Part 06 - Structure: Main Body

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Part 06 - Structure: Main Body Empty Part 06 - Structure: Main Body

Post  studyaids on Tue Apr 14, 2009 1:21 pm

In the main body of your essay, each paragraph should be based on a separate but related aspect of the main topic of the essay. Following the plan you made earlier, write each paragraph almost as though it were under a sub-heading to the main title and supplement each of your points with the evidence you have collected. Students are often unsure about the length of paragraphs but though there is no hard and fast rule, it is a good idea to keep them to four or five sentences.

Supporting your statements is vital and, in the case of a literary essay, this evidence should also be analysed. This means that you should comment on individual words and/or phrases that seem to you to be of particular interest or importance. Analysis of this kind will not only get you extra marks but will also sometimes suggest additional lines of thought which may be helpful, if relevant to the main argument.

Quotations should not be too long, never more than a few lines at most, except in exceptional circumstances, and should adhere to the referencing style you have been requested to use. It is usual to indent longer quotations and set them out on a separate line, single-spaced, following a colon. Shorter quotations (i.e. a line or less) should be incorporated within the text and enclosed within quotation marks.

Try to end each paragraph in the main body of the essay with a ‘hook’ to the next i.e. an idea that introduces the topic of the subsequent paragraph; follow this up by opening the next paragraph with reference to the link. This will help your essay to flow better and seem to be establishing a pattern which will ultimately lead to your conclusion.
Paragraphs should move on using the basis of furthering the argument. This can be achieved in several ways:

* Sequential writing, where one event follows naturally from another
* Elaborative writing, where you develop a point made previously
* Contrasting/comparing, where an idea contradicts or questions a point in a preceding paragraph

These are just a few ideas, there are many more and your choice may be determined by the type of essay/argument you are constructing.

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