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Ultimate guide to writing a five paragraph essay.

How to write a five paragraph essay

Are you struggling with writing essays? Do you find yourself lost in a sea of ideas, unable to structure your thoughts cohesively? The five paragraph essay is a tried-and-true method that can guide you through the writing process with ease. By mastering this format, you can unlock the key to successful and organized writing.

In this article, we will break down the five paragraph essay into easy steps that anyone can follow. From crafting a strong thesis statement to effectively supporting your arguments, we will cover all the essential components of a well-written essay. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned writer, these tips will help you hone your skills and express your ideas clearly.

Step-by-Step Guide to Mastering the Five Paragraph Essay

Writing a successful five paragraph essay can seem like a daunting task, but with the right approach and strategies, it can become much more manageable. Follow these steps to master the art of writing a powerful five paragraph essay:

  • Understand the structure: The five paragraph essay consists of an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Each paragraph serves a specific purpose in conveying your message effectively.
  • Brainstorm and plan: Before you start writing, take the time to brainstorm ideas and create an outline. This will help you organize your thoughts and ensure that your essay flows smoothly.
  • Write the introduction: Start your essay with a strong hook to grab the reader’s attention. Your introduction should also include a thesis statement, which is the main argument of your essay.
  • Develop the body paragraphs: Each body paragraph should focus on a single point that supports your thesis. Use evidence, examples, and analysis to strengthen your argument and make your points clear.
  • Conclude effectively: In your conclusion, summarize your main points and restate your thesis in a new way. Leave the reader with a thought-provoking statement or a call to action.

By following these steps and practicing regularly, you can become proficient in writing five paragraph essays that are clear, coherent, and impactful. Remember to revise and edit your work for grammar, punctuation, and clarity to ensure that your essay is polished and professional.

Understanding the Structure of a Five Paragraph Essay

Understanding the Structure of a Five Paragraph Essay

When writing a five paragraph essay, it is important to understand the basic structure that makes up this type of essay. The five paragraph essay consists of an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

Introduction: The introduction is the first paragraph of the essay and sets the tone for the rest of the piece. It should include a hook to grab the reader’s attention, a thesis statement that presents the main idea of the essay, and a brief overview of what will be discussed in the body paragraphs.

Body Paragraphs: The body paragraphs make up the core of the essay and each paragraph should focus on a single point that supports the thesis statement. These paragraphs should include a topic sentence that introduces the main idea, supporting details or evidence, and explanations or analysis of how the evidence supports the thesis.

Conclusion: The conclusion is the final paragraph of the essay and it should summarize the main points discussed in the body paragraphs. It should restate the thesis in different words, and provide a closing thought or reflection on the topic.

By understanding the structure of a five paragraph essay, writers can effectively organize their thoughts and present their ideas in a clear and coherent manner.

Choosing a Strong Thesis Statement

One of the most critical elements of a successful five-paragraph essay is a strong thesis statement. Your thesis statement should clearly and concisely present the main argument or point you will be making in your essay. It serves as the foundation for the entire essay, guiding the reader on what to expect and helping you stay focused throughout your writing.

When choosing a thesis statement, it’s important to make sure it is specific, debatable, and relevant to your topic. Avoid vague statements or generalizations, as they will weaken your argument and fail to provide a clear direction for your essay. Instead, choose a thesis statement that is narrow enough to be effectively supported within the confines of a five-paragraph essay, but broad enough to allow for meaningful discussion.

By choosing a strong thesis statement, you set yourself up for a successful essay that is well-organized, coherent, and persuasive. Take the time to carefully craft your thesis statement, as it will serve as the guiding force behind your entire essay.

Developing Supporting Arguments in Body Paragraphs

When crafting the body paragraphs of your five paragraph essay, it is crucial to develop strong and coherent supporting arguments that back up your thesis statement. Each body paragraph should focus on a single supporting argument that contributes to the overall discussion of your topic.

To effectively develop your supporting arguments, consider using a table to organize your ideas. Start by listing your main argument in the left column, and then provide evidence, examples, and analysis in the right column. This structured approach can help you ensure that each supporting argument is fully developed and logically presented.

Additionally, be sure to use transitional phrases to smoothly connect your supporting arguments within and between paragraphs. Words like “furthermore,” “in addition,” and “on the other hand” can help readers follow your train of thought and understand the progression of your ideas.

Remember, the body paragraphs are where you provide the meat of your argument, so take the time to develop each supporting argument thoroughly and clearly. By presenting compelling evidence and analysis, you can effectively persuade your readers and strengthen the overall impact of your essay.

Polishing Your Writing: Editing and Proofreading Tips

Editing and proofreading are crucial steps in the writing process that can make a significant difference in the clarity and effectiveness of your essay. Here are some tips to help you polish your writing:

1. Take a break before editing: After you finish writing your essay, take a break before starting the editing process. This will help you approach your work with fresh eyes and catch mistakes more easily.

2. Read your essay aloud: Reading your essay aloud can help you identify awkward phrasing, grammar errors, and inconsistencies. This technique can also help you evaluate the flow and coherence of your writing.

3. Use a spelling and grammar checker: Utilize spelling and grammar checkers available in word processing software to catch common errors. However, be mindful that these tools may not catch all mistakes, so it’s essential to manually review your essay as well.

4. Check for coherence and organization: Make sure your ideas flow logically and cohesively throughout your essay. Ensure that each paragraph connects smoothly to the next, and that your arguments are supported by relevant evidence.

5. Look for consistency: Check for consistency in your writing style, tone, and formatting. Ensure that you maintain a consistent voice and perspective throughout your essay to keep your argument coherent.

6. Seek feedback from others: Consider asking a peer, teacher, or tutor to review your essay and provide feedback. External perspectives can help you identify blind spots and areas for improvement in your writing.

7. Proofread carefully: Finally, proofread your essay carefully to catch any remaining errors in spelling, grammar, punctuation, and formatting. Pay attention to details and make any necessary revisions before submitting your final draft.

By following these editing and proofreading tips, you can refine your writing and ensure that your essay is polished and ready for submission.

Tips for Successful Writing: Practice and Feedback

Writing is a skill that improves with practice. The more you write, the better you will become. Set aside time each day to practice writing essays, paragraph by paragraph. This consistent practice will help you develop your writing skills and grow more confident in expressing your ideas.

Seek feedback from your teachers, peers, or mentors. Constructive criticism can help you identify areas for improvement and provide valuable insights into your writing. Take their suggestions into consideration and use them to refine your writing style and structure.

  • Set writing goals for yourself and track your progress. Whether it’s completing a certain number of essays in a week or improving your introductions, having specific goals will keep you motivated and focused on your writing development.
  • Read widely to expand your vocabulary and expose yourself to different writing styles. The more you read, the more you will learn about effective writing techniques and ways to engage your readers.
  • Revise and edit your essays carefully. Pay attention to sentence structure, grammar, punctuation, and spelling. A well-polished essay will demonstrate your attention to detail and dedication to producing high-quality work.

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How to Write a Five Paragraph Essay

Last Updated: April 4, 2024 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Jake Adams and by wikiHow staff writer, Danielle Blinka, MA, MPA . Jake Adams is an academic tutor and the owner of Simplifi EDU, a Santa Monica, California based online tutoring business offering learning resources and online tutors for academic subjects K-College, SAT & ACT prep, and college admissions applications. With over 14 years of professional tutoring experience, Jake is dedicated to providing his clients the very best online tutoring experience and access to a network of excellent undergraduate and graduate-level tutors from top colleges all over the nation. Jake holds a BS in International Business and Marketing from Pepperdine University. There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 525,124 times.

Five paragraph essays are a common assignment throughout your school career, especially in high school and college. Since any subject can include a five paragraph essay, you’ll want to be good at writing them. Luckily, five-paragraph essays are really easy to write if you know the expected format and give yourself the time you need to write it. To write your five paragraph essay, draft your introduction, develop three body paragraphs, write your conclusion, and revise and edit your essay.

Drafting Your Introduction

A draft of a hook for an essay written on a piece of paper.

  • For example, you could phrase your hook like this: Nature’s life cycle is often used as a metaphor to convey ideas about the passage of life.
  • If you are writing a persuasive essay, don’t include your stance in your hook.
  • Don’t say “In this essay” or “I am going to show.” Instead, use the “show, don’t tell” technique using descriptive language.
  • It’s often easiest to come up with your hook after you write the rest of your essay. If you’re struggling to come up with one, use a basic placeholder and then create a better hook when you revise your essay.

Step 2 Include a sentence about your topic that provides more information.

  • Don’t reveal your main points yet.
  • For example, you could say something like this: While spring compares with birth, summer can symbolize maturity, with fall and winter showing a descent toward death.

Step 3 Write another sentence about your topic that leads to your thesis.

  • This sentence depends on what type of paper you’re writing. If it’s an argumentative paper, introduce both sides of the argument. In an informative paper, mention the central idea and focus.
  • As an example, you could narrow your topic like this: Writers often use nature metaphors in their work to show themes about life, such as the blossoming of youth.

Step 4 Finish the introduction...

  • For example, your thesis could read like this: In the poem “Raspberries,” the author shows youth through the ripening berries, summer blossoming, and blushing color of the fruit.
  • Each of the three examples provided in the thesis will become the topic of a body paragraph. For the example thesis, you would have body paragraphs about ripening berries, summer blossoming, and the blushing color of the fruit.

Developing Three Body Paragraphs

Step 1 Arrange your points to sandwich your weakest.

  • You should include three body paragraphs, one for each supporting point.

Step 2 Begin each body paragraph with a topic sentence.

  • Your topic sentence is like a mini-thesis for just that paragraph.
  • Use a quote related to your thesis and analyze it in the body paragraph. If you use a topic sentence, put the quote next.
  • For example, your topic sentence could look like this: Ripening berries show youth in the poem “Raspberries” by reaching maturity and becoming ready for picking.

Step 3 Provide your evidence or examples.

  • Each paragraph should contain two to three examples or pieces of evidence.
  • If you use research, cite your sources in the appropriate format that your instructor specifies.

Step 4 Add your own commentary.

  • Include two to three sentences of commentary for each example or piece of evidence.
  • Depending on the type of evidence or examples, it’s often best to alternate your evidence and commentary throughout the paragraph. For example, provide one example, then provide the commentary.

Step 5 Conclude your paragraph by linking back to your thesis.

  • For example, you could wrap up your paragraph like this: As the girl plucks the ripe raspberries from the bush and eats them, her actions represent her own youth and readiness to be “plucked” by someone.

Drafting Your Conclusion

Step 1 Restate your thesis.

  • For example, you could restate your thesis like this: The poem “Raspberries” provides an allegorical representation of youth through a metaphor of ripening berries, summer blossoming, and blushing color of the fruit.
  • If you're a beginning writer, it's okay to start your conclusion with "In conclusion." However, if you're an advanced writer, avoid starting your conclusion with statements like “In conclusion,” “To conclude,” or “In the end.”

Step 2 Summarize how your points supported your thesis.

  • Use an authoritative tone as you restate your arguments so that your reader walks away knowing that you are correct.

Step 3 Avoid introducing new information.

  • Include a call to action.
  • Provide a warning about what could happen if your stance is ignored.
  • Create an image in the reader’s mind.
  • Include a quote.
  • Make a universal statement about life.

Revising and Editing Your Essay

Step 1 Use spell check.

  • Always reread your sentence to make sure that the word processor is suggesting the right word. If you’ve misspelled a word that is similar to another word, then it’s possible that your spell check could suggest the wrong spelling, such as “then” instead of “than.”

Step 2 Proofread your essay.

  • Look for errors that your spell checker missed.
  • If you can, ask someone else to proofread your paper. They will usually spot errors that you overlooked.

Step 3 Revise your essay to improve the flow.

  • Combine choppy sentences.
  • Breakup long, convoluted sentences into shorter sentences.
  • Rewrite fragments and run-on sentences.

Step 4 Fix your formatting.

  • If you have cited sources, make sure that you include a reference page in the style chosen by your instructor.

how long it takes to write a 5 paragraph essay

Expert Q&A

Jake Adams

  • Never plagiarize an essay, which means copying someone’s work or ideas without giving them credit. Your teacher will deny you credit for the essay, and you may also get a discipline consequence. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 1

how long it takes to write a 5 paragraph essay

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Write a Comparative Essay

  • ↑ Jake Adams. Academic Tutor & Test Prep Specialist. Expert Interview. 20 May 2020.
  • ↑ https://www.grammarly.com/blog/five-paragraph-essay/
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/college-writing/
  • ↑ https://www.bucks.edu/media/bcccmedialibrary/pdf/FiveParagraphEssayOutlineJuly08_000.pdf
  • ↑ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4789530/
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.fas.harvard.edu/pages/ending-essay-conclusions
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/the_writing_process/proofreading/proofreading_suggestions.html
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/the_writing_process/proofreading/steps_for_revising.html

About This Article

Jake Adams

To write a five paragraph essay, start with an introductory paragraph that includes a hook to capture your audience’s attention, and a thesis that explains the main point you’re trying to make. Then, use the next 3 paragraphs to explain 3 separate points that support your thesis. As you explain each point, use evidence from your research or examples in the text you’re discussing. Finally, conclude your essay with a paragraph summing up the points you’ve made and telling the reader how those points support your thesis. For tips on how to revise your essay to improve the flow and formatting, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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The Ultimate Guide to the 5-Paragraph Essay

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  • M.Ed., Education Administration, University of Georgia
  • B.A., History, Armstrong State University

A five-paragraph essay is a prose composition that follows a prescribed format of an introductory paragraph, three body paragraphs, and a concluding paragraph, and is typically taught during primary English education and applied on standardized testing throughout schooling.

Learning to write a high-quality five-paragraph essay is an essential skill for students in early English classes as it allows them to express certain ideas, claims, or concepts in an organized manner, complete with evidence that supports each of these notions. Later, though, students may decide to stray from the standard five-paragraph format and venture into writing an  exploratory essay  instead.

Still, teaching students to organize essays into the five-paragraph format is an easy way to introduce them to writing literary criticism, which will be tested time and again throughout their primary, secondary, and further education.

Writing a Good Introduction

The introduction is the first paragraph in your essay, and it should accomplish a few specific goals: capture the reader's interest, introduce the topic, and make a claim or express an opinion in a thesis statement.

It's a good idea to start your essay with a hook (fascinating statement) to pique the reader's interest, though this can also be accomplished by using descriptive words, an anecdote, an intriguing question, or an interesting fact. Students can practice with creative writing prompts to get some ideas for interesting ways to start an essay.

The next few sentences should explain your first statement, and prepare the reader for your thesis statement, which is typically the last sentence in the introduction. Your  thesis sentence  should provide your specific assertion and convey a clear point of view, which is typically divided into three distinct arguments that support this assertation, which will each serve as central themes for the body paragraphs.

Writing Body Paragraphs

The body of the essay will include three body paragraphs in a five-paragraph essay format, each limited to one main idea that supports your thesis.

To correctly write each of these three body paragraphs, you should state your supporting idea, your topic sentence, then back it up with two or three sentences of evidence. Use examples that validate the claim before concluding the paragraph and using transition words to lead to the paragraph that follows — meaning that all of your body paragraphs should follow the pattern of "statement, supporting ideas, transition statement."

Words to use as you transition from one paragraph to another include: moreover, in fact, on the whole, furthermore, as a result, simply put, for this reason, similarly, likewise, it follows that, naturally, by comparison, surely, and yet.

Writing a Conclusion

The final paragraph will summarize your main points and re-assert your main claim (from your thesis sentence). It should point out your main points, but should not repeat specific examples, and should, as always, leave a lasting impression on the reader.

The first sentence of the conclusion, therefore, should be used to restate the supporting claims argued in the body paragraphs as they relate to the thesis statement, then the next few sentences should be used to explain how the essay's main points can lead outward, perhaps to further thought on the topic. Ending the conclusion with a question, anecdote, or final pondering is a great way to leave a lasting impact.

Once you complete the first draft of your essay, it's a good idea to re-visit the thesis statement in your first paragraph. Read your essay to see if it flows well, and you might find that the supporting paragraphs are strong, but they don't address the exact focus of your thesis. Simply re-write your thesis sentence to fit your body and summary more exactly, and adjust the conclusion to wrap it all up nicely.

Practice Writing a Five-Paragraph Essay

Students can use the following steps to write a standard essay on any given topic. First, choose a topic, or ask your students to choose their topic, then allow them to form a basic five-paragraph by following these steps:

  • Decide on your  basic thesis , your idea of a topic to discuss.
  • Decide on three pieces of supporting evidence you will use to prove your thesis.
  • Write an introductory paragraph, including your thesis and evidence (in order of strength).
  • Write your first body paragraph, starting with restating your thesis and focusing on your first piece of supporting evidence.
  • End your first paragraph with a transitional sentence that leads to the next body paragraph.
  • Write paragraph two of the body focussing on your second piece of evidence. Once again make the connection between your thesis and this piece of evidence.
  • End your second paragraph with a transitional sentence that leads to paragraph number three.
  • Repeat step 6 using your third piece of evidence.
  • Begin your concluding paragraph by restating your thesis. Include the three points you've used to prove your thesis.
  • End with a punch, a question, an anecdote, or an entertaining thought that will stay with the reader.

Once a student can master these 10 simple steps, writing a basic five-paragraph essay will be a piece of cake, so long as the student does so correctly and includes enough supporting information in each paragraph that all relate to the same centralized main idea, the thesis of the essay.

Limitations of the Five-Paragraph Essay

The five-paragraph essay is merely a starting point for students hoping to express their ideas in academic writing; there are some other forms and styles of writing that students should use to express their vocabulary in the written form.

According to Tory Young's "Studying English Literature: A Practical Guide":

"Although school students in the U.S. are examined on their ability to write a  five-paragraph essay , its  raison d'être  is purportedly to give practice in basic writing skills that will lead to future success in more varied forms. Detractors feel, however, that writing to rule in this way is more likely to discourage imaginative writing and thinking than enable it. . . . The five-paragraph essay is less aware of its  audience  and sets out only to present information, an account or a kind of story rather than explicitly to persuade the reader."

Students should instead be asked to write other forms, such as journal entries, blog posts, reviews of goods or services, multi-paragraph research papers, and freeform expository writing around a central theme. Although five-paragraph essays are the golden rule when writing for standardized tests, experimentation with expression should be encouraged throughout primary schooling to bolster students' abilities to utilize the English language fully.

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Literacy Ideas

How to write a perfect 5 Paragraph Essay

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  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!

Visual Writing

THE HAMBURGER ESSAY – THE STUDENT’S FRIEND

5 paragraph essay | Orange Illustrated Hamburger Graphic Organizer | How to write a perfect 5 Paragraph Essay | literacyideas.com

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

5 paragraph essay | paragraph writing unit | How to write a perfect 5 Paragraph Essay | literacyideas.com

This complete PARAGRAPH WRITING UNIT takes 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 

The introduction.

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.

5 paragraph essay | 1 PEEL PARAGRAPHS | How to write a perfect 5 Paragraph Essay | literacyideas.com

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 CONCLUSION

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!

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Teaching Resources

Use our resources and tools to improve your student’s writing skills through proven teaching strategies.

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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 | 5 paragraph essay example year 4 1 1 | How to write a perfect 5 Paragraph Essay | literacyideas.com

5 PARAGRAPH ESSAY VIDEO TUTORIALS

5 paragraph essay | 3 | How to write a perfect 5 Paragraph Essay | literacyideas.com

How To Write A Five Paragraph Essay?

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Table of contents

  • 1 What is a five-paragraph essay?
  • 2 Types of 5-Paragraph Essay
  • 3 How to start a five-paragraph essay
  • 4.1 Thesis Statement
  • 5.1 Introductory paragraph
  • 5.2 Body paragraphs
  • 5.3 Transitioning between paragraphs
  • 5.4 Concluding paragraph
  • 6 Outline for a Five-Paragraph Essay
  • 7 Tips On How To Prepare A Successful Five-Paragraph Essay
  • 8 Conclusion

Today we are about to talk about 5-paragraph essays. The structure of such work is quite easy and uncomplicated. However, students still have questions about how to perform this task most effectively. Let’s take a closer look at how to organize your essay correctly, the basic requirements, and writing tips. This post from Papersowl will answer all your questions and help you write an outstanding paper.

What is a five-paragraph essay?

The first question to answer is what is a five-paragraph essay. This is an essay template that helps students structure a good paper . The structure consists of an opening paragraph, followed by three supporting body paragraphs and a concluding paragraph. This writing style is also called a hamburger essay.

This type of presentation of thought allows the student to structure their thoughts easily and put them on paper with the maximum level of specificity. The brevity and organization of such a text cause its great popularity in educational assignments and exams like SAT, EILTS, and TOEFL.

Such a format is easy to explain to students, and it does not take them much time to delve into the requirements and write an essay . A five-paragraph essay format is short and is often restricted to between 250-750 words. When writing such an essay, you can apply different styles and artistic techniques to different topics and contexts. This answers the question of how many words is a 5 paragraph essay.

Types of 5-Paragraph Essay

  • An argumentative essay displays a subject from a certain point of view and presents advantages over others.
  • A definition essay defines an idea, concept, or premise and adds a personal interpretation along with the official one.
  • An expository essay is used to expose or reveal information that wasn’t obvious.
  • A persuasive essay  is constructed to persuade the reader to believe or act in a certain way.
  • Descriptive essays use many adjectives to encourage readers to feel, experience, and visualize a subject.
  • Other types of five-paragraph examples include comparing and contrasting multiple topics and explaining cause and effect . You can also use it to evaluate or critique a piece of fiction. Generally, the five-paragraph essay format is suitable for all essay types.

How to start a five-paragraph essay

To start working on a five-paragraph essay, as well as on other types of written work, you should first study the topic. The theme can relate to completely different areas of activity as the format allows it. Then it would help if you worked on an outline of the essay and the main ideas you would like to include in your writing. The 5 paragraph essay outline is like a plan to help you understand in advance how to write a 5 paragraph essay.

  • Remember that a 5-paragraph essay consists of an introduction, supporting paragraphs, and a conclusion. Three supporting paragraphs will clarify, support, and prove your thesis.

In the first paragraph, you should include introductory information that informs the reader. Express your thoughts clearly so that your essay is easy to read. Try to grab the reader’s attention so that they want to continue reading your essay with great interest. A good first paragraph sets the mood for what follows, so be very particular about it.

Choosing a 5-Paragraph Essay Topic

Choosing a topic for a five-paragraph essay is always difficult when it falls on a student’s shoulders. If you have the opportunity to choose a topic from the list, choose one that will be easy to develop in three paragraphs. Pick a topic that you are interested in or understand, and then it will be easier for you to come up with three different ideas. Suppose you are interested in computer games and choose a topic related to their impact on school-age children. Describe in three paragraphs three arguments for which computer games can be helpful for the intellect and socialization of a student.

Whatever topic you choose, ensure you have enough expertise, creativity, and personal conviction to get your point across. This is very important because each paragraph should be filled with meaning. It is also a useful feature to write a sentence that briefly describes the idea of ​​​​your five-paragraph essay.

Try to avoid choosing overused topics, as they have been discussed many times already, and you are unlikely to be able to bring any novelty. The best topic is one you feel so excited about and can discuss with your friends for hours without getting tired. You can save yourself the stress by selecting write essays for me on a writing service website. Professionals will write an excellent piece for you on tight deadlines and with the highest quality possible.

Thesis Statement

A thesis statement is a sentence that describes the topic your essay will focus on. It is essential to make it as informative as possible, even with a limited number of words. A good thesis statement will briefly express your primary thoughts in the main part. It is also well suited for summing up intermediate results.

The thesis statement can be something other than the first sentence in your paper. However, it must be in the introduction. The ideal place to place the statement is at the end or middle of the introduction.

✏️A good thesis example:

Most American parents believe that computer games have a detrimental effect on the development of their school-age children. Still, a series of studies have been conducted that have proven otherwise. Children fond of computer games have better memory, faster mental arithmetic, and good communication skills.

This thesis statement example lists the three points we intend to elaborate on in the body. So, introduction, supporting paragraphs about the three points, and conclusion. Without any extra help, you can already imagine this essay topic.

5 Paragraph Essay Structure

  • Opening paragraph: this paragraph should contain the main topic of the essay and a list of the main ideas that will be discussed.
  • This segment is considered the main one because it contains the entire message of the composition.
  • Concluding paragraph: Summing up and analyzing the information presented are in the concluding paragraph.

Remember when we said at the beginning of the article that a 5-paragraph essay is also called a hamburger essay? We need to imagine a hamburger to remember and understand the structure of such an essay. Assume the top bun is the introduction and that the three supporting body paragraphs are your meat patties. Finally, the bottom bum is the conclusion.

This part of the article allowed you to get acquainted with a five-paragraph essay format. For a more comprehensive analysis, let us examine the types one after the other.

Introductory paragraph

The first question is,” How long should an introductory paragraph be ?” The size is quite restricted. As we have already said, the main task of the introduction is to hook the reader and also let him understand what exactly the essay will be about. This is why the question should be carefully studied, and an exciting opening for the text should be prepared. Here are some things you can do to secure an excellent introduction:

  • Make it catchy The introduction should catch the reader’s attention. To do this, we recommend you start with a provocative question, striking fact, or a bold statement. Surprise is a guarantee that you will be noticed. Surprise is a challenge to the reader’s expectations. If you surprise the readers at the very beginning of your story, you will capture their minds and attention.
  • Be an innovator Our nervous system tends to look for novelty in everything. Any reader wants to see in your text something that they did not know before and that they had yet to read about before. Try to bring novelty to your text, providing the reader with interesting information.
  • Be brief The size of the introductory paragraph is limited; you will have to fit the desired meaning into a short space. Try to be concise and explain your thoughts as clearly and understandably as possible.

Body paragraphs

While the introduction is only the beginning, the main part is where you should  state your primary thoughts and ideas, backing them up with arguments and evidence. Unlike the first paragraph, where you had to be brief in the main body, you should expand your thoughts and explain your point of view.

Every paragraph in this part should present a separate statement, consolidated with particular facts and your personal ideas on the point. Therefore, start each paragraph with a fresh description of a single thought. Be objective, and don’t include irrelevant details.

Here is an idea for the body section:

  • Use an introductory sentence.
  • Follow it with a supporting argument or explanation. You can use various evidence like statistics, quotes, examples, and facts to show why you feel the sentence is true.
  • Conclude the sentence.

Now you have an idea of how to organize a paragraph in the body, and you need to compose two more in the same way.

Let’s use the example we stated earlier in our thesis. We wish to argue that equipment failures, wildlife encounters, and bad weather can make tent camping a frustrating experience.

Introduction – hook statement, background information, thesis. Use these tips for writing the body paragraph:

  • 1st paragraph (strongest argument) – topic sentence, claim, evidence, concluding statement
  • 2nd paragraph (weakest argument) – Topic sentence 2, claim 2, evidence, concluding statement.
  • 3rd paragraph (strong or persuasive argument) – Topic sentence 3, claim 3, evidence, general concluding statement.

Transitioning between paragraphs

An incredibly important part of any statement is the consistency and interconnectedness of the components in the letter. You must use transition techniques for your thoughts to be clearly stated and connected. For example, transitional sentences help the author smoothly change the topic without leaving a clear boundary.

Transition sentences show the relationship between two or more ideas. They are like bridges that connect your ideas and are made up of words or phrases. Words you can include in each paragraph are: “finally,” “simultaneously,” “for example,” “to illustrate,” “In fact,” “likewise,” “similarly,” “nevertheless,” and “on the contrary,” “in contrast,” “on the other hand,” “furthermore,” “consequently,” “therefore,” etc. There are tons of transition phrases you can use, and it will help if you check out tips for writing transition sentences.

Concluding paragraph

The essence of the final paragraph is to summarize everything that has been said above. Remember that the conclusions should be directly related to what you talked about in your essay. You also need to create such an effect that if a person reads only the introduction and conclusions, the reader will still understand what was discussed in the text.

Summarize a couple of sentences in which you clearly describe the conclusion you came to while writing the essay. In other words, state the content of the text in words understandable to the reader.

Outline for a Five-Paragraph Essay

Combining everything we’ve learned so far, the five-paragraph essay structure should look like this:

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To summarize, this essay outline is the most common and in the vast majority of cases, the most effective. It’s a great way for amateurs to sharpen their writing skills and writers of any level can utilize this whenever in doubt. We hope you make use of the above-established template to propel your essays to the next level.

Tips On How To Prepare A Successful Five-Paragraph Essay

  • Be concise and concise in presenting your thoughts without going off-topic.
  • Come up with an interesting and attractive title for your essay.
  • Work on a good introduction to immediately interest the reader.
  • Write a thesis statement that will help lead the reader in and improve the structure of your essay.
  • Create an outline to make your work easier. An essay outline will save you time and communicate what the entire essay should include when you are done.
  • Take your time submitting an essay several times, and check the text for spelling, punctuation and stylistic errors. Pay attention once again to the structure, whether you missed anything, and whether all five paragraphs are in place. Check out tips on how to write a college essay and use various resources to ensure the best result.
  • Reread your work and consider whether it is creative and innovative enough. The reader will be interested in reading unknown information.
  • Change your argument if you discover that the body paragraph does not align with your thesis.

At the end of this article, we want to summarize and list the main information we have shared with you. The 5-paragraph essay structure needs to contain an introduction, the node part consisting of 3, and a final paragraph. The format of such an essay stays the same depending on the topic, and the word count ranges between 250-750 words. You don’t have to be a professional to be able to write a five-paragraph essay. Be patient and creative and get down to business: come up with an interesting title, develop an outline, write the body and summarize your essay. Remember to be innovative and express your point of view by showing your intelligence and creativity. If needed, there are also experienced writers for hire who can help you bring your essay to life.

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How to Write a 5 Paragraph Essay: Guide with Structure, Outline & Examples

5-Paragraph Essay

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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 Structure

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.

Five Paragraph Essay Outline Example

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
  • Transition.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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 5 Paragraph Essay: Step-By-Step

Learning how to write a 5 paragraph essay is an important part of learning the English language and developing core writing skills in high school and beyond. 

Five-paragraph essays are a staple of any writer’s education. You can use this concept to develop your writing skills before taking on longer essays, articles, blog posts, and more. That’s because writing concisely is harder than writing verbosely. 

Now, here’s what you should know about how to write a 5 paragraph essay, writing prompts for essays, and frequently asked questions (FAQ). 

What Is a Five-Paragraph Essay? 

When are five-paragraph essays used , types of essays , step 1: start with your essay outline , step 2: write your introduction paragraph , step 3: write your last paragraph , step 4: write your first body paragraph , step 5: write your supporting points, step 6: include your background information , step 7: proofread your entire essay , persuasive essays , expository essays , narrative essays , final word on writing 5 paragraph essays , what is the difference between a five-paragraph essay and a persuasive essay , what are the best essay topics , what are transition words , is there a standardized test on 5 paragraph essays, essay writing resources.

How To Write A 5 Paragraph Essay

A 5 paragraph essay format uses an introduction, three main points in the body, and a conclusion paragraph to create a compelling and interesting piece for readers. A five-paragraph essay can be about nearly any topic and is intended to quickly but thoroughly convey a point or opinion to the target audience. 

Five-paragraph essays are often used by middle and high school students to help develop their academic writing skills. Learning how to write a five-paragraph essay prepares students to write more in depth content in college and beyond.

5 paragraph essays

There are a few different types of essays, including but not limited to:  

  • Descriptive essay 
  • Persuasive essay 
  • Expository essay 

Which type of essay you write depends largely on the assignment. Although the chosen topic can differ between types of essays, the same basic five-paragraph structure can be used for each. 

How to Write a 5 Paragraph Essay 

Many people mistakenly assume that essay writing is done from the top down, starting with the introductory sentence and ending with the concluding sentence. However, the outline is the most important thing to start with because it shapes the entire essay. 

After your essay outline is done, write the first sentence of your introductory paragraph. This is where you’ll grab the reader’s attention and introduce them to your main points, essentially glossing over what you’re going to be presenting below in your body paragraphs. 

After your first paragraph, your concluding paragraph should be written relatively early during the writing process so you can have a better understanding of how you’ll call the reader to action at the end of the essay. Your last sentence should clearly motivate the reader to click, call, or take another action. 

Your first body paragraph should be as captivating as your introduction paragraph. When you write this next paragraph, be concise while conveying important information to your readers. Don’t get too wordy and avoid a restatement of your introduction. 

The body of the essay should be written next, with supporting paragraphs that clearly outline detailed information that supports your main points. The second paragraph in your essay body should provide more detail, and the third should use compelling information to secure the reader’s attention before the conclusion paragraph. 

If you did any type of research during the writing process for your essay, you should include supporting evidence for each source.

Essay writers should take the time to proofread their entire essay at least once after its completion. Ideally, you will be able to have another person proofread it as well, just to catch any mistakes you may have missed. 

Writing Prompts for 5 Paragraph Essays 

  • Many people believe elderly drivers should have to reapply for their driver’s licenses after losing some of their ability to hear, see, and react in time. Explain your stance on this issue and why. 
  • Write an essay that persuades readers to give up a bad habit that hurts them emotionally, physically, or financially. For example, you could write an essay that imparts the importance of vaccinations or persuades smokers to quit.
  • Should fathers be offered paternity leave after they and their partners have or adopt a baby? Why or why not? Explain your stance. 
  • Write an essay that persuades a college of your choice to admit you based on your experience and credentials. 
  • Describe how two individuals with different core ideas and beliefs form an unlikely alliance. 
  • Write about a celebration or event that meant a lot to you as a child or teenager. Describe the event in great detail throughout your essay. 
  • Explain the mechanisms of and available treatments for a particular health issue like heart disease or diabetes. 
  • Explain the meaning of an adjective and give examples of how you learned about the word and what it means to you. 
  • How someone handles a disappointing turn of events tells a lot about that person’s character. Describe a time where you felt disappointed by something and how that impacted your character. 
  • Describe how something that changes your life, like moving, changing jobs, or having a baby, impacted you personally. 
  • Describe a valuable lesson from a mentor in your life, such as a teacher, parent, or other role model. 
  • The first time you try a new thing can be both exciting and terrifying. Write about a time where you tried something new, describing the experience in detail and what you learned about yourself from it. 

Writing a five-paragraph essay generally follows the same format no matter the topic. With practice, you can learn to write compelling, descriptive, and well-researched essays that hone your writing skills and improve your understanding of the English language.

FAQ About Writing a 5 Paragraph Essay 

A persuasive essay is a type of essay that is intended to lead readers to agree with the author’s opinion or take on a particular topic. You can be persuasive in an essay without following the 5 paragraph essay format and you can write a 5 paragraph essay without necessarily being persuasive. 

The best essay topics are provocative and thoughtful, ideally bringing new insight to an already established topic or even bringing an entirely new discussion to light. However, the essay topic you choose should correlate with the type of essay you’re writing. For example, you wouldn’t want to write a descriptive essay about a naturally persuasive topic. 

Transition words are words that help readers transition from one thought process to the next. Examples include “additionally,” “consequently,” etc. Transition sentences use transitional words to help paragraphs flow easily from beginning to end, avoiding reader confusion. 

Many standardized tests for students across the country require students to write a five-paragraph essay from scratch, or they may be asked several questions about how to format and write one. 

What is a Personal Essay?

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how long it takes to write a 5 paragraph essay

Nicole Harms has been writing professionally since 2006. She specializes in education content and real estate writing but enjoys a wide gamut of topics. Her goal is to connect with the reader in an engaging, but informative way. Her work has been featured on USA Today, and she ghostwrites for many high-profile companies. As a former teacher, she is passionate about both research and grammar, giving her clients the quality they demand in today's online marketing world.

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How Long Is an Essay? The Ultimate Essay Length Guide

It’s safe to say that most students struggle with the word limit within an essay. Sometimes, it’s hard to find ideas for a text and meet the word requirement for every part of the paper. With so many factors influencing essay length, it’s easy to get confused.

The picture enumerates the factors influencing essay length.

Luckily, our custom-writing team has your back. In this article, our custom-writing experts will answer all your questions regarding essay length. We will also help you write papers with an ideal number of words!

📜 Is Essay Length Important?

📏 essay parts: recommended length.

  • 🤔 How to Make Essays Shorter or Longer
  • 📑 Essay Length & Formatting
  • ❓ Different Academic Levels FAQ
  • 📚 Essay Length: Different Types
  • ⭐ Other Aspects
  • 📝 Essay Examples

🔍 References

Often, the phrase “word limit” causes panic among students. After all, if an essay is too long or too short, your grade will be lowered. However, in reality, there’s nothing to worry about. When it comes to words, limitations are beneficial for both the students and the professors.

Let’s see what exactly it means.

Many people believe that the longer an essay is, the better. However, according to Frontiers, research shows that it’s a bias that couldn’t be further from the truth. A perfect-length paper is one that allows students to express their ideas and showcase their knowledge fully while keeping it clean and simple.

What Influences Essay Length

Various factors determine the length of an essay. Here are the most important ones:

Let’s start with the essentials. Usually, assignment length is given as a number of words rather than pages. Unless your supervisor or instructor mentions any specific limitations, it’s acceptable to be 10% below or above the word limit.

It’s also worth knowing the 80/20 rule . According to it, the body should constitute 80% of the text, while the intro and the conclusion take up the remaining 20%.

Keep reading to learn more about the recommended length of each essay part. The main numbers are shown in the table below:

How Long Should an Introduction Be?

An introduction is the first section and the face of your essay. For that reason, it needs to be compelling and well-thought-out. Usually, it consists of 3 to 5 sentences or 50 to 80 words .

An introduction must have a hook, some background information, and a thesis statement. While the attention grabber and the thesis are usually brief, you may need 2 to 3 sentences for the background. To avoid going overboard, try to stay on topic and don’t add any filler.

How Long Is a Body Paragraph in an Essay?

The length of a body paragraph may vary. Sometimes, it can be limited to a single sentence. In other cases, it may take up a whole page. Usually, it’s recommended to have between 80 and 200 words (5-8 sentences) per body paragraph.

Since the paper’s body contains the most information, it’s necessary to explain and support your ideas properly. That’s why it’s no big deal if your body paragraphs go slightly over the word limit.

How Many Body Paragraphs Should Be in an Essay?

Like the word count, the number of paragraphs is determined by the type of paper and its topic. The minimum is 1. Generally, however, the body consists of 3-5 paragraphs , 1 for each argument.

To improve your paper’s structure, ensure that there are as many paragraphs as there are points in your thesis statement. Each one should have a purpose and support your arguments. If there’s any fluff, it’s better to get rid of it.

How Long Should a Conclusion Be?

Like the introduction, the conclusion consists of 50-80 words . It’s essential to keep it simple and only mention the central ideas. A weak concluding sentence may affect the reader’s understanding of the topic and spoil the overall impression of your paper.

🤔 How to Make Essays Shorter or Longer: Best Tips

Undoubtedly the essay’s content is more important than the number of words you use. But there are times when students go more than 10-15% below or over the limit. Is there a solution to this problem?

Yes, there is! In this section, we will share the most useful tips to help you stay on point with your paper’s word count.

How to Make Essays Longer

Since having enough words is essential for a good grade, we’ve collected the best tips that can help you lengthen your essay without teachers noticing:

  • Use relevant quotations.  You don’t need to litter your essay with citations, but using them whenever appropriate is a great idea. For instance, if you’re working on a book analysis, referencing a couple of direct quotes from the source text will make your essay more credible and increase the word count.
  • Give examples.  Go through the claims in your paper and provide additional evidence where possible. It will make your essay longer and more informative.
  • Use transitional expressions.  Adding transition words and phrases is a natural way of increasing the number of words. It will also improve your essay’s readability. 
  • Add more references.  Providing references is always a good idea when writing a formal essay. That way, you will increase the number of words and make your paper more credible.
  • Work on your descriptions.  If you struggle to develop new ideas, go over what you’ve already written and consider adding some descriptive words. It’s a great idea for creative essays to include more imagery. 

How to Shorten an Essay

Another struggle of academic writing is cutting down the number of words in your essay to meet a set limit. We are here to tell you that it’s not that hard. Writing straightforwardly and keeping your sentences short is a key to concise content. Here are several strategies you may use to tighten a lengthy essay:

  • Choose the active voice.  It takes up less space than passive voice. Using it also makes your writing more professional and compelling.
  • Remove needless transitions.  Transitions can indeed maintain the flow of the paper. But some transitional phrases can be easily removed.
  • Get rid of unnecessary adverbs and adjectives.  Some students tend to overuse adjectives and adverbs. It adds wordiness to their writing.
  • Avoid running starts.  Some students like to start their sentences with long phrases like: “there are,” “it is believed,” or “the fact that.” Getting rid of them makes texts much more concise.
  • Delete “that.”  In most cases, the word “that” can often be easily removed from texts.

Another cool trick is to use our summarizing tool as essay shortener. Try it out!

📑 How Long Is an Essay Depending on Formatting?

As we mentioned earlier, the essay’s length is usually limited by the number of words. But sometimes, a teacher may ask you to write a specific number of pages. This is trickier because the amount of text you can place on the page depends on the formatting. By using the font size and spacing properly, it’s possible to make the paper visually longer or shorter. Let’s discuss it in more detail.

The picture describes how formatting affects essay length.

Essay Spacing: How Does It Affect the Length?

  • Adjusting the spacing between lines.  Try to make the changes as slight as possible. For instance, if you were asked to double-space the paper, use 2.1 or 2.2 spacing instead. Another option is to slightly extend spaces between paragraphs.
  • Extending the margin size.  You can increase the right and bottom margins by a quarter to make very subtle changes in length. For example, if the margins are 1 inch , you can set them at 1.25 inches instead. 
  • Increasing the spacing between characters.  It is less noticeable than the line spacing. Still, try not to overdo it and keep the numbers between 1.2 and 1.5 . 
  • Adjusting the footer.  Add a footer with page numbers to stretch the bottom margin even further.
  • Lengthening the header.  You can extend your header by adding your name, e-mail address, or other relevant information. Another option is double-spacing it.

Length of an Essay: Font and Size

  • Using the right type of font.  If your instructor didn’t specify which font you should use, go for the bigger ones. We suggest Arial, Bangla Sangam MN, Cambria, or Quicksand. They will make your text look longer without being too on the nose.  
  • Using a bigger font size.  This is another technique that can come in handy. However, be careful and don’t increase your font by more than 0.1-0.5 pt.  
  • Increasing the size of periods and commas.   This is one of the less noticeable tricks you can use. For instance, if your paper’s font is 12 pt. , increase it to 14 pt. only for punctuation marks. Italicizing periods and commas will also add several lines of length to your essay. 

What to Do if There Are No Length Guidelines

Sometimes a teacher sets no word limit for a written work. What to do in that case? Well, first, you can ask your professor to confirm if they have simply forgotten to mention it. But if that’s not the case, here are a couple of helpful solutions:

  • Think of the paragraph number.  Sometimes, you may be given the number of paragraphs instead of words. In that case, you can decide on the number of words depending on how many paragraphs you have. 
  • Think about the topic’s complexity.  The length of your paper is also directly dependent on the theme. If the topic is simple, 4-5 paragraphs will be enough. A more complex issue may require an in-depth explanation, so your essay can be 6-8 paragraphs long.

❓ Essay Length for Different Academic Levels FAQ

The length of the elementary school essay is usually short. Usually, a paper needs to have around 3-5 paragraphs, with 4-5 sentences per paragraph. Primary school essays can be 1-2 paragraphs long.

The word limit for a middle school essay is usually between 300 to 1000 words. The most common essay length is 500 words, which is about 5 paragraphs. However, it may differ from school to school.

The length of the high school essay may differ depending on the school and the complexity of the task itself. Usually, however, a paper can be between 300 to 1000 words long.

The length of the undergraduate college essay often falls within the range of 1500 to 2100 words. It translates into roughly 5-7 pages. 5 pages is the most common essay length at this level.

When it comes to the graduate school admission essay, the word limit is usually between 500 and 1000 words. It’s possible to go slightly over or below the set limit; however, it’s best to stick to the requirements as close as possible.

📚 How Long Should an Essay Be: Different Types

Now, let’s talk about different types of essays. How long should they be? Keep reading to learn about the length of college essays, short and extended ones, scholarship essays, and research papers.

How Long Is a College Essay?

When it comes to a college essay, it’s more important to stick to the word limit than with any other paper. Some teachers may refuse to read it unless it meets all the requirements.

The shortest limit for a college essay is about 250 words which is the shortest length of a Common App personal statement. It’s also rare to see a good college essay with over 650 words . So, an average piece usually has between 150 and 650 words ; you can go over or below the limit by 50.

How Long Is a Paragraph in College Essays?

A college essay usually consists of 4-5 paragraphs . One paragraph takes about 1/3 of the page, which is roughly 5 sentences . Each sentence corresponds with one of the following components:

  • Topic sentence.
  • Explanation.
  • Transitions.

College Essay Length Requirements: Top 5 Schools

To understand the requirements for a college application essay even better, take a look at the table below. It showcases the top 5 schools and their length criteria for personal statements. Keep it in mind when writing your college essay:

How Long Is a Short Essay?

A short essay is usually 500 words long. Using 12pt Times New Roman font with standard margins and double spacing should result in about 2 pages of text.

Extended Essay Length

An extended essay is different from a short or a standard one. It requires extensive research and thorough explanation. That’s why the upper limit for this kind of essay is 4000 words . In this case, a typical essay length is 3500 words or 18 paragraphs .

Scholarship Essay Length

Generally, scholarship papers have a limit of 500 words , which is 1 page in length. Most scholarship programs provide additional requirements that indicate the minimum number of words or pages. If there are no set limitations, you can stick to the limit.

How Long Is a Research Paper?

Typically, a research paper is between 4000 and 6000 words long. Sometimes, there are shorter papers, which have around 2000 words, or in-depth ones with over 10000 words.

⭐ Other Aspects of Essay Length

When it comes to essay length, many different aspects come into play. Here, we’ve gathered all the essential information regarding an essay’s number of pages, paragraphs, words, and references.

How Many Paragraphs Are in an Essay?

Sometimes, it is more convenient to count paragraphs rather than words. Let’s now figure out how many paragraphs are in essays of different lengths. You may also check out the examples to see what such an essay looks like:

How to Count Paragraphs in an Essay Based on Word Count

You can also count the number of body paragraphs for your essay using the formula below:

Number of body paragraphs (average) = (TWC – TWC*0.16)/100

  • TWC – total word count
  • 0.16 – an average percentage of total word count for introduction and conclusion
  • 100 – an average number of words per paragraph

How Many Pages Are in an Essay?

The number of pages in your essay may vary from subject to subject. But it’s still possible to determine the number of pages based on word count. Check out the numbers below to see the conversions with bonus examples:

You can also use a specialized calculator such as Word Counter to determine a number of pages in your essay.

What Does an Essay Look Like when Typed?

You might be wondering: what do essays of different lengths look like when typed? Well, here’s the table where you can find out the metrics for single- and double-spaced papers.

How Many Pages Are in a Handwritten Essay?

In case you need to turn in a handwritten paper, you should check out the table below.

Counting Words in a Handwritten Essay

If you don’t have enough time to count the words in your handwritten essay one by one, here’s what you can do:

  • Count how many words there are in one line. Take the first and last lines and a line in the middle of a page. Let’s say there are 15, 14, and 15 words in them. Then, the average number of words per line is 15.
  • Next, count how many lines there are on one page. Let’s say there are 17 lines on a page.
  • Take the number of words per line and multiply it by the number of lines per page. In our case, we multiply 15 by 17. So, there are 255 words per page on average.
  • Finally, multiply the number of words per page by the number of pages. If your essay has 3 pages, it is approximately 765 words long.

How Long Does it Take to Write an Essay?

It is crucial to know how long writing will take you, especially if you are working on an exam essay or just short on time. Note that you need to consider the time for typing and researching necessary to complete a piece. Research time may vary. Usually, it’s 1-2 hours for 200-250 words .

The picture shows the fact about the average speed of writing.

Below, we’ve gathered the average writing time for average and slower writing speed:

And here are the results in pages:

How Many References Does an Essay Need?

Another essential part of any composition is the reference list. Different academic levels require different references. You’ll find out how many of them should be in your paper in the table below!

📝 Essay Examples: Different Length

Finally, we’ve gathered some excellent sample essays of different lengths. Make sure to check them out!

We also recommend you check out our free essay samples sorted by pages:

  • 1-Page Essay Examples
  • 2-Page Essay Examples
  • 3-Page Essay Examples
  • 4-Page Essay Examples
  • 5-Page Essay Examples
  • 10-Page Essay Examples
  • 20-Page Essay Examples
  • 30-Page Essay Examples
  • 40-Page Essay Examples
  • 50-Page Essay Examples

Now you know all about essay length, word limits, and ways to lengthen or shorten your text. If you know other interesting tricks, make sure to share them in a comment! Good luck with your writing assignments!

You may also like:

  • How to Write a Process Analysis Essay: Examples & Outline
  • How to Write a Precis: Definition, Guide, & Examples 
  • How to Write a Critical Analysis Essay: Examples & Guide
  • How to Write a Narrative Essay Outline: Template & Examples
  • How to Write a Formal Essay: Format, Rules, & Example
  • Word Limits and Assignment Length: Massey University
  • The Paragraph in the College Essay: California State University, Long Beach
  • Introductions & Conclusions: The University of Arizona Global Campus
  • How Long Should a Paragraph Be?: Daily Writing Tips
  • Paragraphing (Length Consistency): Purdue University
  • Hitting the Target Word Count in Your College Admission Essay: Dummies.com
  • How Long Should Your College Essay Be? What is the Ideal Length?: College Vine
  • Writing Personal Statements Online: Issues of Length and Form: Penn State University
  • Pen Admissions: Essays: University of Pennsylvania
  • Essay Questions: University of Michigan
  • Essay Structure: Harvard University
  • Components of a Good Essay: University of Evansville
  • Write Your Essay: UNSW Sydney
  • College Writing: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • 21 Helpful and Easy Tips to Make an Essay Longer: Seventeen
  • How to Make a College Paper Longer: ThoughtCo
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How Long to Write a 5-Paragraph Essay: Tips to get an A at it

writing 5 paragraph essay

writing 5 paragraph essay

While there are many types of essays, the most common type of short essay is a 2-page essay. Also referred to as 3-point essays, many people wonder how long it would take to write the 5-paragraph essays, their common name.

In this article, we answer that question in detail. We also consult our expert essay writers to understand their perspectives on the factors contributing to the time to write such an essay. Their input is valuable and it is summarized in answering the questions below.

Need Help with your Homework or Essays?

How long it takes to write a 5 paragraph essay.

However, the answer to this question is dictated by several factors. The first and most important factor is the essay’s nature. The time taken to write any essay is based on the requirements.

how long it takes to write a 5 paragraph essay

There are different types of essays, and your teacher or lecturer’s instructions depend on the type of essay you will write.

It should ideally take 2 to 3 hours to write a 5-paragraph essay, depending on your typing speed and the mastery of the subject you are writing on.

While you can use as short as 1 hour to write such a short essay on your favorite topic, it can take up to 3 hours if the subject is technical, requires extensive research, or does not interest you.

All factors held constant; it should take 2 hours to write a 5-paragraph essay. However, some of you may be wondering why it should take 2 hours when there are factors that can make the process longer.

Do not worry; we shall explore strategies to help you write a 5-paragraph essay within 1 hour regardless of the prevailing factors.

The first strategy is to switch off all the distractive devices or gadgets. This is a common-sense strategy because you cannot concentrate on writing if your favorite gadgets like video game consoles are switched on.

Tips for writing your 2-paragraph Essay Fast

1. avoid distractions.

You can also shut your room’s windows and doors to avoid outside noises to avoid further distractions.

While some of you like doing your homework while listening to your favorite music, it is best to switch off the music to complete a 5-paragraph essay within 1 hour.

2. Find Relevant Content

The second strategy that can help you write a 5-paragraph essay within 1 hour is to find relevant information for the content.

Finding a few credible sources to support your arguments within the essay is important. While this article is centered on how to write the essay within an hour, we understand that you may require several hours to complete a 5-paragraph.

However, if you have taken time before writing the essay to find information, it will take 1 hour to write it. Such information and sources can be found in Google Scholar and other top university websites.

3. Conduct Background Research first

The third strategy is to conduct brief background research. This should be part of finding information about the topic and the sources you will use in your essay.

You can use hints given by your instructor concerning the topic to help you narrow down the scope of your research and information search to find the most relevant content to help you develop a 5-paragraph essay. Take notes.

4. Create an Outline

The next step is to create an outline for your 5-paragraph essay. An outline will help you organize your thoughts into paragraphs for faster writing.

Such an outline will begin with an introduction that contains general information concerning the essay’s topic and the thesis statement. Familiarize yourself with tips on how to write your thesis fast .

The three body paragraphs follow next. Those paragraphs tackle individual claims, arguments, or ideas that prove your thesis statement.

For each claim within a single paragraph, it is best to provide 2 to 3 pieces of evidence to support the claim. The final paragraph should be the conclusion.

Here, you will provide the problems faced while tackling the topic, restate the thesis, and finally give implications of the issues raised within your essay.

5. Write the Essay at once

When you are done coming up with an outline, begin writing, and do not stop until you complete it. Writing is easier since you have already structured your ideas through the outline.

Work on the essay’s details from the introduction, body paragraphs, and finally, to the conclusion. Write them at once to ensure consistency and avoid undue procrastination.

Make sure to cite the outside sources within the paragraphs and on the last page, depending on the required format. Take the last few minutes of the hour to revise your essay and correct any errors.

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Factors determining the time to write a 5-paragraph paper

As noted above, we gathered input from several of our top essay writers on this issue. We have summarized a few factors determining the time to write a 5-paragraph essay.

You should note here that a 5-paragraph essay is not similar to a 5-paragraph paper.

While the five-paragraph essay has five paragraphs, a five-page essay will have several more paragraphs depending on the length of your paragraphs.

Ideally, a page with standard font size and spacing has two to three paragraphs. This means that a 5-paragraph paper will have a maximum of 2 pages.

If you have conducted prior research before commencing the writing process, it will take about 3-4 hours to write a 5-paragraph paper.

However, it will take longer if you haven’t done prior research since you will require more credible sources to support your arguments.

Again, you will research and find more information because you will have to produce more evidence to support your claims within each paragraph.

 What factors determine the time to write a 5-paragraph paper if this is the case?

1. The Technicality of the Topic

The topic is the first factor determining the time taken to write a 5-paragraph paper. As we all realize by now, different topics require different levels of writing and research.

the topic

The more complex a topic is, the more research it will require.

A 5-paragraph research paper with a complex topic will require more time to conduct research and therefore take longer to write, cite all the sources, and revise.

Simple topics such as personal reflection papers will take a considerably shorter time.

Papers can be reflective, personal narratives, narratives based on learning experiences, research-based, and so on.

Ideally, the papers that usually take longer to write are research-based because of the time taken to find relevant material for your sources, organize ideas, write, reference, and final formatting and proofreading.

The papers that take the shortest time to write are usually reflective and personal narrative papers.

This is because you will not be required to find relevant material for your sources or conduct research.

Such essays will be based on your thoughts, and you will only type in or write the content, thus taking a shorter time.

2. Your Writing Skills

The second factor determining the time taken to write a 5-paragraph paper is your writing skills.

This encompasses how fast you can type words using your computer, your knowledge in writing using the given format such as MLA, APA, Harvard, or Chicago, and your ability to process the instructions appropriately to respond accordingly and precisely.

Once you have done prior research and created an outline, the faster you are at typing, the faster you will complete the 5-paragraph paper because it will take lesser time to complete the task.

In most cases, especially in today’s curriculum, students are required to submit their papers as typed. Therefore, those who type faster will complete the task within a shorter amount of time, and vice versa.

3. Your Interest in the Subject and Other Factors

Other factors determining the time taken to complete such a task may include your interest in the subject and writing in general, taking breaks while writing the 5-paragraph paper.

Also, having other commitments that take up the writing time (in cases where the paper is administered as homework instead of timed classroom activity).

Tips on how to Write a 5-paragraph Essay

To give you a better understanding of the tips for writing a 5-paragraph essay or paper, we will breakdown the process into three significant steps:

Tips to write your Essay

1. Prewriting

3. Post writing

1. Tips for the Pre-Writing Stage

During the prewriting stage, you are supposed to brainstorm about the topic. This is a very important step because it will help align your thoughts.

Your mind will also be fixated on the task at hand. The next tip within this stage is to create an outline.

As noted, outlines are very important, especially when you want to complete your task faster. On top of that, you will create a well-organized paper. Finally, research the topic to find reliable and relevant sources.

2. Tips for the Writing Stage

Once you are done with the prewriting stage, you can start writing. Come up with a catchy yet relevant topic per the instructions. Since the title should be relevant to the essay, it should summarize your thesis.

The next tip is to write an introduction. In a 5-paragraph paper or essay, an introduction should be a single paragraph containing a brief introduction of the issues to be tackled and the thesis statement.

The body paragraphs should contain individual claims that support the thesis statement. Those claims should be supported by credible evidence.

Finally, write a conclusion that summarizes your findings, restates your thesis statement, and provides the implications of your findings.

3. Tips for the Post-Writing Stage

In the next post-writing stage, you should proofread your paper or essay to correct spelling, punctuation, or grammatical errors.

Once done, format your paper following the requirements or style given by your instructor. Remember, the formatting of a paper depends on its length and instructions. A 3-page paper is different from a 10-page or a thesis.

Alicia Smart

With over 10 years in academia and academic assistance, Alicia Smart is the epitome of excellence in the writing industry. She is our managing editor and is in charge of the writing operations at Grade Bees.

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how long it takes to write a 5 paragraph essay

How Long Should a College Essay Be

how long it takes to write a 5 paragraph essay

Writing a college essay is a big deal for students, giving them a chance to share their unique stories and ambitions with admissions officers. But here's the thing: figuring out how long it should be can be tricky. 

In this article, we're going to tackle the question of a perfect essay length head-on. We'll break down what influences the ideal length for your essay and give you some tips on finding that sweet spot between saying enough and not saying too much.

Why Following a College Essay Word Limit Is Important

Sticking to the college essay length matters for a few important reasons. Firstly, it shows that you can follow instructions, which is a skill you'll need in college and beyond. Admissions officers have lots of essays to read, so keeping within the limit respects their time and attention. 

Plus, it helps level the playing field for all applicants, giving everyone a fair chance to make their case without overwhelming reviewers with too much information. And on your end, it forces you to be concise and clear, focusing on what really matters in your story. If the word limit of your essay is too large, simply say, ‘ do my essay for me ,’ and our experts will help you fit into any word limit.

Why Essay Length Varies in Different Assignments

The issue of how long is an essay can change depending on the assignment for a few reasons. First off, it's about who's reading it and why. A formal academic essay might need more detail and research, so it could end up longer. But it might be shorter and more casual if you're just sharing your thoughts with a friend. 

Then there's the topic itself – some things need more explanation. Plus, your teacher's guidelines, like how many words or pages to aim for, can also affect how long your essay turns out. It's about fitting the essay to the task at hand and making sure you cover everything you need to without going overboard.

Struggling to Fit into the Word Count?

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Wondering about the ideal length for your college essay? You're not alone. Figuring out how much to write can be a head-scratcher for many students. But fear not! In this guide, we'll show you how to strike the right balance between text length and informational richness.

How Long Should a College Essay Be

High School Essay

The length of a high school essay can vary depending on the assignment and teacher's instructions. Generally, essays in high school classes range from around 500 to 1000 words, though some assignments may require shorter or longer compositions. The length often reflects the depth of analysis and detail expected by the teacher, as well as the complexity of the topic. 

Shorter essays might focus on summarizing information or making a concise argument, while longer essays allow for more in-depth exploration and analysis. Regardless of length, students should prioritize clarity, coherence, and relevance to effectively convey their ideas and meet the requirements of the assignment.

College Admission Essay

College admission essay length typically ranges from 250 to 650 words, with many colleges setting specific word limits. Admissions officers receive thousands of applications, so brevity is key. A well-crafted essay should be concise yet impactful, showcasing the applicant's personality, experiences, and aspirations within the given word count. 

Adhering to the word limit demonstrates the applicant's ability to follow instructions and communicate effectively, while exceeding it may signal a lack of respect for guidelines or an inability to convey ideas succinctly. 

Undergraduate College Essay

Undergraduate college essay length typically ranges from 400 to 650 words, although some institutions may specify shorter or longer limits. The essay aims to provide admissions officers with insight into the applicant's character, values, and potential contributions to the campus community. 

While brevity is important, the essay should be substantive enough to convey meaningful information about the applicant's experiences and aspirations.

Graduate School Admission Essay

Graduate school admission essay length varies, typically ranging from 500 to 1000 words, although specific requirements may differ by program. These essays allow applicants to articulate their academic and professional goals, research interests, and reasons for pursuing graduate studies. 

Admissions committees seek concise yet comprehensive essays demonstrating the applicant's readiness for advanced academic work and alignment with the program's values and objectives. 

Graduate School Essay

Graduate school essay length typically ranges from 500 to 1000 words, although requirements can vary between programs. These essays serve as a crucial component of the application process, allowing applicants to convey their academic background, research interests, career goals, and suitability for the program. 

Admissions committees value conciseness and coherence, so applicants should prioritize quality over quantity when crafting their essays. Ultimately, the essay should offer a compelling narrative that highlights the applicant's strengths, experiences, and motivations for pursuing graduate studies.

Recommended Length of Each Part of the Essay

While the recommended college essay length of each its part can vary depending on the specific requirements of the assignment or application, here's a general guideline:

  • Introduction

The introduction typically comprises 10-15% of the total essay length. It should provide background information on the topic, establish the context, and present the thesis statement or main argument.

  • Body Paragraphs

Each body paragraph should be roughly the same length and account for approximately 60-70% of the total essay length. Aim for around 150-200 words per paragraph. Each paragraph should focus on a single main idea or point and provide supporting evidence or examples to strengthen the argument.

The conclusion should be similar in length to the introduction, comprising around 10-15% of the total essay length. It should summarize the main points discussed in the essay, restate the thesis or main argument, and provide a sense of closure or resolution.

Remember that these are general recommendations, and the actual length of each part may vary based on the specific requirements of your assignment or application. 

It's essential to review any guidelines provided and adjust your essay accordingly to meet the expectations of your audience. Use a specialized college essay writing help from experts who always hit the mark when it comes to the length of assignments.

How Long Should an Introduction Be

An introduction should typically span between 50 to 100 words, offering enough context to engage the reader while succinctly presenting the main argument or thesis. It serves as a roadmap for the essay, providing an overview of what to expect without delving into excessive detail.

How Long Is a Body Paragraph

A body paragraph is typically around 100 to 200 words in length, although this can vary depending on the complexity of the topic and the depth of analysis required. Each paragraph should focus on a single main idea or point, supported by evidence or examples, and contribute to the overall argument or thesis of the essay.

How Long Should a Conclusion Paragraph Be

Knowing how long should a college essay be – from 400 to 600 words – a conclusion paragraph should mirror the length of the introduction, comprising between 50 to 100 words of the total essay length. It should summarize the main points discussed in the essay, restate the thesis or main argument, and provide a sense of closure or resolution to the reader.

How to Check Word Count

To check the word count of an essay, you can use various methods depending on the software or platform you're using:

How to Make an Essay Longer

To make an essay longer, consider these strategies:

  • Expand Ideas: Add more detail and examples to elaborate on your points.
  • Provide Supporting Details: Include additional evidence or references to strengthen your arguments.
  • Address Counterarguments: Discuss opposing viewpoints and explain why they're invalid.
  • Use More Sources: Incorporate more research to support your claims.
  • Use Transitions: Improve the flow between paragraphs with transitional phrases.
  • Rephrase and Expand: Clarify and expand on your ideas by revising your sentences.
  • Consider Different Angles: Explore the topic from various perspectives.
  • Revise Carefully: Edit your essay to ensure added content enhances its quality.

How to Shorten an Essay

To shorten an essay length while maintaining its essence, follow these strategies:

  • Remove Redundancy: Cut out repetitive phrases or sentences.
  • Combine Similar Ideas: Condense related points to streamline your message.
  • Simplify Language: Use clear, concise language to convey your ideas.
  • Delete Unnecessary Details: Eliminate irrelevant examples or explanations.
  • Focus on Essentials: Keep only the most relevant information.
  • Check for Wordiness: Remove filler words and phrases.

When working on your compositions, remember about the impact of remote learning on students and your productiveness.

How to Format a College Essay Based on the Required Length

Let’s explore strategies to tailor your essay's structure and content to fit within specified word limits. By understanding how to adjust your writing style and organization, you'll be better equipped to craft a compelling essay that adheres to length requirements without sacrificing quality or clarity.

Spacing is crucial for how long is an essay looking, its readability and adherence to length requirements. Opting for double-spacing ensures adequate room for markers to review your content and allows for easy reading. Additionally, double-spacing aids in maintaining a clean, organized appearance, enhancing the overall presentation of your essay.

  • If the instruction is to double-space the paper, consider using a spacing of 2.1 or 2.2 instead. 
  • You can extend the margin size by a quarter, such as increasing the right and bottom margins from 1 inch to 1.25 inches, to make subtle adjustments in length without significantly impacting the overall appearance.
  • Another strategy is to increase the spacing between characters, although it should be done cautiously to avoid excessive alterations. 
  • Aim to keep the spacing between 1.2 and 1.5 to maintain readability and visual consistency throughout the document.

Font and Size

Font selection and size can be key to adjusting the college essay length. Opt for a standard, easily readable font such as Times New Roman, Arial, or Calibri to ensure clarity and consistency. Aim for a font size of 12 points, which is the standard for most academic writing and provides optimal legibility without sacrificing space or readability.

  • If your instructor hasn't specified a font, consider using larger options such as Arial, Bangla Sangam MN, Cambria, or Quicksand. 
  • Exercise caution and try not to exceed an increase of 0.1-0.5 points to avoid noticeable alterations. 
  • Another technique is to increase the size of punctuation marks, such as periods and commas, by a couple of points compared to the main text size, or italicizing them, which can subtly add to the overall length of your essay.

Following the specified length for your college essay is super important because it shows that you can stick to the rules and pay attention to instructions, which is a skill colleges value. Plus, sticking to the word count helps you be concise and get your point across clearly without rambling or overwhelming the reader.

If you’re struggling to fit into the required word limit, buy a college essay that will be written by a seasoned professional who knows exactly how to meet academic standards.

Got a Lengthy Essay to Write?

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How Many Pages Are in an Essay

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Daniel Parker

Daniel Parker

is a seasoned educational writer focusing on scholarship guidance, research papers, and various forms of academic essays including reflective and narrative essays. His expertise also extends to detailed case studies. A scholar with a background in English Literature and Education, Daniel’s work on EssayPro blog aims to support students in achieving academic excellence and securing scholarships. His hobbies include reading classic literature and participating in academic forums.

how long it takes to write a 5 paragraph essay

is an expert in nursing and healthcare, with a strong background in history, law, and literature. Holding advanced degrees in nursing and public health, his analytical approach and comprehensive knowledge help students navigate complex topics. On EssayPro blog, Adam provides insightful articles on everything from historical analysis to the intricacies of healthcare policies. In his downtime, he enjoys historical documentaries and volunteering at local clinics.

  • How long should my essay be? – BigFuture | College Board . (n.d.). https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/help-center/how-long-should-my-essay-be  
  • 12 Strategies to Writing the Perfect College Essay - Harvard Summer School . (2022, August 9). Harvard Summer School. https://summer.harvard.edu/blog/12-strategies-to-writing-the-perfect-college-essay/
  • How Long Should a College Essay Be? | Honor Society - Official Honor Society® Website . (n.d.). https://www.honorsociety.org/articles/how-long-should-college-essay-be

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Your chance of acceptance, your chancing factors, extracurriculars, act writing: how long does it take.

Hey! I'm planning to take the ACT with the optional writing section. I'm wondering how long the writing section takes to complete? Any advice on managing the time during this section would also be appreciated.

The ACT Writing section, which is the optional essay portion of the exam, takes 40 minutes to complete. You'll receive a single writing prompt presenting a complex issue, and you'll be asked to develop an argument or perspective on that issue, using reasoning and supporting evidence.

In order to manage your time effectively during the Writing section, consider the following tips:

1. Spend the first 5 minutes reading and understanding the prompt. Make sure you grasp the issue at hand and analyze the three perspectives provided.

2. Spend the next 10 minutes outlining your essay. Jot down your thesis statement and the main ideas you'd like to convey in each paragraph, as well as any supporting examples or evidence you want to include.

3. Dedicate about 20 minutes to writing your essay. Write clearly and concisely, making sure your paragraphs are well-structured and follow a logical flow.

4. Use the remaining 5 minutes to proofread your essay. Check for grammar, spelling, punctuation, and coherence in your argument. Ensure that your essay fully addresses the perspectives provided in the prompt and that your own perspective is well-supported and thoughtfully argued.

Remember that practice is key to developing strong time-management skills. Consider taking timed practice tests to get a feel for the pace of the Writing section and to work on developing your essay-writing strategy.

About CollegeVine’s Expert FAQ

CollegeVine’s Q&A seeks to offer informed perspectives on commonly asked admissions questions. Every answer is refined and validated by our team of admissions experts to ensure it resonates with trusted knowledge in the field.

IMAGES

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COMMENTS

  1. Mastering the Five Paragraph Essay: Easy Steps for Successful Writing

    5. Look for consistency: Check for consistency in your writing style, tone, and formatting. Ensure that you maintain a consistent voice and perspective throughout your essay to keep your argument coherent. 6. Seek feedback from others: Consider asking a peer, teacher, or tutor to review your essay and provide feedback.

  2. How to Write a Five Paragraph Essay (with Pictures)

    Luckily, five-paragraph essays are really easy to write if you know the expected format and give yourself the time you need to write it. To write your five paragraph essay, draft your introduction, develop three body paragraphs, write your conclusion, and revise and edit your essay. Part 1.

  3. How to Craft a Stellar 5-Paragraph Essay: A Step-by-Step Guide

    Write the Introduction. Start the essay with a " hook "—an attention-grabbing statement that will get the reader's interest. This could be an interesting fact, a quote, or a question. After the hook, introduce your topic and end the introduction with a clear thesis statement that presents your main argument or point.

  4. How Long is an Essay? Guidelines for Different Types of Essay

    Essay length guidelines. Type of essay. Average word count range. Essay content. High school essay. 300-1000 words. In high school you are often asked to write a 5-paragraph essay, composed of an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. College admission essay. 200-650 words.

  5. The Ultimate Guide to the 5-Paragraph Essay

    Students can use the following steps to write a standard essay on any given topic. First, choose a topic, or ask your students to choose their topic, then allow them to form a basic five-paragraph by following these steps: Decide on your basic thesis, your idea of a topic to discuss. Decide on three pieces of supporting evidence you will use to ...

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    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.

  7. How to Write a Five-Paragraph Essay (with Examples)

    Write the hook and thesis statement in the first paragraph. Write the conflict of the essay in the second paragraph. Write the supporting details of the conflict in the third paragraph. Write the weakest arguments in the fourth paragraph. Write the summary and call-to-action prompt in the fifth paragraph.

  8. How to Write a Five-Paragraph Essay

    Example of a Five-Paragraph Essay. The following is a breakdown of an example of a five-paragraph essay. It discusses commonly held wrong ideas about e-cigarettes. Paragraph 1: Introduction. The topic of the essay is introduced, providing context and background. "Nowadays, the dangers of nicotine are widely understood.

  9. How to write a perfect 5 Paragraph Essay

    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.

  10. How to Write an Essay: 3 Tips for Writing a 5-Paragraph Essay

    How to Write an Essay: 3 Tips for Writing a 5-Paragraph Essay. Familiarize yourself with the simple structure of a five-paragraph essay, consisting of three supporting paragraphs bookended by an introduction and a conclusion.

  11. How to Write 5 Paragraph Essay [Outline, Structure, Tips]

    The 5-paragraph essay structure needs to contain an introduction, the node part consisting of 3, and a final paragraph. The format of such an essay stays the same depending on the topic, and the word count ranges between 250-750 words. You don't have to be a professional to be able to write a five-paragraph essay.

  12. How to Write a 5 Paragraph Essay

    The five-paragraph essay consists of an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. The introduction needs to hook the reader and present your thesis or argument. Each of the three body paragraphs should focus on a clear subtopic that it announces in its topic sentence. The conclusion should present your argument again without simply ...

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  14. How to Write a 5-Paragraph Essay: Example, Outline, & Writing Steps

    Second, you can simply reword your thesis statement, starting with "in summary.". The first approach is better, but the second works if you are in a rush. Alternatively, you can use a paragraph summarizer to get the idea of how the conclusion for your particular text may look like. Step 7. Edit Your 5-Paragraph Essay.

  15. The Beginner's Guide to Writing an Essay

    On average, the body comprises 60-80% of your essay. For a high school essay, this could be just three paragraphs, but for a graduate school essay of 6,000 words, the body could take up 8-10 pages. Paragraph structure. To give your essay a clear structure, it is important to organize it into paragraphs. Each paragraph should be centered ...

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    Don't know where to start a five-paragraph essay? Learn how to make an outline for your essay without the stress right here.

  17. How to Write a 5-Paragraph Essay: Outline, Steps & Examples

    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.

  18. How to Write a 5 Paragraph Essay: Step-By-Step

    Step 3: Write Your Last Paragraph. After your first paragraph, your concluding paragraph should be written relatively early during the writing process so you can have a better understanding of how you'll call the reader to action at the end of the essay. Your last sentence should clearly motivate the reader to click, call, or take another action.

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    A college essay usually consists of 4-5 paragraphs. One paragraph takes about 1/3 of the page, which is roughly 5 sentences. Each sentence corresponds with one of the following components: ... How Long Does it Take to Write an Essay? It is crucial to know how long writing will take you, especially if you are working on an exam essay or just ...

  20. How Long to Write a 5-Paragraph Essay: Tips to get an A at it

    It should ideally take 2 to 3 hours to write a 5-paragraph essay depending on your typing speed and the mastery of the subject you are writing on. While you can use as short as 1 hour to write such a short essay on your favorite topic, it can take up to 3 hours if the subject is technical, requires extensive research or does not interest you.

  21. How Long Should a College Essay Be: Simple Explanation

    Aim for around 150-200 words per paragraph. Each paragraph should focus on a single main idea or point and provide supporting evidence or examples to strengthen the argument. Conclusion. The conclusion should be similar in length to the introduction, comprising around 10-15% of the total essay length.

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    2. Follow the Right Report Writing Format: Adhere to a structured format, including a clear title, table of contents, summary, introduction, body, conclusion, recommendations, and appendices. This ensures clarity and coherence. Follow the format suggestions in this article to start off on the right foot. 3.

  23. ACT Writing: How long does it take?

    Jot down your thesis statement and the main ideas you'd like to convey in each paragraph, as well as any supporting examples or evidence you want to include. 3. Dedicate about 20 minutes to writing your essay. Write clearly and concisely, making sure your paragraphs are well-structured and follow a logical flow. 4.