5-Paragraph Essay
n_header_1800x270
5-Paragraph Essay

The 5-paragraph essay is used in education, often to teach students how to write arguments in a logical fashion or write persuasive arguments. It has a standard format: introduction, three supporting paragraphs, and a conclusion.

Introduction:

The paragraph written to introduce your essay has three parts: a thesis statement – what the essay is about, a mini-outline of the paper, and the last sentence is a transition to the next paragraph, which begins the body of your essay. The thesis statement should “hook” your reader into wanting to read your essay.

Supporting Paragraphs or Body of the Essay:

First Paragraph: this paragraph should state your strongest argument, and contain your most significant example and/or clearest illustration. It’s the main point you want to make in your essay.   The first sentence should tie back to the transitional last sentence of the first paragraph. The main topic of this paragraph should be stated in the first or second sentence and should be related to the thesis statement in the first paragraph (introduction). As with the first paragraph, the last sentence should be a transition to the next paragraph.

Second Paragraph: this paragraph should state your second strongest argument, and contain your second most significant example, and/or second clearest illustration. The first sentence should tie back to the transitional last sentence of the second paragraph (first paragraph of this section). The main topic of this paragraph should be stated in the first or second sentence and should be related to the thesis statement in the first paragraph (introduction). As with the other two paragraphs, the last sentence should be a transition to the next paragraph.

Third Paragraph: this paragraph should state your weakest argument, and contain your weakest example and/or weakest illustration. The first sentence should tie back to the transitional last sentence of the third paragraph (second paragraph of this section). The main topic of this paragraph should be stated in the first or second sentence and should be related to the thesis statement in the first paragraph (introduction). As with the other paragraphs, the last sentence should be a transition to the conclusion and signal the reader that this is the final major point in the essay.

Conclusion:

This concluding paragraph should include the following elements: 1) a reference to the pattern used in the opening paragraph; 2) a new statement of the thesis statement that is not the same as the original thesis statement; 3) a summary of the three main points used in the body of the paper; and 4) a statement that says the discussion is over or a call to action – in a persuasive paper.