What Is a 5-Paragraph Essay

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For new college entrants, it is always challenging to encounter new fronts in academics. The transition from serial and less bulky examinations and assessments to periodic essay writing prove to be too much for most college entrants. In college, academic essays are the order of the day. And depending on the discipline of your focus, an academic essay can take many shapes. Here, however, we are going to focus on the typical academic 5-paragraph essay. All the scholarly articles you will ever write will conform to a fundamental structural pattern that embodies a 5-paragraph essay outline.

Generally, an academic essay entails three major components: an introduction, a body of the article, and a conclusion. These three significant parts have to come out in every piece that is written. The students who are not familiar with these necessary writing skills and minute rules end up writing subpar articles. Most tutors don't usually teach how to write a 5-paragraph essay, and it is much to the disappointment of the student when they realize that their friends can do this so well while individually they can't. The only place they can get some assistance is going online to check for essay writers and pay them some money to write it for them. It sounds like too much work.

A 5-Paragraph Essay; What Is It?

Many people will be puzzled what to say if they are asked the question; what is a five-paragraph essay? This is partly because not many of such topics are taught in high schools, and not many people care to read about essay writing either. Moreover, there is no definitive way to define this essay. Words are available to describe it thoroughly but not to explain it. We could say that no one is at fault for not knowing this or everybody is at fault for not knowing this. So let us look at the topic again, what is a five-paragraph essay?

A 5-paragraph essay is a typical academic essay, mostly assigned by tutors in senior high school and colleges to students who are just beginning their essay writing journey. It is designated to check the ability of the students to communicate well via the written word to a reader. For an evaluation test, it is quite the step to master one's students the skill in the students and also know where to apply corrective measures.

That is a plus for the teacher to establish that and work on it. But for the student, it is a chance to prove themselves, shows their proficiency and ability in communicating via the written word. It is an opportunity to show how good you are at organizing your thoughts on paper and producing a masterpiece that the target audience will have no issues grasping the intended message. It goes a long way in helping the student establish themselves in the competitive world of essay writing. This is a front that has changed many writers - including authors - lives forever.

Types of 5-Paragraph Essays

Academic essays have countless examples. The topics that are used in 5-paragraph articles are quite different. But basing the perspective on the discussion in the piece, there are five primary types:

  1. Narrative essays
  2. Expository essays
  3. Argumentative essays
  4. Persuasive essays
  5. Cause and effect essays
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These five basic essay types dictate the tone that is to be used in writing the article, the sentence, and the passage structure and more importantly, the language to be used in the essay. Each of these types of 5-paragraph essays comes with its own set of rules. It is noteworthy for the writer to learn the differences and avoid a possible mix up. The most common practice to avoid that confusion is to memorize the 5-paragraph essay outline. It is the backbone of all academic 5-paragraph essay writing, so there is no new thing that will be demanded of you. The flow and organization is the only one that is dependent on the type and the topic at hand.

A Simple Way to Write a 5-Paragraph Essay

As we have established, the essential parts of the 5-paragraph article are an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. That may sound like three items while we are talking of 5 paragraphs. Notably, the body of the essay carries the bulk of the writing, so that is where we insert more content and therefore, more sections.

The introduction paragraph, just like any other paragraph essay introduction, serves to bring the reader into the essay. It should be as welcoming and charming as possible. Only do not forget to remain formal in your writing. Observe the choice of words to avoid slang and clichés in your introduction. Based on the topic, you have plenty of options to choose from if you want to decorate your paragraph essay introduction. The last line of the introductory paragraph is usually reserved for the thesis statement.

The body typically has between 3-5 paragraphs, but 3 is the standard number here. In these paragraphs, the objective is to raise your points and argue them one by one in defense of your take on the topic. The opening sentence of every section in the body is always supposed to be the point, legible, and understandable. In most situations, writers are encouraged to keep it as short as they can. Too long sentences have the effect of distorting the message or undermining the significance of the point. The successive sentences of the paragraph elaborate the message carried by the opening sentence. In the exploration of the point raised by the opening sentence or statement, the chronology of thought needs to be clear and compelling.

The reader should be able to follow your train of thought in arriving at the point you raised. Avoid mixing your sentences up as which ones ought to come first and which one to go last.

The last paragraph of the essay is, without a doubt, the conclusion. The article is never complete without an end and a powerful one at that. A paragraph essay conclusion is always a summary of the ideas pointed out in the essay, sometimes giving an insight into what has not been discussed in the body.

In some instances, the writer includes a rhetorical question at the end of the conclusion to invite comments and concerns from the readers. This is best applied in article writing and seldom in assignment essays. It would appear ridiculous to want the tutor to leave his opinions about your 5-paragraph essay on your first-time essay paper.

A Stepwise Guide to Writing an Outstanding 5-Paragraph Essay

The first step towards writing a good essay is always picking out the topic and understanding its length and breadth. In most situations, the issues for the students will be picked by the teacher since it is an assignment. Make sure you understand the topic at hand. Know what it requires, how far to go, how deep to dig, and what to highlight versus what to leave out of the essay. If you are the one picking the topic yourself, ensure that you choose a familiar topic; a topic that will not make you struggle to raise the relevant content. In some few scenarios, you may be provided with several 5 paragraph essay topics to pick from. It is recommended that you choose the one that you are most familiar with.

Step number two is always to come up with an outline. Poor planning in any situation is still a recipe for failure. In the build up to a 5-paragraph essay example, you are supposed to plan what to write and how to write a 5-paragraph essay. If the article is supposed to be two pages long, you have to factor in in the planning how your work is going to be distributed to fit in two pages. Which sections will you emphasize or reduce? Besides, the format of the essay that is expected is also essential. Some essay formats require the writer to adopt a different format from the one they are commonly used to. If the format demands that you write an abstract for the essay that should not confuse your thoughts and plan, stick to what you know and what you have planned, ensure you don't deviate from the specific rules that are meant to guide the writer on an essay.

Your outline ideally should be like a map that will guide you to safe conclusion and achievement of your set objectives. Here are the basic parts of the 5-paragraph essay a one can adopt:

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  1. The Introduction - The opening paragraph will be a brief discussion. One full sentence generally referred to as the hook sentence, which serves to draw in the audience and curtain raise the main idea behind the essay. Then introduce the essay trailer, a brief but relevant flow of what is coming next in the body of the article. Make this paragraph be intertwined with an abstract for the essay. The goal is to make it informative and exciting at the same time. Avoid highlighting the specific points of the argument in this paragraph.
  2. The 2nd, 3rd, And 4th Paragraphs - These paragraphs should bring out the points that are to be argued out. They have a similar format of presentation, and they only differ in the topic of the content. Generally, their flow is always repetitive of one another.
  3. The Topic Sentence - The first sentence in this paragraph is the topic sentence. Point out the issue of the argument in black and white. The main idea that will be the subject of discussion in this paragraph has to come first. The sentence needs to be brief and precise, with no additional unnecessary words.
  4. The Evidence Sentences - The subsequent sentences in the paragraph, immediately following the topic sentence. They carry the weight of the point. They are mostly the backup gang of the point you just raised. Remember what we highlighted when we were discussing the essential parts of the 5-paragraph essay? The paragraphs in the body are meant to bring out the real evidence of your assertions. The evidence has to be authentic and realistic. They are best retrieved during the background research conducted on the topic you choose.
  5. Author's Feedback - In a discussion that has been around for a while, like most of them have, it is good to include a notable author's take on that particular point. This has the effect of adding more weight to the point you are discussing and consequently getting more support from the readers.
  6. The Concluding Sentence - This is usually the last sentence in the paragraph. It is strategically meant to bring together the main idea of the paragraph and the thesis of the essay. Remember that the article has to have a goal, which is implied in the essay thesis statement.
  7. The Conclusion Paragraph - This is the last of the basic parts of the 5-paragraph essay. Its role is to review the major points in the essay and come out with a summary. Generally what many writers do is to reword the essay thesis statement, come up with a review of paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 and include an extra 2 or so motivating sentences for the reader to feel at the place and provoke them to engage you. A reasonable paragraph essay conclusion should make a reader want to comment on the essay.


The fact that many students and scholars have not had an opportunity of going through, or possibly writing a 5-paragraph essay example does not guarantee that you will not get one yourself. And it should not bother you anyway, as you can see it is not too much to deal with. Essentially and genuinely speaking, it is the least of worries when it comes to professional essay writing.

There are few things that one has to work on when the requirement narrows down to 5 paragraph essay topics writing, such as trimming of content, compressing of ideas into a limited number of paragraphs, and so on. However, following the train of thought we have exposed above, you should be good to go professionally.

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