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How To Write A Well Written 5 Paragraph Essay

The 5 paragraph essay is considered to be the standard essay writing assignment. It is used in most exams such as TOEFL, IELTS, and the SAT. Since most of these exams limit the student time-wise in the "Writing" section, students are trained to memorize this format. This allows the student to answer the exam prompt quickly and efficiently. The format’s plasticity allows students to experiment with various essay styles. Persuasive, Argumentative, Expository, Narrative and Cause and Effect can all adapt to this format. As a result, perfecting the 5 paragraph essay is a practice that often turns rookies into experienced essay writer.

Table Of Contents

Good Example Topics

  • Can one learn a life lesson from an experience that they didn't have? Can you learn from other people's mistakes?
  • Is animal testing ethical?
  • Should same-sex marriage be allowed?
  • Should laws on gun-control be more strict?
  • Should the death penalty be abolished completely?
  • Should marijuana be legalized?
  • Should education be free for all students?

The paper topics listed above are some of the most common topics students write essays about. Of course, they are not limited to only these. Before choosing a topic and start the writing process, students should look to come up with a catchy title. The reason for doing so is centered around grabbing the readers attention right from the get go.


This type of essay has a very specific outline; It starts with an Introduction, goes to Body Paragraph 1, Body Paragraph 2, Body Paragraph 3, and sums things up with a Conclusion. Each body paragraph serves a specific purpose, and the essay is in the form of a keyhole. This means that it starts out very BROAD, gets more NARROW and finishes out BROAD.

Introduction: 3-5 Sentences

  • The introduction sets the structure for the rest of the essay, with the first sentence being the HOOK sentence.
  • The Hook Sentence is kind of like the spark to a flame; It grabs the reader's attention.
  • The Hook is usually either a rhetorical question or some life example or a stunning fact

This is a rhetorical question, meaning it does not need an answer because it is obvious.

Brief Introduction of Supporting Arguments (1-3)

Here you are taking your supporting arguments and briefly introducing them to the reader without revealing too much information.

Tip: Think of it as a trailer for a movie, like it should be exciting but can’t give away the “PLOT”.

Thesis Statement

  • The most important part of your entire essay; .
  • This statement will be the basis for the rest of your custom essay
  • Since we are talking about nature preservation, an example of a good thesis would be:
  • “The preservation of our planet is the most important aspect of keeping Mother Nature in check and avoiding draconian disasters.”

Quick Tip: if you find that your body paragraphs have nothing to do with your thesis, you can go back and change the thesis.

Body Paragraphs 1,2,3 (5-7 Sentences)

  • This is the “meat” of your 5 paragraph essay, where you explain the side you are defending (Thesis Sentence)
  • Structure of the body paragraphs is usually: Intro sentence (1), Supporting Argument
  • Explanation (3-5), Concluding Sentence (1)
  • Intro sentence should briefly bring out your argument without revealing too much information
  • Example:
  • Supporting Argument and Explanation: This is taking the topic and going into detail, while still most importantly DEFENDING YOUR THESIS!
  • Example:
  • The Concluding Sentence should be the opposite of the intro: instead of introducing your argument, you are briefly concluding your argument, transitioning into your next one.
  • Example:



  • The arguments should go in this order:
  • First body paragraph should be your second strongest argument
  • Second body should be your weakest argument
  • Third body should be your strongest argument

To give our readers a nice keyhole format visual, we have a picture of a standard Graphic Organizer below.

Conclusion (3-5 Sentences): This is the “mirror” of your intro

  • Restating Your Thesis (Sentence 1): You take your main argument (thesis) and restate it in a conclusive way. You are paraphrasing it in an assertive manner to show that you have “proved your point.”
  • Example:
  • Concluding your supporting arguments (1-3 Sentences): This is taking your supporting arguments (your body paragraphs) and rephrasing the main points you made in one sentence per paragraph.
  • If some of your supporting arguments are similar then you can combine them into one sentence to keep the good structure.
  • So for example,

Concluding Hook Sentence (Optional)

A good way to end an essay is something unexpected, to surprise the reader.
Create a second hook, but this time it should be a hook that SUMS things up in a few words, rhetorical questions are good for this.

This gives the 5 paragraph essay some spice at the end and makes the reader question your statement.

General Grading Rubric

Several schools and universities worldwide use several different types of rubrics, but one of the most standard rubric styles is the 5 point style, where it is broken down into 5 segments: Focus, Organization, Conventions, Style, and Content.

  • Focus: Did the writer spends his time proving his thesis? Did he accomplish his goal?
  • Organization: Was the essay fluid and were the transitions in between paragraphs smooth? Did the writer follow the proper outline and not diverge from the set structure?
  • Conventions: Did the writer make many grammatical mistakes? Did they have run on sentences?
  • Style: Did the writer use high-level vocabulary, were words rarely repeated, how creative were his sentence structures?
  • Content: Did the writer properly prove his argument? Were his statements logical and factual? Did he create strong arguments?


Essay Writing Advice From Our Professional Writers

Best Brian, fromEssayPro

A five paragraph essay is the first big writing assignment that your teacher will have you do in middle school! If you’re a beginner essayist, then my tip for you is to learn how to ensure that each paragraph has its own unique idea. Once you’ve mastered that, you can practice making your paragraphs flow into each other with transition sentences. Later on, in high school and college, this will be a very valuable skill to have. Connect your ideas together so your readers can follow along with ease. While writing, always keeps in mind what your next paragraph is about and try to lead up to it. In the first essays that you write, using words like “Firstly, Secondly, and In conclusion” is acceptable, but later on, you will need to find ways to separate your ideas without those linking words. Don’t make them a habit. Good luck with your writing!

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When you are ready to start an essay, you need to know which type you are supposed to use. There are many types including compare and contrast, persuasive, cause and effect, argumentative and other. Coping with numerous academic tasks is a big challenge for many college and high school students. They can simply lack time to do everything. You should be aware how to write five paragraph essay because it is one of the most commonly used and simplest structure when it comes to writing compositions. Fine writing skills on how to write a 5 paragraph essay are crucial for every student. Such formation is the standard for the essay writing task. It would be easier to pick the topic by yourself. Discuss the paper format with your professor. Ask him about the references, the quotations, and all other paper requirements. Prepare your background to exceed the expectations. The basic five paragraph essay outline consists of:

  • introduction;
  • 3 body paragraphs;
  • conclusion.

How to write an introduction paragraph for an essay?

An introduction has to indicate the direction your assignment will take. Start an introductory paragraph with the main discussion of the subject which then leads to a specific statement of the thesis. Here you need to point about what will your paper be. The intro is the first part of your paper. Provide information about the central issue. Try to make it creatively and interestingly written to catch the reader’s attention. This is the part where you need to orient the readers and to place them into the discussion. Provide rational explanations and diverse needed information for the readers' understanding. Clarify and sharpen your focus. Spend a couple of minutes and look for more articles and samples on how to write an introduction paragraph for an argumentative essay. Describe the main idea. There are not many distinctions, but you need to include powerful argument.

How to write 3 body paragraphs?

The middle section should focus on a single idea. Use more specific examples to support your argument. It will help you make your body more appealing. Provide an analysis of your topic. Use more details and actual facts to make your ideas convincing and clear.

Body paragraph should contain:

  • a sentence that presents the main idea of the paper;
  • an argument why you think the topic is true;
  • present quotes, facts, examples and other evidence that maintain an argument.

Write all strength and weaknesses, pros and cons of an issue. In order to make a coherent text, try to link the sentences logically. Your main theme should be researched broadly. Include your own opinion and explain the side you are defending. If an essay has very long sentences in the paragraph, write a brief summary in the last sentence. Do not forget to cite appropriately all sources. If one does need to make a powerpoint presentation, it should include text, appropriate graphics, and animations.

How to write a conclusion paragraph for an essay?

The fifth and last step you need to take is creating a nice conclusion. This section the reader will read in the end and remember best. Write some sentences that emphasize the importance of the topic. Think what the reader is going to feel when he reads the conclusion. The conclusion should contain all main points of the text. Do not start a new topic. You may try to link the last paragraph to the first and sets a sense of closure to your text. Sum up previous ideas. It is the final part where you need to persuade the readers to your viewpoint. A well-written conclusion needs to form a good impression about the whole paper. These are the most useful tips about how to write a conclusion paragraph for an argumentative essay.

Once you have written an essay, do a revision. Reread the paper to ensure it is well organized. Make this process as thorough as possible.

The 3 main areas you need to pay attention while editing:

  • Content – make sure your essay has a content completeness and find out if provided information is accurate. Ask someone to read the whole text, find out which areas are unclear or need more details, support or explanation. Think what you can add or change in an essay.  
  • Structure – with a brief outline will see if you arrange your paper logically. Each paragraph should contain a topic sentence.
  • Style – ensure that the tone of the essay is appropriate for the target audience. Maximize the effectiveness and clarity of an essay by editing wordy or awkward sentences. Try to repeat the words rarely, use wide vocabulary, make sentence structures creative and factual.
  • Citations – check all cites and quotes from external sources and make them appropriate.

Take your time and proofread your assignment. Search for punctuation rules on the Internet. There are many sites to check your writing for style, grammar, statistic and plagiarism issues. Check the structure of the whole text, each sentence and if punctuation symbols are placed in right places. BookRags is an educational website with study guides, teaching resources for students and lesson plans on literary works. Here you can find various book summaries, the required biography of authors, historical and political figures.

You will have to cope with various writing tasks throughout the academic year. With the information presented above, you will spend less than an hour on writing perfect 5 paragraph essay. Your high grade depends only on you!

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