A five paragraph essay is one of the most common essay formats you’ll find used in schools and universities. It’s a basic layout that anyone can use and it works well for a variety of essay styles. If you need more length, it’s simple to add to the 5 paragraph essay and expand it a little.
Before you get started with the five paragraph essay outline, you need to do a little research. What is your topic? What point do you want to make? Figuring this information out first gives you a launching point and from there, you can do your research and collect evidence.
All your information and evidence needs to come from qualified sources. Using Wikipedia isn’t a good plan, but university and government sites are much more reputable and can be used in your quotes. Remember that most essays end with a bibliography or a section where all your references are listed. Professors check these, so taking the time to do the research ahead of time means you will be able to prove that you know what you’re doing and how to research correctly.
Doing the pre-writing tasks, such as research and creating an outline, will help you write smoothly and transition from one section to the next in your essay. It’s worth the time it takes to improve your essay.
5 Paragraph Essay Outline
The basic five paragraph essay outline has three main parts, the introduction, the body and the conclusion. Each section has its own specific needs and should be written accordingly.
Introduction: The first paragraph of the essay will introduce the topic and lay out the main idea in a single sentence. This sentence is your thesis statement. If you have been given a topic, or asked a question for the essay, the answer to it is usually the thesis statement. Once you have this, you can build on it to let people know what your three main points are. Depending on the style of the essay, these points may be arguments or just statements.
Body: The three paragraphs that make up the middle or the meat of the essay are called the body. Take the three points that support the thesis statement and make each sentence the base of its own paragraph. These paragraphs should include information and details that will support the main topic of the entire essay, but there’s no need to be dull about it. Include facts, statistics and interesting points, as well as quotes, to keep it interesting and convincing.
Conclusion: Your final paragraph is the conclusion of our story. Here, you will remind people of the thesis statement by restating it. This paragraph also contains a brief recap of the rest of the essay, giving a summary of the main points and how they connect to the thesis and prove your point.
5 Paragraph Essays
Which essays use the five paragraph essay method? It’s a very common formula for writing, so you’ll use it just about everywhere you need to create a quality essay. In nearly all essay questions, you’ll find that you can use this.
An expository essay focuses only on the facts and analyzes a specific topic. The first paragraph will introduce the topic and explain what the reader will learn. The first body paragraph will give a better description of the topic and the following two paragraphs give more details, with quotes and statistics to prove that it is true. In some cases, the first and second body paragraphs will look at the pros and cons of the topic in a neutral manner, with more details in the third paragraph. The conclusion will wrap it all up into a neat, tidy package for the reader.
Persuasive essays are also five paragraph essays, but they are designed to convince the reader of a specific point, which is made in the first and last paragraphs. The body covers three arguments to prove your point, one in each paragraph, with the strongest argument last. Each argument must have evidence to back it up and the conclusion will cover each of these points in brief, while restating the main point.
A narrative essaytells a story and usually focuses on a real life event or experience. In this type of essay, the body paragraphs will generally give details and tell the story in chronological order. The conclusion recaps the lesson learned or makes a personal statement about the story.
The descriptive essay tends to be similar to a narrative essay, but focuses on describing an element of a story. It uses colorful adjectives and descriptions to create the feeling of being there and will draw the reader in emotionally. Each body paragraph builds on the details, making you feel the emotions and see the colors more vividly. Finally, in the conclusion, you can recap the story and make your point.
Nearly any essay can be written in five paragraphs, but these are the most commonly used options.
Five Paragraph Essay Topics List
When it comes to writing your essay, you may have access to a five paragraph essay topics list. This will give you a good head start on writing, but if you are able to come up with a topic on your own, that gives you even more flexibility.
There is no one topic for a five paragraph essay, so you can choose anything that works with the type of essay you are working on. If you’re supposed to write an argumentative essay, for example, you’ll select a very different topic than a narrative essay.
Five Paragraph Essay Outline Template
To make writing your five paragraph essay simpler, it’s a good idea to work from a template outline. You’ll have each of the five paragraphs laid out for you, with examples and tips to help you choose what to write. A template can smooth the difficulties of writing a quality essay and make it something you can turn out fairly quickly.
Grab one of our 5 paragraph essay outline templates today and get started!
Five Paragraph Essay Templates
five paragraph essay outline
Step 3 - Writing the Essay
Once the outline is filled out, the essay is quite easy to write. Your ideas are organized. It is important to have good transition words between each main paragraph, such as first, second, third, also, furthermore, hence, etc. The five paragraph essay includes an introduction, three body paragraphs and a conclusion.
Another tip is not to start the essay with "my essay will be about" or "I am going to write about." These are boring and not interesting essay beginnings. Think about interesting facts about the topic or famous quotes about the topic to put in the introduction. Make sure to include a thesis statement to inform the reader about the essay's topic. The introduction can be the hardest part to write; however, it is very important that it is strong.
Another part of the essay that many students forget to write is the conclusion. An essay must have one that wraps up the essay. A good way to get the reader to remember your essay is to leave the reader with an interesting thought. Do not give any new information in this section.
It is important to write a rough draft to share with a friend or parent to edit. When editing, ask someone to check that you stayed on topic and used proper writing conventions, such as good spelling, usage, mechanics and grammar.
Last, you want to write a final copy. This should be error free. It can be written in pen or typed. Most teachers like a typed copy; however, neatly written essays in pen are acceptable as well. Teachers generally grade an essay on the following criteria: interesting content, organization and writing conventions.
Writing a good five paragraph essay can take some time. Do not wait until the last minute and make sure to have someone edit it before you turn in the final copy to your teacher.