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How to Write a 5 Paragraph Essay: Outline, Writing Guide & Tips

Among hundreds of different academic tasks, a 5 paragraph essay is definitely the most popular one. It is assigned at schools, colleges and during tests like IELTS, TOEFL, and SAT.

The biggest challenge any student will have to face is that all of such tests have time restrictions, and it is important to be prepared to write the essay. The best way to achieve the highest scores is to remember the structure of written tasks on a variety of topics. This will help you to complete the paper much quicker and with fewer mistakes.

One of the benefits of a 5 paragraph paper is that there are usually no topic limitations. You can choose any problem and issue, and to show how well you can write and to render your ideas.

The main types of five paragraph essay include:

  • Narrative
  • Persuasive
  • Expository
  • Argumentative
  • Compare and contrast
  • Cause and effect

All of them have their own writing peculiarities, but you can learn basic structure rules and be sure that they will be applied to any essay type that you choose.

What is a five-paragraph essay?

So how to write a 5 paragraph essay? Let us start with an essay’s definition. It is a written composition that has a clear format and consists of five paragraphs: introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion.

Due to a simple and clear structure, such papers are usually assigned during primary education and on standardized tests. Understanding the peculiarities of the assignment will help you to cope with more difficult written tasks in future and to convey your ideas and thoughts in a clear manner.

Students, who know how to write a five paragraph essay usually get higher grades and find it much simpler to write complex research papers, coursework, and even dissertations. Getting familiar with basic writing rules will greatly help you in the future and will assist in passing various tests with less stress and anxiety. Though, some students prefer to get assignment help at WriteAnyPapers to achieve the same (or even better) results.

How many words is a 5 paragraph essay?

A perfect size is 250 – 500 words long, which is enough to convey main ideas on the topic without boring the reader.  As you get from the title, a 5 paragraph paper should consist of five main sections: the introduction, body paragraphs, and the conclusion. Make sure you include only the most important ideas and arguments without irrelevant facts or watery phrases.

5 paragraph essay outline, structure & template

You probably know half of the success of any written assignment depends on the preparation stage: you need to know what to write about, which arguments to include and how to plan all the paragraphs. Below is a standard 5 paragraph essay structure that can be used not depending on the topic. Just memorize it or print it out!

For example, you are writing about a precious gift. Three main paragraphs may discuss the reasons why you got it, its description, and your emotions. Here is how the outline of your work will look like this:

IntroductionBrief description of the gift and of the three key subtopics. End this paragraph with a smooth transition to the main section.
First paragraphTopic sentence, supporting details.
Second paragraphTopic sentence, supporting details.
Third paragraphTopic sentence, supporting details.
ConclusionSummary of your thesis and paraphrasing findings of the subtopics.

How to write a 5 paragraph essay

Now, when you have a five paragraph essay outline in front of your eyes, let us dive deeper into each of the paragraphs.

1. Start with the introduction

The introductory paragraph will tell the audience about your subject. It is one of the most powerful paragraphs that gives the right direction to the whole paper. It helps to grab the attention of the readers if you are starting with a hook, and explain what to expect from the text.  Here are the elements that a powerful introduction should contain:

  • Description of your main ideas or what the paper is about. This sentence will also be a thesis of future work, so choose your arguments wisely;
  • Briefly list three arguments, which will support the main idea of the topic. Range them according to the relevance.

2. Continue with the body

There must be three main paragraphs in the body section. They give the audience all the details about the arguments you decide to discuss. Such details include facts, examples, quotes, statistics, and even your own experience on the topic.

All of the points should support your thesis statement, so pay careful attention when choosing the main idea.  Writing body paragraphs is simple: just provide comprehensive information on the points you have stated in your introduction. Follow the pattern below:

  1. Start every paragraph with a topic sentence that transmits the main question;
  2. Then tell why you think that your arguments are true;
  3. Finish the paragraph by providing evidence (facts, statistics, quotes, and so on).

Following the steps above, you can work on all three body paragraphs. Don’t forget to write a brief overview of the three arguments in your introduction, as it will save lots of your time and you won’t have to think of what to write about in the body paragraphs.

3. Make a conclusion

Finally, you can proceed with writing an introduction. For many students, this section is the most challenging one, because you need to briefly summarize all of your findings and once again persuade the reader that your point of view is correct.

However, you can’t use the same words and sentences that you used in your body paragraphs. Make sure you paraphrase your ideas without any plagiarism. The final sentence of your essay should once again state the main idea of your essay. Make sure you don’t include any new details to this section because it will only confuse the audience.

Tips for writing a 5 paragraph essay

If you want to impress the reader, make sure you follow the tips below:

  1. When writing the conclusion, make sure that you summarize arguments and restate thesis without plagiarism. Remain original and always use different vocabulary. Don’t forget about a final powerful message that will leave a positive impression on the audience.
  2. When writing a 5 paragraph essay outline range the arguments according to relevance. Your essay should be not more than 500 words long, so it is crucial to focus only on the key ideas.
  3. Always revise and edit your final draft. This means that you must reread the essay as many times as needed to make sure that it contains no grammar or spelling errors.
  4. Make sure that your essay has a logical and a clear flow without any gaps.
  5. Try to avoid passive voice.
  6. Always follow the formatting requirements and peculiarities. Different educational institutions may have completely different demands. That is why it is important to talk to your tutor and get all the information in advance. If not, you risk of getting a low grade or having to rewrite the paper anew.

5 paragraph essay transitions

You probably know that it is impossible to create a smooth and readable text without transition words. They act as clues, guiding the reader through paragraphs. The best thing you can do is to download a full list of transition words and print them out. If you don’t want to bother yourself with the search, here are some of the words and constructions that you may use:

  • Likewise
  • Also
  • In addition
  • Unlike
  • Yet
  • While
  • Besides
  • Even though
  • Instead
  • Despite
  • On condition
  • To put it simple
  • In other words

5 paragraph essay rubric

If you want to get the highest test grade, writing a five paragraph paper is a must. They make up a big part of your course score, so it is necessary to do your best to succeed. Keep in mind, despite being similar to 5-paragraph essay, SAT essay rubric slightly differs.

Here are the parts that make up the grading rubric:

  1. Organization. Did you manage to follow a 5 paragraph essay outline? Did you provide a smooth transition between sections? What is the general flow?
  2. Focus. Did you manage to support the thesis? Did you meet your goals?
  3. Conventions. Did you fix all the spelling, grammar, and punctuation mistakes? Is the text readable?
  4. Content. Was your evidence factual and correct? Were the arguments persuasive?
  5. Style.  Were you creative in choosing the vocabulary?

In case you see that you can’t meet all of the above criteria, it is better to contact a professional writer that will provide you with the best solution. The prices are more than affordable, and you will get an outstanding essay, written by real professionals. There won’t be any delays and stress about weak argumentation or lack of reliable sources. Entrust your essay to experienced writers and get the highest test score!

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