In a previous post, I talked about how to write supporting sentences in the body of your paragraph. We use these sentences to support the opinion or idea of the topic sentence in the paragraph.
Sometimes, we want to add details in the body of our paragraph. Adding details, adding examples, and adding information from research can all help make the writing in our paragraphs stronger.
Let's look at the example paragraph in my previous post.
Topic sentence: New York is a wonderful place to visit.
Supporting Sentence #1: First, many tourists enjoy visiting the Statue of Liberty, which is an important historical site.
By adding more information and expanding on this supporting sentence about the Statue of Liberty, we can make this paragraph more interesting. So, we can add additional sentences immediately after the main supporting sentence.
New York is a wonderful place to visit. First, many tourists enjoy visiting the Statue of Liberty, which is an important historical site. The Statue of Liberty was a gift from France to the United States. It was dedicated in October 1886 by President Grover Cleveland. Four million people visit the Statue of Liberty each year.
So, for a general supporting sentence, do you see how providing additional sentences with specific information helps capture the reader's attention? When you are writing your supporting sentence, adding further sentences with detailed information adds interest and adds authority to your paragraph.
Citing Sources of Information:
If the information in your sentences is common knowledge, then there is no need to cite your source of information. Otherwise, you should cite your source, so that your source of information is properly credited and so that your reader knows where to go for further information on your topic. Especially in formal academic writing, such as a research paper, citing your sources is expected.
We can think of the overall structure of an academic paragraph as follows:
Supporting sentence #1
Additional sentence(s) with detailed information for supporting sentence #1
Supporting sentence #2
Additional sentence(s) with detailed information for supporting sentence #2
Supporting sentence #3
Additional sentence(s) with detailed information for supporting sentence #3
Look at this document for a visual view of the hierarchy of a paragraph.
Click here to download this helpful document as a PDF.
Next: Learn how to write the concluding sentence for your academic paragraph in this post.
I hope this post has been helpful to you in your endeavors to work on your academic writing skills. Please share your comments below.
Matthew Huseby, M.A.
My Language Success LLC