Master the Five-Paragraph Essay
The five-paragraph essay is one of the most common composition assignments out there, whether for high school or college students. It is a classic assignment because it presents an arena in which writers can demonstrate their command of language and punctuation, as well as their logic and rhetorical skills. These skills are useful not only for classroom assignments and college application essays, but even in the business world, as employees have to write memorandums and reports, which draw on the same skills.
Mastering the five-paragraph essay is doable, and here are some tips.
Components of a Good Essay
The five-paragraph essay lives up to its name, because is has five paragraphs, as follows: an introductory paragraph that includes a thesis, three body paragraphs, each which includes support and development, and one concluding paragraph.
Its structure sometimes generates other names for the same essay, including three-tier essay, one-three-one, or a hamburger essay. Whether you are writing a cause-and-effect essay, a persuasive essay, an argumentative essay or a compare-and-contrast essay, you should use this same structure and the following specifics.
Keys to Introductory Paragraphs
Any introductory paragraph contains from three to five sentences and sets up the tone and structure for the whole essay. The first sentence should be a so-called hook sentence and grabs the reader. Examples of hook sentences include a quote, a joke, a rhetorical question or a shocking fact. This is the sentence that will keep your readers reading. Draw them in.
What Makes a Thesis Statement
The last sentence should be your thesis statement, which is the argument you are going to make in the essay. It is the sentence that contains the main point of the essay, or what you are trying to prove. It should be your strongest claim in the whole essay, telling the reader what the paper is about. You should be able to look back at it to keep your argument focused. The other sentences in this paragraph should be general information that links the first sentence and the thesis.
Content of Supporting Paragraphs
Each of the next three paragraphs follows the same general structure of the introductory paragraph. That is, they have one introduction sentence, evidence and arguments in three to five sentences, and a conclusion. Each one of them should define and defend your thesis sentence in the introduction.
The first body paragraph should be dedicated to proving your most powerful point. The second body paragraph can contain your weakest point, because the third body paragraph can, and should, support another strong argument.
Concluding Paragraph Tips
Your concluding paragraph is important, and can be difficult. Ideally, you can begin by restating your thesis. Then you can recall or restate all three to five of your supporting arguments. You should summarize each main point. If you have made similar arguments multiple times, join those together in one sentence.
Essentially, in the concluding or fifth paragraph, you should restate what your preceding paragraphs were about and draw a conclusion. It should answer the question: So what? Even if the answer seems obvious to you, write it down so that your reader can continue to easily follow your thinking process, and hopefully, agree with you.
A Note on Compare and Contrast
Let’s look a little more closely at the compare-and-contrast essay, which is a very common assignment. It can be a confusing one due to the terms used. Comparing two items is to show how they are alike. Contrasting two items is to show how they are different. One way to approach this essay is to make a grid for yourself that compares or contrasts two items before you start writing. Then, write about those characteristics. Do not try to write about both. The name of the essay is actually misleading.
Keep these pointers in mind when you need to write a five-paragraph essay, and your end result will be clear in its argument, leading your reader to the right conclusion. Often, that conclusion is to agree with you, and who doesn’t like to be right?
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Every essay is an opportunity to share an original idea on a subject about which you have some knowledge. Sometimes you only just gained that knowledge—as in a free response question paired with a reading segment during an exam—and other times you’ll be writing about a subject that you have…
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Every essay is an opportunity to share an original idea on a subject about which you have some knowledge. Sometimes you only just gained that knowledge—as in a free response question paired with a reading segment during an exam—and other times you’ll be writing about a subject that you have studied for years and know like the back of your hand. In either case, writing a five-paragraph essay can serve as a useful tool for communicating your thoughts to an academic audience.
5 Paragraph Essay: What Is It?
A five-paragraph essay is a prose composition that follows the basic structure of five paragraphs. It includes an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Often critiqued for being too formulaic, the five-paragraph essay is an essential tool in every writer's toolkit and is especially handy on timed writing assignments and exams.
Why is this format best for writing timed essays? During an exam, you might be asked to write an essay, and you may have only just learned some of the details about the subject. You likely won’t have time to draft a uniquely formatted, in-depth analysis in the time you are given. That’s where the five-paragraph structure comes into play; you can use it as a vehicle to get your Main Idea across to the reader and not spend precious time on how to structure your essay.
This essay format can also be thought of as a building block for almost every type of essay you could write. It is built on a Thesis Statement and uses the main pieces of support, which are formatted into segments (or paragraphs), to uphold your thesis. This approach can be expanded based on however much support or analysis is appropriate for your essay.
The key principle of this familiar structure is to organize your perspective or claim in a way that is logical and easy for your reader to understand.
You can use the five-paragraph format for writing any of the five styles of essay: argumentative, descriptive, narrative, informative, and persuasive. Think of this approach as not merely an essay structure, but also a means to adapt your writing and strengthen your composition skills for any future assignment.
5 Paragraph Essay Structure
Sometimes the five-paragraph essay is referred to as the hamburger of essays. That’s not because it’s cheesy, but rather because of how it is built—like a hamburger with a beginning (bun), middle segmented into separate parts (hamburger patty, lettuce, condiments, etc.), and end (bun).
Below is the basic structure of a five-paragraph essay:
Body Paragraph 1
Body Paragraph 2
Body paragraph 3
Call to action
The paragraphs below break down each section to show how it functions within the whole essay.
The introduction serves several purposes, all of which are important and should not be forgotten or glossed-over. Remember, this is the "bun" to the hamburger and without it, the whole thing falls apart. The introduction starts with a Statement to get your readers’ attention—this is called a hook .
A hook can take the form of a question, quote, statistic, or anecdote; it grabs your reader and pulls their interest into the topic.
Hook as a Question: Have you ever stood at the edge of the crashing waves in the ocean and wondered how far out it goes?
Hook as a Quote: Clarence Joshua Tuttle once said, “Why do we call this planet Earth, when it would more aptly be called Ocean?"
Hook as a Statistic: About 71% of the face of the earth is covered by water, and the oceans hold about 96.5% of earth’s water.
Hook as an Anecdote: As a child, I used to gaze at the line where the horizon met the sea and wonder how it could stretch on for infinity.
In addition to the hook catching your reader’s attention, your introduction should also contain background information on the topic to give your reader context.
Without some kind of explanation about the topic’s background, you risk your reader not having the full picture, or worse, not understanding what you’re talking about at all.
You don’t have to include too much background explanation for your five-paragraph essay. Usually a couple of sentences will suffice to give the necessary context.
Lastly, your introduction needs your thesis statement, which is arguably the most important part of the essay.
A thesis statement is a single sentence that explains your main Argument for the entire essay. You don’t have to pack every point you’re going to make into the thesis, but your thesis should be a clarified version of the main point.
The vast majority of our planet is covered in water, so there needs to be more awareness about the impact of global warming on Earth's oceans and the wildlife therein.
The thesis should be stated near the end of the first paragraph. It should be supported by details and evidence in the following paragraphs.
3 Body Paragraphs
The body paragraphs are the meat of your five-paragraph essay (literally, remember the hamburger—the body paragraphs are the juicy middle). You can use more than three paragraphs if you have more points that need to be discussed, but typically no less than three.
You can consider each of your body paragraphs to be one piece of support for your thesis. The first sentence of each paragraph should be the topic sentence for that paragraph, and can act like a mini-thesis. It will state the Main Idea of that particular paragraph, and the rest of the paragraph will dive into further explanation by including examples and supporting details.
Your body paragraphs should look something like this:
Paragraph 1: First piece of support
Paragraph 2: Second piece of support
Paragraph 3: Third piece of support
Your five-paragraph essay should not end abruptly; it should include a short summary that will wrap up your Argument and/or observation on the topic, just like the bottom bun of the hamburger. Provide a brief summary, and then remind your audience of your thesis statement.
By restating or rephrasing your thesis, you are reminding your audience that in the body of the essay you explained everything you said you would way back in your introduction.
The last thing your conclusion needs is something to bring the topic back into the reader’s world. Make them remember why it’s relevant. This could be a call to action, warning, provocative question, or something to evoke emotion in the reader.
Because of [insert main idea], you should take [X] action.
If you (or we) don’t do [X thing], [X consequence] will happen.
What do you think will happen if [X] continues (or ceases. Whatever is relevant to your main point.)?
Could be a quote or anything you think will stir the emotions of the reader on the subject.
How to Make a 5 Paragraph Essay Outline
With the basic structure of a five-paragraph essay in mind, you can begin the process of making an outline.
An outline is simply a plan for your essay, and it’s important to create one so you know how to organize your ideas. Without an outline, you’re likely to ramble or wander all over your topic without fully developing your main point.
Below are the essential steps to drafting an outline for your five paragraph essay.
The first thing you need to do is brainstorm the topic; look for associations you may already have and keep the assignment or prompt in the front of your mind.
How to brainstorm a topic: Brainstorming is a strategy for coming up with ideas and content for your essay. Brainstorming can be anything from creating word associations, to freewriting, to making lists, to drawing a venn diagram, or whatever makes sense for you so that you can break down the topic and pick out what you have to say.
Sort through whatever you come up with in the brainstorming process, and pick out something that you find important or something you can elaborate.
Next, you need to draft a thesis statement. As previously stated, your thesis is the guide for your essay—especially so in a five-paragraph essay—because your thesis introduces the ideas of your body paragraphs.
Take whatever piece of the puzzle you came up with after brainstorming, and work it into a single statement that makes a claim on the topic.
The thesis statement of your five-paragraph essay should contain a claim of some sort about the subject. It should an original thought, and not be a restating of known facts.
Now, apply the basic structure of a five-paragraph essay to your topic. An outline typically uses numbers as a way to organize the essay. Each point can be a key word or phrase; you don’t need to use whole sentences in an outline.
Organize the paragraphs by the main points that support your thesis, then include subpoints, or pieces of evidence, to explain the topic sentence of that paragraph.
5 Paragraph Essay Example: The Outline
Here’s an example of a five-paragraph essay outline:
Hook: Children are no longer growing up walking to the candy store around the corner or sharing root beer floats at the local diner with kids they’ve known their entire lives. They aren’t even growing up in an innocent world like when Super Mario Brothers was the most popular video game.
Background: The world has changed rapidly in the last fifty years.
Thesis: Because of violence in video games, movies, social media, and increased pressure from peers, being a parent today is much more difficult than it was a generation ago.
Body paragraph 1
Topic sentence: The progression of technology has given children more entertainment, but it has also decreased their attention spans, making it much more difficult to keep them on task.
Supporting detail: Music, video games, and social media are all easily accessible on phones or computers.
Supporting detail: Research shows that excessive screen time for children can drastically affect their attention span and even brain development.
Body paragraph 2
Topic sentence: Not only do parents have to be aware of the effects of constant screen usage, it means they must also be vigilant about their children being exposed to inappropriate material.
Supporting detail: In film
Supporting detail: On television
Supporting detail: Online
Topic sentence: Children are now often exposed to dangerous situations during their daily lives or via the media.
Supporting detail: Access to drugs & alcohol
Supporting detail: Violent crimes (school shootings, etc.)
Rephrased Thesis statement: Society and media have a huge impact on children’s lives and have worked together to make parenting extremely difficult, now more than ever.
Call to action: Because of these changes, it is up to parents to remain present so we can be aware of and sensitive to all these challenges facing our children.
Writing a 5 Paragraph Essay
With your outline in hand, it’s now time to write your five-paragraph essay! The beauty of this process is that your argument is now fully mapped out, and you know exactly what you need to say.
The first thing to do is nail down your thesis statement. Again, the body of your essay hinges on the main point contained in your essay, so you need to be certain of that before you proceed. Next, you can start to put together your body paragraphs.
5 Paragraph Essay Transitions
Be sure you include Transitions between paragraphs, otherwise, your essay will feel very robotic and will not be enjoyable to read. Transitions help to show the relationship between thoughts as you move from one to another.
You can use simple Transitions (i.e. first, next, and last); or use phrases to show similarity (i.e. also, in the same way, likewise, just as, etc.) and/ or differences (i.e. but, however, in spite of, etc.).
A Note on The Limits of the 5 Paragraph Essay
Remember, there is often more to your topic than can be explained in a five-paragraph essay. That’s why these essays are a great tool for exam essays; you simply won’t have the time to complete an exhaustive analysis, so the five-paragraph essay is the next best choice.
Keep this perspective in mind and remember that however brilliant your essay is, it is not the end-all-be-all on the subject. The five-paragraph essay is, however, an excellent vehicle you can use to explain your original thought on a subject in an organized manner.
5 Page Essay - Key takeaways
- A five paragraph-essay follows the basic structure of five paragraphs: an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion.
- Five-paragraph essays are a great tool for timed writing assignments and exams, but can also be used as a foundation for any type of essay.
- Start writing a five-paragraph essay by creating a thesis statement.
- Each body paragraph is one piece of support for the essay's thesis. They should each have a topic sentence, or main idea, that is in support of the overall thesis.
- The conclusion of a five-paragraph essay is important because it restates the thesis and then makes the subject personal to the reader.
Frequently Asked Questions about 5 Paragraph Essay
--> how do i write a 5 paragraph essay.
Write a 5 paragraph essay by following the basic structure: introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion.
--> How long is a 5 paragraph essay?
A 5 paragraph essay can be anywhere from one to one hundred pages; it all depends on how much you need to support your thesis statement.
--> How many words are in a 5 paragraph essay?
A 5 paragraph essay can contain as many words as necessary to fully support and explain your main point, or your thesis.
--> How many topic sentences are in a 5 paragraph essay?
Typically, a 5 paragraph essay will contain 4 topic sentences with one of them being the thesis statement, and the other 3 being the topic sentences of the body paragraphs.
--> What does a 5 paragraph essay look like?
A 5 paragraph essay can look very different from one essay to the next, however they will all follow the basic structure of the five paragraphs: introduction, (at least) 3 supporting paragraphs, and a conclusion.
Final 5 Paragraph Essay Quiz
5 paragraph essay quiz - teste dein wissen.
What is the definition of a five-paragraph essay?
A five-paragraph essay is a prose composition that follows the basic structure of five paragraphs that include an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion.
Why are five-paragraph essays a good choice for timed exam assignments?
During an exam, you likely won’t have time to draft a uniquely formatted, in-depth analysis in the time you are given.
True or false: Five-paragraph essays can also be used to write argumentative, descriptive, narrative, informative, and/ or persuasive essays.
Fill in the blank: The key principle of the five-paragraph structure is to ___________ your perspective or claim in a way that is logical and easy for your reader to understand.
Why is the five-paragraph essay often referred to as a "hamburger" essay style?
Because of how it is built; like a hamburger with a definite beginning (bun), middle segmented into separate parts (hamburger patty, lettuce, condiments, etc.), and end (bun).
Which paragraph in a five-paragraph essay contains the hook?
Which is arguably the most important part of a five-paragraph essay?
True or false: In a five-paragraph essay, you should always devote one entire paragraph to a background explanation of the topic.
In a five-paragraph essay, is it possible to use more than five paragraphs or less than five paragraphs?
Which of the following is not a strategy to concluding a five-paragraph essay?
_____________ is a plan for your essay, and it’s important to create one so you know how to organize your ideas.
What are some examples of brainstorming exercises?
Word association, freewriting, making lists
Why brainstorm your topic before you begin writing?
Brainstorming can give ideas about how the topic relates to you (the writer) and what you might have to say about it
Should you brainstorm before or after you create a thesis statement?
Which of the following is an example of a transition to show similarity?
Why are transitions necessary between ideas and paragraphs in a five-paragraph essay?
Transitions help to show the relationship between thoughts as you move from one to another.
What is an opinion?
Opinion is a personal conjecture.
Should you use an opinion to support your thesis?
"An opinion does not require verification."
True or false?
If something has failed to acquire verification, what is it?
"Humans will evolve into beings of pure energy." Is this an opinion or a potential fact?
An opinion. It cannot be verified, whereas potential facts are in the process of verification.
Fact is not ____. Fact is what is found out during the search for the truth.
Fact is what has continually withstood the test of _____.
Can a fact be arrived at logically?
Yes. Through the argumentation of a hypothesis.
If a conclusion has been arrived at practically through the experimentation of a hypothesis, is it a fact?
Yes, assuming there are no flaws with the experiment.
What is a potential fact?
Potential facts are in the process of being proven or disproven. The advanced study of quantum mechanics involves potential facts, for example.
If something is a conclusion, is it a fact or an opinion?
It could be either. Facts and opinions can both be conclusions of a kind.
Can facts evolve?
Yes, people are learning new things all the time. This should not be used an argument for conspiracies or pseudoscience, which have no basis in real learning or research.
Opinion is not concerned with _____, while facts are.
Is a subjective conclusion an opinion?
Yes. Subjective conclusions contain bias.
If a hypothesis has been tested repeatedly and the results are inconclusive, is taking a stance on it an opinion?
Yes. If a hypothesis has been repeatedly tested and the result consistently provides no answer, then to declare an answer is a matter of opinion.
If something is quantified, is it fact?
Yes. However, quantified results can lead to all kinds of conclusions, including incorrect ones if used fallaciously.
If many people have seen something, is it a fact?
Not necessarily. If something is clearly witnessed by multiple unbiased people, it is a fact.
In what ways should you be wary of what you see or read? You should be wary of what?
Be wary of unverified sources, unread context, generalization, sets of information, and all logical fallacies.
What is a hook for an essay?
A hook is an attention-grabbing opening sentence of an essay. The hook catches the reader's attention with an interesting question, statement, or quote.
What are the features of a good hook?
What is purpose in an essay?
Purpose in an essay is the effect the writer intends to have on the reader.
True or false:
A quote for a hook has to come from someone famous.
False. A good quote can come from anywhere.
What is a quote ?
A quote is a direct copy of someone else's words. As an essay hook, a quote is a memorable sentence or phrase that gets the reader interested in your subject.
When should one use a quote for a hook?
When the topic or argument makes them think of a quote
What are the different types of quotes one can use for a hook?
What is a rhetorical question ?
A rhetorical question is a question with no real answer. Rhetorical questions are used to get a reader thinking about a subject or experience.
A writer wants to get the reader thinking about their argument. What type of question can they use to encourage the reader to want to learn the answer?
a question answered in the essay
When writing a fact or statistic for a hook, it should be:
relevant to the topic
Where are some places one can look for stories to use as a hook?
If a story is too much for a hook, what else can a writer do to get the reader interested in an experience?
describe one scene from a story
Which type of hook is particularly effective for arguing a position or persuading?
a strong statement
True or false:
It's okay if the reader doesn't agree with a strong statement used for a hook.
True! Even if the reader doesn't agree with the statement, they will be interested in seeing how the writer supports that statement.
What are some ways to write a hook when you're stuck?
consider the purpose of the essay
What is APA format?
APA is the American Psychological Association's guide to formatting papers and citing sources.
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Guide on How to Write a 5 Paragraph Essay Effortlessly
Defining What Is a 5 Paragraph Essay
Have you ever been assigned a five-paragraph essay and wondered what exactly it means? Don't worry; we all have been there. A five-paragraph essay is a standard academic writing format consisting of an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion.
In the introduction, you present your thesis statement, which is the main idea or argument you will discuss in your essay. The three body paragraphs present a separate supporting argument, while the conclusion summarizes the main points and restates the thesis differently.
While the five-paragraph essay is a tried and true format for many academic assignments, it's important to note that it's not the only way to write an essay. In fact, some educators argue that strict adherence to this format can stifle creativity and limit the development of more complex ideas.
However, mastering the five-paragraph essay is a valuable skill for any student, as it teaches the importance of structure and organization in writing. Also, it enables you to communicate your thoughts clearly and eloquently, which is crucial for effective communication in any area. So the next time you're faced with a five-paragraph essay assignment, embrace the challenge and use it as an opportunity to hone your writing skills.
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How to Write a 5 Paragraph Essay: General Tips
If you are struggling with how to write a 5 paragraph essay, don't worry! It's a common format that many students learn in their academic careers. Here are some tips from our admission essay writing service to help you write a successful five paragraph essay example:
- Start with a strong thesis statement : Among the 5 parts of essay, the thesis statement can be the most important. It presents the major topic you will debate throughout your essay while being explicit and simple.
- Use topic sentences to introduce each paragraph : The major idea you will address in each of the three body paragraphs should be established in a concise subject sentence.
- Use evidence to support your arguments : The evidence you present in your body paragraphs should back up your thesis. This can include facts, statistics, or examples from your research or personal experience.
- Include transitions: Use transitional words and phrases to make the flow of your essay easier. Words like 'although,' 'in addition,' and 'on the other hand' are examples of these.
- Write a strong conclusion: In addition to restating your thesis statement in a new way, your conclusion should highlight the key ideas of your essay. You might also leave the reader with a closing idea or query to reflect on.
- Edit and proofread: When you've completed writing your essay, thoroughly revise and proofread it. Make sure your thoughts are brief and clear and proofread your writing for grammatical and spelling mistakes.
By following these tips, you can write strong and effective five paragraph essays examples that will impress your teacher or professor.
5 Paragraph Essay Format
Let's readdress the five-paragraph essay format and explain it in more detail. So, as already mentioned, it is a widely-used writing structure taught in many schools and universities. A five-paragraph essay comprises an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion, each playing a significant role in creating a well-structured and coherent essay.
The introduction serves as the opening paragraph of the essay and sets the tone for the entire piece. It should captivate the reader's attention, provide relevant background information, and include a clear and concise thesis statement that presents the primary argument of the essay. For example, if the essay topic is about the benefits of exercise, the introduction may look something like this:
'Regular exercise provides numerous health benefits, including increased energy levels, improved mental health, and reduced risk of chronic diseases.'
The body paragraphs are the meat of the essay and should provide evidence and examples to support the thesis statement. Each body paragraph should begin with a subject sentence that states the major idea of the paragraph. Then, the writer should provide evidence to support the topic sentence. This evidence can be in the form of statistics, facts, or examples. For instance, if the essay is discussing the health benefits of exercise, a body paragraph might look like this:
'One of the key benefits of exercise is improved mental health. Regular exercise has been demonstrated in studies to lessen depressive and anxious symptoms and enhance mood.'
The essay's final paragraph, the conclusion, should repeat the thesis statement and summarize the essay's important ideas. A concluding idea or query might be included to give the reader something to ponder. For example, a conclusion for an essay on the benefits of exercise might look like this:
'In conclusion, exercise provides numerous health benefits, from increased energy levels to reduced risk of chronic diseases. We may enhance both our physical and emotional health and enjoy happier, more satisfying lives by including exercise into our daily routines.'
Overall, the 5 paragraph essay format is useful for organizing thoughts and ideas clearly and concisely. By following this format, writers can present their arguments logically and effectively, which is easy for the reader to follow.
Types of 5 Paragraph Essay
There are several types of five-paragraph essays, each with a slightly different focus or purpose. Here are some of the most common types of five-paragraph essays:
- Narrative essay : A narrative essay tells a story or recounts a personal experience. It typically includes a clear introductory paragraph, body sections that provide details about the story, and a conclusion that wraps up the narrative.
- Descriptive essay: A descriptive essay uses sensory language to describe a person, place, or thing. It often includes a clear thesis statement that identifies the subject of the description and body paragraphs that provide specific details to support the thesis.
- Expository essay: An expository essay offers details or clarifies a subject. It usually starts with a concise introduction that introduces the subject, is followed by body paragraphs that provide evidence and examples to back up the thesis, and ends with a summary of the key points.
- Persuasive essay: A persuasive essay argues for a particular viewpoint or position. It has a thesis statement that is clear, body paragraphs that give evidence and arguments in favor of it, and a conclusion that summarizes the important ideas and restates the thesis.
- Compare and contrast essay: An essay that compares and contrasts two or more subjects and looks at their similarities and differences. It usually starts out simply by introducing the topics being contrasted or compared, followed by body paragraphs that go into more depth on the similarities and differences, and a concluding paragraph that restates the important points.
Each type of five-paragraph essay has its own unique characteristics and requirements. When unsure how to write five paragraph essay, writers can choose the most appropriate structure for their topic by understanding the differences between these types.
5 Paragraph Essay Example Topics
Here are some potential topics for a 5 paragraph essay example. These essay topics are just a starting point and can be expanded upon to fit a wide range of writing essays and prompts.
- The Impact of Social Media on Teenage Communication Skills.
- How Daily Exercise Benefits Mental and Physical Health.
- The Importance of Learning a Second Language.
- The Effects of Global Warming on Marine Life.
- The Role of Technology in Modern Education.
- The Influence of Music on Youth Culture.
- The Pros and Cons of Uniform Policies in Schools.
- The Significance of Historical Monuments in Cultural Identity.
- The Growing Importance of Cybersecurity.
- The Evolution of the American Dream.
- The Impact of Diet on Cognitive Functioning.
- The Role of Art in Society.
- The Future of Renewable Energy Sources.
- The Effects of Urbanization on Wildlife.
- The Importance of Financial Literacy for Young Adults.
- The Influence of Advertising on Consumer Choices.
- The Role of Books in the Digital Age.\
- The Benefits and Challenges of Space Exploration.
- The Impact of Climate Change on Agriculture.
- The Ethical Implications of Genetic Modification.
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General Grading Rubric for a 5 Paragraph Essay
The following is a general grading rubric that can be used to evaluate a five-paragraph essay:
- A thesis statement is clear and specific
- The main points are well-developed and supported by evidence
- Ideas are organized logically and coherently
- Evidence and examples are relevant and support the main points
- The essay demonstrates a strong understanding of the topic
- The introduction effectively introduces the topic and thesis statement
- Body paragraphs are well-structured and have clear topic sentences
- Transitions between paragraphs are smooth and effective
- The concluding sentence effectively summarizes the main points and restates the thesis statement
Language and Style (20%)
- Writing is clear, concise, and easy to understand
- Language is appropriate for the audience and purpose
- Vocabulary is varied and appropriate
- Grammar, spelling, and punctuation are correct
Critical Thinking (20%)
- Student demonstrate an understanding of the topic beyond surface-level knowledge
- Student present a unique perspective or argument
- Student show evidence of critical thinking and analysis
- Students write well-supported conclusions
Considering the above, the paper should demonstrate a thorough understanding of the topic, clear organization, strong essay writing skills, and critical thinking. By using this grading rubric, the teacher can evaluate the essay holistically and provide detailed feedback to the student on areas of strength and areas for improvement.
Five Paragraph Essay Examples
Wrapping up: things to remember.
In conclusion, writing a five paragraph essay example can seem daunting at first, but it doesn't have to be a difficult task. Following these simple steps and tips, you can break down the process into manageable parts and create a clear, concise, and well-organized essay.
Remember to start with a strong thesis statement, use topic sentences to guide your paragraphs, and provide evidence and analysis to support your ideas. Don't forget to revise and proofread your work to make sure it is error-free and coherent. With time and practice, you'll be able to write a 5 paragraph essay with ease and assurance. Whether you're writing for school, work, or personal projects, these skills will serve you well and help you to communicate your ideas effectively.
Meanwhile, you can save time and reduce the stress associated with academic assignments by trusting our research paper writing services to handle the writing for you. So go ahead, buy an essay , and see how easy it can be to meet all of your professors' complex requirements!
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How to Write a Five-Paragraph Essay
Many students find it challenging to write a good essay. Often, the main challenge is to organise and develop the ideas and arguments in a clear and coherent way. Sometimes a step-by-step description can help students on their way and make essay writing a more manageable task.
The five-paragraph essay is often assigned to students to help them in this process. A good five-paragraph essay is a lot like a triple-decker burger, and it is therefore often called the hamburger essay. It requires a clear introduction and conclusion (the top and bottom bun) that hold the main body of the essay (the burger and all the juicy stuff) in place.
Before you start writing an essay, you need to get organised. Read through the task you are given several times, underlining important words that tell you what you are expected to do. Pay special attention to the verbs in the task you are given ('discuss', 'summarise', 'give an account of', 'argue'…). Make sure you do what you are asked and that you answer the whole question, not just parts of it.
The introduction to a text is extremely important. A good introduction should accomplish three things:
- Firstly, try to capture the reader’s interest and create a desire to read on and learn more. There are many ways to achieve this. For example, you can start with a relevant quotation from a famous person or a short anecdote. You could also present some interesting statistics, state a startling fact, or simply pose a challenging question.
- Secondly, provide the reader with the necessary information to understand the main body of the text. Explain what the paper is about and why this topic is important. What is the specific focus of this paper? Include background information about your topic to establish its context.
- Thirdly, present your approach to the topic and your thesis statement. The thesis statement is the main idea of the essay expressed in a single sentence. Make sure your thesis statement comes out clearly in your introduction.
The body of the essay consists of three paragraphs, each limited to one idea that supports your thesis. Each paragraph should have a clear topic sentence: a sentence that presents the main idea of the paragraph. The first paragraph should contain the strongest argument and the most significant examples, while the third paragraph should contain the weakest arguments and examples. Include as much explanation and discussion as is necessary to explain the main point of the paragraph. You should try to use details and specific examples to make your ideas clear and convincing.
In order to create a coherent text, you must avoid jumping from one idea to the next. Always remember: one idea per paragraph. A good essay needs good transitions between the different paragraphs. Use the end of one paragraph and/or the beginning of the next to show the relationship between the two ideas. This transition can be built into the topic sentence of the next paragraph, or it can be the concluding sentence of the first.
You can also use linking words to introduce the next paragraph. Examples of linking words are: in fact, on the whole, furthermore, as a result, simply put, for this reason, similarly, likewise, it follows that, naturally, by comparison, surely, yet, firstly, secondly, thirdly …
This is your fifth and final paragraph. The conclusion is what the reader will read last and remember best. Therefore, it is important that it is well written. In the conclusion, you should summarise your main points and re-assert your main claim. The conclusion should wrap up all that is said before, without starting off on a new topic. Avoid repeating specific examples.
There are several ways to end an essay. You need to find a way to leave your reader with a sense of closure. The easiest way to do this is simply to repeat the main points of the body of your text in the conclusion, but try to do this in a way that sums up rather than repeats. Another way to do it is to answer a question that you posed in the introduction. You may also want to include a relevant quotation that throws light on your message.
A few notes before you hand in your essay
After you have finished, read through your essay with a critical eye. Does your thesis statement in the introduction match the discussion in the main body and the conclusive statements in the final paragraph? It is important that you build your text logically, so that each part of the essay supports, proves, and reflects your thesis.
You should also remember that a good writer of formal essays:
- does not use abbreviations or contractions.
- does not use first-person pronouns, such as 'I', 'me' and 'my'. It is better to make your statements more general, using 'it is commonly believed that', 'we tend to think', 'scientists argue that'…
- does not engage in personal stories. Stories about your own life experiences, or the experiences of your friends or families do not belong in academic writing.
- does not use a language which is too casual, such as sentences that begin with words like 'well', 'sure', 'now', 'yes', 'no' ...
- does not use slang. Words like 'gonna' and 'wanna' are not accepted in formal essays.
- does not start sentences with conjunctions: 'but', 'and', 'or', 'because'…”.
- uses linking words. This creates better logic and coherence in your text.
Below we have structured three short essays for you and given you the topic sentences for each paragraph. Choose one of them and write it as a full text. Add facts and reflections under each paragraph. Make sure there are good transitions between the paragraphs.
The importance of learning English
Introduction: the importance of learning English
Living in a multicultural world
International job market
A better travelling experience
The importance of a good education
Introduction: the importance of a good education
Competitive job market
Living in a digital world
Introduction: living in a digital world
Important for working life
Important in communication
Part of our everyday lives
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What Are The Parts Of A Five-Paragraph Essay: A Brief Tutorial
Writing a five-paragraph essay can be simple when you understand each part and its purpose. The paper features three main parts including the introduction, body and conclusion. Each section features unique details related to the topic and main idea behind the paper. When you have a good idea what your essay is about you will have a better idea of where information will appear in each section. The following points offer basic insight on understanding parts of a five-paragraph essay.
- Paragraph One: Introduction
The introduction paragraph of your essay has several components including a hook, topic sentence, thesis statement and detailed background information about the topic. The introduction introduces readers to your topic and main idea. This should include interesting details to encourage readers to keep reading. This paragraph includes an important part of your essay which is the thesis statement. The rest of your paper will prove or support this claim. If it is strong and concise it should stand on its own. This section will include general details about your topic to set a foundation for what will follow.
- Paragraphs Two, Three, and Four: Body
The next three paragraphs of your essay after the introduction is known as the body or body paragraphs. Each paragraph in this section has a supporting point relating back to the main idea mentioned in the introduction. Each paragraph will have a topic sentence, main idea, evidence to support the idea, and why it relates to your thesis statement. The last sentence in each paragraph may have what is known as a transition sentence. Each paragraph will follow the same structure for your topic. When listing points the most important or significant one of the three should appear first.
- Paragraph Five: Conclusion
The conclusion paragraph of your essay brings everything together to a close. You restate your thesis statement and supporting points, but you rewrite the content instead of mentioning them again word for word. You should try to emphasize what is most important and what people should know about the topic. This is the last time you will present information about your subject. In some cases you will not need to add anything new, but present content as a way of summarizing most important points before bringing your topic to a close.
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How to Write a 5 Paragraph Essay: Guide with Structure, Outline & Examples
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A 5-paragraph essay is a common assignment in high school and college, requiring students to follow a standard structure. This essay format consists of five main components: an introduction paragraph, followed by 3 body paragraphs, and a final paragraph. Each paragraph serves a specific purpose and contributes to the overall coherence and organization of the essay.
Since this is one of the most popular assignments teachers give, you should be prepared to write using a five paragraph essay format. From structure and outline template to actual examples, we will explain how to write a 5 paragraph essay with ease. Follow our suggestions and you will be able to nail this task.
What Is a 5-Paragraph Essay: Definition
A 5-paragraph essay is as simple as it sounds: an essay composed of five paragraphs. It's made up of five distinct sections, namely an introduction , 3 body paragraphs and a concluding section . However, a 5 paragraph essay goes beyond just creating 5 individual sections. It's a method of organizing your thoughts and making them interconnected.
Despite its straightforward 5-paragraph format, there's more going on beneath the surface. When writing a 5-paragraph essay, you should address the main objective of each part and arrange every section properly.
Let’s learn about each of these sections more in detail.
5-Paragraph Essay Structure
A five-paragraph essay structure is often compared to a sandwich that has 3 distinct layers:
- Introduction: This initial paragraph should introduce the main topic and tell what will be discussed further in the essay.
- Body: This part consists of three body paragraphs, each focusing on a specific aspect of your subject.
- Conclusion: The final paragraph rounds off the main points and offers key takeaways.
As you can notice, each of these sections plays an important role in creating the overall piece.
5-Paragraph Essay Outline & Template Example
Imagine heading out for a journey in the woods without a map. You'd likely find yourself wandering aimlessly, right? Similarly, venturing into writing an essay without a solid essay outline is like stepping into the academic jungle without a guide. Most high school and college students ignore this step for the sake of time. But eventually they end up writing a five-paragraph essay that lacks a clear organization.
It’s impossible to figure out how to write a 5-paragraph essay without having a well-arranged outline in front. Here’s a five-paragraph essay outline example showing subsections of each major part.
5 Paragraph Essay Outline Example
- Hook: Spark the reader's interest.
- Brief background: Provide a general context or background.
- Thesis statement: State the main argument or position.
- Topic sentence: Introduce the main point of this paragraph.
- Supporting evidence/example 1: Provide data, examples, quotes, or anecdotes supporting your point.
- Analysis: Explain how your evidence supports your thesis.
- Transition: Tie the paragraph together and link to the next paragraph.
- Supporting evidence/example 2 : Provide further supporting evidence.
- Analysis: Discuss how the evidence relates back to your thesis.
- Transition: Summarize the point and smoothly shift to the next paragraph.
- Topic sentence: Present the main idea of this paragraph.
- Supporting evidence/example 3: Offer additional support for your thesis.
- Analysis: Show how this backs up your main argument.
- Transition: Sum up and signal the conclusion of the body section.
- Thesis reiteration: Revisit your main argument accounting for the evidence provided.
- Summary: Briefly go over the main points of your body paragraphs.
- Final thoughts: Leave the reader with a parting thought or question to ponder.
How to Write a 5-Paragraph Essay Outline?
When creating an outline for 5-paragraph essay, begin by identifying your topic and crafting a thesis statement. Your thesis statement should encapsulate your main argument. Identify 3 ideas that support your thesis to lay the foundation of your body section. For each point, think about examples and explanations that will help convince the reader of your perspective. Finally, plan what you will include in the concluding section.
Throughout this process, remember that clarity and organization are key. While it's not necessary for your 5-paragraph outline to be "perfect", it is indeed important for it to be arranged logically.
Below, you can spot an example of an outline created based on these instructions.
How to Write a 5 Paragraph Essay Step-by-Step?
There is nothing difficult about writing a 5-paragraph essay. All you need to do is to just start creating the first sentence. But for most of us, it;s easier said than done. For this reason, we prepared informative step-by-step guidelines on how to write a 5-paragraph essay that your teacher will like.
As we navigate these stages, remember that good writing isn't a destination, it's a process. So grab your notebook (or laptop) and let's dive into the art of crafting your five-paragraph essay.
>> Learn more: How to Write an Essay
1. Understand the Task at Hand
The initial step is to make sure you have a full grasp of your assignment instructions. How well you understand the given guidelines can either make or break your 5-paragraph essay. Take a few minutes to read through your instructor’s requirements and get familiar with what you're supposed to do:
- What’s your topic? Do you need to choose one yourself?
- What essay type do you need to write – argumentative , expository or informative essay ?
- What’s your primary goal – persuade, analyze, descibe or inform?
- How long should an essay be ? Is there any specific word count?
Understanding these crucial details will help you remain on course.
2. Research and Take Notes
Now that you have a good idea of your assignment, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and start researching. Spend some quality time gathering relevant resources to get acquainted with the discussed topic. Make sure you don;t refer to outdated resources. Always give a preference to credible, recent sources.
Read these sources carefully and jot down important facts – this is what will form the basis of your essay's body section. Also, you will need to save the online sources to cite them properly.
3. Develop Your Thesis Statement
We can’t stress enough: your thesis statement will guide your entire essay. Write 1-2 sentences that convey your underlying idea. Keep in mind that your thesis must be succinct. There is no need for long introductions or excessive details at this point.
4. Make an Outline
A five-paragraph essay outline shows how your paper will be arranged. This visual structure can be represented using bullet points or numbers. You can come up with another format. But the main idea is to prepare a plan you are going to stick to during the writing process.
Did you know that you can send an outline to professionals and have your essay written according to the structure. Order essay from academic experts should you need any assistance.
5. Write an Introduction Paragraph
To start a 5-paragraph essay, compose an attention-grabbing statement, such as a question or fact. This is also known as an essay hook – an intriguing opening sentence. Its goal is to spark curiosity and draw your reader into your topic.
Next, you need to establish a background and show what;s under the curtains. Write 1-2 contextual sentences helping your reader understand the broad issue you're about to discuss.
Your 5-paragraph essay introduction won’t be complete without a thesis statement – the heart of your writing. This 1 or 2-sentence statement clearly expresses the main point you will develop throughout your essay. Make sure your thesis is specific, debatable, and defensible.
A staggering report by the World Health Organization reveals that poor diet contributes to more disease than physical inactivity, alcohol, and smoking combined. In our fast-paced world, convenience often trumps health when it comes to food choices. With an alarming rise in obesity and diet-related illnesses, a closer look at our eating habits is more critical than ever. For this reason, adopting a healthy diet is essential for individual health, disease prevention, and overall wellbeing.
>> Read more: How to Start an Essay
6. Create a Body Part
A body section of a standard 5-paragraph essay layout comprises 3 paragraphs. Each body paragraph should contain the most important elements of the discussion:
- Topic sentence
- Detailed explanation
- Supporting evidence from credible sources
- Further exploration of examples
Begin your body paragraph by introducing a separate aspect related to your thesis statement. For example, if you are writing about the importance of physical activity, your body paragraph may start this way:
Regular exercise is essential for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Don’t just make a bold statement. You will need to expand on this idea and explain it in detail. You should also incorporate facts, examples, data, or quotes that back up your topic sentence. Your evidence should sound realistic. Try to draw the examples from personal experience or recent news. On top of that, you should analyze how this evidence ties back to your overall argument.
It’s not a good idea to finish your body paragraph just like that. Add essay transition words to keep your five-paragraph paper cohesive.
First and foremost, a healthy diet plays a pivotal role in maintaining individual health and vitality. A balanced diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, provides the essential nutrients our bodies need to function effectively. A research study by the American Heart Association found that individuals who adhered to a healthy eating pattern had a 25% lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease. This data emphasizes that a proper diet is not just about staying in shape. It directly affects critical health outcomes, impacting our susceptibility to serious health conditions like heart disease. While the implications of diet on personal health are substantial, the preventative power of healthy eating against disease is equally noteworthy, as we shall explore next.
>> Read more: How to Write a Body Paragraph
7. Write a Concluding Paragraph
Wrapping up your 5-paragraph essay might seem like a breeze after developing your introductory and body parts. Yet, it's crucial to ensure your conclusion is equally impactful. Don't leave it to the reader to join the dots – restate your thesis statement to reinforce your main argument. Follow this by a brief recap of the 2-3 key points you've discussed in your essay.
The last taste should be the best, so aim to end your 5-paragraph essay on a high note. Craft a compelling closing sentence that underscores the importance of your topic and leaves your reader considering future implications.
As was outlined in this essay, a balanced diet isn't just a lifestyle choice, but an essential tool for maintaining individual health, preventing disease, and promoting overall wellbeing. Healthy eating directly affects our personal health, its power in disease prevention, and how it contributes to a sense of wellness. What we consume profoundly impacts our lives. Therefore, a commitment to healthy eating isn't merely an act of self-care; it's a potent declaration of respect for the life we've been given.
>> Learn more: How to Write a Conclusion for an Essay
8. Review and Revise
Your 5-paragraph essay should be up to scratch now. However, double-check your work for any errors or typos. It's worth revising your essay at least twice for maximum impact. Our practice shows that revising your essay multiple times will help you refine the arguments, making your piece more convincing.
As you proofread, make sure the tone is consistent, and each sentence contributes something unique to the overall point of view. Also, check for spelling and grammar errors.
Once you're happy with your 5-paragraph essay, submit it to your teacher or professor.
5 Paragraph Essay Example
Students can ease their life by exploring a sample five paragraph essay example shared by one the writers. Consider buying a college essay if you want your homework to be equally good.
Extra 5-Paragraph Writing Tips
Here’re some bonus tips on how to write a good 5-paragraph essay:
- Be clear and concise Avoid fluff and filler. Every sentence should contribute to your argument or topic.
- Keep paragraphs focused Each paragraph should be dedicated to an individual point or idea.
- Use strong evidence To support your points, use solid evidence. This could be statistics, research findings, or relevant quotes from experts.
- Use active voice Active voice makes writing direct and dynamic. It puts the subject of the sentence in the driver's seat, leading the action.
- Avoid first-person pronouns To maintain a formal, academic tone, try to avoid first-person pronouns (I, me, my, we, our). First-person pronouns are acceptable only when writing a narrative essay , personal statement or college application essay .
Final Thoughts on How to Write a Five Paragraph Essay
Writing a five-paragraph essay may seem challenging at first, but with practice and determination it can become a piece of cake. Don’t forget to use your secret power – an outline, so that you have a clear idea of what points to cover in each paragraph. Make sure that you stick to the right format and cite your sources consistently. With these tips and 5 paragraph essay examples, you will be able to write an effective piece.
If any questions pop out, do not hesitate to leave the comments below or contact our professional writing service for expert assistance with your “ write an essay for me ” challenge.
Our team of experienced writers is ready to provide you with high-quality, custom-written essays tailored to your specific requirements. Whether you're struggling with a complex topic or short on time, our reliable service ensures timely delivery and top-notch content. Buy essays online and forget about struggles.
FAQ About Five-Paragraph Essays
1. how long is a 5-paragraph essay.
A five-paragraph essay typically ranges from 300 to 500 words, depending on the topic and type of paper. It's important to consider the length of your essay when determining how much information you want to include in each paragraph. For shorter essays, it is best to stick to one main point per paragraph so that your essay remains concise and focused.
2. What is a 5-paragraph format?
The five-paragraph essay format is a classic structure used to organize essays and persuasive pieces. It consists of an introduction (which includes your thesis statement), 3 body paragraphs that explain each point, and a conclusion which sums up your fundamental ideas. Each paragraph should feature one main aspect, with supporting evidence discovered during research.
3. How to start a 5-paragraph essay?
The best way to start a five-paragraph essay is by writing an engaging introduction that contains your thesis statement. Your first paragraph should provide readers with some context as well as introduce your main argument. Make sure to cover at least 2 or 3 points in your thesis statement so that you have something to elaborate on further in your text.
Daniel Howard is an Essay Writing guru. He helps students create essays that will strike a chord with the readers.
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How to Write a Good 5-Paragraph Essay with Tips, Outline, and Sample
6 July 2023
Writing academic papers is an essential exercise in academics. In this case, learning how to write a 5-paragraph essay refers to compositions that contain an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Basically, the opening passage contains background information on the topic considered. This part should start with a catchphrase, attracting readers’ attention and including a thesis statement that guides the entire composition. Then, the first body section supports the central claim. The second passage refutes the main perspective, while the third one gives credible refutations. In turn, the three parts must follow a sandwich rule, which allows learners to organize ideas in chronological order. Also, students must use credible scholarly evidence to support different claims. In turn, the conclusion restates the thesis and summarizes the main substantiations presented in the good 5-paragraph essay. The closing part does not entail new evidence or citations.
General Guidelines on How to Write a Five-Paragraph Essay
Lecturers require students to write essays during their studies. Basically, writing a 5-paragraph essay contributes towards the total grades scored every semester and allows learners to gain practical writing skills. In this case, effective essays must communicate ideas and arguments. Also, a five-paragraph essay contains three main parts that enhance the flow of ideas presented. Writers use the introduction to provide brief explanations of significant ideas, discussions, and concepts. In practice, operational opening paragraphs contain a central claim. In turn, a thesis statement guides the other sections of a composition. For instance, body subsections contain detailed information supporting fundamental applications. Besides, the closing section reaffirms the thesis statement and summarizes central arguments without introducing new concepts.
Definition of a 5-Paragraph Essay
A five-paragraph essay presents credible arguments supporting specific opinions. Basically, the composition contains three main parts that enhance the organization of main ideas. In this case, the opening paragraph gives an overview of the purpose and objective of writing. Besides, this part contains a debatable thesis statement, which states the primary writer’s thoughts. Then, three body paragraphs contain the primary evidence, counterarguments, and refutations. For example, counterclaims present ideas that oppose the central argument while revealing significant weaknesses of the opposing views. Also, the last paragraph restates the thesis statement and summarizes the main concepts addressed. Therefore, a 5-paragraph essay contains an introduction, three body sections, and a summative ending.
Argumentative Five-Paragraph Essay
Argumentative essays contain five paragraphs. In this case, the primary goal of a writer is to justify the validity of a specific argument. Also, one should consider the different perspectives, relating e to the selected topic. For instance, students gather adequate evidence to support the most credible argument and possible refutations. Besides, writers must show the weakness of rebuttal claims presented. In turn, the main goal is to show that only one perspective remains valid when compared to other compelling aspects. Therefore, a 5-paragraph argumentative essay seeks to prove the validity of a specific argument that relates to the selected topic.
Writing a 5-Paragraph Essay Outline
The paragraph gives a summary of the topic under consideration. The opening section provides the direction for the composition.
Thesis statement: The thesis statement gives the main central points. In this case, writers use the thesis to present a unique point of view.
Body Paragraph 1: Main Idea
This section of a 5-paragraph essay contains the main ideas, supporting the thesis statement.
- Opening sentence – This sentence contains the concept discussed in the paragraph. In particular, the topic sentence must connect to the central argument presented in the thesis statement.
- Supporting evidence – The second sentence in a paragraph contains credible evidence obtained from credible sources . In this case, writers present substantiation that supports the topic sentence. Also, operational compositions include accurate citations.
- Explanation of evidence – Writers provide an adequate account of the cited information. In turn, satisfactory clarifications make a paragraph plausible.
- Another supporting evidence – One should provide a sentence that supports the topic sentence of this paragraph. In particular, this sentence should have an in-text citation.
- Description of the second supportive statement – This sentence must contain an adequate and clear explanation of the cited information.
- The third point supporting the topic sentence in the section – Students must provide accurate and relevant substantiations. In this case, a correct citation should help the paraphrased information.
- Adequate supporting of should follow the third clai –Authors must ensure that explanations provided support the main ideas discussed in the first passage.
- Transitional sentence – The last sentence should summarize the main ideas discussed and link the paragraph to the next section.
Body Paragraph 2: Counterargument
This section of a 5-paragraph esssay contains the main counterargument for the thesis statement.
- Topic sentence – Writers provide the main argument to oppose the thesis statement. Basically, the counterclaim guides the evidence provided in this paragraph.
- The first supporting evidence – This statement supports the opposing assertion. Also, this sentence must contain an accurate in-text citation.
- Expounding on evidence – Students should expound on the evidence presented to oppose the central argument in the 5-paragraph essay. The main goal is to ensure that readers appreciate the credibility of contrasting thoughts.
- The second supporting suggestion – This sentence should explain the weakness in the thesis statement presented in the 5-paragraph essay. Besides, accurate in-text citations allow authors to substantiate the perspective that the central claims in the compositions do not hold.
- The third substantiation – One should explain how the counterclaims merge the knowledge gap in the central justifications presented in the first paragraph. Also, in-text citations make this validation reliable.
- Closing remarks – Authors should summarize counterarguments and provide a link to the next paragraph.
Body Paragraph 3: Rebuttal
The refutation section reveals that counterarguments provided fail to reject the thesis statement.
- Topic sentence – This phrase refutes counterarguments while affirming the thesis statement provided in the 5-paragraph essay.
- The first rebuttal – Writers must show that the counterclaims provided in the 5-paragraph essay do not hold.
- Supporting evidence from credible sources – It convinces the target audience that counterarguments appear weaker than the main ideas presented.
- Explanation – Students provide clear and accurate explanations for the first supporting evidence.
- The second suggestion – It should reveal the weakness in the negations provided in the previous section to show the significant gap in the thesis statement. Also, one must give clear evidence to show that the central claims remain valid.
- Opposition – One should oppose the third substantiation provided to support counterclaims. In this case, the primary goal is to show that divergent arguments do not merge the knowledge gap in the study.
- Summarizing – The last sentence should summarize rebuttals by affirming the credibility of central arguments provided in the 5-paragraph essay.
Writers need to restate the thesis statement provided in the introductory paragraph. Moreover, closing remarks contain a summary of the main arguments presented in body paragraphs.
Writing A 5-Paragraph Essay
I. introduction part.
The introduction begins with an intriguing opening phrase. Basically, the first sentence in the introductory paragraph should grab the reader’s attention. In this case, a writer must make a practical choice of words that can motivate the target audience to have the urge to read through the 5-paragraph essay. Therefore, the first line of the introduction paragraph should contain catchphrases.
The introduction should provide adequate background information about the topic. For instance, the author should begin with the broad concepts that relate to the primary subject under discussion. Also, relevant details ensure that readers develop a clear interpretation of the topic. In turn, academic guidelines do not require learners to cite information presented in the opening section. However, students need to summarize the main arguments presented in some relevant academic sources . Therefore, the introduction should give adequate background information on the topic.
The last sentence in the introduction should contain the central argument. For instance, a thesis statement expresses the main ideas for the persuasive 5-paragraph essay. In particular, students must make a specific statement that summarizes the points discussed in the body of the five-paragraph essay. Also, strong central claims provide a direct answer to the research question. In turn, the following points make the thesis statement useful:
- Specific information – One should avoid broad claims by identifying precise facts that relate to a topic.
- Answering the question “how?” – In this case, writers should avoid words like “can” when writing the thesis statement to ensure that readers do not raise unnecessary questions.
- Making a debatable claim in the thesis statement – One can support arguable assertions from different points of view.
- Readers’ point of view – Writers should avoid making claims that interest them. As a rule, an author should consider if the target audience should care about the writing.
- Developing valid central claims – Scholars achieve this objective by ensuring that a thesis statement provides a new but unique perspective to the topic in question.
- Strong thesis statement – It acts as the point of reference for the entire 5-paragraph essay.
The introduction should be approximately 10% of the entire paper. For example, writers should not use a large section when writing a 5-paragraph essay. In this case, successful students provide only adequate background information. In turn, avoiding a lot of information in this section makes essays appear balanced.
II. Body Part
Body paragraphs should support the thesis statement provided in the introduction section. For instance, one must ensure that each section gives details that relate to the central claims. In particular, writers must gather adequate evidence to support the topic and claims made. Moreover, scholarly sources contain credible facts that allow writers to substantiate their perspectives. Therefore, body paragraphs of a 5-paragraph essay must follow a specific format to present evidence and facts that advance the topic. Also, all body paragraphs must follow the sandwich rule to meet academic standards. In turn, the following points elucidate on the sandwich rule:
1. Topic Sentence
Each body paragraph should start with a topic sentence. The first line contains a claim that relates to the thesis statement. Basically, a writer must ensure that the assertion catches the reader’s attention. As a rule, students communicate the point that they wish to make in supporting the topic. Therefore, the sandwich rule requires one to make a central claim that relates to the subject.
The topic sentence allows scholars to use adequate facts to support them. In practice, topic sentences should contain reasonable opinions that can motivate people to connect with the central claim. Also, academic standards require authors to give a general statement that expresses the overall subject and answer the question under consideration. However, the phrase must be specific enough to ensure that readers understand the central theme and point presented in the section.
The topic sentence should guide the evidence presented in the specific section. For instance, the first sentence should guide the writer on the most appropriate evidence to include. As a rule, one should not involve additional assertions in a paragraph. Therefore, the topic sentence should direct the information that a writer consists of every subsection.
2. Supporting Evidence
Supporting evidence must follow the topic sentence in every paragraph. Some examples of evidence include supporting details, illustrations, testimonies, and in-text citations. In this case, a writer must come up with evidence to substantiate the introductory sentence. Moreover, sufficient supporting information should support the main idea in the section directly. In practice, readers should feel that the substantiations relate to the direction taken in the paragraph.
The evidence sentence should have an accurate citation. Essays that meet academic standards should have in-text citations in their second sentences. In particular, providing the exact location of the evidence makes a composition more credible. Also, such details include the page number for books and journal articles and paragraph numbers for websites. Hence, the sandwich rule requires one to provide cited evidence in the second sentence of a paragraph.
Paragraphs in a five-paragraph argumentative essay should have a maximum of three in-text citations. A writer must gather evidence from scholarly sources that support the ideas presented. In practice, authors can provide a minimum of one in-text citation. Moreover, the strategy ensures that one gives convincing details to the audience. Hence, the sandwich rule requires one to use a maximum of three and a minimum of one in-text citation.
3. Analysis of Evidence
The third sentence in a paragraph should contain an accurate analysis of evidence. In this case, a writer must explain how the information cited relates to the introductory sentences of the paragraph. Besides, adequate explanations reveal the connection between the evidence and the research question. In turn, some of the factors that authors should consider during the evaluation of the evidence include:
- How does the article support the thesis statement?
- Why was the article select the most suitable source of information when compared to other sources?
- How does the cited information make one’s argument credible?
- Can omitting the evidence hurt the credibility of your main arguments?
The above questions allow writers to determine the most appropriate article or journal to use for the in-text citation. One must use the most persuasive evidence available for supporting the central arguments. Therefore, the sandwich rule requires writers to give adequate explanations to the evidence presented by considering how to write a 5-paragraph essay.
The last sentence in a paragraph should contain a summary and transitional elements. Basically, one should summarize the main arguments without introducing new ideas. In this case, the strategy ensures that a 5-paragraph essay contains a suitable closure to a section. Then, the closure element provides a link between passages. Besides, transitions provide an adequate flow of ideas in the composition. Hence, effective paragraphs end with summative and transitioning phrases.
Writes should remember that the closing sentence should be the most informative part of a body paragraph. For example, one evaluates the necessary evidence before providing the ending section of a 5-paragraph essay. In this case, the unique familiarity with concepts should allow one to make a statement that offers adequate support to the thesis statement. Moreover, academic standards require authors to develop an ending account that enables readers to understand the arguments in the paragraph. In turn, successful writers must avoid restating the thesis statement or topic sentence. Therefore, the last line in a passage must contain the most plausible evidence that supports the topic.
III. Conclusion Part
The body section should end with a concluding paragraph, which restates the thesis statement and summarizes the main ideas presented throughout writing a 5-paragraph essay. In particular, the last part of an article should give a reworded thesis. Also, one should not copy and paste the previous sentence in the introduction when writing a closing sentence for a 5-paragraph essay. In this case, practical ending sections summarize the main thoughts and explanations given in the body sections. Basically, including new evidence in this part makes the entire work to appear vague. In turn, competent writers should restrict the essay to facts presented throughout the work. Therefore, a five-paragraph essay must end with a paragraph that restates the thesis statement and summarizes the main ideas presented in the masterpiece.
Sample of a 5-Paragraph Essay
The file on a 5-paragraph essay example organized in MLA is about the topic “Digital Transformation of Learning.” This sample follows the structure discussed above.
Main Things to Remember
One must remember the following things when preparing a 5-paragraph essay.
- The main body, counterargument, and rebuttal paragraphs must follow a similar pattern. In this case, three sections must utilize the sandwich rule fully.
- One should use a third-person narrative format. Also, academic standards discourage students from using first- or second-person language in essays.
- The introductory and concluding paragraphs should not contain citations. Basically, these sections include supporting details provided in the essay.
- Introduction and conclusion parts do not follow the sandwich rule when compared to other body paragraphs.
- Students must revise the thesis statement after completing writing a 5-paragraph essay to ensure that it captures all the main points connected to topic sentences of paragraphs.
- A rebuttal paragraph may support some aspects of the counterargument. However, the refutation should affirm the thesis statement while showing the major weakness in the counterclaims.
- Writers must revise their essays to ensure that it meets the necessary academic standards.
Differences in Various Academic Levels
An argumentative 5-paragraph essay follows the same format in different academic levels. High school, college, university, and master’s students must include the initial, central claims, counterclaims, rebuttals, and concluding sections. However, the complexity of the thesis statement varies from one academic category to the other. In turn, master’s writers should make central claims that show a high level of critical thinking.
Summing Up on How to Write a 5-Paragraph Essay
A 5-paragraph essay contains an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. In particular, the introduction gives background information about the topic under consideration. Besides, it includes a thesis statement that guides the entire composition. Then, the first body section supports the central claim. In this case, the second passage refutes the main perspective, while the third one gives credible refutations. Moreover, these three parts of a body paragraph must follow a sandwich rule, which allows learners to organize ideas in a logical order . This method supports the use of credible scholarly evidence to support different claims. In turn, the concluding section must restate the main arguments and summarizes the main substantiations presented when writing a 5-paragraph essay. Besides, the closing part does not entail new evidence or citations.
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How to write a perfect 5 Paragraph Essay
How to Write a 5 Paragraph Essay : A Complete Guide
Essay writing can be the bane of many a student’s life.
Gone are the days when many students tried writing in big letters to fill the allotted number of pages with minimal effort quickly.
Now, it’s all constant word count checks and taking a dozen words to say what could be said in three.
Of course, it doesn’t have to be like this. When students have a clear, set structure to follow, essay writing can be a much less painful experience. Indeed, it can even be enjoyable!
In this article, we’ll outline a clear template our students can follow to produce a well-organised essay on practically any topic effectively.
Let’s get started!
THE HAMBURGER ESSAY – THE STUDENT’S FRIEND
The common 5 paragraph essay structure is often referred to as the hamburger essay . And this is a memorable way to communicate the concept to your students.
The hamburger essay structure consists of five paragraphs or layers as follows:
Layer 1 – The Top Bun: The Introduction
The uppermost layer is the introductory paragraph which communicates to the reader the purpose of the essay.
Layers 2,3, & 4 – The Meat Patties: The Body Paragraphs
These are the meat patties of the essay and each paragraph makes an argument in support of the essay’s central contention as expressed in the introduction.
Layer 5 – The Conclusion: The Bottom Bun
The bottommost layer is the conclusion, where the arguments are summed up and the central contention of the essay is restated forcefully one last time. We have a complete guide to writing a conclusion here .
Soon, we’ll take a closer look at each of these parts in turn. But, there is more to an essay than just the writing of it. There are also the prewriting and post writing stages to consider. We will look at all these aspects in this article, but first, let’s examine what our students need to be doing before they even begin to write their essays.
A COMPLETE UNIT ON TEACHING PARAGRAPH WRITING IN 2023
This complete PARAGRAPH WRITING UNIT is designed to take students from zero to hero over FIVE STRATEGIC LESSONS to improve PARAGRAPH WRITING SKILLS through PROVEN TEACHING STRATEGIES.
THE PREWRITING STAGE – DEFINING THE THESIS STATEMENT, RESEARCH & PLANNING
The thesis statement.
Every essay needs a clear focus. This focus is usually defined in a thesis statement that presents the topic of the essay in a sentence or two. The thesis statement should also include the writer’s stance on that topic.
As this will help guide the direction of the essay, it is essential that our students define their thesis statement before they begin the writing process.
Sometimes during the process of writing, we find out what we think about a given topic. The writing process can act as a kind of reflection on the merits of the various arguments, before finally revealing to us our own opinion. This is writing as a method of discovery.
Usually, though, it is more efficient for students to decide on their opinions prior to beginning to write.
Defining their thesis statement early on not only helps guide the students writing, but helps ensure their research is focused and efficient at the crucial prewriting stage.
Research & Planning
As students begin their research and gather their evidence to support their thesis statement, they should also be encouraged to pay particular attention to the counterarguments they come across.
A well-written essay does not ignore opposing viewpoints, students should be taught to preempt counterarguments where possible so as to strengthen the power of their own arguments. Good research is essential for this.
Not so long ago, research meant hours in dusty libraries being constantly shushed, but with the advent of the internet, there is now a wealth of knowledge right at our fingertips (and the end of a good Wifi connection).
While this has made research a much more convenient process, students need to be reminded of the importance of seeking out reliable sources to support their opinions. In an era of ‘fake news’, this is more important now than ever.
As students gather the information and supporting evidence for their essay, they’ll need to organize it carefully. Graphic organizers are an effective way of doing this, either on a paper printout or by using a premade template on the computer.
It can also be helpful for students to sort their collected information according to where they intend to use it in the five-paragraph outline or layers mentioned above.
Finally, while good research, organization, and planning are essential for producing a well-written essay, it’s important that students are reminded that essay writing is also a creative act.
Students should maintain an open mind when it comes to the writing process. They should allow their thoughts and opinions the room to develop over the course of writing their essay. They should leave the door open for including new thoughts and ideas as the writing progresses.
The Writing Stage: Introduction, Body Paragraphs, & Conclusion
A good introduction paragraph serves a number of important functions. It:
- Grabs the reader’s attention and interest, known as the hook
- Orientates the reader to the essays central argument, the thesis statement
- Outlines briefly the arguments that will be explored in support of the thesis statement.
To become an effective writer, it is important that our students learn the importance of grabbing the reader’s attention, as well as keeping it. Opening with a ‘hook’ or a ‘grabber’ is a great way to achieve this.
There are a number of techniques students can use here. Let’s take a look at some of the more common ones.
- The Surprising Fact – this can intrigue the reader to want to find out more, especially if it challenges some of their existing assumptions on a topic.
- The Quotation – a carefully selected quotation can be a great way to secure the reader’s attention and there are many curated quotation collections freely available online to help get students started.
- The Joke – this opening should be used judiciously as for some topics it may not be an appropriate way to open. In the right context however, humor can be a great way to engage the reader from the outset.
- The Anecdote – anecdotes are a great way to personally connect with the essay’s topic. They are a helpful way of climbing down the ladder of abstraction when exploring more theoretical arguments. They assist the reader in relating universal themes to their own lives.
Practice Activity 1:
To encourage students to develop strong opening paragraphs in their essays, it can be helpful to isolate writing opening paragraphs.
In this activity, provide your students with a list of essay topics and challenge them to write four different opening paragraphs for their essay, one each for The Surprising Fact , The Quotation , The Joke , and The Anecdote as listed above.
When students have completed their four paragraphs, they can then share with each other in groups and discuss which worked best and why.
This activity will help students to remember the different types of opening and how they work. It will also give them a feel for which openings work best for different types of essays.
We’ve already discussed what a thesis statement is and what it is intended to achieve, but where does it fit into the overall shape of the introductory paragraph exactly?
While there are no hard and fast rules here, thesis statements work well towards the end of the introductory paragraph – especially as the paragraph’s final sentence.
Readers are often hardwired to look for the thesis statement there. It connects the arguments that follow in the body paragraphs to the preceding sentences and contextualizes the essay for the reader.
THE BODY PARAGRAPHS
Now we get to the ‘meat’ of our essay. Each of the body paragraphs will explore one of the arguments supporting the thesis statement as laid out in the introduction.
While we are focused on the 5 paragraph essay here, longer essays will usually be constructed in exactly the same manner, they’ll just include more body paragraphs to cover the extra level of detail.
Generally, each body paragraph will open by stating the argument, with subsequent sentences supporting that argument by providing evidence along with some further explanation. Finally, a statement or phrase will help transition to the next paragraph.
The PEEL Paragraph Writing Process
The acronym PEEL can be a very useful tool to help students to understand how to organize each of their body paragraphs.
P oint : start the paragraph by expressing the central argument
E vidence : support the central argument of the paragraph by providing evidence or reasons. Evidence may come in many forms including facts and statistics, quotations from a text or other authority, reference to historical events etc.
E xplanation : explain how the evidence provided supports the paragraph’s central argument.
L ink : provide a transition into the next paragraph by linking this argument and the central thesis to the next point to be made.
Practice Activity 2:
Just as students isolated the opening to their introductory paragraph for practice purposes, in this activity they’ll isolate a single argument on a chosen essay topic.
When they have chosen a topic and selected a single argument related to that topic, they can begin to write one body paragraph using the PEEL structure outlined above.
This activity works well when several students write on the same argument. When each has completed their paragraphs, they can then compare the results with each other.
It can be a fascinating experiment that allows the students to see just how diverse different treatments of the same argument using the same PEEL formula can be – there is freedom within the discipline of the structure!
The purpose of the conclusion is to close the circle of the essay. It is a chance for the writer to restate the thesis statement, summarize the main arguments, and tie up any loose ends as the writer drives home their point one last time.
At this stage of the game, no new arguments should be introduced. However, students should revisit the previous arguments made in the body paragraphs and it is acceptable to offer up a new insight or two on these.
The student should take care here to make sure they leave no doubt in the reader’s mind that the essay question is fully answered. One useful way of doing this is by incorporating words and phrases from the essay question into the conclusion itself.
To help students grasp the underlying structure of a concluding paragraph, the following sequential structure is useful to keep in mind:
- Starts with a closing phrase such as In conclusion , There is no doubt , Finally etc
- Restates the main thesis statement
- Summarizes the main point of each of the body paragraphs
- Leaves the reader with something to think about.
Practice Activity 3:
Again, here we will isolate the concluding paragraph for focused practice.
Students select a topic they know well, decide what they think about that topic, write down a few key arguments, and then begin writing a concluding paragraph to an essay on that topic.
Students should use the template above to structure that material.
You could also include an element of peer assessment here by having students swap their paragraphs with each other, before offering each other feedback.
The Post Writing Stage: Editing & Proofreading YOUR 5 paragraph ESSAY
The final stage of writing a five-paragraph essay is perhaps the least glamorous of an unglamorous process, but no less essential for it – the editing and proofreading.
Often, our students overlook this stage. After completing the process of research, planning, and writing their five-paragraph essay, they let themselves down at this final, crucial stage.
Frequently, students fail to adequately edit and proofread their work not just because of laziness, but because they are unsure of exactly what this process entails.
To avoid this, ensure students understand that editing and proofreading involve reading through and correcting mistakes in the following areas one after the other:
- Text Organisation: title, headings, layout etc
- Sentence Structure: coherence, grammar , sentence variety etc
- Word Choice: suitable word choices, avoid repetition etc
- Spelling and Punctuation: accuracy in both areas.
Practice Activity 4:
Once students have completed their essays, appoint each a partner to work with and each then edits and proofreads the other person’s work.
Sometimes students struggle to gain the necessary distance from their own work to adequately edit and proofread it, this exercise overcomes that issue while giving them an opportunity to gain some valuable editing and proofreading experience that will benefit them in future.
CLOSING THE CIRCLE
So, there you have it – how to write a five-paragraph essay from start to finish. As with anything, the more practice students get, the quicker they will improve.
But, bear in mind too that writing essays is hard work and you don’t want to put students off.
The best way to provide opportunities for students to develop the various skills related to essay writing is to isolate them in the manner apparent in the activities described above.
This way, students can soon sharpen up their skills, without learning to dread the word ‘essay’ itself!
Use our resources and tools to improve your student’s writing skills through proven teaching strategies.
Five Paragraph Essay exampleS (Student Writing Samples)
Below are a collection of student writing samples of 5 paragraph essays. Click on the image to enlarge and explore them in greater detail. Please take a moment to both read the 5 paragraph essay in detail but also the teacher and student guides which highlight some of the key elements of this structured model of essay writing here.
Please understand these student writing samples are not intended to be perfect examples for each age or grade level but a piece of writing for students and teachers to explore together to critically analyze to improve student writing skills and deepen their understanding of 5 paragraph essay writing.
We would recommend reading the example either a year above and below, as well as the grade you are currently working with to gain a broader appreciation of this text type.
5 PARAGRAPH ESSAY VIDEO TUTORIALS
The content for this page has been written by Shane Mac Donnchaidh. A former principal of an international school and English university lecturer with 15 years of teaching and administration experience. Shane’s latest Book, The Complete Guide to Nonfiction Writing , can be found here. Editing and support for this article have been provided by the literacyideas team.
A FULL-YEAR of NONFICTION WRITING RESOURCES .
- How to Cite
- Language & Lit
- Rhyme & Rhythm
- The Rewrite
- Search Glass
Elements of Essay Writing
Essays can be written many different ways, but the traditional five-paragraph essay has essential elements that transcend all essay writing. Proper planning and organization is required when writing an essay, particularly when developing a thesis statement, which sets the focus and tone of an essay. The introduction, body paragraph and conclusion are the other primary elements of an essay. It is customary to prepare an outline before writing to give your essay structure and effective flow.
The thesis is the statement of an essay that determines the primary focus. A thesis statement should be one coherent, concise sentence that clearly states the point of your essay. If you are writing a persuasive essay, the thesis statement is where you make your primary argument. A strong thesis statement is essential for an effective and cohesive essay. Traditionally, your thesis statement should be the last sentence in your introductory paragraph, but more relaxed styles of essays may have the thesis elsewhere in the introduction.
One of the main steps in writing an essay is creating an outline of material to create the most effective structure. Traditionally, outlines use a system of Roman numerals, upper- and lower-case letters, and numbers to classify points. Create one heading for each paragraph, including your introduction and conclusion. For each supporting paragraph in the body of your essay, list the most essential points you want to cover.
An essay introduction consists of one paragraph that introduces your reader to your essay. Mention any background information or general information that is pertinent to the topic in the introduction before your thesis statement. The introduction should summarize the point you intend to make in the body of your essay.
The supporting paragraphs that back up your thesis make up the body of an essay. Each paragraph should contain at least one point to confirm your thesis with any necessary supporting information. A five-paragraph essay, for example, has three body paragraphs. Depending on the style of your essay, you may have more body paragraphs. Write one body paragraph for each point that supports your thesis.
The conclusion of an essay is one paragraph that summarizes the principal points made throughout the body. Contrary to the introductory paragraph, which summarizes the overall idea of the essay, the conclusion should specifically confirm why your thesis is correct using the points from your supporting body paragraphs.
- Purdue University: Purdue Online Writing Lab: Developing an Outline
Sophie Southern has been a freelance writer since 2004. Her writing has been featured in "JPG" magazine and on Zlio.com. Southern holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in photography from the School of Visual Arts.