essay writing prompts

5 paragraph essay writing tips for newcomers

5 paragraph essay writing

The five paragraph essay has a simple structure made up of three parts.

  • Introduction
  • Main body of essay
  • Conclusion

This is a universally understood and recognized formula and if you are asked to write a five paragraph essay, you must use this structure. Do not vary from it. Of course getting the formula or structure right is important but that alone will not guarantee a top mark. Here your writing expertise and editing come into play. This article is about what you should include in each of the five paragraphs in your essay.

In your introduction make sure that you start with a bang and use this paragraph to grab the interest of the reader. You want to make the person reading your essay excited to continue to read. The introduction is the key to the success of your essay. Make it count. Your introduction will include a statement you intend to prove in your essay. This thesis statement will dominate your essay and be referred to in each of the following four paragraphs.

After the introduction we come to the main body of the essay and in this case it consists of three paragraphs; the first, second and third fact paragraphs. Now your main idea or main theme or what some call a thesis statement has been listed in your introduction. In this first fact paragraph [the second in your essay] you use your strongest argument to support your major statement. You’ll argue in each of the main body paragraphs but your strongest argument comes in the first fact paragraph.

In the third paragraph [2nd of three in the main body] you will continue to support your thesis statement but do so with other arguments. These arguments will not be as powerful as the argument you used in your second paragraph. Always be prepared to add quotations or experiences from other people in order to support your various arguments.

And in the fourth paragraph, you will add whatever arguments you have not mentioned already. These are likely to be not as powerful as the points you made in paragraphs two and three. But the strength of your essay depends on the number and quality of arguments you present in the main body of your essay.

And finally, you come to the conclusion. Here you sum up the points you have made to support your argument. You round off the case. This is the précis of what has gone before.

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