How to Write a Five-Paragraph Essay: Tips from 3 Experts

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How to Write a Five-Paragraph Essay: Tips from 3 Experts

Learning how to write a five-paragraph essay follows a very strict yet simple format.  The first paragraph is the introductory paragraph, the next three paragraphs make up the body of the document, and the last paragraph is the conclusion.

When writing the introductory paragraph of five-paragraph essays, you must be sure to include the thesis statement.  In addition, your introductory paragraph provides a sort of "mini outline" of what the rest of the report will be about.  Most importantly, you must grab the reader's attention with the introductory paragraph by using an attention grabber.  The three most commonly used attention grabbers include answering a question, stating an amazing or interesting fact, or telling a short story.  The final sentence of the introductory paragraph should serve to hook the reader and to transition to the body.

The first paragraph in the article should discuss the most important point you plan to make in your article.  The first sentence of this paragraph should tie back into the last sentence of the introductory paragraph.  In addition, the subject of this paragraph—which should tie into the thesis of the report—should be introduced in either the first or second sentence of this paragraph.  The last sentence of the second paragraph should transition into the next paragraph.

In the third paragraph, which is the second paragraph of the body, you should discuss the next strongest point.  This point should be a clear follow up to the previous paragraph and should contain a transitional sentence at the beginning that ties it into the previous paragraph.  As with the previous paragraph, the topic of this paragraph should be introduced in the first or second sentence and should relate to the thesis statement.  The last sentence should transition into the next paragraph.  

The fourth paragraph, which is the third paragraph of the body, will present the weakest of the arguments, but should still be an appropriate follow up to the previous paragraph.  This paragraph should follow the same general format as the previous two paragraphs, but the last sentence should make it clear that you are providing the last major point that you intend to discuss as this will lead into the concluding paragraph.

The concluding must restate the thesis as well as the three main supporting ideas that were discussed in the previous three paragraphs.  These points need to be written in a new manner that is powerful and meaningful to the reader, as this is the last opportunity you will have to convince the reader of your point-of-view or of the validity of your article.

After completing your five-paragraph essay, it is essential that you go back and proofread for grammatical errors, punctuation errors, and flaws in logic.  In addition, the transitional sentences that lead from one paragraph to the next and that help to tie your paragraphs together are an important component of the five-paragraph article.  Therefore, be certain the transitions are clear and add more detail as necessary in order to complete a logically-flowing article.



Viewpoint #2

The 5-paragraph essay is the standard form of an academic writing.  Accordingly, it contains five paragraphs that are carefully structured by the writer.  There are many styles of presentation for this essay format.  Some common styles include: the expository essay, the narrative essay, the comparison and contrast essay, and the cause and effect article.  By following the steps to writing a 5-paragraph essay, a writer can develop any one of these styles into a good composition.

In the first place, all 5-paragraph essays begin with an introduction.  This paragraph begins with an attention-grabbing statement that captures the reader's awareness.  Introducing the topic of the report, this paragraph also contains basic information about the subject matter.  It ends with the thesis statement, which is a sentence that specifically tells the reader what the article is going to cover.  The thesis must mention three controlling ideas that it will explain.

Next, three main body paragraphs follow the introduction.  Each main body paragraph discusses one of the controlling ideas found in the thesis statement.  The first sentence of each main body paragraph is called a topic sentence and ties the main ideas of the report together.  Writers must make sure that each topic sentence connects to the thesis statement.  Each main body paragraph should be coherent, which means it does not contain irrelevant information.  Also, each main body paragraph should be well-developed, which means that it supports the thesis statement with details, examples, facts, or reasons.

The conclusion is the last paragraph in which the writer restates the thesis statement in an original way.  Furthermore, 5-paragraph essays always end by summarizing the main points made in the three main body paragraphs.  Writers must be sure not to introduce any new material in the conclusion because it is the paragraph that helps the reader fully understand the article's purpose.  Unlike the introduction, the conclusion begins with a specific statement that paraphrases the thesis and ends in general terms.

All 5-paragraph essays are formal formats that allow the writer to engage the reader by making an argument, supporting it, and drawing a universal conclusion about it.  Because this format is very popular with students of every age, it is necessary that every writer learns how to write an effective 5 paragraph article.  From elementary school to college, there are many educational levels that study and practice the major steps to composing this highly structured format.



Viewpoint #3

A five-paragraph essay is a very simple and standard format that is easy for most students to follow.  In fact, the five-paragraph essay format is the first essay format that many students learn in middle school or high school.  Though five-paragraph essays are very basic, by understanding this structure, learners can expand the basic essay into a comprehensive article that is well-structured and well-written.

In order to understand the five-paragraph essay, students need to first understand the purpose of an academic article, in general.  An article is a short document that a learner will write in order to provide feedback on a particular topic or idea.  Most professors require learners to write articles that come from the student's point-of-view.  Therefore, essays are usually subjective, though they often incorporate information from research, as well.  

A five-paragraph essay is a common writing assignment because it helps students to learn about the basic structure of communication in a written form.  A five-paragraph essay is an effective way for students to practice their writing and communication skills while also being introspective (especially when the student has to write from his or her perspective).  Therefore, most teachers will begin teaching their students how to write by assigning five-paragraph essays.  

The structure of a five-paragraph essay includes three basic parts: the introduction, body, and conclusion.  The introduction is the first paragraph.  This is where the student gives brief information about the background of the topic and states what he or she will say in the report through a thesis statement.  The thesis statement appears in the first or last sentence of the introduction.  

The body of the document includes three separate paragraphs that have information that supports the thesis.  Each paragraph should focus on a new piece of information or idea with an explanation.  Finally, the conclusion ties together each of these separate paragraphs and is where the student shares his or her findings.  

While five-paragraph essays are common writing assignments, there are also other writing assignments that students will have to complete.  These different types of assignments should not be confused.  For example, a five-paragraph essay is not the same thing as a reference project.  Such articles are generally much longer than five paragraphs and are not as subjective as essay assignments.  Therefore, learners should spend some time familiarizing themselves with the difference between these types of assignments before they begin their writing.

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