When you write your essay for the STAAR EOC, you will be limited to a page with 26 lines. Because of this, you will develop only ONE body paragraph as shown in this example. In reality, most essays will have several body paragraphs to support the thesis. Regardless of an essay having only one body paragraph or several, the elements in the body of the paper are identical.
Be sure you know which part of the assignment page is the prompt to which you should respond. Read the information in the box below. Some argue that our so-called information age is really an “interruption age.” With smart phones in hand, we spend much of the day texting, tweeting, and surfing the Web. Rather than concentrating on big issues, we fill our heads with the trivia and gossip that interrupts our attention. So much information passes our way that we have trouble remembering any of it. Think carefully about this question: Do you believe that instant communication is helping or hurting us? Write an essay stating whether we live in an information age or an interruption age. Be sure to— *state your position clearly *use appropriate organization *provide specific support for your argument *choose your words carefully *edit your writing for grammar, mechanics, and sentences
The first two steps of the assignment provide information that may be helpful in understanding the prompt, but they are not the prompt. In fact, if you ignore these items, it will not affect your ability to write the essay. It is the third step of the assignment that is your PROMPT. This is what you must respond to in your essay. The final step reminds you of the essentials to include when writing the essay.