The five paragraph essay format is a staple amidst school assignments. As such, it ought to be fully mastered by all students, since it may prove to be quite useful.
Pupils who grow up to be writers, journalists, critics, or essayists will only be able to progress in their chosen field by completely appropriating the basic rules and regulations relevant for essay writing.
The five paragraph essay, in particular, can be of variable word count. Like all essays, it exercises conciseness of thought, but also creativity, ingenuity, and resourcefulness. Therefore, it may be quite a challenge for a number of people.
Yet, even if it is a challenge for you, too, you don’t need to worry – we’re here to lend you a helping hand. Keep reading to find out all you need to know about writing a good five paragraph essay!
The Five Paragraph Essay – What is It and Why is It Important?
The five paragraph essay format functions, first and foremost, as an exercise in quick thinking. Whereas its nature can be quite diverse, encompassing both informative, persuasive, critical, creative, or academic topics and themes, it has to follow a certain structure.
More importantly, this structure coerces the writer to think of at least three ideas related to their main topic and support them with relevant arguments.
Conversely, if the topic of the essay is persuasive, the writer has to come up with three arguments to support their main idea, and to back them with examples or any other kind of reference.
Of course, there are some extra tips which you should memorize too, but the basic thing to master is the structure.
The Five Paragraph Essay Structure
The structure is simultaneously the easiest and trickiest part of this essay format.
It’s easy because it’s already stated in the name itself – the essay should have five paragraphs.
It’s tricky, however, because three of those five paragraphs – the components of the main section – need to figure out creative and well-founded arguments to support the topic or opinion.
The remaining two paragraphs are the introduction and conclusion, which also have to be well-formulated, and have to flow naturally with the rest of the text.
We shall now cover all five paragraphs separately.
As with other essays, in the five paragraph essay, the introductory part serves to simultaneously engage the reader, and prepare them for the arguments developed further.
Depending on the topic itself – and how broad it is – the introduction can begin with a fact that is common knowledge, before narrowing things down. Or, it can quickly introduce the situation in question before stating the writer’s personal opinion on it.
By the end of the introduction, the main idea of the topic should be clearly articulated, and the landscape prepared for the arguments to follow.
The Main Body – Paragraphs One, Two, and Three
The three paragraphs of which the main body of your text should consist, are all supposed to be similar to one another.
In each paragraph, you are expected to either introduce an idea and provide at least one (if not two or three – depending on the word count) arguments to support it, or to introduce an argument and provide some examples or evidence to support the claim.
It is essential that the ideas or arguments of the three paragraphs are clearly distinct; they shouldn’t be a single thought, stated twice, in different ways. That is the main point of the five paragraph essay – to make the writer think and come up with at least three plausible arguments, regardless of the topic.
Once you cover all three paragraphs, make them flow between one another, and properly support them, you are ready to wrap things up with the conclusion.
The last and conclusive paragraph should serve as both a summary and a synthesis of the previous text. You shouldn’t introduce new ideas, nor should you simply repeat what you had stated before.
Deduce the main ideas derived from the previous sections of the text, and use them to show why your opinion on the matter was important. Finish the text in a satisfying way, leaving no loose ends.
Extra Tips to Consider
As soon as you have mastered this structure, you’ve essentially mastered the five paragraph essay back and forth. Learn the instructions and start practicing.
Also, take heed of the following tips – they might help you a lot when you start!
- Choose a topic that you like – it can help you find better arguments
- Proof-read your text and pay attention to the formatting
- Rely on the help from a custom writing company – by covering the basics, they’ll teach you what the five paragraph essay should look like in practice!
Trust us – you’ll become a master in no time!