Chapter 5: Maintaining Focus and Purpose: The Body Paragraphs

Body Paragraphs

So, your essay-in-progress currently has five full body paragraphs. Remember, you do not want to include your thesis in the essay proper just yet. Better to keep the thesis and the body paragraphs separate for easy reference and comparison. Remember that your thesis is still evolving and may change slightly as the writing of body paragraphs forces you to confront specific aspects of the text under analysis. Here’s how the essay looks so far (with some explanatory notes detailing how we arrived at each paragraph):

Body Paragraph I


In his coy opening paragraphs, Justice describes the many uses of language as if they are features of a “new communications app” he “just invented.” Justice notes how language use “facilitates an expanding network of people” and “opens up incredible possibilities for creativity and cooperation.” Such clever itemization of language’s many features enables Justice to establish language as a tool that has at its root the human desire to connect and work together. Though centuries of migration and conflict may have turned the world into a “Tower of Babel” in which populations are divided by different languages, “all of us living today have a common history” in which language was developed first and foremost to create community.

Please note: As we noted in our essay outline, a good entry point into our analysis of Justice’s article is to quote and unpack the contrast of “cooperation” and “conflict.” Returning to our notes and our annotated version of Justice’s essay, we see how language is described as a point of conflict, a “Tower of Babel,” but also, conversely, as a tool that undeniably “facilitates an expanding network of people” and encourages “creativity and cooperation.” Looking toward the explication in our second paragraph of Justice’s repetition of “commons,” we end this first body paragraph with a transitional comment on “community.”