Body Paragraph Development: ENG 1002

This post includes information about developing body paragraphs for analytical writing. It first discusses body paragraph development and then provides expectation for how to incorporate and use citation. I consider this a foundation skill-set involved in writing successful academic evidence-based claims.

PART 1: Paragraph Development.

In order to develop/write strong, logical body paragraphs, each one needs to include 3 parts:

  1. Topic sentence: one sentence that lets readers know the paragraph’s main point.
    • Doesn’t provide depth or example.
  2. Developing Sentences: 4-6 sentences, excluding citation.
    • Provides the description, example, or depth that explains your paragraph’s point to readers.
  3. Wrap-up (with optional transition): 1-3 sentences that end your point; may begin to transition to your next topic.

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Poetry Essay Sources: Credible Internet Sites

This post provides information about the credible Internet article requirement of the Poetry Essay, specific to my ENG 1002 course. Students are expected to use at least 1 peer-reviewed article retrieved from an IVCC library research database and at least 1 article from a credible Internet source; a maximum of 3 secondary sources is allowed.

General Suggestion: print the article(s) you believe you will use as evidence in your essay. Saving a link is fine, but having the printed copy will allow you to trouble-shoot Internet access issues and the event that a free sites moves to paid accounts.

Students are also required to choose one or two poems from the textbook or from the archive in order to explain how the themes, content, characters, and/or language of the poem represent a social issue (a social movement or trend is also allowed).


Choosing Credible Sources

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Accessing IVCC Library Databases from Home

When researching from a home for computer or one that is not using IVCC’s wifi while on campus, you’ll need to “log in” before you can access the library’s research databases. Here’s the process:

  1. pull up the IVCC library homepage
  2. click on the database in which you’d like to research
  3. it’ll redirect you to a log in screen, you’ll enter 24611 + your student number + 01, and then enter your last name.
  4. you will then have access to research
  5. log in again if your computer remains idle for a long period of time or you navigate away from the library page
  6. NOTE: if it’s still not working, try a different web browser (Chrome instead of Firefox or Firefox instead of Internet Explorer) and make sure your computer is allowing “pop-ups” from the IVCC website.


Primary versus Secondary Sources

First off, this description is specific to the Fiction Essay and Poetry Essay assignments in my ENG 1002 course, both face-to-face and online. Each of those essays asks students to use primary and secondary source citation to make a critical argument about a piece of short fiction or a poem/pair of poems.

Primary Source

The short story or poetry you are analyzing in  your essay. If your essay is about Disney’s Frozen, then Frozen is your primary source.

Here is an example way in which you can incorporate a primary source citation into your essay writing.

Secondary Source

The article(s) you use to support or make your critical/analytical claims about your short story or poetry. In most academic writing, the secondary source will fall into one of two categories (these categories will vary from instructor to instructor and assignment to assignment based on the assignment and course learning outcomes at hand):

  • academic secondary source: a scholarly journal article found via IVCC’s library databases, a reputable Internet article, streaming content from a TED talk or reputable podcast, and/or a personal interview. Many instructors will allow .org or .gov sites.
  • non-academic secondary source: Internet articles that may not have all of the WWWs, sites such as Wikipedia or Wikihow, documentaries from streaming sites such as Netflix (some instructors will consider documentaries as academic), social media posts, and most general .com sites.

You are expected to know what types of secondary sources are required for each writing assignment. And here is a link to the IVCC Stylebook ‘s “Using Sources” page with additional information about finding credible sources, representing sources fairly, where to use source information, and how to balance your writing voice with that of your sources.

Commonly Used Library Databases

Depending on the ENG 1002 learning module you’re working in, you’ll need to use one or more library database articles for your formal essay assignment. Here are the most commonly used library database resources (while the links may not work, the names are the same and can be found by scrolling through this master page):

Useful for General Research Topics

Useful for Controversial Topics and Topic Inspiration

Literary Topics and Literary Criticism

Remember that you’ll need to log into the library site if you’re not using a campus computer. When you reach the log in screen, you’ll enter 24611 + your purple student number + 01, and then enter your last name.

Example Paraphrase/Summary Citation

This post provides direction and best practices about properly incorporating MLA Style paraphrase and summary citation for ENG 1001 and ENG 1002 source-based essays. First there’s an example of how to incorporate a paraphrase/summary citation using proper MLA formatting and Citation Sandwich body paragraph structure. After that, you’ll find a description of “Paraphrase Best Practice” and a “Strong vs. Weak Example” of a paraphrase/summary citation.

More detailed information can be found in the “Paraphrasing from Sources” page the IVCC Stylebook.

Example Paraphrase/Summary with Citation Sandwich Steps

A paraphrase or summary citation happens when you describe all or part of an article/text/source in your own words rather than using word-for-word language from a source. Because a paraphrase uses your own language, it does not need quotation marks, but it should be incorporated into your body paragraph only after you provide a topic sentence and begin your paragraph’s claim.

Topic sentence of body paragraph. 2-3 sentences that set-up or build the paragraph’s claim. According to the article “Kids, Gender, and the Complexity of Social Gender Norms” from The Atlantic, gender expectations can be established as early as toddler years. Researchers have seen children as young as two years choosing gendered toys when given the option. The article also makes the claim that children brought up in gender neutral environments do not show a marked difference in their choice of toys (Stevens). It is easy to claim that parents are responsible for teaching a young girl to like pink or dolls or a young boy to like blue and trucks; however, the evidence it showing that parents can make all the effort at home to provide a neutral environment with little impact. Until the outside social exposure that children receive via television, grocery stores, day care providers, and the like becomes less gendered, there is little lasting impact parents will have. 

Things to note about this example:

  1. The parenthetical documentation formatting of this source tells readers this article is by 1 author with the last name of Stevens. On the Works Cited page, this entry would begin with the authors last name, comma first.
  2. The use of the introductory signal phrase as well as the continued reference back to the source helps show readers where the paraphrase begins and where it ends as well as the source in which the info/idea originally comes.
  3. The explanation or context provided by you, the student, is nearly as long as the paraphrase citation, making your voice just as strong (or stronger) than the voice of the citation. 

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Citing Poetry in Text

The IVCC Stylebook includes examples of citing poetry as does our textbook, pgs. 411-412. But I’ve also included some examples here with “made-up” poems–you will input your own poem’s title, author name, line numbers, and page numbers (when applicable). I’ve included both direct quote and paraphrase/summary citation examples.

Those using the poem “Suicide Note” will reference it as though it comes from our textbook.

These examples are geared toward the Poetry Essay assignment, but please note the three main expectations when including direct quote citation from a poetry in your essay writing:

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