Body Paragraph: Purpose & Relationship to Thesis

THESIS = COMPASS: The thesis for a paper is like a compass. It sets direction and purpose for the paper.

The basic elements of a thesis include:

Topic: Main subject for the essay.
Objective: Author’s opinion & defined purpose for the essay.
Preview: Outline of how the author will meet the stated objective or purpose of the thesis.
Specific: Objective and preview make a specific claim

A thesis/compass tells you where to go and keeps you pointed in the right direction, with the preview or list of how the writer intends to achieve their objective/purpose. The elements of this preview or list become the topics of each body paragraph.

The body is like a map, it provides all the details for how the writer is moving toward their objective.
1) Clarify each element of the “Preview” provided within the thesis statement.
2) Provide strong supporting evidence.
3) Provide insightful commentary to answer the audience’s potential questions or opposition.
4) Connect details and audience back to essay’s main purpose.


Topic: A clearly defined topic that matches an element of the preview of the thesis.
Objective: A writing objective/opinion that supports the purpose of the thesis.
Preview: A preview of how the writer will achieve their objective for the paragraph.
Specific: The “point” statement must state the writer’s specific, unique viewpoint. (not just repeat the language of the thesis).