Sally Baggett holds a master’s in literature. She enjoys inspiring students, cooking with her family, and helping others achieve their dreams.
Just like there is more than one way to skin a cat (or so they say), there is more than one way to write an essay. One is not required to produce a perfectly formatted five-paragraph essay every time one composes a piece of writing. There is another type of essay you can write that may just be simpler than the traditional style: the three-paragraph essay. This type of essay might be beneficial for beginning writers as it offers the organizational structure of a longer essay without requiring the length. It also offers a challenge to more advanced writers to condense their points.
The Parts of the Essay and Its Benefits
As with most essays, the three-paragraph essay has three parts: an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. Yet with this type of essay–unlike its five-paragraph counterpart–each one of these sections has only one paragraph. The three-paragraph essay, therefore, might be ideal for young writers or those who are currently mastering the English language.
Another benefit to the three-paragraph essay could be that it requires you to condense your supporting points into just one, which can be a good exercise. If you had to choose only one point to convince a reader to agree with you, what would it be?
After performing some light prewriting, such as brainstorming or writing an outline, students can move right into composing the essay. While this process is similar across the board for writing academic papers, the three-paragraph essay is unique in that the body will take up less space in the finished product.
An outline for this essay might look like this:
- Introduction Paragraph
- Background Points
- Thesis Statement
- Body Paragraph
- Topic Sentence
- Supporting fact 1
- Supporting fact 2
- Transition Sentence
- Topic Sentence
- Conclusion Paragraph
- Re-statement of Thesis
- Summary of Main Point
- Challenge to the Reader
Paragraph One: Introduction
As with most formal essays, the three-paragraph essay begins with an introduction paragraph. Such paragraphs must, obviously, introduce the reader to your idea and, in most cases, convince the reader that this essay is worth reading. To craft a strong introduction, be sure to open with a solid hook. You want to draw in readers so they are compelled to engage with your writing.
A hook can be something compelling such as a question, a powerful quote, or an interesting fact. Introduction paragraphs also usually contain background information that assists the reader in understanding your topic, perhaps defining it or explaining an important part. Finally, you want to include a thesis statement. Even though your essay only has three paragraphs, there still needs to be a purpose to the writing.
You could structure your introduction paragraph according to this outline:
- Introduction Paragraph
- Hook: Is there no solution for dumping waste in the ocean?
- Background Points
- Explain why trash is dumped in the ocean
- Statistics about dumping trash in the ocean
- Thesis Statement: Dumping waste in the ocean is a problem because it spells disaster for the ecosystem, leading to problems on land.
This structure is not mandatory, though it might be useful in the long run for organizing your thoughts.
Paragraph Two: Body
The second paragraph, as we have discussed, is the one and only body paragraph. This paragraph bears the burden of communicating support for the thesis statement all on its own. As such, it may take more than one rough draft to get this paragraph to communicate everything you want it to.
Your body paragraph needs to underscore the thesis statement. Create a topic sentence for this body paragraph that communicates this and also transitions from the introduction into the body. For example, your body paragraph topic sentence based on the outline above could be:
One of those problems might play itself out as food scarcity where humans live.
This topic sentence reiterates the thesis and moves the reader into a body paragraph that contains a supporting point: that damage to the ocean’s ecosystem could lead to food scarcity. Within the body paragraph, you can quote different sources that support this point.
Again, this paragraph does not have room to contain everything that a full five-paragraph essay might. But that doesn’t mean you can’t fit in some strong evidence to convince your reader to see your perspective, such as is accomplished through quotes and analysis. Don’t forget to end with a strong transition sentence to move the reader seamlessly into the conclusion.
Paragraph Three: Conclusion
The final paragraph in an essay is usually the conclusion. The three-paragraph essay is no exception. In this essay, the conclusion can be just as long as the other two paragraphs, and it can drive home the point made in the thesis statement and body paragraph. As with most conclusion paragraphs, this paragraph ought to restate the thesis in different words. It should then summarize what was stated in the body paragraph before challenging the reader in some way, whether in thought or action.
Editing Before Turning It In
One thing to be sure of in this type of essay (as in any other) is to polish it. Make it flow well. In other words, revise it!
Before beginning the revision process, take a break from your writing so that you can look at it with fresh eyes. Once you start revising, hunt not only for grammar and punctuation errors but for ways to make the writing flow better. Take a look at the sentences at the beginning and end of each paragraph. Do these sentences contain transition words? Do these paragraphs link to each other? Transition words or phrases like “Likewise,” “In spite of,” or “In addition to” can ensure that your paragraphs are coherent. There are also other services that will automatically proofread you paper.
If you used any sources (i.e. websites, books, videos, etc.) to help support your points and write your paper, you need to cite them! Most teachers will ask you to create a bibliography in MLA format. Others may have you one in APA format, or create references in Chicago style. Ask your teacher for guidance on what citation style they prefer.
Don’t forget that you aren’t limited to using this type of essay for just persuasion. You can also use it to relate a narrative tale, using the three parts as the beginning, middle, and end of a story. You can use this to craft an informative essay. See if other types of essays–such as a process analysis or an evaluation–will fit inside the three-paragraph essay format.
In many ways, the three-paragraph essay is similar to the five-paragraph essay. They both make a solid point using an introduction, body, and conclusion. This simpler essay only requires that you condense your points into one body paragraph, perhaps only one supporting point, before reaching a conclusion. Again, this can make a good exercise for beginning English writers, but can also make a challenge for a more advanced writer to select their strongest supporting points.
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.
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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:
- 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.
- 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.
- Topic sentence – It reveals the main idea of the specific paragraph and the way it relates to the thesis statement.
- 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.
- Commentary – An author’s feedback that evaluates the selected evidence.
- Concluding sentence – The one which ties the paragraph’s main idea directly to the thesis statement.
- Repeat the steps mentioned above to create a couple of more body paragraphs.
- 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.
- Topic Sentence + Argument + Writer’s Explanation
- 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!
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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):
- 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
- Things to do to defend endangered species of animals/plants from continuous extinction
- School teachers should allow students to use their mobile devices for lessons
- School children are too young to put makeup
- Teachers must pass certain proficiency tests and share results with their students to prove they are competent in the particular field of study
- Fast-food companies are guilty of the increased level of obesity
- Soccer will not ever become popular enough in the United States
- Some of the prestigious sports celebrities justify the major number of cash that they are paid
- Textbooks are an old-fashioned way of learning; e-Books and mobile apps should be popularized
- Politicians are overpaid for doing nothing special
- Defining personal heroes/role models
- Spending a day with any person in the world: Who would it be? Why?
- How the educational semester has helped to improve knowledge of Math
- The importance of English language classes
- There is no way to force school students to wear uniform
- Having a higher education does not necessarily result in a successful job
5 Paragraph Essay Topics for High School
- Reasons why highly-paid jobs at top overseas organizations are likely to be filled by men
- Parallels between dictatorship and high school bullying
- Voting on a new subject: Which one to include in the curriculum?
- Are Hollywood actors overrated?
- Does the death penalty work in the United States?
- Teachers must give more freedom to their students
- Boys and girls should study in separate classes
- Nuclear weapon is a killing device
- The use of animals in scientific studies is immoral & unethical
- The right age for dating
- Use imagination to discuss which social norms and rules can be changed for a better or removed
- E-learning is getting more powerful than a traditional education
- Wealthy people should share their goods with poorer people
- Fashion is not important when it comes to defining personality
- High school grading system is not 100% accurate/fair
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