Chapter 5: Maintaining Focus and Purpose: The Body Paragraphs

Big Beefy Building Blocks: Filling Those Body Paragraphs

Let’s first watch Video 5.1 on what body paragraphs are supposed to do.

Returning to the metaphor of the three-storey thesis, your body paragraphs are the steps you use to take your reader from the claim you make in your introduction (the first storey), through your focused analysis of textual specifics (the second storey), and into your perceived importance of your reading which you aim to culminate in your conclusion (the third storey). As such, your body paragraphs need to lead your audience through your reading of the article in a way that delineates clearly the validity of your claims and the logic of your conclusion. This is where our evolving thesis and the outline we created in Chapter 4 are so important.

For the purposes of demonstration, we will be using the thesis and outline we developed for our analysis of Charles Justice’s “The Ultimate Communications App.” Your task in this chapter will be to develop and use a thesis and outline for an analysis of Michael Welsh’s “Kids Around the World Just Want to Hang Out.” Pay attention to how we create our essay, then develop your own body paragraphs for your analysis of Welsh’s article which you will bring to class. You should also be developing your thesis and outline for your midterm essay so you will be ready to workshop elements of your essay in class.

In developing our first and second storeys—our focus and claim—for our thesis on “The Ultimate Communications App,” we built a purposeful analytical statement around the textual element we perceived to be the most important, namely, Justice’s contrast of “cooperation” and “conflict” in conjunction with repetitions of “common.” This contrast demonstrates that while language is the tool we often use to express our differences and dissatisfaction, it is also the manifestation of a common desire to share and connect. Here is our three-storey thesis with our first storey italicized and our second storey bolded:


Speaking to an audience of first year university students in Canada, Charles Justice in “The Ultimate Communications App” utilizes the contrast of “cooperation” and “conflict” in combination with the repetition of the word “common” in closing his argument. From this, Justice is arguing that while humans have become distanced into “occupying different places” through technological, agricultural and domestication evolution, it is the shared historical fact that humanity grew from the same original roots of collective language construction that unites every modern person to their human counterparts around the globe. Considering Justice definition of the common as “a level-playing field,” Justice concludes with a call to arms extolling humans to grasp their ethical responsibility not only to each other but to “share” in the present concerns of a globalized population of humans in the entire “Earth’s biosphere.”