When it comes to writing, the body of your essay is where you support the claims you make in your introduction and conclusion. Each paragraph should have its own miniature argument, and each paragraph should relate back to the major argument of your paper.
For example, if you’re writing a paper that argues the war on drugs in the United States has been ineffective, you’ll state that idea in the introductory paragraph. Your body paragraphs may focus on the rise in drug use since the war on drugs started, the increase in prison sentences, and street violence. However, not every paragraph has to support your argument. By admitting weaknesses in your argument and addressing them, your argument will become even stronger. For instance, the war on drugs may have decreased the amount of people who die of overdoses, but you could argue that this is due not to the war on drugs, but better medical care available to people who overdose.
Your body paragraphs should also transition into one another as smoothly as possible. Try to make the last sentence of each paragraph link up to the first sentence of the next paragraph. Using transition words is an easy way to do this, but try to mix up your transitions so that they don’t become stale.
Think of each paragraph as its own essay. In fact, each body paragraph serves as a building block to your larger essay. The more care you take with each individual piece, the better your overall argument will be.
For additional insights and writing support watch our blog entries. Another great resource is the Purdue OWL.