essay writing prompts

Writing a five paragraph essay: dealing with the typical mistakes

Learning how to write the standard five paragraph essay is the foundation for several important aspects of life. The five paragraph essay is more than just an essay. It’s a lesson in organization, structure, and formatting that goes far beyond the information covered in several hundred words or a few pieces of paper.

Just as structure is pertinent to a successful life, the key to a great essay is properly outlining and executing the points you want to make. The inability to communicate the what and the how of an essay are two common mistakes.

No Structural Integrity

  • For example, Sentences that seem to lack direction, either through consisting of fragments or the dreaded run-on sentence. These are both wrong and will turn your essay into something pointless and vague.
  • Lack of sentence structure is one problem, and will become a part of the larger problem once you take a look at the entire text and find other issues with text structure.
  • Shudder to think, but structural weaknesses within your text may be caused by being unaware of the style you have been asked to incorporate. Please pay attention to the assignment.

Problems with your sentence structure is a strong indication that your problems are just beginning.

Brace Yourself

  • Confusing sentences will lead to disorganized thoughts and poorly placed paragraphs.
  • Make sure you know to have five paragraphs, which will include an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

You might think the issue of aligning your paragraphs correctly comes second to the notion of having a well-thought out idea, but they are actually one and the same. This becomes painfully apparent for those reading your essay once you repeat yourself several times using the same terms and phrases. Why did it turn out like this?


  • As a favor to yourself, your classmates who will be providing feedback on your drafts, and ultimately your instructor, focus on a topic you are interested in.
  • It will help you research quickly and effectively, and readers will be able to tell you really do care about your topic.

Above all, show some diligence and respect for the five paragraph essay.

Attention to Detail

  • Do not have any spelling, punctuation, or grammatical errors.
  • This is an essay, so do not write it the way you would speak to a friend.
  • It is the little things that will ruin an entire essay, so be thorough.