supporting ideas in an essay

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supporting ideas in an essay

Supporting ideas in an essay
Let’s work on the first body paragraph, the one about companionship. You know that you want to say that dogs are great companions. But what does that mean, exactly? You need to add details to make your point clear. So, take a minute and brainstorm some details or examples of ways in which dogs make great companions. Maybe your list would look like this:

  • Greet you when you get home
  • Wag tails
  • Lie at your feet when you’re sitting around the house
  • Go for walks with you
  • Keep you company when you’re sick

1. Write the thesis statement. The main idea of the essay is stated in a single sentence called the thesis statement. You must limit your entire essay to the topic you have introduced in your thesis statement.
What is a summary paragraph?
The summary paragraph comes at the end of your essay after you have finished developing your ideas. The summary paragraph is often called a “conclusion.”

Like sentence length, paragraph length varies. There is no single ideal length for “the perfect paragraph.” There are some general guidelines, however. Some writing handbooks or resources suggest that a paragraph should be at least three or four sentences; others suggest that 100 to 200 words is a good target to shoot for. In academic writing, paragraphs tend to be longer, while in less formal or less complex writing, such as in a newspaper, paragraphs tend to be much shorter. Two-thirds to three-fourths of a page is usually a good target length for paragraphs at your current level of college writing. If your readers can’t see a paragraph break on the page, they might wonder if the paragraph is ever going to end or they might lose interest.
Whether the drafting of a paragraph begins with a main idea or whether that idea surfaces in the revision process, once you have that main idea, you’ll want to make sure that the idea has enough support. The job of the paragraph body is to develop and support the topic. Here’s one way that you might think about it:

General detail consists of
Example 4: My cousin liked to play jokes on us (“always” detail). That night (time phrase), after we were all asleep, he shoved a dead porcupine into the crawl space under the bathroom. Several days later (time phrase) we began to notice a peculiar smell (“once detail”). Another time (time phrase), he pretended to be lost when we were out riding together (“once detail). (This whole example is an anecdote.)

Does the paper flow smoothly between paragraphs? Transitions at the end of one paragraph or the beginning of the next help the reader understand connections, follow logical development, and navigate through the text.
1. The first sentence usually presents the topic that you will address in the paragraph.


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