Five-Paragraph Essay Writing Guide for Students

  • Sep 19, 2019

What is special about a five-paragraph essay? Why is the ability to prepare it appropriately your golden ticket to academic success and a guarantee of top-notch writing assignments? If you don't know the answers, our article is what you need. Here, we've gathered relevant information on how to write a five-paragraph essay and are ready to share it with you.

A five-paragraph essay is an essence of academic writing, something a student must get to know during their first day at school. But, sometimes even university students aren't well aware of this assignment and its structure. Frequently, professors think that those aspects are obvious and don't explain the main idea of 5-paragraph writing. Luckily, you have our website! Here, we can provide you with extensive guidelines and even tips on how to deal with that issue easily. After reading our article, you will understand the basics of almost ANY essay, and your college assignments won't be a problem anymore.


Specifics of Five Paragraphs

To get started, remember any of your last essays. We bet they have a structure like this:

  1. Introduction. In the introductory paragraph, formulate your thesis statement, provide the reader with some insights into the topic, and announce the main intention and arguments.
  2. Body paragraph 1. It should include the first argument and tie it back to your main point stated in the introduction.
  3. Body paragraph 2. The second paragraph of the essay has the same purpose. It presents a piece of evidence that supports your thesis statement.
  4. Body paragraph 3. It's dedicated either to the third argument or to existing counter-arguments. In the latter case, the counter-argument is rejected with academic data or facts.
  5. Concluding paragraph. In your conclusion, you can go back to your thesis statement, summarize the arguments and facts, and draw up a final thought.

The thing is that almost every writing assignment has a structure like that. Now, count the paragraphs - there are 5 of those. Thus, we can state that a typical essay will always have at least five sections: introduction and conclusion as a "frame" for your main work, and three sections as the body of your text. Here, we have a question popping up: why three paragraphs in the main part is a common requirement? Well, to develop an effective discourse on a certain issue, you need to investigate it from different perspectives. One or two reliable facts that can be supportive evidence for your statement won't be enough (there could be two opposite points). And if we speak about four, five, or even more body paragraphs - that's too much. Of course, a lot here depends on the professor's demands, the amount of the words required, and the essay's specifics. But, three body paragraphs is usually a golden middle.

So, we have discussed the features of five-paragraph assignment's structure and how to organize the text easily. Now, let's proceed to more specific aspects and get a deeper insight into the component parts of this paper.

How to Start a 5-Paragraph Essay

In the first paragraph of your essay, provide a transitional hook. That is something that will:

  • Interest your audience and make them read your essay up to the last sentence.
  • Require more explanation and make the following paragraphs a logical continuation.

It can be either a quote of a famous person put in an unusual context or addressed from an unexpected viewpoint. You can also use an exciting fact on the topic for an essay writing. Nevertheless, working out an attention-getter is a key element while writing a 5 paragraph essay. But, we recommend you not to include in the first sentence of your paper. The thing to remember is that further, you will have only three paragraphs to discuss a subject matter and support your statements. Therefore, the challenge here is in combining two important tasks:

  • Make an introduction extensive enough to help the audience obtain the sense of your topic.
  • Don't overburden the reader with information, because, for this paragraph, a little intrigue is advisable.

And, when you're done with an introduction, it's time to embark on writing a body part.

What to Write in the Main Part

So, 1/5 of the essay is done, and you have to process the core content of your assignment - the body. First of all, make sure you:

  • Have three different aspects of a subject matter to discuss in your text
  • Have found enough reliable facts to support your points
  • Know how to organize the paragraphs reasonably

Since you have only three sections in this part, your task is to choose the aspects that will cover the issue enough without excessive information or explanations needed. To provide diverse examples and hold the reader's attention, try to pick the facts from different spheres. This way, three parts of the essay body can explore/prove your idea in the context of:

  • History, literature, and your own experience
  • Previous research works, social issues, and art
  • Media, movie, and real-life, etc.

With this strategy, you can support your essay with more precise facts (research, report, science, etc.) as well as by using your own beliefs and experience.

In the five-paragraph assignment, it is important to maintain the balance. Try not to make one section of the main part larger than others. The audience may doubt your competence in the topic if you will emphasize your own experience more than real facts.


How to End a 5-Paragraph Essay

Conclusion - the final part of your 5-paragraph essay. Here, you need to summarize the entire piece and avoid any new information. Go back to your topic sentence and then, look through the main part - have you successfully proved the main idea? Do the others of your 5 paragraphs support it well? If so, it's time to organize your thoughts, come up with a final idea, and complete the assignment. This paragraph should include nothing new, and that makes it easy to write. In conclusion, you can emphasize the importance of your topic once more, describe the findings, or do anything that will (metaphorically) state, "So, I've finished my essay and hope you have some ideas on it to consider."

When working on your five-paragraph essay, remember that the assignment's structure has specific requirements to meet. For that reason, our final advice would be to create an outline and follow it while preparing the text. We hope our article was helpful, and now, you will accomplish any of those essays easily!


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