Five-Paragraph Essay

Five-paragraph essay


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5 paragraph essay outline

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The 5-Paragraph Narrative Essay Outline. Pull your audience in! THESIS STATEMENTS. Students often start with the basic 3 paragraph essay. Give one more strong reason or assertion that supports your opinion/main idea. The outline doesn’t must be in just about any formal composition structure. Below given is an elaborate tutorial that explains how to compose an outline for five paragraph essay. Review the five paragraph essay with Flocabulary’s educational rap song and lesson plan. Writing handouts are available online at. 5 paragraph essay outline. Outline for a Five-Paragraph Essay – A simple exercise in getting students to structure their ideas in an essay format. How to Write a 3 Paragraph Essay Outline. This is a sample outline. Early Life (Introduction) a. Number of paragraphs and paragraph length will vary. Structure of the Five Paragraph Essay_GC. Print (at least) two copies of this outline worksheet for a five-paragraph essay. Points in the first paragraph is that it provides an outline for your body paragraphs and. Writing a 5-paragraph essay can be easier and faster than baking a 5-layer.

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What Is a 5 Paragraph Essay and How to Write It?

Table of Contents

What Is a 5 Paragraph Essay and How to Write It?
What Is a 5 Paragraph Essay?

Different Types of 5-Paragraph Essays

How to Write a 5 Paragraph Essay: Easy Way!

5 Paragraph Essay Outline: Step-by-Step Student Guide

How to Write a 3 Paragraph Essay?

Five Paragraph Essay Introduction

Important: Professional Advice!

Five Paragraph Essay Conclusion

Know the General Grading System and Examine 5 Paragraph Essay Example

30 Excellent 5 Paragraph Essay Topics to Observe

5 Paragraph Essay Topics for Middle School

5 Paragraph Essay Topics for High School

What Is a 5 Paragraph Essay and How to Write It?

It’s simple: if you want to join 40% of college freshmen who manage to perform at the expected entry-level during the 1st academic year, explore different essay examples and read valuable information from experts. A typical academic 5 paragraph essay includes five paragraphs. As a rule, a student has to introduce the topic, state and support up to three arguments, and sum up the results in the last paragraph, conclusion – a 5 paragraph essay outline explains every section in details.

Students fail to come up with a good five paragraph essay because the teachers sometimes do not provide necessary information and ignore the fact not all students are talented writers. Is there a way to overcome problems with homework assignments? The best option is to go online to hire professional academic authors & editors that are experienced in many different fields of study.


What Is a 5 Paragraph Essay?

What is a 5 paragraph essay? A five paragraph essay is an ordinary academic task assigned by the school/college teacher in order to check the student’s skills, knowledge, and ambitions. It is an informative piece of writing with some descriptions of the chosen topic. This writing task is assigned to check how well a student interacts with the reader, defend the thesis sentence, conduct research, come up with arguments, and summarize the findings in one paragraph. This assignment improves reading, writing, and analytical skills a lot.

Five-paragraph essay is a standard example for the educational institutions like high schools and colleges. A student has to ensure the relevance of the topic. It is important to support the arguments in every single paragraph with the help of credible evidence.

Teachers know that many students might need these skills for the post-graduate standard tests:  TOEFL ,  SAT , IELTS, and even ACT. The knowledge of writing basics is a supporting part of any admission process. If you have no idea how a good five-paragraph essay should be formatted, please have a look at  different examples posted online for free .

Different Types of 5-Paragraph Essays

It is important to know each of the five types of papers before deciding on the sentence and paragraph structure. They are:

  1. Narrative
  2. Expository
  3. Persuasive
  4. Argumentative
  5. Cause and effect

Actually, we can point out more types like  compare and contrast  or character analysis essay. However, those five are the basic categories. Anyway, you need to make an outline and start memorizing how a five-paragraph essay should look like as it is the most common structure of any academic writing assignment, no matter whether we talk about your homework paper or test/examination.

How to Write a 5 Paragraph Essay: Easy Way!

It is time to find out how to write a 5 paragraph essay. Five paragraph format usually includes an introduction with the powerful thesis statement in the last sentence, 3-5 body paragraphs (usually, it’s three paragraphs), and conclusion. Body paragraphs should begin with the sentence which contains a powerful argument:

  • First paragraph: argument one
  • Second paragraph: argument two
  • Third paragraph: argument three

Each of the arguments serves as the supporting point for your thesis statement. There should be no less than three arguments in favor or against the chosen topic or research question. These arguments have to support your thesis statement: without persuasive evidence, it is impossible to persuade the reader of the importance of your research question.

5 Paragraph Essay Outline: Step-by-Step Student Guide

Once you have  picked the topic  to write about, develop an outline first. An outline figures as an action plan for your project. It allows keeping in mind what each paragraph should include. Second, depending on the paper format (MLA,  Chicago , etc.) write an abstract or your first paragraph which is an introduction. Writing an abstract is a requirement of the APA format. It’s a one-paragraph  summary of the essay .

Do not ignore the important role of a 5 paragraph essay outline – it will serve as a perfect roadmap to a journey called academic paper writing. Take a closer look at each possible section.

  1. Introduction – Introduces the basic parts of the 5-paragraph essay. Begin with a broad sentence to reveal the main idea to the target audience to catch an eye (this initial sentence is called hook). Share the context of the topic; show its meaning to the audience. Stress the research problem and outcomes/interpret the key themes along with further development of the plot, and end the introduction with a powerful thesis statement.
  2. Topic sentence – It reveals the main idea of the specific paragraph and the way it relates to the thesis statement.
  3. Evidence – A few sentences that support the topic sentence. Choose them during the process of in-depth research to explain the topic and support every stated claim.
  4. Commentary – An author’s feedback that evaluates the selected evidence.
  5. Concluding sentence – The one which ties the paragraph’s main idea directly to the thesis statement.
  6. Repeat the steps mentioned above to create a couple of more body paragraphs.
  7. Conclusion – Review the major arguments. Reword the thesis statement, provide a summary of the body paragraphs one-by-one; add up to 2 sentences that motivate the reader to take specific actions regarding the discussed problem/conduct independent research to learn more.

Here is a shorter version of a 5 paragraph essay outline:

Go into the details below to understand how to write a 5 paragraph essay worth of teacher’s attention.

How to Write a 3 Paragraph Essay?

Do not waste too much time on learning how to write a 3 paragraph essay as this form of academic paper is not popular. To make it short, the three-paragraph essay structure must look the way below.

  • Introduction
  • Topic Sentence + Argument + Writer’s Explanation
  • Conclusion
  • References (a separate page in the end)

When it comes to in-text citations and bibliography, they are used in any academic essay to defend the primary ideas. All teachers want to see at least three credible sources in your paper. Sources help to defend your thesis statement as they usually refer to the researchers that have to prove author’s words. Make sure that the books, magazines, articles or other sources of your choice are no older than 5 years before including them in any paragraph of your essay.

No matter how many paragraphs a student plans to include. Introduction & conclusion look alike in any situation – take a look at their basics!


Five Paragraph Essay Introduction

No matter whether you want to learn how to write a 3 paragraph essay of 5 paragraph paper, an introduction remains the same. The first paragraph should include three important parts (sentences):

  1. Hook
  2. Trailer
  3. Thesis statement

The hook is about grabbing reader’s attention with the single first sentence. Some good ideas for the introductory sentence may be a joke, shocking fact, or intriguing question on the chosen theme. On the whole, the entire paragraph is about forcing the reader to read the essay sentence-by-sentence. A trailer is like a movie trailer – outlines and explains what’s coming next. Finally, state your thesis in the last sentence of your introduction paragraph. We will discuss some of the introductory elements in more details.

The opening few sentences must make the reader realize why the proposed topic may play a significant role in his/her life. Example: A writer offers to discuss the way ordinary citizens can help to avoid corruption as it influences the income level of most of the population. It would be a smart step to start the paper with some impressive statistics. Play with real facts. Quote famous people to make the target audience understand why it is important to research the suggested problem and act.

Important: Professional Advice!

“After the hook sentence, share a background explaining why the problem matters. Recall the rent events in the world of politics/economics or social sphere to stress the increasing level of corruption in the society. End up with the strong thesis statement. It may sound like, “As the level of corruption in our country has increased by 15% during the last 3 months according to [source], a sharp need to regulate associated issues with the government’s support became obvious, and every citizen should contribute to it by reporting about any signs of corruption.”

Helen Teashort, academic counselor and professional writer at WriteMyPaper4Me

Five Paragraph Essay Conclusion

Before talking about the conclusion, it is necessary to have a look at the way body paragraphs are built. Using transition words, move to the process of writing your second paragraph, which is actually the first paragraph of your essay body. Find all possible ideas on your research question. Pick the best parts to come up with at least three impressive arguments. Include examples into each paragraph of the paper’s body – the examples may also act as excellent supporting points for your thesis.

The last paragraph is the conclusion: write down some transition words to transfer from your body part to the last paragraph. A conclusion should restate thesis sentence. This time, you’ll have to write down the conclusions grabbed from each body paragraph. Explain how they are all interrelated and think about possible alternatives and offer predictions for the future.

Know the General Grading System and Examine 5 Paragraph Essay Example

Please find the information below to know the grading rubric for any academic five-paragraph paper.

It is important to know that specific schools, colleges, and universities might have their own grading rubrics. However, the five-point system is the most frequently met. There are five features used while grading your five-paragraph essay on any topic:

  • Focus: Were the supporting points strong enough to defend each argument and thesis statement?
  • Organization. What about the essay structure: how well were the transition words between paragraphs used, has the writer developed the proper outline, and did he keep to the specific outline?
  • Conventions: Were there any mistakes in the sentences (grammar/spelling/punctuation)? Was there any run on sentences?
  • Style: Were the students successful with their vocabulary in the five-paragraph essays; what about the level of creativity and plagiarism?
  • Content: Did the student manage to prove the argument and topic thesis properly, logically, concisely, & meaningfully?

The best way to meet all of the criteria listed above is to download a free 5 paragraph essay example on a popular topic.

30 Excellent 5 Paragraph Essay Topics to Observe

In-depth research helps to define the topic if your teacher does not assign you one. It is one of the most difficult parts as students often get stuck when deciding on their thesis sentence. Select your topic based on these parameters:

  • How easy is it to find supporting points?
  • How easy would it be to make powerful supporting arguments?
  • Will your introduction paragraph be eye-catching for your reader?
  • Would it be possible to include a strong thesis in the last sentence of the first paragraph?
  • Is the subject interesting/relevant to your community? How the conclusion and forecasts may help?

The list of great 5 paragraph essay topics from the top college students and even professors will help to make a final decision regarding the main research problem.

5 Paragraph Essay Topics for Middle School

  1. Things to do to defend endangered species of animals/plants from continuous extinction
  2. School teachers should allow students to use their mobile devices for lessons
  3. School children are too young to put makeup
  4. Teachers must pass certain proficiency tests and share results with their students to prove they are competent in the particular field of study
  5. Fast-food companies are guilty of the increased level of obesity
  6. Soccer will not ever become popular enough in the United States
  7. Some of the prestigious sports celebrities justify the major number of cash that they are paid
  8. Textbooks are an old-fashioned way of learning; e-Books and mobile apps should be popularized
  9. Politicians are overpaid for doing nothing special
  10. Defining personal heroes/role models
  11. Spending a day with any person in the world: Who would it be? Why?
  12. How the educational semester has helped to improve knowledge of Math
  13. The importance of English language classes
  14. There is no way to force school students to wear uniform
  15. Having a higher education does not necessarily result in a successful job

5 Paragraph Essay Topics for High School

  1. Reasons why highly-paid jobs at top overseas organizations are likely to be filled by men
  2. Parallels between dictatorship and high school bullying
  3. Voting on a new subject: Which one to include in the curriculum?
  4. Are Hollywood actors overrated?
  5. Does the death penalty work in the United States?
  6. Teachers must give more freedom to their students
  7. Boys and girls should study in separate classes
  8. Nuclear weapon is a killing device
  9. The use of animals in scientific studies is immoral & unethical
  10. The right age for dating
  11. Use imagination to discuss which social norms and rules can be changed for a better or removed
  12. E-learning is getting more powerful than a traditional education
  13. Wealthy people should share their goods with poorer people
  14. Fashion is not important when it comes to defining personality
  15. High school grading system is not 100% accurate/fair

If you are still looking for the efficient academic writing help to develop a well-organized five-paragraph paper, know that you may order a full writing solution online without any obstacles or risks.

Five-Paragraph Essay

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Writing assignment series

The Five Paragraph Essay

The five paragraph essay measures a student’s basic writing skills,
is often a timed exercise.

Use this Guide to help you practice and succeed at this form of writing.

Getting started means getting organized:
Analyze the assignment
; determine what is required.
With a highlighter, note important words that define the topic.
Then organize your plan

For example, you have been given this writing

You have a present that was really memorable. It
could have been given for an important occasion or just
for no reason at all. Tell us about the present and why
it was memorable. Include the reason it was given, a
description of it, and how you felt when you got it.

The objective is to write a narrative essay about
this present you were given

The subject is a memorable present
The three main subtopics are:

  • the reason it was given
  • a description of it
  • and how you felt when you got it

Outline your five paragraph essay; include these

Introductory Paragraph

General Topic Sentence:
memorable present

  1. Subtopic One:
    the reason it was given
  2. Subtopic Two:
    a description of it
  3. Subtopic Three:
    how you felt when you got it
  4. (Transition)

First Supporting Paragraph

  1. Restate Subtopic One
  2. Supporting Details or Examples
  3. (Transition)

Second Supporting Paragraph

  1. Restate Subtopic Two
  2. Supporting Details or Examples
  3. (Transition)

Third Supporting Paragraph

  1. Restate Subtopic Three
  2. Supporting Details or Examples
  3. (Transition)

Closing or Summary Paragraph

  1. Synthesis and conclusion of the thesis
  2. Rephrasing main topic and subtopics.

Write the essay!

Think small; build the full essay gradually.
your essay into sections and develop each piece separately
and incrementally.

The Introductory Paragraph

  • The opening paragraph sets the tone
    It not only introduces the topic, but where you are
    going with it (the thesis). If you do a good job in the
    opening, you will draw your reader into your
    “experience.” Put effort up front, and you will reap
  • Write in the active voice
    It is much
    more powerful. Do that for each sentence in the
    introductory essay. Unless you are writing a personal
    narrative, do not use the pronoun “I.”
  • Varying sentence structure
    Review to
    avoid the same dull pattern of always starting with the
    subject of the sentence.
  • Brainstorm to find the best supporting ideas
    The best supporting ideas are the ones about which you
    have some knowledge. If you do not know about them, you
    cannot do a good job writing about them. Don’t weaken
    the essay with ineffective argument.
  • Practice writing introductory paragraphs on
    various topics

    Even if you do not use them,
    they can be compared with the type of writing you are
    doing now. It is rewarding to see a pattern of progress.

Supporting Paragraphs

  • Write a transition to establish the sub-topic

    Each paragraph has to flow, one to the next.
  • Write the topic sentence
    transition can be included in the topic sentence.
  • Supporting ideas, examples, details must be
    to the sub-topic
    The tendency in
    supporting paragraphs is to put in just about anything.
    Avoid this: the work you have made above with details
    and examples will help you keep focused.
  • Vary sentence structure
    repetitious pronouns and lists
    Avoid beginning
    sentences the same way (subject + verb + direct object).

The Ending or Summary Paragraph
This is a difficult paragraph to write
You cannot assume that the
reader sees your point

  • Restate the introductory
    with originality
    not simply copy the first paragraph
  • Summarize your argument
    with some degree of authority
    paragraph should leave your reader with no doubt
    as to your position or conclusion of logic
  • Be powerful as this is the last
    thought that you are leaving with the reader.

Edit and revise your essay

Check your spelling and grammar

Subjects and verbs agree, and verb tenses are consistent

Examine your whole essay for logic
Thought builds and flows?
Avoid gaps in logic, or
too much detail.

Review individual sentences

  • Use active verbs to be more

    Avoid passive
    constructions and the verb “to be”
  • Use transitional words and phrases
    Avoid sentences beginning with pronouns,
    constructions as “There are….,”
    Example: “There is a need to proofread all
    works” becomes “Proofreading is a must.”
  • Be concise
    though vary
    the length and structure of sentences

Ask a knowledgeable friend to review and
comment on your essay
and to repeat back what you are trying to say.
You may be surprised.

Seven stages of writing assignments:

Index | Develop your topic (1) | Identify your audience (2) |

Research (3) | Research with notecards |
Summarizing research |
Prewrite (4) |
Draft/write (5) | Revise (6) | Proofread (7)

Writing assignments

Writing for the "Web" | The five-paragraph essay | Essays for a literature class |
Expository essays | Persuasive essays | Position papers | Open book exams |
Essay Exams | White papers |
Lab reports/scientific papers | Research proposals

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Home  >  Academics  >  Academic Programs  >  Writing Center  >  Resources  > 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
  3. Conclusion

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
  3. Conclusion reviewing three main points and thesis statement

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.

Print this handout by clicking here for download .

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The Five-Paragraph Essay: What’s the Deal?

By Cite This For ME

If you’ve ever been assigned to write an essay for a class, it has probably been the classic five-paragraph essay. These essays have a relatively simple structure: an intro, a body, and a conclusion. Yet there are little things you need to know to write a strong one, and that’s why we’re here today. Let’s take a moment to break this type of essay down.

The Introduction Paragraph

The introduction paragraph of any essay is quite possibly the most important paragraph of all. It is the paragraph that tells your reader the topic and helps them decide if they want to keep reading.

The intro paragraph is made up of three parts: a hook, background information, and the thesis. The hook is the opening sentence that catches the reader’s eye. It can be a question, anecdote, or something shocking. I used a question in my example essay below.

The background information is a series of sentences that move from broad facts to specific details throughout this intro paragraph. These sentences move the reader into the topic, helping them understand what you are going to discuss. If you are writing a critique of literature, for example, these sentences might be a good place to include a brief summary of the piece.

Finally, the thesis statement finishes out the intro paragraph. It states a clear claim and offers a reason why your claim is true. Even for informational essays that aren’t trying to convince the reader to agree, a thesis is needed. In my thesis in the example essay below, my claim is: “Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are the best American lunch food,” and my reason why includes the three topics of my body paragraphs: “because they are easy to make, taste good, and keep well throughout the day.”

Body Paragraphs

After finishing the intro paragraph with the thesis statement, turn your focus to the body paragraphs. In a five-paragraph essay, you only have three body paragraphs. If you have written a thesis statement with three main points, like I did, you already know the topic of each paragraph. Your next step is to stretch each point into a topic sentence. My topic sentences below are:

  • Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are easy to make.
  • Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are also quite tasty.
  • Finally, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches don’t have to be refrigerated.

You’ll notice transition words like “also” and “finally” in these sentences. It’s important to connect your paragraphs together with words like these.

Also inside these body paragraphs are examples, quotes, and analysis. Your job in these body paragraphs is to convince a reader to agree (in a persuasive essay) or to provide adequate information (in an informative essay).

The Conclusion

The last paragraph of a five-paragraph essay (or any essay) is the conclusion paragraph. In this paragraph, you simply state your thesis again using different words, summarize the points you made in the body paragraphs, and finish with a sentence that leaves the reader thinking.

In my example essay below, look at the last paragraph. You will see that I’ve done just that. The first sentence of the conclusion is my thesis in different words. Each sentence following this repeats the ideas of each body paragraph. And finally, I finish off the essay with an emphasis on the thesis statement.

Note: Remember that paragraphs shouldn’t be too short or too long. Try to keep them between 5 and 10 sentences.

Don’t Forget Citations

One final note: if you include ideas that are not your own, you need to cite where you got them from. If you quote, use an example, or paraphrase a source, you need both an in-text citation in parentheses and a references page. The most common style guides for students are MLA format and APA format , depending on which subject your essay is for. Use the examples in my essay below (which is in MLA format ) to help you correctly cite in your own essays and avoid plagiarizing.

 Example Essay

        How does a creamy, sweet peanut butter and jelly sandwich sound right now? Although not everyone loves the taste of this sandwich, many people prefer to see it in their lunch sacks. Children usually like peanut butter and jelly, but that doesn’t mean these sandwiches can’t be enjoyed by adults too. Sometimes they make a great snack. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are quite possibly the best American lunch food because they are easy to make, taste good, and keep well throughout the day.

        Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are easy to make. All one has to do is to take out two slices of bread and spread peanut butter on one slice and jelly on the other. After spreading, press the two slices together, and the sandwich is done. Of course, cleanup is necessary because sometimes the jelly drips off the knife or gets pressed out of the sides of the sandwich. In spite of the potential for a mess, this is perhaps one of the easiest ways to nourish oneself in the midst of a busy day.

        Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are also quite tasty. For one thing, we know right off the bat that peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are sweet. Jelly is a sugary, gelatinous spread that sweetens foods it is added to. Peanut butter is made up of peanuts, and some peanut butter companies add other ingredients like salt, oil, and even sugar (Bearden). That means both peanut butter and jelly can end up being sweet. Bread, while not usually known for sweetness, often goes well with sweet things. The sweetness of the jelly and peanut butter combined with savory bread makes for a great-tasting sandwich.

        Finally, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches don’t have to be refrigerated. While some consumers might keep any of these ingredients in the fridge for the long term, there is nothing in jelly, peanut butter, or bread that will spoil if left out for a day (“Packing Your Lunch Safely”). That means if someone doesn’t want to carry around an ice pack, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is the way to go.

        Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are one of the best solutions to avoiding hunger throughout a busy school or work day. They are easy to make no matter how one looks at it. They taste good, helping people feel satisfied. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches also keep well, preventing people from having to find a refrigerator or carry around a bulky ice pack. These sweet and savory sandwiches really are the best American lunch food.

Easily create citations like the ones below with Cite This For Me citation generator!

Works Cited

Bearden, Caroline Young. “What’s in Your Jar of Peanut Butter?” National Peanut Board, 2017, Accessed 19 July 2017.

“Packing Your Lunch Safely.” Indiana State Department of Health, Accessed 19 July 2017.