Essay Papers Writing Online

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.

Related Post

How to master the art of writing expository essays and captivate your audience, convenient and reliable source to purchase college essays online, step-by-step guide to crafting a powerful literary analysis essay, tips and techniques for crafting compelling narrative essays.

  • PRO Courses Guides New Tech Help Pro Expert Videos About wikiHow Pro Upgrade Sign In
  • EDIT Edit this Article
  • EXPLORE Tech Help Pro About Us Random Article Quizzes Request a New Article Community Dashboard This Or That Game Popular Categories Arts and Entertainment Artwork Books Movies Computers and Electronics Computers Phone Skills Technology Hacks Health Men's Health Mental Health Women's Health Relationships Dating Love Relationship Issues Hobbies and Crafts Crafts Drawing Games Education & Communication Communication Skills Personal Development Studying Personal Care and Style Fashion Hair Care Personal Hygiene Youth Personal Care School Stuff Dating All Categories Arts and Entertainment Finance and Business Home and Garden Relationship Quizzes Cars & Other Vehicles Food and Entertaining Personal Care and Style Sports and Fitness Computers and Electronics Health Pets and Animals Travel Education & Communication Hobbies and Crafts Philosophy and Religion Work World Family Life Holidays and Traditions Relationships Youth
  • Browse Articles
  • Learn Something New
  • Quizzes Hot
  • This Or That Game
  • Train Your Brain
  • Explore More
  • Support wikiHow
  • About wikiHow
  • Log in / Sign up
  • Education and Communications
  • College University and Postgraduate
  • Academic Writing

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 524,942 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 to write a basic 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 to write a basic 5 paragraph essay

You Might Also Like

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

  • Send fan mail to authors

Reader Success Stories

Mohamed Abdou

Mohamed Abdou

Nov 3, 2017

Did this article help you?

Mohamed Abdou

Suzanne Carlson

Jul 20, 2020

Hunter Fleming

Hunter Fleming

Feb 16, 2017

Dr. Carson

Oct 6, 2016

Dave Seville

Dave Seville

Mar 24, 2017

Am I a Narcissist or an Empath Quiz

Featured Articles

Accept Your Body

Trending Articles

How to Make Money on Cash App: A Beginner's Guide

Watch Articles

Make Homemade Liquid Dish Soap

  • Terms of Use
  • Privacy Policy
  • Do Not Sell or Share My Info
  • Not Selling Info

Get all the best how-tos!

Sign up for wikiHow's weekly email newsletter

The Ultimate Guide to the 5-Paragraph Essay

PeopleImages / Getty Images

  • 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.

  • How To Write an Essay
  • How to Write a Great Essay for the TOEFL or TOEIC
  • How to Write and Format an MBA Essay
  • Write an Attention-Grabbing Opening Sentence for an Essay
  • How to Structure an Essay
  • How to Help Your 4th Grader Write a Biography
  • Paragraph Writing
  • Definition and Examples of Body Paragraphs in Composition
  • What an Essay Is and How to Write One
  • What Is Expository Writing?
  • 3 Changes That Will Take Your Essay From Good To Great
  • An Introduction to Academic Writing
  • Definition and Examples of Analysis in Composition
  • Tips on How to Write an Argumentative Essay
  • How to Write a Solid Thesis Statement
  • The Five Steps of Writing an Essay

how to write a basic 5 paragraph essay

Guide on How to Write a 5 Paragraph Essay Effortlessly

how to write a basic 5 paragraph essay

Defining What Is a 5 Paragraph Essay

Have you ever been assigned a five-paragraph essay and wondered what exactly it means? Don't worry; we all have been there. A five-paragraph essay is a standard academic writing format consisting of an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

In the introduction, you present your thesis statement, which is the main idea or argument you will discuss in your essay. The three body paragraphs present a separate supporting argument, while the conclusion summarizes the main points and restates the thesis differently.

While the five-paragraph essay is a tried and true format for many academic assignments, it's important to note that it's not the only way to write an essay. In fact, some educators argue that strict adherence to this format can stifle creativity and limit the development of more complex ideas.

However, mastering the five-paragraph essay is a valuable skill for any student, as it teaches the importance of structure and organization in writing. Also, it enables you to communicate your thoughts clearly and eloquently, which is crucial for effective communication in any area. So the next time you're faced with a five-paragraph essay assignment, embrace the challenge and use it as an opportunity to hone your writing skills.

And if you find it difficult to put your ideas into 5 paragraphs, ask our professional service - 'please write my essay ,' or ' write my paragraph ' and consider it done.

How to Write a 5 Paragraph Essay: General Tips

If you are struggling with how to write a 5 paragraph essay, don't worry! It's a common format that many students learn in their academic careers. Here are some tips from our admission essay writing service to help you write a successful five paragraph essay example:

How to Write a 5 Paragraph Essay Effortlessly

  • 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.
  • Use topic sentences to introduce each paragraph : The major idea you will address in each of the three body paragraphs should be established in a concise subject sentence.
  • Use evidence to support your arguments : The evidence you present in your body paragraphs should back up your thesis. This can include facts, statistics, or examples from your research or personal experience.
  • Include transitions: Use transitional words and phrases to make the flow of your essay easier. Words like 'although,' 'in addition,' and 'on the other hand' are examples of these.
  • Write a strong conclusion: In addition to restating your thesis statement in a new way, your conclusion should highlight the key ideas of your essay. You might also leave the reader with a closing idea or query to reflect on.
  • Edit and proofread: When you've completed writing your essay, thoroughly revise and proofread it. Make sure your thoughts are brief and clear and proofread your writing for grammatical and spelling mistakes.

By following these tips, you can write strong and effective five paragraph essays examples that will impress your teacher or professor.

5 Paragraph Essay Format

Let's readdress the five-paragraph essay format and explain it in more detail. So, as already mentioned, it is a widely-used writing structure taught in many schools and universities. A five-paragraph essay comprises an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion, each playing a significant role in creating a well-structured and coherent essay.

The introduction serves as the opening paragraph of the essay and sets the tone for the entire piece. It should captivate the reader's attention, provide relevant background information, and include a clear and concise thesis statement that presents the primary argument of the essay. For example, if the essay topic is about the benefits of exercise, the introduction may look something like this:

'Regular exercise provides numerous health benefits, including increased energy levels, improved mental health, and reduced risk of chronic diseases.'

The body paragraphs are the meat of the essay and should provide evidence and examples to support the thesis statement. Each body paragraph should begin with a subject sentence that states the major idea of the paragraph. Then, the writer should provide evidence to support the topic sentence. This evidence can be in the form of statistics, facts, or examples. For instance, if the essay is discussing the health benefits of exercise, a body paragraph might look like this:

'One of the key benefits of exercise is improved mental health. Regular exercise has been demonstrated in studies to lessen depressive and anxious symptoms and enhance mood.'

The essay's final paragraph, the conclusion, should repeat the thesis statement and summarize the essay's important ideas. A concluding idea or query might be included to give the reader something to ponder. For example, a conclusion for an essay on the benefits of exercise might look like this:

'In conclusion, exercise provides numerous health benefits, from increased energy levels to reduced risk of chronic diseases. We may enhance both our physical and emotional health and enjoy happier, more satisfying lives by including exercise into our daily routines.'

Overall, the 5 paragraph essay format is useful for organizing thoughts and ideas clearly and concisely. By following this format, writers can present their arguments logically and effectively, which is easy for the reader to follow.

Types of 5 Paragraph Essay 

There are several types of five-paragraph essays, each with a slightly different focus or purpose. Here are some of the most common types of five-paragraph essays:

How to Write a 5 Paragraph Essay Effortlessly

  • Narrative essay : A narrative essay tells a story or recounts a personal experience. It typically includes a clear introductory paragraph, body sections that provide details about the story, and a conclusion that wraps up the narrative.
  • Descriptive essay: A descriptive essay uses sensory language to describe a person, place, or thing. It often includes a clear thesis statement that identifies the subject of the description and body paragraphs that provide specific details to support the thesis.
  • Expository essay: An expository essay offers details or clarifies a subject. It usually starts with a concise introduction that introduces the subject, is followed by body paragraphs that provide evidence and examples to back up the thesis, and ends with a summary of the key points.
  • Persuasive essay: A persuasive essay argues for a particular viewpoint or position. It has a thesis statement that is clear, body paragraphs that give evidence and arguments in favor of it, and a conclusion that summarizes the important ideas and restates the thesis.
  • Compare and contrast essay: An essay that compares and contrasts two or more subjects and looks at their similarities and differences. It usually starts out simply by introducing the topics being contrasted or compared, followed by body paragraphs that go into more depth on the similarities and differences, and a concluding paragraph that restates the important points.

Each type of five-paragraph essay has its own unique characteristics and requirements. When unsure how to write five paragraph essay, writers can choose the most appropriate structure for their topic by understanding the differences between these types.

5 Paragraph Essay Example Topics

Here are some potential topics for a 5 paragraph essay example. These essay topics are just a starting point and can be expanded upon to fit a wide range of writing essays and prompts.

  • The Impact of Social Media on Teenage Communication Skills.
  • How Daily Exercise Benefits Mental and Physical Health.
  • The Importance of Learning a Second Language.
  • The Effects of Global Warming on Marine Life.
  • The Role of Technology in Modern Education.
  • The Influence of Music on Youth Culture.
  • The Pros and Cons of Uniform Policies in Schools.
  • The Significance of Historical Monuments in Cultural Identity.
  • The Growing Importance of Cybersecurity.
  • The Evolution of the American Dream.
  • The Impact of Diet on Cognitive Functioning.
  • The Role of Art in Society.
  • The Future of Renewable Energy Sources.
  • The Effects of Urbanization on Wildlife.
  • The Importance of Financial Literacy for Young Adults.
  • The Influence of Advertising on Consumer Choices.
  • The Role of Books in the Digital Age.\
  • The Benefits and Challenges of Space Exploration.
  • The Impact of Climate Change on Agriculture.
  • The Ethical Implications of Genetic Modification.

Don't Let Essay Writing Stress You Out!

Order a high-quality, custom-written paper from our professional writing service and take the first step towards academic success!

General Grading Rubric for a 5 Paragraph Essay

The following is a general grading rubric that can be used to evaluate a five-paragraph essay:

Content (40%)

  • A thesis statement is clear and specific
  • The main points are well-developed and supported by evidence
  • Ideas are organized logically and coherently
  • Evidence and examples are relevant and support the main points
  • The essay demonstrates a strong understanding of the topic

Organization (20%)

  • The introduction effectively introduces the topic and thesis statement
  • Body paragraphs are well-structured and have clear topic sentences
  • Transitions between paragraphs are smooth and effective
  • The concluding sentence effectively summarizes the main points and restates the thesis statement

Language and Style (20%)

  • Writing is clear, concise, and easy to understand
  • Language is appropriate for the audience and purpose
  • Vocabulary is varied and appropriate
  • Grammar, spelling, and punctuation are correct

Critical Thinking (20%)

  • Student demonstrate an understanding of the topic beyond surface-level knowledge
  • Student present a unique perspective or argument
  • Student show evidence of critical thinking and analysis
  • Students write well-supported conclusions

Considering the above, the paper should demonstrate a thorough understanding of the topic, clear organization, strong essay writing skills, and critical thinking. By using this grading rubric, the teacher can evaluate the essay holistically and provide detailed feedback to the student on areas of strength and areas for improvement.

Five Paragraph Essay Examples

Wrapping up: things to remember.

In conclusion, writing a five paragraph essay example can seem daunting at first, but it doesn't have to be a difficult task. Following these simple steps and tips, you can break down the process into manageable parts and create a clear, concise, and well-organized essay.

Remember to start with a strong thesis statement, use topic sentences to guide your paragraphs, and provide evidence and analysis to support your ideas. Don't forget to revise and proofread your work to make sure it is error-free and coherent. With time and practice, you'll be able to write a 5 paragraph essay with ease and assurance. Whether you're writing for school, work, or personal projects, these skills will serve you well and help you to communicate your ideas effectively.

Meanwhile, you can save time and reduce the stress associated with academic assignments by trusting our research paper writing services to handle the writing for you. So go ahead, buy an essay , and see how easy it can be to meet all of your professors' complex requirements!

Ready to Take the Stress Out of Essay Writing? 

Order your 5 paragraph essay today and enjoy a high-quality, custom-written paper delivered promptly

Related Articles

How Long Should a College Essay Be: Simple Explanation

Literacy Ideas

How to write a perfect 5 Paragraph Essay

' data-src=

  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!

5 paragraph essay | LITERACY IDEAS FRONT PAGE 1 | How to write a perfect 5 Paragraph Essay | literacyideas.com

Teaching Resources

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

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

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

  • U.S. Locations
  • UMGC Europe
  • Learn Online
  • Find Answers
  • 855-655-8682
  • Current Students

UMGC Effective Writing Center Secrets of the Five-Paragraph Essay

Explore more of umgc.

  • Writing Resources

This form of writing goes by different names. Maybe you've heard some of them before: "The Basic Essay," "The Academic Response Essay," "The 1-3-1 Essay." Regardless of what you've heard, the name you should remember is "The Easy Essay."

Once you are shown how this works--and it only takes a few minutes--you will have in your hands the secret to writing well on almost any academic assignment. Here is how it goes.

Secret #1—The Magic of Three

Three has always been a magic number for humans, from fairy tales like "The Three Little Pigs" to sayings like “third time’s a charm.” Three seems to be an ideal number for us--including the academic essay. So whenever you are given a topic to write about, a good place to begin is with a list of three. Here are some examples (three of them, of course):

Topic : What are the essential characteristics of a good parent? Think in threes and you might come up with:

  • unconditional love 

Certainly, there are more characteristics of good parents you could name, but for our essay, we will work in threes.

Here's a topic that deals with a controversial issue:

Topic : Should women in the military be given frontline combat duties?

  • The first reason that women should be assigned to combat is equality. 
  • The second reason is their great teamwork. 
  • The third reason is their courage.

As you see, regardless of the topic, we can list three points about it. And if you wonder about the repetition of words and structure when stating the three points, in this case, repetition is a good thing. Words that seem redundant when close together in an outline will be separated by the actual paragraphs of your essay. So in the essay instead of seeming redundant they will be welcome as signals to the reader of your essay’s main parts.

Finally, when the topic is an academic one, your first goal is the same: create a list of three.

Topic: Why do so many students fail to complete their college degree?

  • First, students often...
  • Second, many students cannot...
  • Finally, students find that...

Regardless of the reasons you might come up with to finish these sentences, the formula is still the same.

Secret #2: The Thesis Formula

Now with your list of three, you can write the sentence that every essay must have—the thesis, sometimes called the "controlling idea," "overall point," or "position statement." In other words, it is the main idea of the essay that you will try to support, illustrate, or corroborate.

Here’s a simple formula for a thesis: The topic + your position on the topic = your thesis.

Let’s apply this formula to one of our examples:

Topic: Essential characteristics of a good parent Your Position: patience, respect, love Thesis: The essential characteristics of a good parent are patience, respect, and love.

As you see, all we did was combine the topic with our position/opinion on it into a single sentence to produce the thesis: The essential characteristics of a good parent are patience, respect, and love.

In this case, we chose to list three main points as part of our thesis. Sometimes that’s a good strategy. However, you can summarize them if you wish, as in this example:

Topic: Women in combat duty in the military Your Position: They deserve it Thesis: Women deserve to be assigned combat duty in the military.

This type of thesis is shorter and easier to write because it provides the overall position or opinion without forcing you to list the support for it in the thesis, which can get awkward and take away from your strong position statement. The three reasons women deserve to be assigned combat duties--equality, teamwork, courage--will be the subjects of your three body paragraphs and do not need to be mentioned until the body paragraph in which they appear.

Secret #3: The 1-3-1 Outline

With your thesis and list of three main points, you can quickly draw a basic outline of the paragraphs of your essay. You’ll then see why this is often called the 1-3-1 essay.

  • Supporting Evidence for Claim 1    
  • Supporting Evidence for Claim 2
  • Supporting Evidence for Claim 3

The five-paragraph essay consists of one introduction paragraph (with the thesis at its end), three body paragraphs (each beginning with one of three main points) and one last paragraph—the conclusion. 1-3-1.

Once you have this outline, you have the basic template for most academic writing. Most of all, you have an organized way to approach virtually any topic you are assigned.

Our helpful admissions advisors can help you choose an academic program to fit your career goals, estimate your transfer credits, and develop a plan for your education costs that fits your budget. If you’re a current UMGC student, please visit the Help Center .

Personal Information

Contact information, additional information.

By submitting this form, you acknowledge that you intend to sign this form electronically and that your electronic signature is the equivalent of a handwritten signature, with all the same legal and binding effect. You are giving your express written consent without obligation for UMGC to contact you regarding our educational programs and services using e-mail, phone, or text, including automated technology for calls and/or texts to the mobile number(s) provided. For more details, including how to opt out, read our privacy policy or contact an admissions advisor .

Please wait, your form is being submitted.

By using our website you agree to our use of cookies. Learn more about how we use cookies by reading our  Privacy Policy .

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

If you wish a skill that would be helpful not just for middle school or high school, but also for college and university, it would be the skill of a five-paragraph essay. Despite its simple format, many students struggle with such assignments.

Our specialists will write a custom essay specially for you!

A 5-paragraph essay structure consists of an introductory paragraph, three body paragraphs, and a concluding paragraph. It is one of the fundamental techniques for primary English education. It is also used to test the level of knowledge in almost any humanities subject.

  • 👣 7 Writing Steps
  • 📝 Essay Examples

🔗 References

📑 5-paragraph essay outline.

This genre is probably the most structured type of writing. It starts from a broad explanation and definitions, continues with narrow argumentation, and finishes with another broad generalization. The Hamburger Format can help you memorize the step-by-step essay structure .

A Five-Paragraph Essay Consists of an Introductory Paragraph, Three Body Paragraphs, and a Concluding Paragraph

Top Bun: Five-Paragraph Essay Introduction

The first sentence is usually a hook . It may be a rhetorical question, a stunning fact, or an example from real life. Its purpose is to make the reader interested in what’s going to come next.

It is hard to recollect that some 20 years ago, cell phones used to be a luxury.

Then you are supposed to provide a “ trailer for the movie :” hint what you are going to talk about, without revealing the plot. Two or three sentences will suffice.

Secondary school teachers can tell the children to put away their gadgets, but this practice becomes hardly possible at college, where adult people are taught.

The last sentence of an introduction is a thesis . It introduces your message to the reader and is usually arguable.

Just in 1 hour! We will write you a plagiarism-free paper in hardly more than 1 hour

This essay explores why it is morally permissible to introduce cell phone control at colleges and what results it may entail.

5-Paragraph Essay Body

Lettuce: paragraph #1.

  • The first paragraph should provide the most prominent and substantial argument .
  • Start each paragraph with a topic sentence . It links your ideas to the thesis statement. If at some point, you realize that there is a discrepancy between your topic sentences and the thesis, you should update the latter.
  • Then comes the evidence or explanation . Avoid generalizations here. Defend your argument in the most concise manner. If any words could be left out, they should be deleted.
  • Finish each paragraph with an analysis : how does it refer to your thesis?

Tomato: Paragraph #2

The second and third paragraphs follow the same structure. Your “tomato” argument is the weakest and less evident than the first one.

Burger: Paragraph #3

Dedicate the last paragraph to the most persuasive claim. In an argumentative essay, the third paragraph dwells upon the opposing opinion, substantiating its wrongness.

Bottom Bun: Five-Paragraph Essay Conclusion

A conclusion intends to summarize the main body paragraphs and restate the thesis in different words. The last sentence of your conclusion should indicate that the text is over.

Having considered everything mentioned above, it shall be stated that the use of telephones ruins the learning process and should be controlled.

5-Paragraph Essay: Outline Template

To simplify the outline above, feel free to use the following 5-paragraph essay template. It will do for any essay length.

  • “movie trailer”
  • thesis statement
  • topic sentence
  • allusion to thesis
  • overall concluding sentence

How Many Words Is a 5-Paragraph Essay?

A typical five-paragraph essay is 500 to 1000 words long . However, for easy writing, the average of 250 to 500 words is admissible. This word count should be distributed among the introduction, three body paragraphs (each consisting of a topic sentence and at least three evidence sentences), and the conclusion.

Receive a plagiarism-free paper tailored to your instructions. Cut 15% off your first order!

👣 How to Write a 5-Paragraph Essay: 7 Steps

Step 1. choose your 5-paragraph essay topic.

As a rule, the teacher provides the topic or at least the scope of topics in the assignment. However, it may happen that you will have to come up with your own theme. To avoid changing the title in the course of writing and starting the whole work from the beginning, make sure you observe the following rules:

  • Avoid overused subjects if you don’t want half of your classmates to have similar essays.
  • Try to find a narrow topic that suggests an argument.
  • The best topic is the one that you would argue with your friend for hours . If you feel excited thinking about it, your readers will enjoy learning about your opinion.

Step 2. Create Your Thesis Statement

Simply put, the thesis statement is the point of your essay. A well-developed thesis statement is a one- or two-sentence summary of what your essay shows and how it shows it. In other words, it should outline the points that will be made in your body and indicate the conclusion made from those points.

A thesis statement is the centerpiece of your essay. And this is why writing a thesis statement should happen first . It shouldn’t be the first sentence of your essay, but it must be in your introduction. Ideally, the thesis statement should be tucked into the middle or end of the first paragraph while writing essay introductions.

Here are a few thesis statement examples to make sure you understand the idea:

Thesis Statement Example #1

“There are many organic foods available today, but the vast majority of conventional foods can be eaten without any concern about the consumption of toxic pesticides. This is because many foods are not grown with pesticides, while thick peels cover the edible parts of other crops, and some agricultural foods are grown with nontoxic pesticides.”

Thesis Statement Example #2

“Detroit did not become the automotive capital of the United States overnight. Rather, automotive manufacturing became established in Detroit because of its position in proximity to raw materials like steel, navigable waterways, and the efforts of local entrepreneurs.”

Thesis Statement Example #3

“Three key design elements that defined the Art Deco movement were bold geometric shapes, rich colors, and luxurious ornamentation.”

Notice the similarities shared by these thesis statements. They each list three points that will be elaborated on in the body. Five paragraph essays rely upon this magic number of 3 points, which is discussed next. And you can also imagine the essay that each of these statements belongs to.

Get an originally-written paper according to your instructions!

Step 3. Structure Your 5-Paragraph Essay

Five paragraph essays require a very special sort of discipline. In this case, you only have five paragraphs to work with, so there is only one structure that makes sense: one introduction paragraph, three body paragraphs, and one conclusion paragraph. Above there is detailed information about the five-paragraph essay outline. In the next few paragraphs, its part’s goals and the ideas they should convey are described in more detail.

Step 4. Write Your 5-Paragraph Essay Introduction

The purpose of an introduction is to demonstrate the focus of the essay. An introduction should provide enough information to orient the reader to the essay subject, state the thesis statement, and roughly outline the body’s content.

  • When you are writing an introduction, you first need to grab the attention of the reader . Your introduction’s first sentence should be a bold statement, a striking fact, or a provocative question. The trick here is to use something memorable. This is one reason many essays begin with a famous quote.
  • After you have the attention of the reader, give a little more background about your essay topic.
  • Then use your thesis statement to indicate what your essay is about clearly.
  • After this, you should conclude your introduction with a quick summary of the points you will be making in the body.

Step 5. Write Your 5-Paragraph Essay Body

The purpose of a body is to explain the content of an essay. If you are writing a standard college essay, like an argumentative essay or an analytical essay, each of these paragraphs will unfold one of the points you mentioned in your introduction.

Every paragraph of the body is like a miniature essay:

  • Each paragraph has a point or thesis statement
  • Each paragraph starts with an introductory sentence
  • Each paragraph ends with a brief conclusion

If the body paragraphs feature separate topics, sometimes they will appear disconnected to your reader. Transition sentences fix this problem. As the first or last sentence of a body paragraph, they help transition the reader from one idea to another.

There are countless ways to write transitions, but this is the easiest process. Write each of your body paragraphs as you naturally would. And then revise your text to link the ideas with transitions. One of the basic essay example thesis statements was from an essay about the automotive industry in Detroit. You could link a paragraph about access to raw materials with a paragraph about adjacency to waterways using the following transition sentences:

Transition Sentence: Example #1

“Steel was cheap because it was produced near Detroit, but this raw material was made even cheaper by the Great Lakes’ nearby waterways.”

Transition Sentence: Example #2

“Proximity to coal and iron ore was not the only advantage Detroit had in becoming the automotive capital of the 20th century.”

After you’ve written your essay, go back and check to make sure that you use a transition sentence between every paragraph. Often, you can turn the first or last sentence of a paragraph into a transition.

Step 7. Edit Your 5-Paragraph Essay

For most essays, you will have time to check your work and revise it. Though exams and tests may limit you, try to budget enough time to reread your essay. As you are doing that, here are some great questions to ask yourself. As you answer these questions about your writing , try to put yourself in the position of your reader.

The top trick for how to write a college essay is, of course, the same top trick for writing a high school essay or any other writing at all—that is, rewriting. This is the stage when good writing becomes great writing. This is your chance to fix the issues you uncovered while rereading your essay. Keep it simple. If you encounter a difficult sentence to understand or is more than two lines long, try to figure out ways to break it up. Simplifying your ideas is an essential part of the rewriting process.

📝 5-Paragraph Essay Examples

In this section, you’ll find a free 5-paragraph essay sample. It focuses on the disadvantages of home-based education. Note that the full version of the text is downloadable!

Disadvantages of Home-Based Education

Currently, education seems to be more accessible than ever before. The technological progress of the last century rendered information and learning instruments more available, facilitating alternative education types such as home-based learning. Compared to formal education, homeschooling practices seem to have a long-standing history since for a significant part of human existence knowledge and skills were transmitted directly from parents to their offspring. Although home-based education predates formal schooling, its long history should not be the reason to select this type of education since it has several downsides: effectiveness, socialization, and time and monetary resources.

5-Paragraph Essay Topics

  • Cooperation of Treyarch and Pepsi’s from the virtue ethics perspective. 
  • Examine the situation with food packaging litter in Ireland . 
  • Should World Trade Organization tasks and policies be revised?  
  • Discuss how Codex Hammurabi helps to understand the judicial system of ancient Babylon.  
  • Analyze the stylistic devices Elie Wiesel uses in his novel Night .  
  • What can be done to prevent ventilator-associated pneumonia? 
  • Analyze the storming of the Bastille.  
  • Describe the different meanings of the term honor .  
  • Why the Internet is an effective instrument of advertisement.  
  • How artificial intelligence facilitates the accountants’ work.  
  • The collaboration agreement and its advantage to companies.  
  • Analyze the Ritz-Carlton Hotel’s company. 
  • Analyze the importance and methods of quantitative research .  
  • Why do we have to protect sharks from extinction?  
  • The influence of peers on behavior change of teenagers.  
  • The role of clothing designer in a movie production.  
  • Discuss college experience of a nursing student.   
  • How to get rid of fear of public speaking.  
  • Analyze the development of the U.S. household appliance stores.  
  • Foreign relations of Korea in the first decades of the 19th century. 
  • Review of the article Why the Student Loan Crisis Is Everyone’s Problem?  
  • Describe the main character of Sophocles’ Oedipus the King.  
  • The effect of cancer on the DNA replication.  
  • Are the anti-bullying programs really working?   
  • Examine the rhetorical techniques used in Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery . 
  • The pathogenic bacterium of streptococcus: definition, prevention, and treatment.  
  • Explore the task of the manager in modern empowered teams. 
  • Analyze the reliability of the article Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment .  
  • Discuss the issues and possible solutions for the gifted education program.  
  • The impact of COVID-19 pandemic on social media activism.  
  • The effectiveness of sensitivity training against workplace prejudices. 
  • How does a vacuum cleaner work?  
  • Describe the ways media can promote terrorists’ agenda.  
  • The role of prayers in major world’s religions.   
  • The defining traits of Meursault in The Stranger by Albert Camus . 
  • Describe the field experience at the science lesson . 
  • Discuss the importance of employee motivation.  
  • Benefit corporations as a new element of modern business.  
  • Role of advertisement in creating the nursing image .  
  • Is goal attainment theory compatible with personal nursing philosophy?  
  • Why it is critical to eliminate orientation-based prejudices in the workplace. 
  • Reasons of the failure of Superior Bank FSB. 
  • The crucial meaning of a qualified nurse for preservation of patient’s health.  
  • Compare different ideas of a good life from an ethical perspective .  
  • The importance of development the cybersecurity industry .  
  • Explore how the authors reveal the theme of true freedom in The Cask of Amontillado , Dark They Were and Golden-Eyed , and The Story of an Hour . 
  • Shakespeare’s sonnets from the perspective of Lynne Magnusson.   
  • The interpretation of healthcare in Health Care Reform and Equity by Fiscella. 
  • How can a leader establish a friendly and calm atmosphere in the team?  
  • Role of social media in promotion of positive changes in society.  

✏️ 5 Paragraph Essay FAQ

A concise paper with an Introduction, 3 paragraphs in the body part, and a Conclusion, is a popular format for student essays. Each paragraph of the body should present a new idea with a couple of arguments or examples. This structure looks neat and cohesive.

A 5-paragraph essay is relatively fast and easy to write. Here are 3 simple steps you may take:

1. Create an outline with key ideas (at least 3 points for the body),

2. Write those 3 body paragraphs with examples,

3. Add an introduction and a conclusion.

The time you spend to write about 2 pages depends on multiple factors:

1. The complexity of the topic,

2. How experienced you are,

3. How serious you take the task.

In any case, 2 hours should be enough. Create an outline to save time.

The second paragraph typically opens the body part of the essay. Some ways to begin it are:

1. present the first argument;

2. provide an example (remember to explain why it is relevant);

3. write down a hypothesis.

In rare cases, the second paragraph might be an addition to the intro.

  • The Ultimate Guide to the 5-Paragraph Essay: Grace Fleming, ThoughtCo
  • Ending the Essay, Conclusions: Pat Bellanca, for the Writing Center at Harvard University
  • Writing Paragraphs: The Writing Centre, University of Ottawa
  • Essay Introduction: OWLL, Massey University
  • The Basics of Effective Essay Writing: Becton Loveless, Education Corner
  • Suggestions for Proofreading Your Paper: Purdue Writing Lab
  • Basic Essay Structure: The Five-Paragraph Essay (Study.com)
  • Example Five-Paragraph Essay (UW Madison)
  • Write Your Essay | UNSW Current Students
  • Share to Facebook
  • Share to Twitter
  • Share to LinkedIn
  • Share to email

Good Book Report: How to Write & What to Include

Reading books is pleasurable and entertaining; writing about those books isn’t. Reading books is pleasurable, easy, and entertaining; writing about those books isn’t. However, learning how to write a book report is something that is commonly required in university. Fortunately, it isn’t as difficult as you might think. You’ll only...

Best Descriptive Essays: Examples & How-to Guide [+ Tips]

A descriptive essay is an academic paper that challenges a school or college student to describe something. It can be a person, a place, an object, a situation—anything an individual can depict in writing. The task is to show your abilities to communicate an experience in an essay format using...

How to Write an Analysis Essay: Examples + Writing Guide

An analysis / analytical essay is a standard assignment in college or university. You might be asked to conduct an in-depth analysis of a research paper, a report, a movie, a company, a book, or an event. In this article, you’ll find out how to write an analysis paper introduction,...

How to Write a Film Analysis Essay: Examples, Outline, & Tips

A film analysis essay might be the most exciting assignment you have ever had! After all, who doesn’t love watching movies? You have your favorite movies, maybe something you watched years ago, perhaps a classic, or a documentary. Or your professor might assign a film for you to make a...

How to Write a Critique Paper: Format, Tips, & Critique Essay Examples

A critique paper is an academic writing genre that summarizes and gives a critical evaluation of a concept or work. Or, to put it simply, it is no more than a summary and a critical analysis of a specific issue. This type of writing aims to evaluate the impact of...

How to Write a Creative Essay: Tips, Topics, and Techniques

What is a creative essay, if not the way to express yourself? Crafting such a paper is a task that allows you to communicate your opinion and tell a story. However, even using your imagination to a great extent doesn’t free you from following academic writing rules. Don’t even get...

Compare and Contrast Essay Writing Tips and Examples

A compare and contrast essay — what is it? In this type of paper, you compare two different things or ideas, highlighting what is similar between the two, and you also contrast them, highlighting what is different. The two things might be events, people, books, points of view, lifestyles, or...

How to Write an Expository Essay: Outline, & Example

What is an expository essay? This type of writing aims to inform the reader about the subject clearly, concisely, and objectively. The keyword here is “inform”. You are not trying to persuade your reader to think a certain way or let your own opinions and emotions cloud your work. Just stick to the...

Short Story Analysis: How to Write It Step by Step [New]

Have you ever tried to write a story analysis but ended up being completely confused and lost? Well, the task might be challenging if you don’t know the essential rules for literary analysis creation. But don’t get frustrated! We know how to write a short story analysis, and we are...

How to Write a Persuasive Essay: Step-by-Step Guide + Examples

Have you ever tried to get somebody round to your way of thinking? Then you should know how daunting the task is. Still, if your persuasion is successful, the result is emotionally rewarding. A persuasive essay is a type of writing that uses facts and logic to argument and substantiate...

Common Essay Mistakes—Writing Errors to Avoid [Updated]

One of the most critical skills that students gain during their college years is assignment writing. Composing impressive essays and research papers can be quite challenging, especially for ESL students. Nonetheless, before learning the art of academic writing, you may make numerous common essay mistakes. Such involuntary errors appear in:...

How to Start an Autobiography about Yourself: Full Guide + Autobiography Examples

You’re probably thinking: I’m no Mahatma Gandhi or Steve Jobs—what could I possibly write in my memoir? I don’t even know how to start an autobiography, let alone write the whole thing. But don’t worry: essay writing can be easy, and this autobiography example for students is here to show...

What a great post, Julia! I have loved it with passion. In fact, you have demystified the mysteries of essay writing. God bless you.

Some genuinely nice and utilitarian info on this internet site, also I conceive the design and style has superb features.

how to write a basic 5 paragraph essay

How to Write a 5 Paragraph Essay: Outline, Example

how to write a basic 5 paragraph essay

‍ Imagine this:

You have to write your first essay, but you’re not sure where to start. You have a hundred questions , and more are coming to you every minute, but you’re afraid to ask the teacher for help.

What’s the difference between an argumentative essay and an informative essay? How will I be graded? What must I include? The list goes on. Well, first, take a breath. Before you tackle different essay varieties, grading rubrics, and the bullet points of exactly what should go in your essay, you need to make sure you understand structure. The 5 paragraph essay format is a classic example of an essay, and once you know how to create a 5 paragraph essay outline, you can write any essay that’s assigned to you.

Perfecting the art of essay writing is not only essential for acing your assignments but also for securing financial support as you transition from high school to college. A well-structured essay, such as the 5-paragraph essay, showcases your writing prowess and your ability to articulate ideas in a coherent and compelling manner. As you master the formula of a 5-paragraph essay, consider leveraging these skills to apply for scholarships. Numerous scholarships are specifically geared towards high school seniors, offering a financial launching pad for your college adventure. The skills you hone while crafting precise and impactful essays will serve you well as you embark on the exciting journey of drafting scholarship essays, each a stepping stone toward your higher education and a bright future. If you need additional support or guidance, don't hesitate to explore the " pay for an essay " options.

The 5 Paragraph Essay Outline

Don’t know the 5 paragraph essay structure? It’s pretty simple. Here’s the basic outline you should follow:

5 paragraph essay

Now let’s discuss what should go in each paragraph. The following 5 paragraph essay template by our service should tell you exactly what you need to do to complete your assignment.

how to write a basic 5 paragraph essay

Paragraph 1: Introduction

In the introduction, you should provide background information on your topic. Usually, this information should be factual, especially for a history paper, but you can be creative in how you present it. The key is that you want to intrigue the reader. You want to draw the reader into your topic by creating a natural curiosity about it.

Somewhere in the middle of your introduction, you need to present the 3 main points you will discuss in your 5 paragraph essay . These 3 points are crucial for the basic essay, as you need to ensure you have enough to talk about, and it’s best to introduce them in the first paragraph. However, keep in mind that as your essays get longer, you may need to use more than 3 main points. That’s not something you should worry about now, though.

In any essay, your introductory paragraph should end with a strong thesis statement that tells readers exactly what you aim to prove. If the essay is meant only to inform, the thesis statement should clarify to readers exactly what you’re going to inform them of.

Paragraph 2: First Main Point

The second paragraph is where you begin laying out the 3 main points that you promised in your introduction. In this paragraph, the first sentence should transition from the previous paragraph to the current one. It should also clearly introduce the topic, your first main point.

The sentences that follow should provide examples and support, or evidence, for your topic . Readers should see that every example and every piece of support you provide (e.g., quotes, graphs, paraphrased information) is connected to your topic. They should never be left wondering why you included something.

Paragraph 3: Second Main Point

The third paragraph of your 5 paragraph essay is where you lay out the second main point. As the previous paragraph, it should begin with a transition and a description of the topic you’re about to discuss. Any examples or support you provide should be related to the topic at hand.

Paragraph 4: Third Main Point

The fourth paragraph is where you lay out the third main point that you promised in your essay’s introduction. Like any paragraph, it should have a transition and a topic sentence, and any examples or support should be related and interesting.

Paragraph 5: Conclusion

The last paragraph of a 5 paragraph essay — or any length should be a conclusion . It should not present new information, but it should always wrap up your discussion. One way to conclude is to summarize your 3 main points and then leave the reader with some key takeaways or a final thought about your thesis that drives your essay home.

However, your essay should not end with a cliffhanger. Remember that idea of cohesion? When the reader finishes your essay, he or she should feel like the information or argument is complete and fascinating.

Creating the 5 Paragraph Essay Graphic Organizer

Now that you understand the 5 paragraph essay format, it’s time to begin planning and writing your essay. To do that, custom writing professionals suggest using a graphic organizer. It can be a simple outline in bullet points, or it can be more visual in nature.

For example, you can create a mind map with your thesis idea — or even the whole thesis sentence — in the middle. Circle your thesis. From there, you can draw lines from the thesis outward and create new bubbles for your mind map, perhaps showing the main points you intend to discuss. Your mind map can include any information that’s helpful, and you may find that you want to expand on each main point with new bubbles.

PRODUCTION: Create a simple drawing of a mind map. Put the word “Thesis” in the middle (circled), and then put the words “Point 1,” “Point 2,” and “Point 3” around it. Draw circles around those words, and connect them to “Thesis” using lines. See example below.

Don’t spend too much time creating a graphic organizer, though. At some point, you need to start writing your 5 paragraph essay! Then the real fun begins.

5 paragraph win

The 5 Paragraph Essay Rubric

If you’re wondering how your essay will be graded, you’re not alone. While the exact rubric your teacher uses will vary, here’s a basic one that may help you see what’s expected in your essay.

Grade A: Excellent

  • Both introduction and thesis are strong.
  • Details and examples are strong and well organized.
  • The conclusion is strong enough.
  • Grammar is correct.

Grade B: Good

  • Has some spelling and grammar errors.

Grade C: Fair

  • The introduction is good, but the thesis is weak.
  • Examples used are weak.
  • The conclusion is weak.
  • Has major spelling and grammar errors.

Grade D: Poor

  • Introduction and thesis are weak.
  • Details and examples are weak and somewhat unorganized.
  • Details or examples are few.
  • Does not have a conclusion.
  • Has serious spelling and grammar errors.

Grade F: Unsatisfactory

  • Does not contain a thesis, and introduction is weak.
  • Details and examples are weak and have no clear organization, or there are none at all.

In some cases, your teacher may give you a rubric before you start your essay. If so, make sure you read it carefully and don’t be afraid to ask questions if you don’t understand something. The rubric should tell you exactly what the teacher is looking for, whether it’s a 5 paragraph essay or something much longer. To succeed with your task, please find some essay writing tips .

5 Paragraph Essay Sample

Below you can find free 5 Paragraph essay sample called " The Impact of Technology on Education ".

"In today's rapidly advancing world, technology has become an integral part of our daily lives, revolutionizing various sectors, including education. Its influence on the way we learn, teach, and interact with educational materials is undeniable. This essay examines the significant impact of technology on education, highlighting its benefits and exploring real-life examples that illustrate its transformative power.

One of the primary benefits of technology in education is the enhanced accessibility to information. The internet has brought a wealth of knowledge right to our fingertips. Students can now access a vast array of educational resources, such as e-books, online articles, and interactive learning platforms. For instance, platforms like Khan Academy provide video tutorials and practice exercises on various subjects, enabling students to learn at their own pace and revisit concepts as needed. Furthermore, online forums and discussion boards foster collaborative learning, connecting students and educators from around the globe to share ideas and insights.

Another key advantage of technology in education is its ability to promote active and personalized learning. With the advent of educational software and applications, students can engage in interactive activities that cater to their individual needs and learning styles. For example, adaptive learning platforms like Duolingo tailor language lessons based on the learner's proficiency level and progress. This personalized approach helps students stay motivated and enhances their comprehension and retention of the material. Additionally, digital simulations and virtual reality tools provide immersive learning experiences, allowing students to explore complex concepts in a hands-on and engaging manner.

Furthermore, technology has revolutionized the way educators deliver instruction and assess students' progress. Online learning management systems, such as Moodle and Canvas, enable teachers to create and share course materials, assign tasks, and provide timely feedback. These platforms streamline administrative tasks, giving educators more time to focus on designing innovative lessons and individualized support for students. Moreover, digital assessment tools offer immediate feedback, enabling students to track their progress and identify areas for improvement. Platforms like Kahoot! and Quizlet make learning enjoyable by incorporating gamification elements, making the assessment process interactive and engaging.

In conclusion, technology has had a profound impact on education, transforming the way we learn and teach. The accessibility to vast amounts of information, the promotion of active and personalized learning, and the innovative methods of instruction and assessment are just a few examples of the positive effects of technology in education. However, it is important to ensure that technology is used as a tool to enhance learning rather than replace traditional teaching methods. As we continue to embrace technological advancements, it is crucial to strike a balance between leveraging its benefits and maintaining the human element in education. By doing so, we can harness the full potential of technology to create a future where education is accessible, engaging, and empowering for all learners."

Final Thoughts on the 5 Paragraph Essay

Once you’ve mastered the format of the 5 paragraph essay, you can write a paper at any length imaginable. Remember that it’s helpful to create an outline or graphic organizer to organize your ideas before you start writing , especially for a longer essay. If you have a rubric ahead of time, you’ll know exactly what you need to watch out for as you edit and polish your paper.

how to write the best 5 paragaph essay

With the above information at your disposal and a rubric in-hand, you should have no excuses for a poor grade. Just be mindful of how much time you have to work, and break the writing into small chunks if you need to. Always start early to get the best grade possible.

Still not sure how to write a good 5 paragraph essay? You can order a high-quality custom essay from us or just take advantage of our top-notch paper editing and rewriting services. So in other words, we’ll write your essay from scratch, write a new draft, or just clean up the draft you’ve already written. Whatever you need to finish your writing and get an excellent grade, you can buy it right here. Check out our reviews if you want to see what some happy customers have said.

Frequently asked questions

She was flawless! first time using a website like this, I've ordered article review and i totally adored it! grammar punctuation, content - everything was on point

This writer is my go to, because whenever I need someone who I can trust my task to - I hire Joy. She wrote almost every paper for me for the last 2 years

Term paper done up to a highest standard, no revisions, perfect communication. 10s across the board!!!!!!!

I send him instructions and that's it. my paper was done 10 hours later, no stupid questions, he nailed it.

Sometimes I wonder if Michael is secretly a professor because he literally knows everything. HE DID SO WELL THAT MY PROF SHOWED MY PAPER AS AN EXAMPLE. unbelievable, many thanks

You Might Also Like

Gun Control Argumentative Essay

New Posts to Your Inbox!

Stay in touch

Calculate for all schools

Your chance of acceptance, your chancing factors, extracurriculars, 5 paragraph argument essay tips.

Our English teacher asked us to write a 5 paragraph argument essay for-class assignment. I thought it'd be a good practice for college essays. Any tips on what to include in a 5 paragraph argument essay and what to avoid?

It's great that you want to practice your argumentative essay skills, as they will come in handy when tackling various types of writing assignments in college. Here are some tips on writing a successful 5 paragraph argument essay:

1. Introduction : Your introductory paragraph should includes a hook to grab the reader's attention and set the tone. Next, provide some brief background information about the topic. Lastly, clearly state your thesis – the main idea or argument you're going to present and support throughout the essay.

- Tip : Make your thesis statement arguable, concise, and specific to make your argument effective.

2. Body paragraphs : Each of the three body paragraphs should tackle one supporting point for your thesis. Start each paragraph with a topic sentence that immediately explains the point you'll be discussing. Then, present examples, facts, figures, studies, or other evidence to support your point. Make sure to explain how the evidence relates back to your thesis.

- Tip : Use clear transitions between paragraphs to establish a logical flow of thought. Strong transitions will help the reader follow your argument more easily.

3. Address counterarguments : Consider addressing at least one counterargument or potential opposition to your thesis within one of your body paragraphs. Present the opposing viewpoint and then refute it with logical reasoning and evidence. Demonstrating that you understand and can counter other perspectives will strengthen your own argument.

- Tip : Be fair and respectful when presenting opposing arguments. Avoid using biased language or attacking the source of the counterargument.

4. Conclusion : Wrap up your essay by summarizing the main points you made and restating your thesis in a slightly different way. Emphasize the importance of your argument and the implications it may have beyond the scope of your paper.

- Tip : Don't introduce any new ideas or evidence in the conclusion. It should only serve to recap what you've already discussed and leave a lasting impression on your reader.

5. Other considerations : On top of the structure and content of your essay, it's important that you:

- Proofread your work, ensuring correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

- Use appropriate vocabulary and tone for an academic essay.

- Cite your sources if you are using any external information.

- Avoid using fallacies or overly emotional language in your argument.

By following these tips and being mindful of your essay's organization, you should be able to craft a persuasive and well-rounded 5 paragraph argument essay that demonstrates your critical thinking and writing skills. Good luck!

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.

Purdue Online Writing Lab Purdue OWL® College of Liberal Arts

Welcome to the Purdue Online Writing Lab

OWL logo

Welcome to the Purdue OWL

This page is brought to you by the OWL at Purdue University. When printing this page, you must include the entire legal notice.

Copyright ©1995-2018 by The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use.

The Online Writing Lab at Purdue University houses writing resources and instructional material, and we provide these as a free service of the Writing Lab at Purdue. Students, members of the community, and users worldwide will find information to assist with many writing projects. Teachers and trainers may use this material for in-class and out-of-class instruction.

The Purdue On-Campus Writing Lab and Purdue Online Writing Lab assist clients in their development as writers—no matter what their skill level—with on-campus consultations, online participation, and community engagement. The Purdue Writing Lab serves the Purdue, West Lafayette, campus and coordinates with local literacy initiatives. The Purdue OWL offers global support through online reference materials and services.

A Message From the Assistant Director of Content Development 

The Purdue OWL® is committed to supporting  students, instructors, and writers by offering a wide range of resources that are developed and revised with them in mind. To do this, the OWL team is always exploring possibilties for a better design, allowing accessibility and user experience to guide our process. As the OWL undergoes some changes, we welcome your feedback and suggestions by email at any time.

Please don't hesitate to contact us via our contact page  if you have any questions or comments.

All the best,

Social Media

Facebook twitter.

Library homepage

  • school Campus Bookshelves
  • menu_book Bookshelves
  • perm_media Learning Objects
  • login Login
  • how_to_reg Request Instructor Account
  • hub Instructor Commons

Margin Size

  • Download Page (PDF)
  • Download Full Book (PDF)
  • Periodic Table
  • Physics Constants
  • Scientific Calculator
  • Reference & Cite
  • Tools expand_more
  • Readability

selected template will load here

This action is not available.

Humanities LibreTexts

8.7: Tips for Writing Academic Persuasive Essays

  • Last updated
  • Save as PDF
  • Page ID 250473

\( \newcommand{\vecs}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \)

\( \newcommand{\vecd}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash {#1}}} \)

\( \newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)

( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\)

\( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\)

\( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\)

\( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\)

\( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)

\( \newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\)

\( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\)

\( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\)

\( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\)

\( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\)

\( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\)

\( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\)

\( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\AA}{\unicode[.8,0]{x212B}}\)

\( \newcommand{\vectorA}[1]{\vec{#1}}      % arrow\)

\( \newcommand{\vectorAt}[1]{\vec{\text{#1}}}      % arrow\)

\( \newcommand{\vectorB}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \)

\( \newcommand{\vectorC}[1]{\textbf{#1}} \)

\( \newcommand{\vectorD}[1]{\overrightarrow{#1}} \)

\( \newcommand{\vectorDt}[1]{\overrightarrow{\text{#1}}} \)

\( \newcommand{\vectE}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash{\mathbf {#1}}}} \)

The previous chapters in this section offer an overview of what it means to formulate an argument in an academic situation. The purpose of this chapter is to offer more concrete, actionable tips for drafting an academic persuasive essay. Keep in mind that preparing to draft a persuasive essay relies on the strategies for any other thesis-driven essay, covered by the section in this textbook, The Writing Process. The following chapters can be read in concert with this one:

  • Critical Reading and other research strategies helps writers identify the exigence (issue) that demands a response, as well as what kinds of research to use.
  • Generate Ideas covers prewriting models (such as brainstorming techniques) that allow students to make interesting connections and develop comprehensive thesis statements. These connections and main points will allow a writer to outline their core argument.
  • Organizing is important for understanding why an argument essay needs a detailed plan, before the drafting stage. For an argument essay, start with a basic outline that identifies the claim, reasoning, and evidence, but be prepared to develop more detailed outlines that include counterarguments and rebuttals, warrants, additional backing, etc., as needed.
  • Drafting introduces students to basic compositional strategies that they must be familiar with before beginning an argument essay. This current chapter offers more details about what kinds of paragraphs to practice in an argument essay, but it assumes the writer is familiar with basic strategies such as coherence and cohesion.

Classical structure of an argument essay

Academic persuasive essays tend to follow what’s known as the “classical” structure, based on techniques that derive from ancient Roman and Medieval rhetoricians. John D. Ramage, et. al outline this structure in Writing Arguments :

This very detailed table can be simplified. Most academic persuasive essays include the following basic elements:

  • Introduction that explains why the situation is important and presents your argument (aka the claim or thesis).
  • Reasons the thesis is correct or at least reasonable.
  • Evidence that supports each reason, often occurring right after the reason the evidence supports.
  • Acknowledgement of objections.
  • Response to objections.

Keep in mind that the structure above is just a conventional starting point. The previous chapters of this section suggest how different kinds of arguments (Classical/Aristotelian, Toulmin, Rogerian) involve slightly different approaches, and your course, instructor, and specific assignment prompt may include its own specific instructions on how to complete the assignment. There are many different variations. At the same time, however, most academic argumentative/persuasive essays expect you to practice the techniques mentioned below. These tips overlap with the elements of argumentation, covered in that chapter, but they offer more explicit examples for how they might look in paragraph form, beginning with the introduction to your essay.

Persuasive introductions should move from context to thesis

Since one of the main goals of a persuasive essay introduction is to forecast the broader argument, it’s important to keep in mind that the legibility of the argument depends on the ability of the writer to provide sufficient information to the reader. If a basic high school essay moves from general topic to specific argument (the funnel technique), a more sophisticated academic persuasive essay is more likely to move from context to thesis.

The great stylist of clear writing, Joseph W. Williams, suggests that one of the key rhetorical moves a writer can make in a persuasive introduction is to not only provide enough background information (the context), but to frame that information in terms of a problem or issue, what the section on Reading and Writing Rhetorically terms the exigence . The ability to present a clearly defined problem and then the thesis as a solution creates a motivating introduction. The reader is more likely to be gripped by it, because we naturally want to see problems solved.

Consider these two persuasive introductions, both of which end with an argumentative thesis statement:

A. In America we often hold to the belief that our country is steadily progressing. topic This is a place where dreams come true. With enough hard work, we tell ourselves (and our children), we can do anything. I argue that, when progress is more carefully defined, our current period is actually one of decline. claim

B . Two years ago my dad developed Type 2 diabetes, and the doctors explained to him that it was due in large part to his heavy consumption of sugar. For him, the primary form of sugar consumption was soda. hook His experience is echoed by millions of Americans today. According to the most recent research, “Sugary drink portion sizes have risen dramatically over the past forty years, and children and adults are drinking more soft drinks than ever,” while two out of three adults in the United States are now considered either overweight or obese. This statistic correlates with reduced life expectancy by many years. Studies have shown that those who are overweight in this generation will live a lot fewer years than those who are already elderly. And those consumers who don’t become overweight remain at risk for developing Type 2 diabetes (like my dad), known as one of the most serious global health concerns (“Sugary Drinks and Obesity Fact Sheet”). problem In response to this problem, some political journalists, such as Alexandra Le Tellier, argue that sodas should be banned. On the opposite end of the political spectrum, politically conservative journalists such as Ernest Istook argue that absolutely nothing should be done because that would interfere with consumer freedom. debate I suggest something in between: a “soda tax,” which would balance concerns over the public welfare with concerns over consumer freedom. claim

Example B feels richer, more dramatic, and much more targeted not only because it’s longer, but because it’s structured in a “motivating” way. Here’s an outline of that structure:

  • Hook: It opens with a brief hook that illustrates an emerging issue. This concrete, personal anecdote grips the reader’s attention.
  • Problem: The anecdote is connected with the emerging issue, phrased as a problem that needs to be addressed.
  • Debate: The writer briefly alludes to a debate over how to respond to the problem.
  • Claim: The introduction ends by hinting at how the writer intends to address the problem, and it’s phrased conversationally, as part of an ongoing dialogue.

Not every persuasive introduction needs all of these elements. Not all introductions will have an obvious problem. Sometimes a “problem,” or the exigence, will be as subtle as an ambiguity in a text that needs to be cleared up (as in literary analysis essays). Other times it will indeed be an obvious problem, such as in a problem-solution argument essay.

In most cases, however, a clear introduction will proceed from context to thesis . The most attention-grabbing and motivating introductions will also include things like hooks and problem-oriented issues.

Here’s a very simple and streamlined template that can serve as rudimentary scaffolding for a persuasive introduction, inspired by the excellent book, They Say / I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing : Definition: Term

In discussions of __________, an emerging issue is _____________________. issue When addressing this issue, some experts suggest ________________. debate In my view, however, _______________________________. claim

Each aspect of the template will need to be developed, but it can serve as training wheels for how to craft a nicely structured context-to-thesis introduction, including things like an issue, debate, and claim. You can try filling in the blanks below, and then export your attempt as a document.

Define key terms, as needed

Much of an academic persuasive essay is dedicated to supporting the claim. A traditional thesis-driven essay has an introduction, body, and conclusion, and the support constitutes much of the body. In a persuasive essay, most of the support is dedicated to reasoning and evidence (more on that below). However, depending on what your claim does, a careful writer may dedicate the beginning (or other parts of the essay body) to defining key terms.

Suppose I wish to construct an argument that enters the debate over euthanasia. When researching the issue, I notice that much of the debate circles around the notion of rights, specifically what a “legal right” actually means. Clearly defining that term will help reduce some of the confusion and clarify my own argument. In Vancouver Island University’s resource “ Defining key terms ,” Ian Johnston offers this example for how to define “legal right” for an academic reader:

Before discussing the notion of a right to die, we need to clarify precisely what the term legal right means. In common language, the term “right” tends often to mean something good, something people ought to have (e.g., a right to a good home, a right to a meaningful job, and so on). In law, however, the term has a much more specific meaning. It refers to something to which people are legally entitled. Thus, a “legal” right also confers a legal obligation on someone or some institution to make sure the right is conferred. For instance, in Canada, children of a certain age have a right to a free public education. This right confers on society the obligation to provide that education, and society cannot refuse without breaking the law. Hence, when we use the term right to die in a legal sense, we are describing something to which a citizen is legally entitled, and we are insisting that someone in society has an obligation to provide the services which will confer that right on anyone who wants it.

As the example above shows, academics often dedicate space to providing nuanced and technical definitions that correct common misconceptions. Johnston’s definition relies on research, but it’s not always necessary to use research to define your terms. Here are some tips for crafting definitions in persuasive essays, from “Defining key terms”:

  • Fit the descriptive detail in the definition to the knowledge of the intended audience. The definition of, say, AIDS for a general readership will be different from the definition for a group of doctors (the latter will be much more technical). It often helps to distinguish between common sense or popular definitions and more technical ones.
  • Make sure definitions are full and complete; do not rush them unduly. And do not assume that just because the term is quite common that everyone knows just what it means (e.g., alcoholism ). If you are using the term in a very specific sense, then let the reader know what that is. The amount of detail you include in a definition should cover what is essential for the reader to know, in order to follow the argument. By the same token, do not overload the definition, providing too much detail or using far too technical a language for those who will be reading the essay.
  • It’s unhelpful to simply quote the google or dictionary.com definition of a word. Dictionaries contain a few or several definitions for important terms, and the correct definition is informed by the context in which it’s being employed. It’s up to the writer to explain that context and how the word is usually understood within it.
  • You do not always need to research a definition. Depending on the writing situation and audience, you may be able to develop your own understanding of certain terms.

Use P-E-A-S or M-E-A-L to support your claim

The heart of a persuasive essay is a claim supported by reasoning and evidence. Thus, much of the essay body is often devoted to the supporting reasons, which in turn are proved by evidence. One of the formulas commonly taught in K-12 and even college writing programs is known as PEAS, which overlaps strongly with the MEAL formula introduced by the chapter, “ Basic Integration “:

Point : State the reasoning as a single point: “One reason why a soda tax would be effective is that…” or “One way an individual can control their happiness is by…”

Evidence : After stating the supporting reason, prove that reason with related evidence. There can be more than one piece of evidence. “According to …” or “In the article, ‘…,’ the author shows that …”

Analysis : There a different levels of analysis. At the most basic level, a writer should clearly explain how the evidence proves the point, in their own words: “In other words…,” “What this data shows is that…” Sometimes the “A” part of PEAS becomes simple paraphrasing. Higher-level analysis will use more sophisticated techniques such as Toulmin’s warrants to explore deeper terrain. For more tips on how to discuss and analyze, refer to the previous chapter’s section, “ Analyze and discuss the evidence .”

Summary/So what? : Tie together all of the components (PEA) succinctly, before transitioning to the next idea. If necessary, remind the reader how the evidence and reasoning relates to the broader claim (the thesis argument).

PEAS and MEAL are very similar; in fact they are identical except for how they refer to the first and last part. In theory, it shouldn’t matter which acronym you choose. Both versions are effective because they translate the basic structure of a supporting reason (reasoning and evidence) into paragraph form.

Here’s an example of a PEAS paragraph in an academic persuasive essay that argues for a soda tax:

A soda tax would also provide more revenue for the federal government, thereby reducing its debt. point Despite Ernest Istook’s concerns about eroding American freedom, the United States has long supported the ability of government to leverage taxes in order to both curb unhealthy lifestyles and add revenue. According to Peter Ubel’s “Would the Founding Fathers Approve of a Sugar Tax?”, in 1791 the US government was heavily in debt and needed stable revenue. In response, the federal government taxed what most people viewed as a “sin” at that time: alcohol. This single tax increased government revenue by at least 20% on average, and in some years more than 40% . The effect was that only the people who really wanted alcohol purchased it, and those who could no longer afford it were getting rid of what they already viewed as a bad habit (Ubel). evidence Just as alcohol (and later, cigarettes) was viewed as a superfluous “sin” in the Early Republic, so today do many health experts and an increasing amount of Americans view sugar as extremely unhealthy, even addictive. If our society accepts taxes on other consumer sins as a way to improve government revenue, a tax on sugar is entirely consistent. analysis We could apply this to the soda tax and try to do something like this to help knock out two problems at once: help people lose their addiction towards soda and help reduce our government’s debt. summary/so what?

The paragraph above was written by a student who was taught the PEAS formula. However, we can see versions of this formula in professional writing. Here’s a more sophisticated example of PEAS, this time from a non-academic article. In Nicholas Carr’s extremely popular article, “ Is Google Making Us Stupid? “, he argues that Google is altering how we think. To prove that broader claim, Carr offers a variety of reasons and evidence. Here’s part of his reasoning:

Thanks to the ubiquity of text on the Internet, not to mention the popularity of text-messaging on cell phones, we may well be reading more today than we did in the 1970s or 1980s, when television was our medium of choice. But it’s a different kind of reading, and behind it lies a different kind of thinking—perhaps even a new sense of the self. point “We are not only what we read,” says Maryanne Wolf, a developmental psychologist at Tufts University and the author of Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain . “We are how we read.” Wolf worries that the style of reading promoted by the Net, a style that puts “efficiency” and “immediacy” above all else, may be weakening our capacity for the kind of deep reading that emerged when an earlier technology, the printing press, made long and complex works of prose commonplace. When we read online, she says, we tend to become “mere decoders of information.” evidence Our ability to interpret text, to make the rich mental connections that form when we read deeply and without distraction, remains largely disengaged. analysis

This excerpt only contains the first three elements, PEA, and the analysis part is very brief (it’s more like paraphrase), but it shows how professional writers often employ some version of the formula. It tends to appear in persuasive texts written by experienced writers because it reinforces writing techniques mentioned elsewhere in this textbook. A block of text structured according to PEA will practice coherence, because opening with a point (P) forecasts the main idea of that section. Embedding the evidence (E) within a topic sentence and follow-up commentary or analysis (A) is part of the “quote sandwich” strategy we cover in the section on “Writing With Sources.”

Use “they say / i say” strategies for Counterarguments and rebuttals

Another element that’s unique to persuasive essays is embedding a counterargument. Sometimes called naysayers or opposing positions, counterarguments are points of view that challenge our own.

Why embed a naysayer?

Recall above how a helpful strategy for beginning a persuasive essay (the introduction) is to briefly mention a debate—what some writing textbooks call “joining the conversation.” Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein’s They Say / I Say explains why engaging other points of view is so crucial:

Not long ago we attended a talk at an academic conference where the speaker’s central claim seemed to be that a certain sociologist—call him Dr. X—had done very good work in a number of areas of the discipline. The speaker proceeded to illustrate his thesis by referring extensively and in great detail to various books and articles by Dr. X and by quoting long pas-sages from them. The speaker was obviously both learned and impassioned, but as we listened to his talk we found ourselves somewhat puzzled: the argument—that Dr. X’s work was very important—was clear enough, but why did the speaker need to make it in the first place? Did anyone dispute it? Were there commentators in the field who had argued against X’s work or challenged its value? Was the speaker’s interpretation of what X had done somehow novel or revolutionary? Since the speaker gave no hint of an answer to any of these questions, we could only wonder why he was going on and on about X. It was only after the speaker finished and took questions from the audience that we got a clue: in response to one questioner, he referred to several critics who had vigorously questioned Dr. X’s ideas and convinced many sociologists that Dr. X’s work was unsound.

When writing for an academic audience, one of the most important moves a writer can make is to demonstrate how their ideas compare to others. It serves as part of the context. Your essay might be offering a highly original solution to a certain problem you’ve researched the entire semester, but the reader will only understand that if existing arguments are presented in your draft. Or, on the other hand, you might be synthesizing or connecting a variety of opinions in order to arrive at a more comprehensive solution. That’s also fine, but the creativity of your synthesis and its unique contribution to existing research will only be known if those other voices are included.

Aristotelian argumentation embeds counterarguments in order to refute them. Rogerian arguments present oppositional stances in order to synthesize and integrate them. No matter what your strategy is, the essay should be conversational.

Notice how Ana Mari Cauce opens her essay on free speech in higher education, “ Messy but Essential “:

Over the past year or two, issues surrounding the exercise of free speech and expression have come to the forefront at colleges around the country. The common narrative about free speech issues that we so often read goes something like this: today’s college students — overprotected and coddled by parents, poorly educated in high school and exposed to primarily left-leaning faculty — have become soft “snowflakes” who are easily offended by mere words and the slightest of insults, unable or unwilling to tolerate opinions that veer away from some politically correct orthodoxy and unable to engage in hard-hitting debate. counterargument

This is false in so many ways, and even insulting when you consider the reality of students’ experiences today. claim

The introduction to her article is essentially a counteragument (which serves as her introductory context) followed by a response. Embedding naysayers like this can appear anywhere in an essay, not just the introduction. Notice, furthermore, how Cauce’s naysayer isn’t gleaned from any research she did. It’s just a general, trendy naysayer, something one might hear nowadays, in the ether. It shows she’s attuned to an ongoing conversation, but it doesn’t require her to cite anything specific. As the previous chapter on using rhetorical appeals in arguments explained, this kind of attunement with an emerging problem (or exigence) is known as the appeal to kairos . A compelling, engaging introduction will demonstrate that the argument “kairotically” addresses a pressing concern.

Below is a brief overview of what counterarguments are and how you might respond to them in your arguments. This section was developed by Robin Jeffrey, in “ Counterargument and Response “:

Common Types of counterarguments

  • Could someone disagree with your claim? If so, why? Explain this opposing perspective in your own argument, and then respond to it.
  • Could someone draw a different conclusion from any of the facts or examples you present? If so, what is that different conclusion? Explain this different conclusion and then respond to it.
  • Could a reader question any of your assumptions or claims? If so, which ones would they question? Explain and then respond.
  • Could a reader offer a different explanation of an issue? If so, what might their explanation be? Describe this different explanation, and then respond to it.
  • Is there any evidence out there that could weaken your position? If so, what is it? Cite and discuss this evidence and then respond to it.

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, that does not necessarily mean that you have a weak argument. It means, ideally and as long as your argument is logical and valid, that you have a counterargument. Good arguments can and do have counterarguments; it is important to discuss them. But you must also discuss and then respond to those counterarguments.

Responding to counterarguments

You do not need to attempt to do all of these things as a way to respond; instead, choose the response strategy that makes the most sense to you, for the counterargument that you have.

  • If you agree with some of the counterargument perspectives, you can concede some of their points. (“I do agree that ….”, “Some of the points made by ____ are valid…..”) You could then challenge the importance/usefulness of those points. “However, this information does not apply to our topic because…”
  • If the counterargument perspective is one that contains different evidence than you have in your own argument, you can explain why a reader should not accept the evidence that the counterarguer presents.
  • If the counterargument perspective is one that contains a different interpretation of evidence than you have in your own argument, you can explain why a reader should not accept the interpretation of the evidence that that your opponent (counterarguer) presents.
  • If the counterargument is an acknowledgement of evidence that threatens to weaken your argument, you must explain why and how that evidence does not, in fact invalidate your claim.

It is important to use transitional phrases in your paper to alert readers when you’re about to present an counterargument. It’s usually best to put this phrase at the beginning of a paragraph such as:

  • Researchers have challenged these claims with…
  • Critics argue that this view…
  • Some readers may point to…
  • A perspective that challenges the idea that . . .

Transitional phrases will again be useful to highlight your shift from counterargument to response:

  • Indeed, some of those points are valid. However, . . .
  • While I agree that . . . , it is more important to consider . . .
  • These are all compelling points. Still, other information suggests that . .
  • While I understand . . . , I cannot accept the evidence because . . .

Further reading

To read more about the importance of counterarguments in academic writing, read Steven D. Krause’s “ On the Other Hand: The Role of Antithetical Writing in First Year Composition Courses .”

When concluding, address the “so what?” challenge

As Joseph W. Williams mentions in his chapter on concluding persuasive essays in Style ,

a good introduction motivates your readers to keep reading, introduces your key themes, and states your main point … [but] a good conclusion serves a different end: as the last thing your reader reads, it should bring together your point, its significance, and its implications for thinking further about the ideas your explored.

At the very least, a good persuasive conclusion will

  • Summarize the main points
  • Address the So what? or Now what? challenge.

When summarizing the main points of longer essays, Williams suggests it’s fine to use “metadiscourse,” such as, “I have argued that.” If the essay is short enough, however, such metadiscourses may not be necessary, since the reader will already have those ideas fresh in their mind.

After summarizing your essay’s main points, imagine a friendly reader thinking,

“OK, I’m persuaded and entertained by everything you’ve laid out in your essay. But remind me what’s so important about these ideas? What are the implications? What kind of impact do you expect your ideas to have? Do you expect something to change?”

It’s sometimes appropriate to offer brief action points, based on the implications of your essay. When addressing the “So what?” challenge, however, it’s important to first consider whether your essay is primarily targeted towards changing the way people think or act . Do you expect the audience to do something, based on what you’ve argued in your essay? Or, do you expect the audience to think differently? Traditional academic essays tend to propose changes in how the reader thinks more than acts, but your essay may do both.

Finally, Williams suggests that it’s sometimes appropriate to end a persuasive essay with an anecdote, illustrative fact, or key quote that emphasizes the significance of the argument. We can see a good example of this in Carr’s article, “ Is Google Making Us Stupid? ” Here are the introduction and conclusion, side-by-side: Definition: Term

[Introduction] “Dave, stop. Stop, will you? Stop, Dave. Will you stop, Dave?” So the supercomputer HAL pleads with the implacable astronaut Dave Bowman in a famous and weirdly poignant scene toward the end of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey . Bowman, having nearly been sent to a deep-space death by the malfunctioning machine, is calmly, coldly disconnecting the memory circuits that control its artificial “ brain. “Dave, my mind is going,” HAL says, forlornly. “I can feel it. I can feel it.”

I can feel it, too. Over the past few years I’ve had an uncomfortable sense that someone, or something, has been tinkering with my brain, remapping the neural circuitry, reprogramming the memory. …

[Conclusion] I’m haunted by that scene in 2001 . What makes it so poignant, and so weird, is the computer’s emotional response to the disassembly of its mind: its despair as one circuit after another goes dark, its childlike pleading with the astronaut—“I can feel it. I can feel it. I’m afraid”—and its final reversion to what can only be called a state of innocence. HAL’s outpouring of feeling contrasts with the emotionlessness that characterizes the human figures in the film, who go about their business with an almost robotic efficiency. Their thoughts and actions feel scripted, as if they’re following the steps of an algorithm. In the world of 2001 , people have become so machinelike that the most human character turns out to be a machine. That’s the essence of Kubrick’s dark prophecy: as we come to rely on computers to mediate our understanding of the world, it is our own intelligence that flattens into artificial intelligence.

Instead of merely rehashing all of the article’s main points, Carr returns to the same movie scene from 2001 that he opened with. The final lines interpret the scene according to the argument he just dedicated the entire essay to presenting.

The entire essay should use rhetorical appeals strategically

The chapter “ Persuasive Appeals ” introduces students to logos, pathos, ethos, and kairos. Becoming familiar with each of those persuasive appeals can add much to an essay. It also reinforces the idea that writing argumentative essays is not a straightforward process of jotting down proofs. It’s not a computer algorithm.

  • Logos (appeals to evidence and reasoning) is the foundational appeal of an argument essay. Clearly identifying the claim, then supporting that claim with reasoning and evidence will appeal to the reader’s logos demands. As the previous chapter on argumentation mentions, however, what constitutes solid evidence will vary depending on the audience. Make sure your evidence is indeed convincing to your intended reader.
  • Pathos (appeals to emotion) are a crucial component and should permeate should every section of the essay. Personal anecdotes are an effective way to illustrate important ideas, and they connect with the reader at an emotional level. Personal examples also cultivate voice .
  • Ethos (appeals to character, image, and values) is essential to gaining the reader’s trust and assent. The tone of your essay (snarky, sincere, ironic, sarcastic, empathetic) is immensely important for its overall effect, and it helps build the reader’s image of you. A careful attention to high-quality research reinforces a sincere and empathetic tone. When supporting certain claims and sub-claims, it’s also important to identify implied beliefs (warrants) that your reader is most likely to agree with, and to undermine beliefs that might seem repugnant.
  • Kairos (appeals to timeliness) impresses the reader with your attunement to the situation. This should be practiced especially in the introduction, but it can appear throughout the essay as you engage with research and other voices that have recently weighed in on the topic.

All of these appeals are already happening, whether or not they’re recognized. If they are missed, the audience will often use them against you, judging your essay as not being personable enough (pathos), or not in touch with commonly accepted values (ethos), or out of touch with what’s going on (kairos). These non-logical appeals aren’t irrational. They are crucial components to writing that matters.

Argument Outline Exercise

To get started on your argument essay, practice adopting from of the outlines from this Persuasive Essay Outline worksheet .

IMAGES

  1. How to Write a 5 Paragraph Essay: Guide for Students

    how to write a basic 5 paragraph essay

  2. Writing Ninjas How To Write A Five Paragraph Essay

    how to write a basic 5 paragraph essay

  3. 💐 How to write a 5 paragraph essay. How to Write a 5 Paragraph Essay

    how to write a basic 5 paragraph essay

  4. An Excellent 5 Paragraph Essay: the Easiest Way to Write

    how to write a basic 5 paragraph essay

  5. How to write a 5 paragraph essay diagram

    how to write a basic 5 paragraph essay

  6. 5 Paragraph Essay: How To Write, Tips, Format, Examples & Guide

    how to write a basic 5 paragraph essay

VIDEO

  1. How to Write a Paragraph

  2. How to Write an Essay: Step by Step Process to Writing an Effective Essay From Outline to Completion

  3. 5 paragraph essay

  4. How to write a 5 Paragraph Essay By KGTeacherFlow- (Beef it Up Instrumental)

  5. Introductory paragraph for Essay Writing (General Intro Paragraph for essay writing)

  6. Write a 5 paragraph essay on how this relates to the theme #meme #memes #gaming

COMMENTS

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

    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 ...

  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. 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 ...

  4. 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.

  5. Guide on How to Write a 5 Paragraph Essay Effortlessly

    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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. How to Write a Five-Paragraph Essay That Works

    Step 4: Create your essay outline. This step is so important to writing essays that I continue to use outlines to this day for articles and blog posts, which are usually a lot more complicated than five-paragraph essays. But for your five-paragraph essay, here's a good outline to complete: Introductory paragraph.

  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 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 ...

  12. Five Paragraph Essay

    The five-paragraph essay is a basic essay format that can be expanded upon to meet the needs of the author. These essays are common in middle school and high school and on standardized tests.

  13. Secrets of the Five-Paragraph Essay

    The five-paragraph essay consists of one introduction paragraph (with the thesis at its end), three body paragraphs (each beginning with one of three main points) and one last paragraph—the conclusion. 1-3-1. Once you have this outline, you have the basic template for most academic writing. Most of all, you have an organized way to approach ...

  14. Writing a 5-Paragraph Essay Outline: A Beginner's Guide

    Don't know where to start a five-paragraph essay? Learn how to make an outline for your essay without the stress right here. Dictionary ... How To Write a Basic 5-Paragraph Essay Outline. Your process should always start with an outline. Even if you have limited time, creating a very basic outline will benefit your writing. Aside from the ...

  15. PDF The Basic Five Paragraph Essay: Format and Outline Worksheet

    Paragraph 5: Conclusion -- It's time to wrap up your essay and tie it all together. Restate your thesis statement. Summarize your supporting points. Refer back to your attention-getting device in the introduction paragraph. REMEMBER: This is not the time to introduce new ideas or new quotes. You can continue to insert however many paragraphs ...

  16. 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.

  17. The Beginner's Guide to Writing an Essay

    Essay writing process. The writing process of preparation, writing, and revisions applies to every essay or paper, but the time and effort spent on each stage depends on the type of essay.. For example, if you've been assigned a five-paragraph expository essay for a high school class, you'll probably spend the most time on the writing stage; for a college-level argumentative essay, on the ...

  18. How to Write a 5 Paragraph Essay: Outline, Example

    Put the word "Thesis" in the middle (circled), and then put the words "Point 1," "Point 2," and "Point 3" around it. Draw circles around those words, and connect them to "Thesis" using lines. See example below. Don't spend too much time creating a graphic organizer, though. At some point, you need to start writing your 5 ...

  19. How to Write an Essay Outline

    Expository essay outline. Claim that the printing press marks the end of the Middle Ages. Provide background on the low levels of literacy before the printing press. Present the thesis statement: The invention of the printing press increased circulation of information in Europe, paving the way for the Reformation.

  20. How to Write an Argumentative Essay

    Make a claim. Provide the grounds (evidence) for the claim. Explain the warrant (how the grounds support the claim) Discuss possible rebuttals to the claim, identifying the limits of the argument and showing that you have considered alternative perspectives. The Toulmin model is a common approach in academic essays.

  21. 5 paragraph argument essay tips?

    Here are some tips on writing a successful 5 paragraph argument essay: 1. **Introduction**: Your introductory paragraph should includes a hook to grab the reader's attention and set the tone. Next, provide some brief background information about the topic. Lastly, clearly state your thesis - the main idea or argument you're going to present ...

  22. Welcome to the Purdue Online Writing Lab

    The Online Writing Lab at Purdue University houses writing resources and instructional material, and we provide these as a free service of the Writing Lab at Purdue. Students, members of the community, and users worldwide will find information to assist with many writing projects. Teachers and trainers may use this material for in-class and out ...

  23. 8.7: Tips for Writing Academic Persuasive Essays

    This very detailed table can be simplified. Most academic persuasive essays include the following basic elements: Introduction that explains why the situation is important and presents your argument (aka the claim or thesis). Support/Body. Reasons the thesis is correct or at least reasonable.