Essay writing is one of the standard assignments that every student will be asked to submit in their school or college. When it comes to writing academic essays, you should first have a topic and then you should frame detailed content relevant to the topic in a well-structured manner. Especially, in order to make your content easy for your readers to understand, it is mandatory to organize or structure your ideas in a specific format. As far as academic essays are concerned, a 5-paragraph structure is the most commonly preferred essay structure. Do you know what a 5-paragraph essay means? Are you aware of how to write a standard essay outline? If you have no idea, then keep on reading this blog post.
In specific, to help you gain a better understanding of the conventional essay structure, here, in this blog post, we have presented a brief overview of a 5-paragraph essay. Also, we have added a simple step-by-step guide on how to write a 5-paragraph essay with examples.
Quickly dive inside the blog post and gain complete details of 5-paragraph essay writing.
What is a 5 Paragraph Essay?
As the name suggests, a 5 paragraph essay is an essay that has a five-paragraph structure that includes one introductory paragraph, three body paragraphs, and one conclusion paragraph. It is one of the basic essay formats that students commonly use while writing academic essays. Since this format follows a layered structure, it is also called a three-tier essay, a hamburger essay, or a one-three-one essay.
Besides writing academic essays, the 5 paragraph essay format is also widely used by students in examinations such as IELTS, TOEFL, and SAT. Basically, most of these exams will have a minimum time duration to complete the ‘writing’ section. So, in order to help the students in answering the essay prompt quickly and efficiently, the teachers ask the students to follow this format.
If you want to prepare a winning academic essay, then remember to follow the 5 paragraph structure because it has many advantages. The following are some advantages of 5 paragraph essay format.
- A simple approach that makes sense.
- Helps to stay organized.
- Easy for the readers to understand the concepts in a better way.
- Best format for timed tests because it is structured and formulaic.
- Helps in creating proficiency.
- Easy for the teachers to evaluate.
Are you wondering how many words should a 5 paragraph have? Cool! Typically, the word length ranges between 250 and 500 words. Mostly, the plasticity of this format allows the students to experiment with essays of various styles. In general, you can predominantly use the 5 paragraph essay for the following essay types- Cause and Effect, Argumentative, Persuasive, Narrative, and Expository Essay.
Till now, we saw a brief overview of 5 paragraph essay. In the next section, let us see the steps for writing a 5 paragraph essay.
How to Write a 5 Paragraph Essay?
Writing an essay is generally not an easy task. It involves a lot of challenges too. But once you are clear with the steps for writing an essay, it may become a less tedious process to handle. In case, you are asked to come up with a 5 paragraph essay, then during the time of essay preparation keep in mind to execute the following steps in order.
- Firstly, search and find a topic that supports a guiding thesis with 3 supporting pieces of information.
- Secondly, conduct in-depth research on the topic you have selected and collect all the necessary information for discussion.
- Thirdly, analyze your essay topic carefully, and decide on the thesis statement.
- Fourthly, create an essay outline as per the standard 5-paragraph structure that includes one introductory paragraph, three body paragraphs, and one conclusion paragraph.
- Next, with the help of the essay outline you have prepared, draft a neat and clear essay with the essential components such as introduction, body, and conclusion.
- Finally, before submission, make sure to proofread and edit your essay multiple times. The completed draft of your essay should not contain any grammar, spelling, or logical errors. Remember, the final copy of your academic essay should be flawless and plagiarism-free.
Components of 5 Paragraph Essay Outline
As explained earlier, when it comes to preparing an essay outline, you should be certain to present all your major points as per the standard 5-paragraph essay outline structure that includes the following major components or sections.
- Body Paragraphs
Here, in detail, let us look at what to include under each section.
In a 5 paragraph essay, the introduction is the opening paragraph. This paragraph should not be too long. Just by using 2 to 3 sentences, you should present a brief introduction about the essay topic and concisely explain to the readers what the entire essay is all about. As the introductory paragraph is the first thing that many readers will notice in an essay when writing academic essays remember to enhance this paragraph in a way suitable to grab the attention of your readers. In particular, for attracting the readers’ interest, you can prefer a dramatic tone. On the whole, this section should contain only 3 to 5 sentences.
Generally, while writing the introductory paragraph, first you should start the paragraph with a catchy hook sentence. Significantly, the hook sentence plays a vital role in connecting the readers with the essay. So, when writing the introduction section, choose a catchy hook based on your essay topic or type. Especially, in the introduction part of the 5-paragraph essay, the essay hooks you use can be a quote, joke, fact, statistics, anecdote, or a rhetorical question relevant to your essay topic.
Next, after adding a catchy hook in the introductory paragraph, you should introduce your topic to the readers by including crispy background details on your essay topic, without revealing too much information. Then, followed by that, you should present a strong thesis statement using a single sentence. A statement that summarizes the entire purpose of your essay is referred to as a thesis statement. Note that, the thesis statement you prepare should be simple and powerful, and should be presented at the end of your introductory paragraph.
Major points to add in the introductory paragraph
Here is a summary of what points to include in the introduction section of the 5 paragraph essay.
- Present a catchy hook matching your essay topic as the opening sentence.
- In the middle of the introductory paragraph, include brief background information on your essay topic.
- Add a thesis statement as the closing sentence of the introductory paragraph.
One of the most essential sections in a 5 paragraph essay outline is the body paragraphs. Here, you should mainly explain all your major points, opinions, or arguments with valid evidence. Especially, while writing the body paragraphs, you should focus more on the thesis statement presented in the introductory paragraph.
As explained earlier, the 5 paragraph essay outline you craft should have 3 body paragraphs. But, in specific, when writing each body paragraph, make sure to include all the major details within 5-7 sentences. Generally, each body paragraph you prepare should deal with a separate topic sentence or argument. Remember, in each body paragraph, you shouldn’t simply mention the topic sentence alone. You should also make an attempt to explain the topic sentence with supporting claims and evidence.
Note that, the format of all the 3 paragraphs in the body section should be the same. But you should explain your arguments as specified below.
#1 Body Paragraph: Strongest Argument
#2 Body Paragraph: Weakest Argument
#3 Body Paragraph: Most Persuasive Argument
Since the essays are broadly classified into many different types, at the time of designing the body paragraphs, create content as per your essay type, style, and purpose. Say, for example, the body paragraphs of your persuasive essay should convince your readers to accept your arguments or points. Like a persuasive essay, the body section of your argumentative essay should also convince the readers but here, you should consider all the perspectives on the topic.
Major points to present in body paragraphs
In each body paragraph, this is what you should add.
- Topic sentence suitable to your essay thesis statement.
- A claim or an argument relevant to the topic sentence.
- Evidence or examples supporting the claim.
- A concluding statement that connects with the thesis statement.
- Transition sentence that leads the next body paragraph or topic sentence.
The final section of a 5 paragraph essay is the concluding paragraph. Here, the conclusion statement you present should be influential and should give a complete closure to your essay topic in a brief and powerful manner.
Typically, when writing the conclusion paragraph, keep in mind to summarize all the major points discussed in the introductory and the body paragraphs of your essay. Also, in this paragraph, include a thesis restatement and wrap up the essay with a call to action, if needed.
Major Points to include in Concluding Paragraph
The following are the key points you should include in your concluding paragraph.
- A brief summary of the main points or arguments discussed in the entire essay.
- Thesis restatement.
- Call to action with a powerful concluding statement.
5 Paragraph Essay Outline Template
Do you want to structure your essay in a proper way easy for your readers to understand? Well, while writing academic essays, make sure to format your outline as per the basic 5 paragraph essay outline template specified below.
- Hook Statement
- Background Details
- Thesis Statement
Body Paragraph 1
- Topic Sentence
- Conclusion Statement
Body Paragraph 2
- Topic Sentence
- Conclusion Statement
Body Paragraph 3
- Topic Sentence
- Conclusion Statement
- Thesis Restatement
- Summary of Main Points
- Overall Concluding Statement
5 Paragraph Essay Outline Examples
Here let us look at 5 paragraph essay outline examples.
Mentioned below is a sample 5-paragraph narrative essay outline.
Topic: How I ran my first marathon
The time I was afraid of running a marathon.
- I denied it when I was asked.
- Took a promise, “I will run next year”.
- Finally, I decided.
Body Paragraph I
Scenario 1: Resisted the request
- My friend forced me to run a marathon in the year 2015.
- I refused to run for several reasons.
- She participated in the 2015 marathon without me.
Body Paragraph II
Scenario 2: My Promise
- Shortly after her run, I promised “Next year”.
- The next year arrived and she forced me again.
- I had to agree, but I was not completely prepared.
Body Paragraph III
Scenario 3: My decision to run the marathon
- I was so scared. However, I trained enthusiastically.
- When the time arrived, I participated in the race.
- I ran my 2 sections of the race.
Concluding statement: Yes! I achieved it.
- My fear of running long distances controlled me.
- I faced my fear by taking on a new challenge.
- I got a new experience by running the marathon. Also, I made new friends who are good runners.
Here is a sample 5-paragraph informative essay outline.
Topic: The Negative Effects of Alcohol on the Human Body.
Hook: Do you know that drinking alcohol will reduce your visual acuity, and you will require stronger lighting to distinguish smaller objects?
Purpose: Everyone should know the effects of daily consumption of alcohol on the human body.
Importance: The readers should decide whether to consume alcohol or quit it.
Thesis statement: Alcohol may relax and give a calming effect to the nervous system. But it may also cause many painful symptoms that will prevent an individual from leading a healthy life.
Body Paragraph 1
Topic Sentence 1: The negative effect of alcohol on the human brain vessels.
- In an alcohol intoxication state, dangerous problems such as cerebral strokes occur.
- Regular and continuous consumption of alcohol may disturb the blood supply to the brain and may lead to laziness or lack of concentration.
- With alcoholic brain damage, sleep disturbance may occur frequently, and it may lead to an experience of a violent nightmare.
Body Paragraph 2
Topic Sentence 2: The immune system of a person who drinks alcohol for a long time will become weak.
- Doesn’t have an interest in learning new things.
- The person may lose friends or social contacts due to irritability or aggression.
Body Paragraph 3
Topic Sentence 3: Reversible changes in the brain structure caused by alcohol intoxication.
- Along with mental disorders, it also creates disorders in the peripheral nervous system too.
- Consult doctors as soon as possible and take necessary treatments even if changes in the nervous system are minor. Basically, the treatment is expensive, and it will also take a longer time to recover.
The impact of alcohol on the nervous system may reduce the vision and hearing ability of a person. Hence, every individual should have knowledge of the dangers of drinking alcohol. Also, they should try to quit this bad habit before it is too late. Always, keep in mind that alcohol never solves a problem; it only creates serious health issues.
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