Claim Data Commentary

Claim Data Commentary is the standard way to make an argument in the body paragraphs of a persuasive essay. Since all three of the free-response essays have elements of persuasion, using this format works for all of them.

1. The claim, sometimes called topic sentence should always be the first sentence, and should almost always include an element of the original thesis (For example, if your paper argues that the author legitimizes his position through a logical appeal, that should be incorporated in a claim.)

2. Data is any evidence. This includes direct quotes, paraphrasing, facts, statistics, and a whole range of possibilities. It should be introduced with some context about the situation or speaker. Data does not necessarily have to come second in the structure of the paragraph, but is necessary to support your claim.

3. Commentary is original thought and arguments. This is your unique take or spin and helps the reader connect the dots from the claim to the evidence.

4. You should always write a connector sentence to “new data”.

5. You should always practice a transition sentence from one body paragraph (claim topic #1) to the next body paragraph (claim topic #2) or if you are finished, to the conclusion.