Module 3.2: Essay body

The body of an academic essay is constructed by paragraphs which contain arguments supported by data and evidence and by reference to expert opinion. Facts and arguments presented in the body to support your thesis statement must be logically sequenced. The reader should not have to perform 'mental gymnastics' to make the link between your thesis and the point being discussed. Also, the information presented must be relevant to the point you are making and must be convincing. To be relevant, the writer has to be ruthless in rejecting any ideas and facts which do not directly help to build the credibility of the thesis.

Below are some body paragraphs which address the essay topic of:

The study of nanoparticles is an important emerging field within nanotechnology. These particles are providing new solutions to many intractable problems, yet may be creating more problems than they solve. What is your view?

Please read the text above in its original form.

Examples of body paragraphs:

An impressive medical application of nanotechnology is the use of nanoparticles for effective and targeted drug delivery. A combined team from Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have been able to deliver ‘short-life’ chemicals to targeted sites within tissues using a chemical coating on nanoparticles of a biodegradable polymer (PLGA). These chemicals remain active for a maximum of two weeks and they target specific diseased sites within the body. The benefits of using these chemicals are improved provision of health care and economic benefits for health care providers. The patient receives smaller amounts of the drug directly to the required site and this targeted delivery avoids damage to other organs. The hospital stay for these patients is shorter which then has a positive impact on the health care budget. In the future it is anticipated that with further advances in nanotechnology, all nano based medications will eventually be delivered orally (Greenemeier, 2008).  This prospect will significantly improve quality of life outcomes for patients and will positively impact hospital budgets.

Explanation:
The writer begins by commenting on the beneficial aspects of nanoparticles. The writer provides an example which is designed to convince the reader of their practical usefulness.

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A highly specialised procedure is the use of nanoparticles of silver to fight bacteria (Heger, 2008). Some bacteria (such as Staphylococcus aureus, MRSA) have developed resistance to the antibiotics that were once commonly used to treat them (Victorian Govt. Health Information, 2009; Mayo Clinic, 2010). Nanoparticles of silver destroy the physical structure of the bacterial cells, unlike antibiotics which may only suppress the activity of the bacteria (Lucia as cited in Heger, 2008). Thus the bacteria fighting properties of silver is potentially life-saving for patients who have contracted MRSA.

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Explanation:
Logical structure - in the previous paragraph a brief mention was made of medical applications. This has been continued by the writer.

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Another health related application is in dentistry where it is used to eliminate the pain of hypersensitive teeth. Physicists have developed specialised nanoparticles, named nanospheres, (Earl, Wood and Milne, 2005) which are constructed from hydroxyapatite. The advantage of using this substance is that it is "highly compatible with teeth and bone" (Reid, 2005) and not only reduces pain but also causes the remineralisation of the tooth and so rejuvenates the tooth surface.

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Explanation:
Notice the linking word - "Another" which begins this paragraph. It alerts the reader that the positive argument is continuing. It is important to support your argument with reference to experts.

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Despite these positive applications, there is much to suggest that there is a downside to nanotechnology both for the environment and for health care provision. Worldwide there is concern about possible harmful effects on the human body of this technology. The ingestion of nanoparticles is a paramount health concern since the long term effects on human and environmental health are unknown. What is known is that the minute size of nanoparticles means that they are able to penetrate deep into the body and they are more potent than larger quantities of the same substance as they have "more surface area and therefore more opportunity to interact with other substances" (Base, 2008, p.1). Research from University of Edinburgh demonstrates that when mice were exposed to nanoparticles of "multiwalled carbon nanotubes, they had the same physical reaction as an asbestos fibre in the mesothelium" (as cited in ACTU, 2009, p.1).

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Explanation:
The first few words highlight the change in direction of the argument.

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 Such is the concern about the possibility of negative health impacts of nanoparticles that many Governments and NGOs have called for caution in the uptake of nanotechnology in industry and in medical fields. For instance, the Canadian organisation ETC group holds regular forums to explore issues related to the ethical, social and health implications of this emerging technology, while the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) has called for "monitoring of the health impacts on Australian workers involved in nanotechnology and investment in related medical research" (ACTU, 2009, p.3).

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Explanation:
Claim of uncertainty of health affects is supported by reference to expert opinion.

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The concern of the ACTU is that since the projected commercial value of such technology is enormous, then industry may exploit the commercial advantages of this technology at the expense of its workforce, especially in relation to health issues.  It is important that the new nanotechnologies are developed responsibly and safely (Maynard, Fielder & Bailey, 2008). But due to the evolving nature of the research into possible applications, it becomes difficult to control the rush to commercialisation which may overlook the consequences on the human body and the environment in the haste to gain a place in the global market.

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Explanation:
This topic sentence introduces idea that the problem is widespread. The following sentences support this claim by referring to what is happening in several countries.

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In recognition of the anticipated commercial and other benefits of nanotechnology, the Australian Government has set up the Australian Office of Nanotechnology (AON) to coordinate the activities of State Government departments and other stakeholders to oversee the research and development of nanotechnology within Australia. In the reporting year 2008-9, the Australian Government had invested over $107 million in nano related projects and support agencies (AON Strategy Annual Report 2009). The AON seems to have a mainly economic mandate "to raise awareness about nanotechnology and potential benefits from it, to encourage uptake ... by Australian industry and to help integrate Australian nanotechnology capability into global supply chains" (AON Strategy Annual Report 2009, p.19). This trade and industry priority, however, could possibly be in conflict with the duty of Government to  deliver high quality health outcomes within a safe and healthy environment.

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Explanation:
Use of the British example to support the claims of the Australian example.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

QuizImage 

Before you proceed to the next module, please complete this quiz. Make sure you answer all the questions before you check the answers.