Chapter 4: Structuring, Paragraphing, and Styling

4.8 Sample Body Paragraph

Amanda Lloyd

A strong body paragraph should support the claim you make in your thesis statement. Our sample body paragraph develops a key supporting idea (sub-claim) from the argumentative thesis in section 3.4, which is reproduced here:

Teenagers and young adults seem to use their phones everywhere—in the classroom, at the dinner table, even in restroom stalls—because they want to stay connected to their friends and peers at all times, but I think spending that much time online is detrimental to their social skills and mental health.

The sub-claims that the writer of this thesis statement will have to support in the body of the essay are

  1. spending too much time online is detrimental to social skills
  2. spending too much time online is detrimental to mental health

The following sample body paragraph begins to develop the second of these sub-claims:

In addition to impeding social development, excessive cellphone use can contribute to a range of mental health disorders. For example, Jean M. Twinge et al., a team of psychology researchers from San Diego State and Florida State Universities, conclude that increased screen time in adolescents is associated with a higher risk of depressive symptoms when compared to those engaged in nonscreen activities (9). Moreover, in the same study, the authors report that “adolescents using devices 5 or more hours a day (vs. 1 hour) were 66% more likely to have at least one suicide-related outcome” (9). Teenagers and young adults are not only more likely to engage in problematic use or overuse of cellphones, but because they are still maturing cognitively, they are especially vulnerable to the psychological repercussions.

Color Coding Key:

Paragraph-level transition (See section 4.7 for help with paragraph-level transitions)

Topic sentence (See section 4.3 for help with topic sentences)

Sentence-level transitions (See section 4.7 for help with sentence-level transitions)

Supporting evidence (See section 4.4 for help with supporting evidence)

Explaining the evidence (See section 4.5 for help with explaining evidence)


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