Build A Better Body

As both a writer and writing instructor I often tout the importance of introductions and conclusions, however it does not do to overlook the body of your article or essay. After all, no matter how intriguing your introduction or how compelling your conclusion, if the body of your essay falls flat then you will have failed as a writer.

Creating a powerful, effective body for your essay or article is not challenging if you plan carefully, write meaningfully, and revise repeatedly. In fact, if you plan carefully and write meaningfully then you may not have to revise very much, but you should still allow time just in case.

Planning carefully means spending time to brainstorm and mull over the ideas and elements you would like to cover in the body of your essay or article. What topic do you plan to write about? Ask yourself an important question related to that topic and your answer to that question will often become the basis for your thesis statement -- or quite simply the point you are trying to make with this essay or article.

Now that you have identified your main point, or thesis, you can begin to build on this foundation. You must now make a list of three, four or five (although I prefer to use 3 or 5 for some odd reason) points you can make to expand or support this main point or thesis.

For example, perhaps you plan to write an essay about why writing is a rewarding career path. So you could make your thesis: Writing is a rewarding career path because it offers professional rewards, financial rewards, and personal rewards.

Now your challenge is to build the body of your essay or article with these topics in mind. If you are writing a short piece then you can simply write one or two paragraphs on each of these three points: professional, financial, and personal rewards. If you are writing a longer piece then you will write a section focused on those three points. In order to develop each section you could then brainstorm three points to make about each of these topics.

For example, writing can help you professionally by serving as a profession in itself, by furthering most other professional fields, and by furthering your education, could all be topics you could explore within the "professional" writing section.

Spending time before you write to brainstorm, plan and craft a solid thesis can help you with your writing and a clear thesis can also help your reader understand what you are writing.

Building a better body for your essay and article does not have to be difficult or challenging, but spending time to plan and execute the body of your piece can make a substantial difference in the outcome of your writing.
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