5. Writing the body paragraphs

A well-organised body paragraph supports and develops the main point expressed in the topic sentence, which in turn links to the stance from the introduction. This can be done through reference to the text of the book as well as through citation of expert sources. The following is a possible way to organize a body paragraph.

Body paragraph section


Topic sentence


Elaboration of the topic sentence



Concluding sentence

Introduce the main point.


Elaborate on the main point with support from the text of the book and expert sources.


Round up the paragraph by echoing the topic sentence, often in connection with your stance.


Body paragraph example

The following is a body paragraph from the analytical book review of Richard Bach’s Illusions. Notice the content of the different parts of the paragraph.

Another social norm that Shimoda flouts repeatedly in the novel is politeness. Merchant and Ivey (2013) emphasize the role that politeness plays in society in showing respect for others and avoiding extreme or even violent interactions.  Unfortunately, Donald Shimoda at various times in the story expresses himself to others in ways that are not very polite and respectful. For instance, he continuously interrupts the narrator in order to “correct” his thinking, instead of being patient, listening, and trying to understand what the narrator is feeling. More specifically, in the climactic scene during the radio interview, Shimoda actually provokes the listeners by making statements like “No one can stop us from doing what we want to do” (p. 124) and “It’s okay if the world’s destroyed” (p. 125). Rather than engaging the audience at the level that they can best understand, Shimoda intentionally incites their anger. He even responds to a threat by one listener to come and shoot him with a seeming invitation to violence: “Of course you’re free to do that” (p. 129). This leads directly to the murder of Shimoda near the end of the book. Thus, it can be seen that Shimoda’s extreme rejection of the social norm of politeness has dire consequences, and should not be emulated.

Topic sentence

Elaboration of topic sentence with support from outside source




Elaboration of topic sentence with support from book






Concluding sentence


About this website

EWRite is an open access online literacy platform for PolyU community that has two major objectives:

  • to support PolyU students’ literacy development within and across the disciplines
  • to support subject and language teachers to implement system-level measures for integrating literacy-sensitive pedagogies across the university

This platform provides access to generic genre guides representing typical university assignments as well as links to subjects offered by faculties with specific disciplinary genres and relevant support materials.

The materials can be retrieved by students by choosing the genres that interest them on the landing page. Each set of materials includes a genre guide, genre video, and a genre checklist. The genre guide and video are to summarize the genres in two different ways (i.e. textual and dynamic) to fit different learning styles. The genre checklist is for students to self-regulate their writing process. The genre guide and checklist include links to various ELC resources that can provide further explanation to language items (e.g. hedging and academic vocabulary).

The platform also acts as a one-stop-shop for writing resources for students, language teachers and subject leaders. Information about the English Writing Requirement policy can also be found on this platform. There are training materials for new colleagues joining the EWR Liaison Team.