutes opposing views if you are supporting a particular theory or stance. If you’re arguing in favor of a certain point of view, one or more of your body paragraphs should be concerned with evaluating and refuting the evidence offered by the opposing side as support for their viewpoint.
  7. Use a concluding sentence. Your body paragraphs should end in a way that’s clearly conclusive. Ideally, the conclusion of one paragraph should flow smoothly into the introduction to the following paragraph.
  8. Make sure each paragraph works as a self-contained, cohesive whole. Each paragraph is a part of the greater whole that is your research paper, but it should also make sense as a self-contained structure with a clear introduction and conclusion.