5 Paragraph Essay Outline - Overview

  • Apr 02, 2020

So what do we mean by a five paragraph essay? It is a piece of writing structured in such a manner that it consists of only five paragraphs. This is considered the most basic form of this genre of the written word. Typically, the opening lines are the introduction. It should give some basic information, like the central idea (known as thesis), background information, and some insights on the process. The exact elements to be included come down to the genre and common sense. However, the inclusion of the central idea is compulsory. It is expected to be placed halfway or in the last line of the introductory paragraph.

  • Paragraphs from two to four are the main text body. The approach to these paragraphs differs from person to person and depends on the essay type. Nonetheless, some ideas apply regardless of individual preferences. They are:
  • The main paragraphs should present the most relevant points that are used to accomplish the goal of the article. For instance, in an argumentative essay, the points should be developed here.
  • The body section should be organized in a logical manner. This means the paragraphs should flow into one another. You should avoid placing unrelated points here.
  • Grammar should be observed properly. Although this is true for other elements of the essay, it is especially important here since this is the part where the critical content is presented.

The fifth paragraph of the 5 paragraph essay outline is reserved for the conclusion. This is where you summarize the issue by creatively restating the central idea and the methods in which the aim was accomplished.

Hopefully, at this point, you possess a good grasp on the meaning of the five paragraph essay and its essential parts. Now, you need to learn the definition of an outline. An outline is a basic composition of the content and how it needs to be organized. It is used for a blueprint for structuring and developing your ideas.

Writing a 5 paragraph essay outline can be a creative brainstorming exercise that gives opportunities to draw up possible ways of managing your writing. Please note that there is no standard way of structuring an outline besides the already mentioned basic parts. The look is for personal preference.

Five Paragraph Essay Outline - Considering Different Sides

Given the information you already received about outlines, you can surely agree that it is a useful tool for planning your essay. Here we will consider how to write a 5 paragraph essay outline. Since the way you create it depends on the type of the piece, let us assume you are creating one in an argumentative genre. You can start by listing the topic, then the major sections, before adding key points in the order they should appear. The following is an example.

Argumentative 5 paragraph essay outline topic: Should People Be Allowed to Buy Guns?

  1. Introduction (Paragraph 1):
    • Personal story of a real person highlighting how he or she was impacted by civilians owning guns.
    • Cite a statistic to support the significance of the issue of gun laws.
    • You should put your thesis here.
  2. Body section:
    • Paragraph 2: Main causes of gun violence and the cultural, social, or economic influences on the issue.
    • Paragraph 3: How it affects the people involved (use of anecdotal evidence and statistics can be very effective here).
    • Paragraph 4: Why guns should be banned or permitted in the modern world.
  3. Essay Conclusion (paragraph 5):
    • Transition: Don't forget to stress the key idea or thesis.
    • Connection: Concisely support the key idea.
    • Closing Words: Highlight the problem by asking an especially sharp question.

With the above info, it is reasonable to believe you know what an outline for a 5 paragraph essay should look like.


5 Paragraph Argumentative Essay Outline

With the five paragraph essay outline example in an argumentative genre, we will discover how to bring order to the chaotic process. Generally, a layout like this consists of four parts.

In the introduction, which is the first part of our essay, give some background information on the issue and establish your opinion. Then, state your thesis and the position to be argued.

After that, to progress with your 5 paragraph essay outline, continue with reasons that support your thesis statement. There should be no less than three of them. Supporting evidence and additional data are also to be included.

The next part is counter arguments and your responses. Mention the counterpoints and briefly refute them.

Conclusion. Give the summation of the arguments with your results. Explain your interpretation of the findings.

So, we have already been through a 5 paragraph argumentative essay outline. You can see more examples in other articles on this website that are specifically focused on this genre.

5 Paragraph Narrative Essay Outline

Unlike in the standard five paragraph essay outline format, when working on a narrative essay, always kick off with a hook. It is critical to begin with something thrilling and intriguing to make a strong impression right off the bat. You can start with an exciting or shocking statement or a mysterious description.

  • For the next part, give your thesis statement. Describe the essence of your paper. All the following points will try to prove your last sentence or two from the conclusion.
  • Provide background and setting. Flesh out the issue more by explaining why it matters to you personally or to us as a society. After that, you can think about giving more detail to the problem, so your reader can visualize the information better.
  • Introduce your characters. The main players should make themselves known right away while secondary ones can come into play later. Remember that every story has a protagonist and someone or something that gets in the way.
  • At this point in your 5 paragraph essay outline, you can describe how the events in your story unfolded. The key part that you need to always keep in mind is conflict. Conflict is the driving force of the narrative.
  • Give the verdict. It can be your own interpretation of the story, or you can write it from a character's point of view. Examine how the events happened, why they happened, and what could be done to avoid the consequences.
  • Summarize your key points and restate your thesis.

The general ideas for creating a layout apply to this one too. But you can discover more than one 5 paragraph essay outline example by reading other articles on our website that are primarily focused on this issue.

5 Paragraph Compare and Contrast Essay Outline

Creating an outline for a compare and contrast essay will be easy for you because you already know all of the important parts. But let's remind ourselves anyway.

In the introduction, specify the topic and state your thesis. In the main body paragraphs, compare two (or more) of the chosen subjects according to specific criteria. Write about the pros and cons of every option. In the end, sum up what the research gave you and provide your point of view on the results.

Just as was mentioned about the other ones, a 5 paragraph essay outline in the compare and contrast genre follows the same general rules. The only difference is observed in the peculiarities of the content. You can also learn more about this essay type by looking through other articles on this website.



On a final note, always start working on your essay as early as possible. This allows you to plan and execute properly. One useful tool in the preparation of your article is an outline. Researching is another crucial task at the planning stage. Writing becomes relatively easy, with good management.

That said, if, for some reason, you need assistance with writing your essay or any other kind of academic paper, feel free to get in touch with us. We offer writing services to students. With a long operating history and track record of excellent work, we can assure you of nothing less than remarkable papers that will boost your academic results. You can get started right away by placing your order. If you need clarification on how we work, please contact our online customer support staff. They are always available and happy to assist you as best they can. Also, you can find more than one five paragraph essay outline template using our online platform.


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