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What is a Body Paragraph? (Definition, Examples, How to Start)

What is a body paragraph? How do I start a body paragraph? A body paragraph is the most important part of the sentence subject. It delivers the most impactful information and helps to transition in and out of paragraphs more effectively.

Body paragraph
Body paragraph

What is a body paragraph?

Any essay, article, or academic writing starts with an introduction and ends with a conclusion. The text between the introduction and conclusion is the body paragraph.

A body paragraph supports the idea that was mentioned in the introduction by shedding light on new details using facts, statistics, arguments, or other information.

What role does a body paragraph play in an article or an essay?

A body paragraph acts as a connection between the introduction and the conclusion. The body paragraph’s role is to justify the thesis stated in the introduction of an essay or article. As mentioned previously it comes between the introduction and the conclusion which is where most of the writing is done. This signifies its importance.

There can be multiple body paragraphs in an article or an essay. That said, each of the body paragraphs should logically connect with one another. In addition to this, all the body paragraphs should focus on the main idea stated in the introduction. Also, the sentences should not be long, so that readers can easily consume the information.

Here is a brief breakdown of the structure of a body paragraph:

How to structure a body paragraph

Every body paragraph has four main parts. They are:

  • Topic Sentence
  • Evidence Or Supporting Sentences
  • Ending Or Conclusion
  • Transition

Here is a detailed breakdown of each one of them.

Topic sentence

The topic sentence is the first sentence in a body paragraph. This sentence discusses the main idea of the topic and indicates what information to expect in the rest of the paragraph. It sets the stage for the rest of the paragraph.

Evidence or supporting sentences

After the topic sentence comes the supporting sentences. These sentences are used to justify the claim that was stated in the topic sentence. Text citations, evidence, statistics, and examples are used to justify the claim. For example, if the topic sentence discusses “Switzerland is a must visit place”, then the supporting sentences should discuss the beautiful parts of Switzerland with examples to justify the claim.

One sentence to another sentence should flow seamlessly and this is possible by using transition words. Transition words like “however”, “although”, “in addition to”, “next”, and “in contrast” helps in doing exactly the same.

Ending or concluding sentence

Every body paragraph should end with a conclusion which comes after the supporting sentences. It summarizes the main idea of the body paragraph and emphasizes the supporting details. The conclusion gives way to the next line of the next paragraph.


Transitions are a few words that help in the smooth flow of the previous paragraph to the next paragraph. These words can be at the beginning of topic sentences or at the end of the body paragraph. They connect one idea of a paragraph to the next idea of another paragraph.

How to write an effective body paragraph

Keep the body paragraph’s focus on the topic

All the body paragraphs should support the claim made in the introduction of an essay or an article. It should be consistent with the main idea of the topic. It is recommended to avoid adding unnecessary information in the body paragraph that doesn’t relate to the main idea of the topic.

Break complicated topic sentences into smaller parts

If the topic sentence has many parts to it, the topic sentence should be divided into smaller ideas and each idea should be expressed in a different body paragraph. Having too many parts in a topic sentence will lead to many support sentences in the body paragraph which will be too lengthy for readers to grasp.

Add counterarguments

If it is an academic essay or an opinion article, counterarguments should be included in the piece. Adding counterarguments in such pieces will give a broader perspective of the piece. Such inclusions will strengthen the essay or article.

Use signals when more than one paragraph deals with the same evidence

If multiple body paragraphs deal with the same evidence, there are a few signal phrases that will help the reader connect with evidence used earlier in other paragraphs. The signal phrases like “As mentioned previously” and “As already mentioned” can be used.

Include paragraph breaks

It is a single-line space that divides one paragraph from another. This is necessary because too long paragraphs make it difficult for readers to grasp the information. A space between paragraphs will help the readers to easily wade through the text. A paragraph break also signals the transition of one idea of one body paragraph to an idea of another body paragraph.

The body paragraph should be short

The body paragraph should be short and concise. The paragraphs should not exceed one page. Paragraphs exceeding a page will make the article or essay complicated to comprehend the information.

Body paragraphs should be proofread

After writing the body paragraph, proofreading is done. This will help in finding and fixing mistakes. It will also help in removing unnecessary sentences in the body paragraph. The ideal way to proofread is by reading the body paragraph loudly. Doing so will help in identifying awkward word placements in the sentence.

In addition to this, asking questions like “is the body paragraph sticking to the main idea of the topic?” should be exercised. It will give a sense that if the paragraph is heading in the right direction or not.

How to start a body paragraph

The first sentence in a body paragraph is the topic sentence and it is the hardest sentence to write. The topic sentence sets the stage for the rest of the sentences in the paragraph.

Once the reader reads the topic sentence, the reader should get a sense that what the rest of the paragraph will be.

So, it should be concise and to the point, revealing enough information that will help the reader to know what the paragraph will be all about.

How to conclude a body paragraph

At the end of the body paragraph, the sentence should summarize the claim stated in the topic sentence and should also include a brief explanation of the supporting sentences. It should be written in such a way that the sentence is concise and at the same time reveals the main points.

This sentence will help the reader to get a gist of what the paragraph is all about.

Body paragraph vs. intro
Body paragraph vs. intro

Difference between body paragraph and introduction

Though both of them are paragraphs, they are very different. Firstly, the structure of an introduction is constructed differently than the body paragraph. An introduction consists of a thesis statement and a brief explanation. On the other hand, the body paragraph consists of a topic sentence, supporting sentences, and a conclusion.

Secondly, the introduction comes first in an essay or an article. In comparison, the body paragraph comes after the introduction. It comes after the introduction and before the conclusion of an essay or article.


1. What is the ideal number of sentences to be included in a body paragraph?

A typical body paragraph should contain at least six sentences.

2. How to structure a body paragraph?

To develop a well-structured paragraph:

  • Construct a topic sentence.
  • Include evidence to support the claim expressed in the topic sentence.
  • Add analysis to the paragraph.
  • End it with a conclusion summarizing the key points of the paragraph.
  • Finally, proofread the paragraph to identify and fix mistakes.
3. What is an introduction in an essay or article?

An introduction is the first paragraph of an essay or article. It gets the reader’s attention regarding the topic and provides the thesis statement of the topic. To write a good introduction:

  • Keep the introduction paragraph short.
  • In one to two sentences explain the thesis statement of the article or essay.
4. How many words should a body paragraph have?

There is no fixed number of words that a body paragraph should have. That said, typically a paragraph contains about a hundred to two hundred words which are six to seven sentences.

5. Can an essay or article have more than one body paragraph?

Yes, an essay or article can have more than one body paragraph. Some essays have three to four body paragraphs. That said, having two of these is enough to cover important points of the essay.

6. What is a conclusion in an essay?

A conclusion comes after the body paragraph at the end of the essay. A long essay can have two or three paragraphs to conclude. It summarizes the main idea of the topic.



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About the author

Dalia Y.: Dalia is an English Major and linguistics expert with an additional degree in Psychology. Dalia has featured articles on Forbes, Inc, Fast Company, Grammarly, and many more. She covers English, ESL, and all things grammar on GrammarBrain.

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