The Art of the Body Paragraph

Body paragraphs are the paragraphs in your essay that follow your introduction but precede your conclusion, and are used to explain your argument in detail. The body paragraphs are one of the most important parts of an essay — they do make up the majority of it, after all! You will most likely have to write hundreds of body paragraphs over the course of your academic career, so it’s important to get them right. However, writing body paragraphs can often be tricky, especially when you don’t know where to start. Luckily, there’s a simple formula that you can use that might help out!

The formula that many students use to write their body paragraphs is an acronym called TEAM. Here are what the letters stand for!

T – Thesis/topic sentence

E – Evidence (quotes, statistics, facts) 

A- Analysis (discussion of what the evidence means/its importance)

M – Meaning (this is where you tie your paragraph together with a nice concluding sentence!) 

When writing a body paragraph using the TEAM formula, you start by writing a topic sentence that lays out the main point that you will be discussing in the paragraph. Then, you state specific evidence supports your claim. Next,spend a couple sentences explaining how the evidence supports your point and elaborating on its significance. This portion of your paragraph should be the longest part! Finally, you will conclude your paragraph with a sentence that summarizes what you discussed in the paragraph, without simply just repeating your topic sentence. 

Let’s take a look at an example of a body paragraph to see TEAM in action!

Firstly, dogs are good pets because they help keep owners active. In fact, according to one study, dog owners are about four times more likely than other people to meet physical activity guidelines. This is because since dogs require daily walks, owning a dog causes people to participate in more physical activity. This is important because staying physically active leads to better health, which results in living a longer life. For anyone who wants to live a long and healthy life, owning a dog will surely bring fulfillment and happiness. 

In the above paragraph, the writer begins by laying out their claim, before going on to cite evidence that supports their claim and then discussing their evidence. Note how the analysis is the longest section within the paragraph! After analyzing the evidence, the writer neatly wraps up their paragraph with a sentence that ties everything that they have said together. 

Of course, there are other elements that are important to keep in mind to learn about in order to master writing body paragraphs, such as transitions, good grammar, and vocabulary! However, before we focus on any of these skills, it’s important that we master the fundamental structure of the body paragraph, and the TEAM formula will help us do just that! By regularly practicing writing body paragraphs using the TEAM formula, you’ll surely be a body paragraph pro in no time! 

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