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How to Write a Five Paragraph Essay

15 Jun 2018

A five-paragraph essay is an essay format that includes five paragraphs, hence its name. It usually starts with an introduction, progresses with three body paragraphs to provide support and development, and concludes with a closing one. Because of its five Paragraph model, this format of essay writing has also been referred to as one-three-one, hamburger essay, or three-tier essay. The hamburger essay is also regarded to be the traditional essay writing assignment. It has been used in exams such as IELTS, TOEFL, and the SAT. Mastering this essay format is an important skill especially for high school students who have to sit for exams where they are required to write essays within tight time frames. Mastery allows for easy manipulation and efficient delivery.

Five Paragraph Essay Topics

In writing a five paragraph essay, your topmost priority should be to engage the reader and grab his attention. The first indicator that you are on the right path to achieving this goal is the topic you choose to write on. Good examples include: Will the traditional marriage institution withstand the mounting pressures of civilization? Will digital divide determine the fate of third world economies? What are the legacies of alchemy?

Five Paragraph Essay Structure

Such essays consist of five paragraphs: an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a concluding paragraph. The introduction is key as it sets the tone for the entire essay. The three body paragraphs sustain and consolidate the tone already set in the introduction, and the conclusion summarizes the key points outlined in the body paragraphs as well as includes closing remarks.

Five Paragraph Essay Introduction

If you want to grab the attention of your readers and even engage them, then you should pay premium attention to your introduction. Your introduction is key in setting the tone for the entire essay. To grab your reader’s attention from the onset, use anecdotes, descriptive words, or a striking question related to the topic you are writing on. Your readers often have a lot to deal with and perhaps a busy schedule to return to, so you don’t want them reading to the middle of the essay to figure out what you are writing about. Also, with the avalanche of content available today, readers want to be sure that they are not wasting time on a piece of writing.

Your introduction determines whether you are up to a good start and whether your readers will continue to the end. To grab your readers attention, creativity is key. You have to come up with creative descriptions and innovative ways if portraying anecdotes. It is also important that you state the main point of your writing in the last sentence of the first paragraph. The last sentence informs the reader about your stand on the topic you are writing on as well as outline the key points you are going to be writing on.

For example, if you are writing about the sustainability of the traditional marriage institution, for a topic like “Will the traditional marriage institution withstand the mounting pressures of civilization?” you could say something like “Do we want to live in a society with a decayed value system?” Or “What would it feel like to live in a society with a decayed valued system?” Or “Last year, my parents celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary on an island resort in Hawaii. They represent the last breed of a generation that strictly adhered to traditional marital values…”

Essay Body Paragraphs

Body paragraphs consolidate the premise you introduced in your first paragraph. With body paragraphs, you build on the foundation you have already laid. To properly outline your points in the body, it’s important that you abide by the following pattern: Outline your second strongest point in the first paragraph, your weakest point in the second paragraph and the strongest point in your third paragraph.

Ensure your body paragraphs consist of unique ideas that connect with each other. If we maintain the last illustration on the sustainability of the traditional marriage institution as an example, your three main points could be:

  1. The traditional marriage institution as the best cauldron for molding societal values, with supporting statistics and examples.
  2. The evolution of the traditional marriage institution and its role in ethical business practices, security, and social life, as well as sustainability of the human race and its role in the advancements of mankind.
  3. The ideological shift from conventional thinking, the pressures of civilization on the traditional marriage institution and the consequences of living in a society with an eroded value system as a result of a fall out in the traditional marriage institution. With specific references to its impact on ethical practices in business and government as well as its impact on national economics; references to security and social life; as well as the impact of a fallout in the traditional marriage institution on other spheres of society.

Five Paragraph Essay Conclusion

The last paragraph concludes the essay with a summary of the key ideas outlined in the essay. It provides a holograph of the entire essay. Although the fifth Paragraph is the concluding part of the essay, it can be difficult to pull out. A good idea to conclude an essay is to restate your thesis and relate it to the body of the essay in one sentence that shows how your arguments support the thesis. Your last sentence should consolidate your main idea in a compelling way. However, you should not include any new ideas in your concluding paragraph.

Five Paragraph Essay Outline

The five-paragraph essay can be likened to a keyhole. You start out with broad ideas and streamline down to narrow arguments to consolidate your thesis. As you progress from the introduction to the body as well as the conclusion, the article becomes narrower. The outline ensures that your reader is pulled in and his attention is sustained throughout the entire article. It also helps the reader get a full picture of the image you are trying to portray.

Five Paragraph Essay Examples

You can find many of those online just google “five paragraph essay examples”. Some of the most common are the following pieces: “A Cat is a Man’s Best Friend”, “The Benefits of Regular Exercise” and “Why Study Shakespeare?”

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