The 5 paragraph essay is considered to be the standard essay writing assignment. It is used in most exams such as TOEFL, IELTS, and the SAT. Since most of these exams limit the student time-wise in the "Writing" section, students are trained to memorize this format. This allows the student to answer the exam prompt quickly and efficiently. The format’s plasticity allows students to experiment with various essay styles. Persuasive, Argumentative, Expository, Narrative and Cause and Effect can all adapt to this format. As a result, perfecting the 5 paragraph essay is a practice that often turns rookies into experienced essay writer.
Table Of Contents
Good Example Topics
- Can one learn a life lesson from an experience that they didn't have? Can you learn from other people's mistakes?
- Is animal testing ethical?
- Should same-sex marriage be allowed?
- Should laws on gun-control be more strict?
- Should the death penalty be abolished completely?
- Should marijuana be legalized?
- Should education be free for all students?
The paper topics listed above are some of the most common topics students write essays about. Of course, they are not limited to only these. Before choosing a topic and start the writing process, students should look to come up with a catchy title. The reason for doing so is centered around grabbing the readers attention right from the get go.
This type of essay has a very specific outline; It starts with an Introduction, goes to Body Paragraph 1, Body Paragraph 2, Body Paragraph 3, and sums things up with a Conclusion. Each body paragraph serves a specific purpose, and the essay is in the form of a keyhole. This means that it starts out very BROAD, gets more NARROW and finishes out BROAD.
Introduction: 3-5 Sentences
- The introduction sets the structure for the rest of the essay, with the first sentence being the HOOK sentence.
- The Hook Sentence is kind of like the spark to a flame; It grabs the reader's attention.
- The Hook is usually either a rhetorical question or some life example or a stunning fact
This is a rhetorical question, meaning it does not need an answer because it is obvious.
Brief Introduction of Supporting Arguments (1-3)
Here you are taking your supporting arguments and briefly introducing them to the reader without revealing too much information.
Tip: Think of it as a trailer for a movie, like it should be exciting but can’t give away the “PLOT”.
- The most important part of your entire essay; .
- This statement will be the basis for the rest of your custom essay
- Since we are talking about nature preservation, an example of a good thesis would be:
- “The preservation of our planet is the most important aspect of keeping Mother Nature in check and avoiding draconian disasters.”
Quick Tip: if you find that your body paragraphs have nothing to do with your thesis, you can go back and change the thesis.
Body Paragraphs 1,2,3 (5-7 Sentences)
- This is the “meat” of your 5 paragraph essay, where you explain the side you are defending (Thesis Sentence)
- Structure of the body paragraphs is usually: Intro sentence (1), Supporting Argument
- Explanation (3-5), Concluding Sentence (1)
- Intro sentence should briefly bring out your argument without revealing too much information
- Supporting Argument and Explanation: This is taking the topic and going into detail, while still most importantly DEFENDING YOUR THESIS!
- The Concluding Sentence should be the opposite of the intro: instead of introducing your argument, you are briefly concluding your argument, transitioning into your next one.
THE FORMAT FOR ALL 3 BODY PARAGRAPHS IS THE SAME
- The arguments should go in this order:
- First body paragraph should be your second strongest argument
- Second body should be your weakest argument
- Third body should be your strongest argument
To give our readers a nice keyhole format visual, we have a picture of a standard Graphic Organizer below.
Conclusion (3-5 Sentences): This is the “mirror” of your intro
- Restating Your Thesis (Sentence 1): You take your main argument (thesis) and restate it in a conclusive way. You are paraphrasing it in an assertive manner to show that you have “proved your point.”
- Concluding your supporting arguments (1-3 Sentences): This is taking your supporting arguments (your body paragraphs) and rephrasing the main points you made in one sentence per paragraph.
- If some of your supporting arguments are similar then you can combine them into one sentence to keep the good structure.
- So for example,
Concluding Hook Sentence (Optional)
A good way to end an essay is something unexpected, to surprise the reader.
Create a second hook, but this time it should be a hook that SUMS things up in a few words, rhetorical questions are good for this.
This gives the 5 paragraph essay some spice at the end and makes the reader question your statement.
General Grading Rubric
Several schools and universities worldwide use several different types of rubrics, but one of the most standard rubric styles is the 5 point style, where it is broken down into 5 segments: Focus, Organization, Conventions, Style, and Content.
- Focus: Did the writer spends his time proving his thesis? Did he accomplish his goal?
- Organization: Was the essay fluid and were the transitions in between paragraphs smooth? Did the writer follow the proper outline and not diverge from the set structure?
- Conventions: Did the writer make many grammatical mistakes? Did they have run on sentences?
- Style: Did the writer use high-level vocabulary, were words rarely repeated, how creative were his sentence structures?
- Content: Did the writer properly prove his argument? Were his statements logical and factual? Did he create strong arguments?
Essay Writing Advice From Our Professional Writers
Best Brian, fromEssayPro
A five paragraph essay is the first big writing assignment that your teacher will have you do in middle school! If you’re a beginner essayist, then my tip for you is to learn how to ensure that each paragraph has its own unique idea. Once you’ve mastered that, you can practice making your paragraphs flow into each other with transition sentences. Later on, in high school and college, this will be a very valuable skill to have. Connect your ideas together so your readers can follow along with ease. While writing, always keeps in mind what your next paragraph is about and try to lead up to it. In the first essays that you write, using words like “Firstly, Secondly, and In conclusion” is acceptable, but later on, you will need to find ways to separate your ideas without those linking words. Don’t make them a habit. Good luck with your writing!
Got too much on your plate?
Receive professional writing help from our writing experts. They work seamlessly to ensure your GPA is in top shape!
Visit our writing service
Writing a 5 paragraph essay outline will help one organize their thoughts and create a rough sketch of their final product before “coloring in” all the details. Though there is some disagreement about the specific steps in creating a skeleton for your essay, EssayPro writing service has learned that using the method shown below has helped students earn top marks on a consistent basis. But before we get to the nitty-gritty, let’s discuss what makes this type of writing so special.
Table Of Contents
About This Type Of Essay
The 5 paragraph essay is one of the most common academic writing assignments given to students. Starting from middle school and working all the way up to college level tasks, this particular style is seen in all educational levels. The reason this type of writing is so popular has to do with its main perk: it allows the writer complete freedom when choosing between topics.
As there are many different types of essays that each contain their own sets of rules and writing styles, one will be limited when it comes down to choosing a topic for more specific types. For this reason, the 5 paragraph format is the most versatile among all essay types.
5 Paragraph Essay Outline Template
Most commonly, a student will be asked to write a 5 paragraph essay that defends a side of an argument (persuasive) or develops their own idea from an original question (analytical). Sometimes, they will be asked to tell a story (narrative essay) or write using their imagination (creative writing), but for most academic assignments, one will be asked to write about the former of the two groups.
That being said, the outline is broken down into five main sections (1 per paragraph), and each section will have between 3-5 subpoints. Each subpoint has its own objective, so to build a complete essay outline, one will need to accurately come up with 15-20 guidelines. Down below is an example of an acceptable template:
- Hook Statement
- Background Information
- Thesis Statement
Body Paragraph 1
- Topic Sentence
- Concluding Statement
Body Paragraph 2
- Topic Sentence 2
- Claim #2
Body Paragraph 3
- Topic Sentence 3
- Claim #3
- Concluding statement
- Restatement of Thesis
- Summarization of Main Points
- Overall Concluding Statement
The Outline For A 5 Paragraph Essay (Template Explained)
To start any five-paragraph essay, This can be something like an interesting fact, rhetorical question or humorous idea; the main goal is to keep your reader interested! Following this step, you want to provide your reader with any necessary background information regarding your topic.
This is especially true if the majority of your information can not be classified as general knowledge. Lastly, you want to conclude your introduction by presenting a well-thought-out thesis statement that covers the main idea of your entire essay. As this is the central point of your paper, it is important to ensure that the focus of the body revolves around this statement.
After presenting your introduction, Using strong transitions words such as firstly, afterwards and moreover will keep your writing flowing smoothly. That being said, the topic sentence should reveal the supporting idea that will defend your thesis. After finishing this step, you must create a claim. In essence, this illustrates the link between your supporting idea and the thesis statement.
So, if we consider the thesis statement to be the focal point of our entire essay, then likewise, we can consider the claim to be the central piece of its respective body paragraph. Facts, statistics, logic or anything else that can be used to support the claim should be presented. This will usually be between 1-3 sentences. Lastly, to finish a body paragraph, one must present a concluding statement. This sentence presents the significance of the link between the claim and thesis statement, strengthening the validity of the body paragraph accordingly.
It is important to note that each body paragraph follows the same structure; however, each should have their own unique claim as well as separate evidence to help build a well-rounded essay. Lastly, the order of argument strength does indeed matter.
This means that your best argument should come in the first paragraph, the second best in the second, and the weakest argument in the third (although you shouldn’t have weak arguments… but, you know what I mean). The reason for this has to do with reader attention span, and most likely their mind will start wandering off as they get deeper into the writing, so make sure they get the best at first!
To finish off a good 5 paragraph essay, the author has three final objectives. First of all, they must restate their thesis in a different language using conclusive phrases such as: in conclusion, to wrap things, in the end, etc. Afterwards, the next step is to summarize the claims made from each body paragraph and their significance.
Make sure to do this for all three claims. In other words, how can the information be taken from the writing and applied to a real-world situation? This leaves the reader with a call to action and motivation for further investigation.
5 Paragraph Essay Outline Example
Topic: Why is history and culture important to society?
- Humans tend to repeat mistakes, whether it be personal ones or general faults of our species. Thankfully, we finally understood that war never changes, and this acceptance has brought great prosperity. (Hook)
- Introducing the importance of traditions, understanding our roots, and dialoguing the growth of the human race. (Background info)
- Remembering and embracing our past while simultaneously learning and building from it can help the human race achieve great things at an ever increasing rate!
Body Paragraph 1
- Topic sentence introducing traditions and why they hold value.
- Linking the value of our traditions and how we can build from them.
- Evidence of this done in the past (Sounds → Language) (Sticks + Stones → Rifles)
- Concluding statement about the significance of tradition.
Body Paragraph 2
- Topic sentence introducing the importance of embracing our culture.
- Showing our origins and highlighting the value of understanding ourselves
- Provide examples (Civilizations → Empires → Cities)
- Concluding statement about the value of our origins
Body Paragraph 3
- Topic sentence that exclaims the importance of dialoguing our race.
- Using our past to better our future and learning from our mistakes
- Examples (Less War, Technological Growth, Human Rights)
- Significance of the documentation
- By analyzing our cultural and historical past, we can build a future for a better tomorrow! (Thesis Restatement)
- Summary of traditions claim.
- Summary of the cultural claim.
- Summary of value that comes from dialoguing our race.
- If we don’t consider our past as a valuable pool from where to obtain information, then we are showcasing ourselves as an ignorant race. (Overall Concluding Statement)
Still Need Some Help?
Sometimes, even with the tools on your side, it can be hard to start churning out information and actually get thoughts down on paper. Fear not, for as we were students years ago and understand that things require practice and patience. If you would like qualified academic writing assistance, then work with our professional writing team. As most of these experts have written dissertations and other large bodies of work before, they can easily guide you through the steps of five paragraph essay outlining. All you have to do is request help from our custom essay writing service around!
Find a top writer