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How To Write A 5 Paragraph Essay: Tips & Ideas For Students

Often referred to as a hamburger or a three-tier essay, the 5 paragraph essay is a staple in school curriculum. It is crucial for high school students to learn how to write a 5 paragraph essay because it will help them to organize ideas in a clear and coherent manner.

When students are tasked with a 5 paragraph essay, most of them do not know where to start. However, writing a 5 paragraph essay is easy once you are aware of the expected format. This article is intended to not only teach students how to write a good 5 paragraph essay, but also how to have fun while doing it.

How to write a 5 paragraph essay: The structure to follow

Although the structure of a 5 paragraph essay is seldom used by professional writers, it helps students to develop and express their ideas in academic writing. Most teachers believe that the traditional 5 paragraph essay acts as a good starting point and is a great way to check student’s readiness.

As the name suggests, a 5 paragraph essay is an essay containing 5 paragraphs. It is a common academic task with a simple hamburger like structure to it. This essay is generally 500 – 800 words long and includes an introductory paragraph followed by 3 supporting paragraphs and the conclusion paragraph towards the end.

Before beginning the writing procedure, students have to decide on the type of essay to write and brainstorm the topic. Generally, this is considered to be the most difficult part of learning how to write a 5 paragraph essay. Once students become clear on these initial essay writing steps, they should create an essay outline which acts as a skeleton for the essay.

How to write a 5 paragraph essay outline

It’s very important to create an essay outline, as it helps the student to organize the paragraphs in a logical order. By learning how to write a 5 paragraph essay outline, students can prevent themselves from getting stuck in the writing procedure and ensure that their ideas are fully developed in each paragraph.

Many students do not realize the importance of creating an essay outline before performing the actual writing part. They often overlook this step so that they can write the rough draft of their essay as quickly as possible.

However, creating an outline is a crucial step when you are learning how to write a 5 paragraph essay fast. An outline not only makes your writing run smoothly, but let you know in advance what you are going to write about and how you are going to do it.

Tips on how to write a good 5 paragraph essay

  1. To write a good 5 paragraph essay, you must choose a topic that isn’t too broad or narrow. If your topic is too narrow, you may not have enough to write about it and when it is too broad, you won’t be thorough.
  2. Next, you should organize your essay by creating an essay outline. There are basic outline forms for writing a 5 paragraph essay which you can use; otherwise if you’re familiar of the basic structure of such an essay, you can create the outline yourself.
  3. Once the outline is crafted, you’ll notice that your ideas are well organized and that you can begin writing now. To maintain a good flow of ideas between paragraphs, make use of transition words such as however, furthermore, nevertheless, next, first, second, finally, etc…
  4. A good 5 paragraph essay starts with the introduction paragraph where the topic is introduced to develop interest and engage the readers. The introductory paragraph builds an emotional connection with the readers. It starts with a general statement and ends with a thesis describing the main idea of the essay.
  5. The introduction paragraph is followed by 3 body paragraphs each of which describe a particular idea to support the thesis statement with examples and facts.
  6. The last paragraph contains the conclusion of the essay where the main point of the essay is restated with the help of paraphrasing. The conclusion paragraph should again put emphasis on the main point of the essay and show why it is important.

Once high school students learn to write a good 5 paragraph essay as part of their homework, they find it much easier to write essays in college where they have to follow a more complex format in their essay writing assignments.

Although a 5 paragraph essay is not a tough task to accomplish, it can become quite challenging when students have a time constraint. So, students should take their time while writing this very important, classical format of an essay and avoid leaving it to the last minute.

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