Body
Paragraphs
How to write them
Essay Structure

Introduction


Thesis Statement
Body




Subtopic #1
Subtopic #2
Subtopic #3
Conclusion
Remember our Thesis
Statement?
In Pakistan, Honor killing is a harsh and
cruel punishment that results in unfair deaths,
and it should be banned.
Now, let’s focus on the Body of
the Essay

Subtopic #1: Background Information and
Causes
What you need to include – this
matches your outline.
Topic Sentence for first main point
Supporting Detail
Commentary
Supporting Detail
Commentary
(Optional) Supporting Detail
Commentary
Closing Sentence
Topic Sentence

First sentence of each body paragraph.

States your main point.

Says what your whole paragraph will be
about.
First, let’s practice writing the
topic sentence.




Topic: Poverty
Opinion: is a world-wide problem
Main Cause (2 supporting details): caused
by society neglecting the poor.
Topic Sentence:

Poverty is a world-wide problem caused by
society neglecting the poor.
Practice…



Topic: Child labor on U.S. farms
Opinion: is a human rights violation
Main Cause: caused by poor families and
lack of government intervention
Child labor on US Farms is a human rights
violation caused by poor families and lack of
government intervention.
Practice Again…

Topic: Forced marriages
Opinion:
Main Cause:

Topic Sentence:


Sample Topic Sentence for
Subtopic #1: Background
Info./Causes



Topic: Honor Killings in Pakistan
Opinion: are a cruel and harsh punishment
Main Cause: caused by a male dominant
society that denies women their rights.
Honor Killings in Pakistan are a cruel
and harsh punishment caused by a male
dominant society that denies women their
rights.
Your turn…

Write your topic sentence in your outline.
Topic:
Opinion:
Main Cause:
Topic sentence:
Supporting Details

Gives a fact or statement supporting the topic
sentence.

Use your researched material and notes here.

Use INTERNAL CITATIONS also known as
parenthetical citations.

Usually 2-3 details per paragraph
Sample Supporting Details &
Parenthetical Citations

Detail #1 (Background/Cause): In Pakistan today, women are
thought of as the property of men. Women also represent the
family’s honor. If a woman acts of her own will and either has sex
outside of marriage or marries someone of her own will, she will
have dishonored the family (Mayell).

Detail #2 (Background/Cause): A local tribe, known as jirgas,
decides if the woman is dishonorable and declares the woman
‘kari,’ which literally means ‘black female’ or ‘tainted woman’
(Nosheen and Schellmann).

Detail #3 (Background/Cause): In order to restore the family’s
honor, the family or the tribe must kill these women (Mayell).
Topic sent. + 3 supporting details
Honor Killings are a cruel and harsh punishment
caused by a male dominant society that denies women
their rights. In parts of Pakistan today, women are
thought of as property of men. Women also represent
the family’s honor. If a woman acts of her own will and
either has sex outside of marriage or marries someone
of her own will, she will have dishonored the family
(Mayell 2002). A local tribe, known as jirgas, decides if
the woman is dishonorable and declares the woman
‘kari,’ which literally means ‘black female’ or ‘tainted
woman’ (Mayell 2011). In order to restore the family’s
honor, the family or the tribe must kill these women
(Mayell 2002).
Remember this?
Topic Sentence
Supporting Detail
Commentary
Supporting Detail
Commentary
(Optional) Supporting Detail
Commentary
Closing Sentence
Commentary

Gives explanation of supporting detail.
Connects your supporting detail to your topic
sentence by explaining the connection.

One or two commentary per supporting
detail.

Goes directly after its supporting detail.
Sample Commentary



Detail #1: Women should have equal rights
as men and should not be viewed as
property.
Detail #2: The jirga is made up of male
leaders who are already biased against
women and dictate their fate.
Detail #3: Killing a woman for these reasons
is an extreme punishment. In fact, a woman
should not have to die just for the sake of the
family’s honor.
Topic Sent. + Details & Citation
+ Commentary
Honor Killings are a cruel and harsh punishment caused by a
patriarchal society that denies women their rights. In parts of
Pakistan today, women are thought of as property of men. Women
also represent the family’s honor. Therefore, if a woman acts of her
own will and either has sex outside of marriage or marries
someone of her own will, she will have dishonored the family
(Mayell 2002). However, women should have equal rights as men
and should not be viewed as property. Next, a local tribe, known
as jirgas, decides if the woman is dishonorable and declares the
woman ‘kari,’ which literally means ‘black female’ or ‘tainted
woman’ (Nosheen and Schellmann 2011). The jirga is made up of
male leaders who are already biased against women and dictate
their fate. In order to restore the family’s honor, the tribe must kill
these women (Mayell 2002). Killing a woman for these reasons is
an extreme punishment. A woman should not have to die just for
the sake of the family’s honor.
Closing Sentence

Last sentence of each body paragraph.

Restates Topic Sentence.

Gives the audience a clinching thought for
the paragraph.
Sample Closing Sentence
Honor killings are an inhumane form of
punishment dictated by a male-dominated
society that denies women their essential
rights.
Here is the original topic sentence; same but
different:
Honor Killings are a cruel and harsh
punishment caused by a patriarchal society
that denies women their rights.
Put it ALL together…
Honor Killings are a cruel and harsh punishment caused by a
patriarchal society that denies women their rights. In parts of Pakistan
today, women are thought of as property of men. Women also represent
the family’s honor. If a woman acts of her own will and either has sex
outside of marriage or marries someone of her own will, she will have
dishonored the family (Mayell 2002). However, women are human beings
who should have equal rights as men and should not be viewed as
property. Next, a local tribe, known as jirgas, decides if the woman is
dishonorable and declares the woman ‘kari,’ which literally means ‘black
female’ or ‘tainted woman’ (Nosheen and Schellmann 2011). The jirga is
made up of male leaders who are already biased against women and
dictate their fate In order to restore the family’s honor, the tribe must kill
these women (Mayell 2002). Killing a woman for these reasons is an
extreme punishment. A woman should not have to die just for the sake of
a family’s honor. Honor killings are an inhumane form of punishment
dictated by a male-dominated society that denies women their essential
rights.
Whew! That’s Impressive! 
Don’t forget: Body Paragraph
Topic Sentence
Supporting Detail
Commentary
Supporting Detail
Commentary
(Optional) Supporting Detail
Commentary
Closing Sentence
Now, it’s your turn…
Pick 2-3 significant details
Read through your Background notes and
pick 2 - 3 significant details that best
explain your issue.
1.

2.
Sometimes these details can be combined with
another related detail from the same source.
Write them into your essay outline. If you
need more space, use filler paper.
Add Parenthetical Citations
1.
2.
For each detail, refer to the source in
parenthesis.
Use your citation handout to figure out the
format.
1.
2.
3.
(Author pg#) or
(“Title” pg#)
(“Title”) or
Add Commentary
For each detail, add a commentary.
1.
•
•
•
Elaborate (explain) further on the detail, or
Give a personal insight on the matter while
keeping a formal tone.
Make sure it relates to the topic sentence.
Write a Concluding Sentence

Rewrite your topic sentence so that it
includes the main point but said in a different
way.
Go to Subtopic #2: Effects
and do the same

Essay outline for Subtopic #1 is due Monday
= 20 pts.
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