In the body of our essay, we follow up on the thesis statement. In the 5-paragraph format, we would devote three paragraphs to advancing our thesis, beginning each one with a topic sentence stating the paragraph’s main idea. Given the above example of a thesis statement, regarding Bob Dylan and the Nobel Prize in literature, our three topic sentences might be:
Examining Bob Dylan’s response to the Presidential Medal of Freedom, we see signs of deep humility, anticipating his reaction to the Nobel Prize.
Dylan’s behavior, when receiving the Officier de la Legion d’honnuer, evidences discomfort over the honor, presaging his response to the Nobel award.
Bob Dylan’s remarks about previous winners of the Nobel Prize in Literature show that he views himself unworthy of that honor, thereby foreshadowing his response to the award.