Each body paragraph should start with a topic sentence in which you state the point you will be developing within each paragraph. These should not be simply self-evident statements. There must be a point to them. If you say “‘Cinderella’ is about a girl becoming a princess” you are correct, but your paper will not be particularly interesting. Instead you might say “‘Cinderella’ shows how good triumphs over evil; though Cinderella was given all the chores, which could have made her ugly, she was the most beautiful.” This makes your main point be about good triumphing over evil, specifically through her physical beauty.
Fanny Priceâ€™s insipidness is a major aspect of her character which persists throughout the novel.
Then you should give examples from various parts of the novel to show that this is true. You need a minimum of two, though three would probably be better. Four would be okay, but five would be too many and overburden your paragraph and your reader. If you need that many examples, you need to break down the topic into multiple paragraphs. You might, for example, decide to make this two paragraphs. One paragraph would be about how Fanny’s insipidness is first made apparent to the reader and the second would be about how the insipidness was carried throughout the entire novel.
You should choose the best examples to show your point unless you need to use the same example to make another point. If the best example of Fannyâ€™s insipidness is also the best one to show her inerrancy, then you have to make a judgment call. Determine which of the two is the weaker argument and use the best example for that argument, since it is the one that needs the most help.
Do not use the same example to illustrate multiple points. Doing this indicates to your teacher that you did not read the work. If there is an example that is absolutely necessary to two points, make sure you use more than enough other examples to make clear that you have read the text.
Give just enough detail in your examples to make your point. Do not give too much detail; your teacher has read the book. Also donâ€™t give so little information that your reader has to fill in your meaning.
How to Close a Body Paragraph
A body paragraph can end in many ways. The best, and the most difficult, is tying up the paragraph while leading into the next topic.
So, if you were doing the Fanny Price with two paragraphs, you might end:
While X introduces Fanny as an insipid character, this characterization is continued through the entire novel in various ways.
Then the next paragraph would start with:
In four different instances, Austen makes Fanny Priceâ€™s insipidness a major characteristic of the heroineâ€¦.