How to Transition to the Body of an Essay

How to Transition to the Body of an Essay

Whether you are writing an essay for entrance to a college program, to win a contest or scholarship, or just for a routine classroom assignment, solid essay-writing is a key that opens doors. The first step to writing a successful essay is learning to use a simple essay form.

1 Five Paragraph Essay Form

Many educators teach essay writing using the five paragraph essay form. In this form, the first paragraph serves as the introduction, the middle three paragraphs are considered the body and the final paragraph is the conclusion. In the introduction, you must introduce your thesis to your readers and list the points you plan to address in the body of the essay. However, you must provide continuity to your essay, using a smooth transition from your introduction to the body of your essay.

2 Write an Introduction

The first step of successful essay writing is creating an introduction that captures your reader's attention and entices them to keep reading your work. The first paragraph also introduces your main argument, or thesis, as well as the three supporting points you will use to prove your thesis. Your supporting points will become your second, third and fourth paragraphs in the essay, so be sure to list them in order in the introduction. Always end the introduction paragraph with a transition sentence that will guide your reader into the next paragraph.

3 Transition to the Body of the Essay

Begin the second paragraph of the essay with a transition sentence that ties into the last sentence of the introduction paragraph. You can even use a "reverse hook" that references the entire thesis, bridging the two paragraphs. Then, restate the point of the body paragraph in the second sentence if you did not in the first.

4 Finishing the Essay

Once you have successfully transitioned to the body of the essay, you can focus on completing the essay. Use the rest of the second paragraph to support your first point using evidence and interesting examples. Repeat this process for your third and fourth paragraphs, addressing one supporting point per paragraph. Finally, write a conclusion paragraph that restates your thesis and gives the reader a sense of closure.

The five paragraph essay form is an easy to use template for constructing an essay that clearly states your thesis and backs it up with supporting details. Using carefully crafted transitions and vivid details, you can transform this simple form into a compelling essay that holds your reader's interest from introduction to conclusion.

David Harris is a writer living in Portland, Ore. He currently is the editor-in-chief of the online magazine Spectrum Culture. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College.