A Comprehensive Guide on Writing a 5 Paragraph Essay
What is a 5 Paragraph Essay?
The key to success in any endeavor is to understand what is required of you. When we deal with essay writing, we must gain insight into the paper; otherwise, all attempts to write it will fail. As the name implies, a five paragraph essay is an academic paper consisting of 5 paragraphs: the introduction and conclusion are one paragraph long each, whereas the main body is concluded in three paragraphs. Teachers may refer to this assignment as one three one, three-tier, or even hamburger essay.
This type of essay is rather simple to write, especially in comparison with other essay types. College students are supposed to know how to write a five paragraph essay because they face this assignment throughout their school studies, on standardized testing, etc. Quite often, teachers pay attention not to the content of the essay, but to the proper structure.
The range of topics for a 5 paragraph essay isn’t limited: you may describe something, explain a certain event, discuss any point of view, etc. On the whole, when you know how to write a 5 paragraph essay, composing all other types will be easy.
5 Paragraph Essay Outline
If you’ve ever faced academic writing assignments, you know that it’s a complex process that requires you to spend much time on researching the topic, studying the sources, and organizing your work. Composing an outline is an essential step in creating any essay type, especially a five paragraph one. You should create an outline not only because it’s required, but also to speed up your writing process and make it easier. The outline acts as a suggestion, helping you not to lose the thread.
Here are the key elements of the five paragraph essay structure:
As we’ve already mentioned, this part consists of one paragraph. It should be no longer than 3-6 sentences and set the tone for the whole paper. A good introduction should inform the reader about the topic, catch the reader’s interest, and make him or her read your essay till the end. You’d better do it in the first sentence, which is usually called a hook sentence. Narrow the discussed topic in the next 2-3 sentences, gradually approaching the thesis statement. A thesis is a short and concise sentence that contains your argument. The thesis statement is a basis for your body paragraphs; that’s why you need to choose three points supporting it.
The body is the crucial part of your essay. According to a proper 5 paragraph essay outline, each body paragraph should be 5-15 sentences long; in some cases, you may extend the paragraph to present the topic in detail. We advise you to place the strongest paragraph first. State your idea in the topic sentence and support your opinion with several background sentences.
These sentences should include good evidence: facts, quotations, statistics, real-life examples, etc. Explain and analyze each quotation you add to the paragraphs. Finish your reasoning with transition and follow the same sequence of actions in two other body paragraphs. End each of the three paragraphs with strong concluding sentences.
You can’t finish the essay without summarizing your findings. Don’t make the conclusion paragraph too long; try to remain within ten sentences or even less. Here, you need to restate the main idea of your paper, repeating the information mentioned in the introduction in short. A good conclusion shouldn’t contain any new thoughts or ideas. The work on body paragraphs should lead you to a logical conclusion; so, present it here. Avoid using cliche phrases and words to sound more professional.
How to Choose a Topic for a 5 Paragraph Essay?
Not all college professors give a list of topics to choose from, so students have to spend time selecting a good topic on their own. You should not take this step irresponsibly because the chosen topic will influence the speed of your work and the quality of the paper you’ll compose. If you think that choosing the topic from the list is easier than selecting a theme on your own, you are deeply mistaken. There’s no guarantee that the list of topics will contain the one you know well.
The general recommendation on choosing a compelling 5 paragraph essay topic is to identify what question or problem interests you. You may find the lists with examples of essay topics on the Internet; some of them are even sorted by disciplines. After you’ve chosen an alleged topic, you have to analyze it: if it’s narrow and isn’t studied well, be ready to spend more time on finding sources (studies, research papers, articles, etc.) to support your ideas. Choosing too broad and general topics isn’t a good approach as well because you can’t be concise and clear. If you see that the topic is too general, narrow it down.
5 Paragraph Essay Topics
- Why is the First Amendment Important
- Essay of Cyber Security Education
- Women Don’t have Equal Rights
- Ancient Greece Art
- Essay about Utopia Community
- Child Labor
- Essay about Dreams and Nightmares
- Happiness is a Choice
- Finding Happiness
- Racism in Literature
5 Paragraph Essay Topics For High School
- Poverty and Inequality
- Essay on Daily Life in Ancient Egypt
- An Essay on Fiscal Federalism
- Essay about Propaganda in Media
- Essay about Guns in Schools
- Essay about Hate Crimes
- Essay about Alcohol Abuse
- How Can a Criminal Charge Affect your Future
- LGBTQ Parents: the Stereotypes and Heteronormativity
- Essay about Religious Beliefs of Martin Luther
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5 Paragraph Essay Examples
Sometimes, even the most detailed guide can’t explain how the stellar 5 paragraph essay should look like. When you don’t know how to start your paper, looking through a good template can help you and provide some inspiration to create a solid paper. If you need a 5 paragraph essay example, find it on the Internet or use one of the great examples below:
More Essay Examples
How to Format a 5 Paragraph Essay?
After you’ve completed your draft, edited it, and finished the final version of your paper, you still can’t expect to get a high grade. Each academic paper should be formatted according to a certain style. Here are the key elements of the paper’s structure. Some of them may be absent in certain formatting styles, but you still need to be informed about them:
- A title page.
- An abstract.
- A table of contents.
- A main body of the paper.
- A bibliography.
5 Paragraph Essay Template Preview:
5 Paragraph Essay Template Download:
But formatting isn’t only about including some elements. Formatting presupposes using certain sizes and types of fonts, properly formatted citations, correct margins, etc. The overall number of existing formatting styles is huge, but APA, MLA, and CMS are the most commonly used for essay writing.
These formats have differences in fonts, spacing, margins, headers, title page view, etc. So, you need to decide which 5 paragraph essay format to use and follow it throughout the paper.
5 Paragraph Essay Writing Tips
Writing even a simple 5 paragraph essay may be a torture for students who have no experience with this type of paper. We decided to create this guide to help you and give you some practical essay writing tips. Get acquainted with the key ones:
Pick a good topic
As we’ve already mentioned, the right topic is something that interests you. Moreover, a good essay topic should be narrow and well-studied; otherwise, your work on it will last too long. You’re required to balance all these aspects to find an ideal topic. You may also consult your professor and ask him or her to assist you.
Organize your work
Always make a schedule of your future work on such a project. Divide it into several stages, estimate the necessary amount of time, and distribute the work between 4-5 days not to do it in the last night before the due date. Such an essay is doomed to failure.
Follow the structure
If you want your five paragraph essay to get only an A+ grade, you have to remember that structure is a key here. Never neglect composing an outline because it can save you from numerous mistakes. Moreover, you should make outline one of the priorities after you’ve chosen a topic.
If you can’t understand the way to better start your paper or organize it, find a few successful examples on the internet and use them as templates. But don’t copy the ideas and information from there.
Use writing software
Here, we mean not only various spell checkers, proofreaders, and online editors but also citation machines. When you deal with academic writing, you have to follow certain citation rules. These services can save time and make citations for you. Online proofreaders are your best assistants during editing.
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After such a detailed consideration of the 5 paragraph essay writing process, the task seems to be as easy as falling off a log. However, it doesn’t mean that you’ll start enjoying this process. Unfortunately, only a handful of students have good writing skills and like writing essays and other academic papers. In most cases, students are so exhausted by the huge amount of homework that each new assignment set by the professor plunges them in despair more and more.
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