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Write my five paragraph essay

Five-Paragraph Essay

When it comes to writing essays in college, we all need a place to start. Think of the five-paragraph essay as just that. Some students may find this to be a simple process, while others may spend a greater amount of time understanding this basic building block of college writing. Whatever the case, use the following guidelines to strengthen your knowledge of this preliminary essay format. Five-paragraph essays are incredibly useful in two situations — when writers are just starting out and when a writing assignment is timed.

The five-paragraph essay has three basic parts: introduction, body, and conclusion.

The introduction is the first paragraph of the essay, and it serves several purposes. This paragraph gets your reader’s attention, develops the basic ideas of what you will cover, and provides the thesis statement for the essay. The thesis statement is usually only one sentence and is made up of the topic, focus, and three main points of the essay.

Each body paragraph should start with a transition — either a word or phrase, like First, or Another important point is. Then, the first sentence should continue with your topic sentence. The topic sentence tells your reader what the paragraph is about, like a smaller-level thesis statement. The rest of the paragraph will be made of supporting sentences. These sentences, at least four of them, will explain your topic sentence to your reader.

Be sure that each sentence in the paragraph directly addresses both your topic sentence and your thesis statement. If you have a point to make that is not directly connected to the topic sentence, it does not belong in the paragraph. You might write a different paragraph on that other point, but you may not stick it into any old paragraph just because you thought of it at that point. (You can’t stick a red towel into a load of white laundry without causing damage to the rest of the clothes, and you can’t stick a point that’ off-topic into a paragraph without doing damage to the rest of the essay. Keep your laundry and your paragraph points separate!)

The conclusion is the last paragraph of the essay. This paragraph brings the essay to a close, reminds the reader of the basic ideas from the essay, and restates the thesis statement. The conclusion should not contain new ideas, as it is the summation of the content of the essay. The restatement of the thesis is a simpler form that the one originally presented in the introduction.

An outline is often used to demonstrate the content of most five-paragraph essays:

  1. Introduction
  2. Body
    1. First Point
    2. Second Point
    3. Third Point

    Before we finish, it is important to remember that the format of the five-paragraph essay is the foundation of nearly every other essay you’ll write. When you get ready to write longer papers, remember that the job of the introduction and conclusion are just the same as they are in the five-paragraph essay. Also, when you write longer papers, change your idea of support from three body paragraphs to three (or two or four) body sections, with as many paragraphs as necessary in each section (just as you had as many sentences you needed in each body paragraph).

    Below is an example of a 5-paragraph essay. Notice how the essay follows the outline.

    Outline of this essay:

    1. Introduction about camping, with three main points and thesis statement
    2. Body
      1. bad weather
      2. wildlife
      3. equipment failures

      Enjoying Your Camping Trip

      Each year, thousands of people throughout the United States choose to spend their vacations camping in the great outdoors. Depending on an individual’s sense of adventure, there are various types of camping to choose from, including log cabin camping, recreational vehicle camping, and tent camping. Of these, tent camping involves “roughing it” the most, and with proper planning the experience can be gratifying. Even with the best planning, however, tent camping can be an extremely frustrating experience due to uncontrolled factors such as bad weather, wildlife encounters, and equipment failures.

      Nothing can dampen the excited anticipation of camping more than a dark, rainy day. Even the most adventurous campers can lose some of their enthusiasm on the drive to the campsite if the skies are dreary and damp. After reaching their destination, campers must then “set up camp” in the downpour. This includes keeping the inside of the tent dry and free from mud, getting the sleeping bags situated dryly, and protecting food from the downpour. If the sleeping bags happen to get wet, the cold also becomes a major factor. A sleeping bag usually provides warmth on a camping trip; a wet sleeping bag provides none. Combining wind with rain can cause frigid temperatures, causing any outside activities to be delayed. Even inside the tent problems may arise due to heavy winds. More than a few campers have had their tents blown down because of the wind, which once again begins the frustrating task of “setting up camp” in the downpour. It is wise to check the weather forecast before embarking on camping trips; however, mother nature is often unpredictable and there is no guarantee bad weather will be eluded.

      Another problem likely to be faced during a camping trip is run-ins with wildlife, which can range from mildly annoying to dangerous. Minor inconveniences include mosquitoes and ants. The swarming of mosquitoes can literally drive annoyed campers indoors. If an effective repellant is not used, the camper can spend an interminable night scratching, which will only worsen the itch. Ants do not usually attack campers, but keeping them out of the food can be quite an inconvenience. Extreme care must be taken not to leave food out before or after meals. If food is stored inside the tent, the tent must never be left open. In addition to swarming the food, ants inside a tent can crawl into sleeping bags and clothing. Although these insects cause minor discomfort, some wildlife encounters are potentially dangerous. There are many poisonous snakes in the United States, such as the water moccasin and the diamond-back rattlesnake. When hiking in the woods, the camper must be careful where he steps. Also, the tent must never be left open. Snakes, searching for either shade from the sun or shelter from the rain, can enter a tent. An encounter between an unwary camper and a surprised snake can prove to be fatal. Run-ins can range from unpleasant to dangerous, but the camper must realize that they are sometimes inevitable.

      Perhaps the least serious camping troubles are equipment failures; these troubles often plague families camping for the first time. They arrive at the campsite at night and haphazardly set up their nine-person tent. They then settle down for a peaceful night’s rest. Sometime during the night the family is awakened by a huge crash. The tent has fallen down. Sleepily, they awake and proceed to set up the tent in the rain. In the morning, everyone emerges from the tent, except for two. Their sleeping bag zippers have gotten caught. Finally, after fifteen minutes of struggling, they free themselves, only to realize another problem. Each family member’s sleeping bag has been touching the sides of the tent. A tent is only waterproof if the sides are not touched. The sleeping bags and clothing are all drenched. Totally disillusioned with the “vacation,” the frustrated family packs up immediately and drives home. Equipment failures may not seem very serious, but after campers encounter bad weather and annoying pests or wild animals, these failures can end any remaining hope for a peaceful vacation.

      These three types of camping troubles can strike campers almost anywhere. Until some brilliant scientist invents a weather machine to control bad weather or a kind of wildlife repellant, unlucky campers will continue to shake their fists in frustration. More than likely, equipment will continue to malfunction. Even so, camping continues to be a favorite pastime of people all across the United States. If you want camping to be a happy experience for you, learn to laugh at leaky tents, bad weather, and bugs, or you will find yourself frustrated and unhappy.

      The Ultimate Guide to the 5-Paragraph Essay

      Grace Fleming, M.Ed., is a senior academic advisor at Georgia Southern University, where she helps students improve their academic performance and develop good study skills.

      A five-paragraph essay is a prose composition that follows a prescribed format of an introductory paragraph, three body paragraphs, and a concluding paragraph, and is typically taught during primary English education and applied on standardized testing throughout schooling.

      Learning to write a high-quality five-paragraph essay is an essential skill for students in early English classes as it allows them to express certain ideas, claims, or concepts in an organized manner, complete with evidence that supports each of these notions. Later, though, students may decide to stray from the standard five-paragraph format and venture into writing an exploratory essay instead.

      Still, teaching students to organize essays into the five-paragraph format is an easy way to introduce them to writing literary criticism, which will be tested time and again throughout their primary, secondary, and further education.

      Writing a Good Introduction

      The introduction is the first paragraph in your essay, and it should accomplish a few specific goals: capture the reader’s interest, introduce the topic, and make a claim or express an opinion in a thesis statement.

      It’s a good idea to start your essay with a hook (fascinating statement) to pique the reader’s interest, though this can also be accomplished by using descriptive words, an anecdote, an intriguing question, or an interesting fact. Students can practice with creative writing prompts to get some ideas for interesting ways to start an essay.

      The next few sentences should explain your first statement, and prepare the reader for your thesis statement, which is typically the last sentence in the introduction. Your thesis sentence should provide your specific assertion and convey a clear point of view, which is typically divided into three distinct arguments that support this assertation, which will each serve as central themes for the body paragraphs.

      Writing Body Paragraphs

      The body of the essay will include three body paragraphs in a five-paragraph essay format, each limited to one main idea that supports your thesis.

      To correctly write each of these three body paragraphs, you should state your supporting idea, your topic sentence, then back it up with two or three sentences of evidence. Use examples that validate the claim before concluding the paragraph and using transition words to lead to the paragraph that follows — meaning that all of your body paragraphs should follow the pattern of “statement, supporting ideas, transition statement.”

      Words to use as you transition from one paragraph to another include: moreover, in fact, on the whole, furthermore, as a result, simply put, for this reason, similarly, likewise, it follows that, naturally, by comparison, surely, and yet.

      Writing a Conclusion

      The final paragraph will summarize your main points and re-assert your main claim (from your thesis sentence). It should point out your main points, but should not repeat specific examples, and should, as always, leave a lasting impression on the reader.

      The first sentence of the conclusion, therefore, should be used to restate the supporting claims argued in the body paragraphs as they relate to the thesis statement, then the next few sentences should be used to explain how the essay’s main points can lead outward, perhaps to further thought on the topic. Ending the conclusion with a question, anecdote, or final pondering is a great way to leave a lasting impact.

      Once you complete the first draft of your essay, it’s a good idea to re-visit the thesis statement in your first paragraph. Read your essay to see if it flows well, and you might find that the supporting paragraphs are strong, but they don’t address the exact focus of your thesis. Simply re-write your thesis sentence to fit your body and summary more exactly, and adjust the conclusion to wrap it all up nicely.

      Practice Writing a Five-Paragraph Essay

      Students can use the following steps to write a standard essay on any given topic. First, choose a topic, or ask your students to choose their topic, then allow them to form a basic five-paragraph by following these steps:

      1. Decide on your basic thesis, your idea of a topic to discuss.
      2. Decide on three pieces of supporting evidence you will use to prove your thesis.
      3. Write an introductory paragraph, including your thesis and evidence (in order of strength).
      4. Write your first body paragraph, starting with restating your thesis and focusing on your first piece of supporting evidence.
      5. End your first paragraph with a transitional sentence that leads to the next body paragraph.
      6. Write paragraph two of the body focussing on your second piece of evidence. Once again make the connection between your thesis and this piece of evidence.
      7. End your second paragraph with a transitional sentence that leads to paragraph number three.
      8. Repeat step 6 using your third piece of evidence.
      9. Begin your concluding paragraph by restating your thesis. Include the three points you’ve used to prove your thesis.
      10. End with a punch, a question, an anecdote, or an entertaining thought that will stay with the reader.

      Once a student can master these 10 simple steps, writing a basic five-paragraph essay will be a piece of cake, so long as the student does so correctly and includes enough supporting information in each paragraph that all relate to the same centralized main idea, the thesis of the essay.

      Limitations of the Five-Paragraph Essay

      The five-paragraph essay is merely a starting point for students hoping to express their ideas in academic writing; there are some other forms and styles of writing that students should use to express their vocabulary in the written form.

      According to Tory Young’s “Studying English Literature: A Practical Guide”:

      “Although school students in the U.S. are examined on their ability to write a five-paragraph essay, its raison d’être is purportedly to give practice in basic writing skills that will lead to future success in more varied forms. Detractors feel, however, that writing to rule in this way is more likely to discourage imaginative writing and thinking than enable it. . . . The five-paragraph essay is less aware of its audience and sets out only to present information, an account or a kind of story rather than explicitly to persuade the reader.”

      Students should instead be asked to write other forms, such as journal entries, blog posts, reviews of goods or services, multi-paragraph research papers, and freeform expository writing around a central theme. Although five-paragraph essays are the golden rule when writing for standardized tests, experimentation with expression should be encouraged throughout primary schooling to bolster students’ abilities to utilize the English language fully.

      How to Write a Five-Paragraph Essay That Works

      In this post, we discuss how to write a five-paragraph essay that works, regardless of subject or topic, with a simple—but effective—plan for completing a successful essay.

      In this post, we discuss how to write a five-paragraph essay that works, regardless of subject or topic, with a simple—but effective—plan for completing a successful essay.

      As a parent of five children (three now in high school), I’ve helped brainstorm and edit my fair share of essays. In particular, I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time helping tackle the five-paragraph essay. So I thought I would take a moment to share my tips for other parents and students who are facing this challenge now.

      Believe it or not, the five-paragraph essay can be a relatively easy project once you understand how to break it down into pieces. Let’s jump into that now.

      How to Write a Five-Paragraph Essay That Works

      Step 1: Choose your subject.

      You may have a list of subjects already provided. But if you have to choose your topic, pick one that can support a guiding thesis with three supporting pieces of information that can each support their own paragraphs. For instance, you might think the United States will take home the most medals at the next Summer Olympics. Can you identify three main ideas to support that claim? Or you might want to write a compare-and-contrast essay on why one restaurant is a more family-friendly spot than another. Again, can you identify three main reasons to support your thesis?

      Step 2: Do your research.

      You chose your subject. Then, you dive into your research by looking for any and all information related to your subject. For this step, you want to collect more than you’ll need, because it’s a lot easier to discard excess than to drum up new material out of thin air—especially if you find yourself backed up against a deadline at the last minute. (Hey, I’ve been there.) Collect all the information you can, and then.

      Step 3: Decide your essay’s thesis.

      Your thesis may have been your original subject, but it might change or become refined as you do your research. For instance, your original subject might be “the United States will take home the most medals at the next Summer Olympics,” but then, you might change that to “the United States will dominate the swimming events,” because covering the entire Olympics got too overwhelming—or it weakened your argument. If you nail your thesis, the next part will be easy.

      Step 4: Create your essay outline.

      This step is so important to writing essays that I continue to use outlines to this day for articles and blog posts, which are usually a lot more complicated than five-paragraph essays. But for your five-paragraph essay, here’s a good outline to complete:

      1. Introductory paragraph. Jot down your thesis.
      2. First body paragraph. Identify a main idea or point that supports your thesis.
      3. Second body paragraph. Identify a second idea or point that supports your thesis.
      4. Third body paragraph. Identify a third idea or point that supports your thesis.
      5. Conclusion paragraph. Connect the dots from the previous three paragraphs to show how you proved your thesis.

      (Note: This final paragraph does not present new ideas. Rather, it ties everything before it together into one nicely formed essay.)

      Step 5: Write your essay.

      The nice thing about step four is that you should already know which ideas to put into each paragraph. Now, it’s just a matter of filling in the blanks and providing the supporting information that you should have on hand from step two (your research).

      • For the introductory paragraph, try hooking the reader with a provocative sentence followed by a supporting idea or two that leads into the concluding sentence that more times than not will be your thesis.
      • For the three body paragraphs, pick one main idea for each that will be your opening sentence followed by supporting evidence, examples, and explanation. Then, conclude each paragraph in a way that helps transition to your next paragraph all the way to the conclusion.
      • For the conclusion paragraph, connect the dots from the previous body paragraphs to end on a strong note that makes it clear that you’ve proven your opening thesis, whether you’re making a persuasive argument or just explaining the positives and negatives of a certain activity—and letting your readers draw their own conclusions based off their preferences.

      Step 6: Edit and proofread your essay.

      Many essayists feel like they’ve climbed the mountain by finishing the first five steps. And yeah, they have in a sense. But mountain climbers know that after the summit comes the descent, and the best essays get a thorough edit and proofread after the first draft.

      Here are a few editing/proofreading tips:

      • Give yourself time to “step away” from the essay before editing/proofreading. If you immediately try editing after completing the first draft, it’s common to “skip” over mistakes and omissions because you “know what you meant to say.”
      • Read your essay out loud. I often do this with my articles and blog posts. It helps me find “missing words” and identify clunky phrases and transitions. If you’re able to get someone to help, have a friend or family member read your essay out loud to you. Speaking of which.
      • Get a friend or family member to take a look. If they want to break out the red pen, great. If they don’t feel comfortable with that level of editing, just ask them to let you know where things don’t make sense or “lost them.”

      Step 7: Submit it.

      In most cases, you’re probably writing this essay for a class or contest. If you’ve gone through the previous six steps, you should have a pretty strong essay. Congratulations and good luck!

      This course guides beginning and intermediate writers through elements of how to write a personal essay, helping them identify values expressed in their stories and to bring readers into the experiences described. Writers learn how to avoid the dreaded responses of “so what?” and “I guess you had to be there” by utilizing sensory details, learning to trust their writing intuitions, and developing a skilled internal editor to help with revision.