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The paragraph body

The paragraph body follows the paragraph introduction. The body is where you discuss the idea or topic of the paragraph that you introduced in the topic sentence. For instance, most topic sentences make a statement, which the rest of the paragraph is expected to support or prove.

Luckily, there are lots of ways you can discuss and support the main idea of your paragraph.


Facts are pieces of information which are generally accepted to be true. For instance, this is a fact:

The highest point on the surface of our planet is the top of Mt Everest.

Facts are a great way to support the idea discussed in your paragraph. Because they’re generally accepted to be true, they are powerful ways to support your idea and help lead your reader to accept it. Often, you can present a number of facts, which, when read together, point the reader towards one conclusion.

The paragraph body

This is a fact, presented in a sentence. Facts often have numbers in them. What we can do now is add other facts on top of this sentence:

The paragraph body

In this paragraph body, the reader is presented firstly with a topic sentence. Then, they’re bombarded with a series of facts. All these facts are there to lead the reader to make the same conclusion that the writer has made in the topic sentence. Some of the facts directly link to the topic sentence, some are more indirect and work in cooperation with other facts to get there.

Studies of fish populations in the river show that the population had been cycling over the past 20 years with a maximum variation in population of 10%.

This is a fact, but it doesn’t directly help support the topic sentence. Rather, when combined with later facts, it is useful.

The paint factory commenced operation at the start of 2001.

Once again, this fact by itself isn’t very useful for supporting our topic sentence. But look at the next fact:

Further studies of the fish population showed that it dropped by 80% over that year, and did not recover in any of the years since then.

The ‘over that year’ part is the crucial part - it refers to the year 2001 talked about in the previous sentence, which is when the factory started operating. So, this sentence links the information about an 80% drop in population with the fact in the previous sentence about when the factory started operating. Now, we don’t know whether an 80% drop in population in one year is significant or not. This is where the first fact we read becomes important - it says that the population over the last 20 years never varied by more than 10%. This tells us that a drop of 80% in one year is very drastic and not normal at all.

So these three facts, cooperating together, point to the factory causing an abnormal reduction in fish. But, just to hammer the point home even more, we present one more fact at the end of the sentence:

Analysis of the water downstream of the paint factory found toxic chemicals known to be a by-product of industrial paint production processes.

Handy Hint - Fact omission

Even though you can’t change facts themselves, you can influence how the reader interprets them by how you present them. What you present and what you don’t present is also important. Take this example:

The break-in occurred at 12 noon. The suspect was at work that day, but took a 1 hour lunch break by himself at 11:30 ...

Hmmm ... sounds suspicious. However, maybe I’ve omitted (left out) certain facts:

The break-in occurred at 12 noon. The suspect was at work that day, but took a 1 hour lunch break by himself at 11:30. The local librarian saw him arrive at the library at 11:50 am and read until about 12:25 pm.

This extra fact puts a totally different spin on the events and makes the suspect, who appeared guilty in the previous paragraph, now seem innocent. You’ll experience a lot of omission of important facts in your everyday life, such as when you hear a politician speaking, or when you read certain columns in a newspaper. Just remember that you may not always be hearing the complete story.