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Writing a 5 Paragraph Essay: Tips for Beginners

A five paragraph essay is definitely an assignment any student has to face during high school or college years. Such an essay is often given during such popular tests as the SAT, IELTS, and TOEFL. If you are getting ready for the test, you should remember that you are limited in time and need to remember its structure not to waste time during the test.

The best part of such a paper is that topic selection is not limited, and you are very flexible when choosing a format and what to write about. There are six general types of five-paragraph assignments depending on the subject and the goal you need to achieve:

  • Argumentative. You need to provide arguments and evidence on a given topic;
  • Persuasive. Your main goal is to persuade the reader to accept your point of view;
  • Narrative. You need to describe an event, a person, or a certain matter in bright and vivid language;
  • Expository, which is used to explain a certain term or issue to the audience;
  • Compare and contrast. With its help, you find similarities and differences of two or more analyzed issues;
  • Cause and effect. Your aim is to explain what caused a certain matter or event and what consequences it may have.

If you want to learn how to write a 5 paragraph essay, you should first remember and understand all the peculiarities of the tasks and their main requirements. However, all of them contain five paragraphs, which makes it quite easier for you to get the whole point.

Once you know what type of essay you need to complete, it is important to understand all the requirements imposed by your professor. Here are the main points your teacher will notice while reading your essay:

  • Organization. Make sure every paragraph is smooth and simple to read, connected with transition words and phrases. You need to follow your outline and the accepted structure to make sure your essay is effective and clear;
  • Focus. You need to support your thesis throughout the whole essay, so don’t forget to get back to this sentence any time you feel like you are losing track of the key points;
  • Conventions. Apart from providing an outstanding essay, you need to check every line for possible mistakes and imperfections. You need to eliminate spelling, grammar, and lexical errors and polish your paper by using special software or the assistance of your friends;
  • Content. Your evidence should always be logical and clear, and your arguments should be persuasive and strong;
  • Style. Not depending on the topic, you should always remain creative and have a personal opinion on the subject.

Remember, a five-paragraph paper has many variations, which may cause lots of confusions. If you want to become an outstanding writer and get a high grade, you should avoid such mistakes as:

  • Wrongly chosen topic. If you don’t like it or the audience is not interested in the subject, you won’t be able to deliver your message in the best way;
  • Bad argumentation. You should devote enough time to analyzing sources and finding evidence for your essay;
  • Confusing essay types. Before starting your work, make sure you know what essay type you are required to complete;
  • Not following the structure. Always stick to your outline to make your essay smooth and readable;
  • Having no time to fix mistakes. Don’t forget to proofread your essay and fix all the typos and errors

Five Paragraph Essay Examples

Many students find it quite difficult to understand the assignment, which has so many variations and requirements. That is why they turn to a 5 paragraph essay example, which can become a pattern for future work.

All you need to do is to download a 5 paragraph essay template on one of the similar topics, make notes, and then adjust the structure to your own work. In such a way, you will save lots of time and energy on completing your own work!

5 Paragraph Essay: Outline, Template & Format

When you start working on the assignment, you need to pay careful attention to the 5 paragraph essay outline. It should become a skeleton of your future work, saving lots of time and nerves in deciding what to write about.

A regular outline of such an essay has the following structure:

  • Introduction;
  • Three main paragraphs;
  • Conclusion;
  • References

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Start your essay with a catchy and remarkable introduction. Its length should be around three-five sentences and a hook. The so-called hook is a sentence that will catch interest of the reader and make him want to learn more about the topic. Your hook can be an anecdote, a joke, a quote, or a rhetorical question. You should also introduce the audience to the main arguments, simply enumerating them without providing any additional details. At the end of this paragraph, you need to complete a thesis statement.

Remember that your thesis should always be the strongest argument of your work, basing all the essay’s evidence on this particular sentence. If you notice that your main paragraphs don’t relate to your thesis, you should better rewrite it.

Completing main paragraphs can be considered the heart of writing a 5 paragraph essay. Start every paragraph with the key argument and support it in the following sentences (5-7 per paragraph). Every paragraph should end with a conclusion sentence, which will sum up the claim and obtained results.

The last paragraph of your essay, the conclusion, should be a summary of the whole work. Surprisingly it may become the most challenging section, as you need to make a short summary of your paper and make predictions, which can be a real challenge for most of the students.

Don’t introduce new information to this section, and provide your ideas in a clear and understandable way. If possible, add another hook sentence or motivate the reader to examine the topic further.

Remember, following the accepted structure will help you to save lots of time and avoid mistakes, so take our recommendations seriously

5 Paragraph Essay Topics and Rubrics

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Completing a 5 paragraph essay may become a challenge for those who don’t know what to write about. Luckily, we have made a list of the most popular and winning topics you can use. Just choose the one you like and start writing your essay!

  1. Who are your personal role models or heroes? Why?
  2. How can we protect endangered species from extinction?
  3. Why will soccer never gain the same popularity in the U.S. as it has in Europe?
  4. Should teachers allow the usage of smartphones in classes?
  5. Should we blame fast-food producers for eating disorders and obesity?
  6. Why having a degree doesn’t equal a well-paid job;
  7. Politicians are always overpaid;
  8. Will e-books and electronic devices replace regular books?
  9. Why it is important to learn a second language;
  10. Should the death penalty be prohibited around the world?
  11. If you had a chance to meet any person you want, who would it be?
  12. Why it is immoral to use animals for testing various products;
  13. A perfect age for dating;
  14. Should girls and boys study in different classes?
  15. Should fashion define your personality?

Don’t forget that the topic you choose may explain your personality and convey an important message to the reader. That is why you should always take the process of choosing an issue to discuss very seriously.

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