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Advanced Composition 

Expanding a Paragraph into an Essay

March 24, 2005

 An essay, in many ways, is structurally the same as a paragraph. You can, thus, write an essay by using a well-constructed paragraph as your starting point. 


Essays and Paragraphs: Similarities:

Paragraphs begin with a topic sentence; essays begin with introductory sentences, followed by a thesis (topic sentence for the essay).

Paragraphs contain two to three detailed examples on a single topic; essays contain two to three paragraphs that give two to three examples on a single topic.

Paragraphs end with the topic restated in a concluding sentence; essays end with a concluding paragraph that begins by restating the thesis (topic) and ends with concluding sentences.

Writing Assignment

Take your paragraph from last week's class, on a three-step fitness plan, and expand it into a short essay.

Each of your three examples will become a body paragraph. Add more detail to expand each body paragraph to 75 to 100 words.

Remember to have a topic sentence and concluding sentence for each body paragraph! Your paragraph topic sentence will become your thesis.

Introduce your thesis sentence in about 30 words. Conclude your essay by restating your thesis sentence. Add 30 words that conclude your ideas.


• Take your rough draft home with you today.

• Make at least five corrections to the draft and recopy the paragraph.

• Hand in your original and your revised copy to class next week.



Please also visit your Advanced Composition Class Page where you can access current and past lessons.

More Lessons (index of past lesson worksheets)