TBEAR!
Creating Effective Body Paragraphs
TBEAR
Topic with a transition
Background
Evidence
Analysis
Return/Respond to the thesis
TBEAR is not a formula, but a checklist for you to
keep in mind as you write body paragraphs.
Remember the common issues?
• Students want to let their quotes and research
write their papers
• Students write what they think without any
backup
• Students expect the reader to make sense of
all the information they’ve just thrown at
them.
This will help.
Body Paragraphs are integrated.
This means they weave together the
writer’s voice and the voices of the
authors or sources the writer wants to
include to prove his/her points.
 (I have something to say, and these
voices are here to back me up so you can
trust me.)
Topic Sentence with Transition
Questions to ask:
• What is the general statement that organizes this
paragraph?
• How is it connected to my previous
paragraph/idea?
 Don’t forget the importance of transitions within the
paragraph. The reader should not have to make the leap
from one idea to the next.
Background/Introductions of Evidence
Questions to ask
• What specific information is leading up to my
evidence or examples?
• What is needed for the reader to understand
my point before I make it?
• Where did I get this evidence from?
• What gives my evidence credibility?
Ways to Introduce Quotations
(Capturing the claim)
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This this article, “____,” X states, “____” (##).
As the prominent researcher X puts it, “___” (##).
According to X, “___” (##).
X argues that, “____” (##).
In her book, ____, X maintains that “___” (##).
In X’s view, “____” (##).
X agrees when she write, “___” (##).
X disagrees when he writes, “___” (##).
Writing in the magazine _____, X complains that “___”
(##).
• X emphasizes this when he argues, “____” (##).
Effective Verbs for Introducing
Summaries and Quotations:
Making a claim:
Questioning or
disagreeing:
Expressing
agreement:
Making
recommendations:
Argues
Asserts
Believes
Claims
Emphasizes
Insists
Observes
Reminds us
Reports
Suggests
Complains
Contends
Contradicts
Denies
Questions
Refutes
Rejects
Renounces
Acknowledges
Admires
Agrees
Does not deny
Endorses
Praises
Reaffirms
Supports
Verifies
Advocates
Calls for
Demands
Encourages
Implores
Pleads
Recommends
Urges
Warns
Try to use stronger verbs than said, states, or writes!
Evidence/Examples
Question to ask:
• What pieces of evidence or examples should I
include to prove my point?
Analysis of Examples
Questions to ask:
• What does the evidence mean? For instance if
it includes statistics, what do the statistics
show? What do my quotes show/prove?
It is your job to do the work for the reader!
Important Note About Analysis!
• Analysis is not a simple restatement of the
evidence put into different words. Effective
analysis talks about the evidence, giving it
meaning to the reader.
Remember- It is your job to create meaning for
the reader! This is what analysis is for!
Some examples for Explaining Evidence:
(not a simplistic, re-wording of the quotes)
• In other words, X believes _______________.
• In making this comment, X argues _________
________________.
• X’s point is that ______________________.
• The essence of X’s argument is that ________
_____________.
• These statistics demonstrate the need for ___
_________.
• These events illustrate _____________________.
Responding/Returning to the Thesis
Questions to Ask:
• How did this whole paragraph prove my overall
point of the paper?
Do not simply restate the thesis!
Respond to the so what questions that your thesis
generates. This is where you make the connection
of this paragraph (the subtopic) to the big picture
of your whole paper (the main topic).
Example Integrated Paragraph
Large circus animals are a danger to the public and
to entertainers. In some circuses, elephants have gone
on rampages and attacked or even killed others.
According to a government House Committee website,
“In Palm Bay, Florida in 1992, an elephant named Janet
went on a rampage while carrying children on her
back” (“Captive”). Furthermore, in 2003, there was a
well publicized tiger attack of Ray Horn, a trainer for
Siegfried and Roy. In both these examples, the animals
acted in ways that put trainers and children in danger.
This is one of the major reasons we need to stop using
large animals as performing pets.
Label this example paragraph.
As landfills are filled with refuse or closed because of
environmental threats, the number of available waste
dumping facilities in America dwindles. According to
Newsweek magazine, “more that two-thirds of America’s
landfills have closed since the late 1970’s” (Anderson 11).
By calculating these figures, this will leave a total of twoninths of original waste dumping facilities open after
1994. Communities will have problems with where to
ship their trash. Many will have to ship it out-of-state,
raising the dumping prices. However, this doesn’t always
work out, as one example shows: “In the late 1980’s, the
Mobro garbage barge from Islip, New York was turned
away from 11 states and 5 counties” (California
Department of Conservation 81). Because America
cannot deal with these problems for long, we need to
vastly increase our recycling facilities.
Create your own paragraph.
• Thesis: Regulation of cell phone use while driving is needed
because drivers using phones are seriously impaired and because
laws on negligent and reckless driving are not sufficient to punish
offenders.
• Evidence: Two-year-old Morgan Pena was killed by a driver
distracted by his cell phone. Morgan’s mother, Patti Pena reports
that the driver “ran a stop sign at 45 mph, broadsided my vehicle
and killed Morgan as she sat in her car seat” (Haley).
• Evidence: Corrections officer Shannon Smith, who was guarding
prisoners by the side of the road, was killed by a woman distracted
by a phone call (Besthoff).
• Evidence: John and Carole Hall were killed when a Naval Academy
midshipman crashed into their parked car. The driver said in court
that when he looked up from the cell phone he was dialing, he was
three feet from the car and had no time to stop (Stockwell B8).
Is This an Effective Paragraph?
Label what elements of TBEAR the paragraph contains, and then comment
upon the positives and the negatives of this paragraph.
One area of the new brain research reveals that the
first three years of a child’s life are crucial to the
development of the brain. Proper stimulation of infants
can, according to Kotulak, affect the development of
language, vision, brain power, aggression, emotions, touch,
and education (9-11). An editorial in the New York Times
states that the importance of early stimulation– to promote
the healthy brain development in children– is a compelling
argument for the expansion of supports for new parents
and of quality child care programs” (“Nurturing”). North
Carolina, Vermont, Colorado, and Ohio are implementing
programs to offer support services to families with young
children (“Nurturing”).
Positives:
Negatives:
How do all of these
helpful writing techniques that I’ve learned
fit together in a body paragraph?
Jane Schaefer (2-chunk paragraph)
TS
Topic Sentence
CD
Concrete Detail
1-Chunk
CM Commentary
CM Commentary
CD
Concrete Detail
1-Chunk
CM Commentary
CM Commentary
CS
Concluding/Closing Sentence
Quotation Sandwich
Background
Quote
Analysis
TBEAR
Topic with a Transition
Background
Evidence
Analysis
Background
Quote
Analysis
Background
Evidence
Analysis
Respond/Return to thesis
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To analyze is to: dissect, examine, investigate, break down, take apart, interpret,
and determine the essential features of.
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Analysis is: insight, interpretation, inference, evaluation, explication and reflection.
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Questions that prompt analysis: Why is this important? Why does this matter to
my Thesis? What does this CD/quote/evidence show or prove? SO WHAT?