We’ll bring it all into focus for you and give you an educational example of a five paragraph essay. We will begin with this clear introduction, which is exactly what your opening introduction (and first paragraph) of your essay should address. In our example of a five paragraph essay we will discuss how long we think the essay should be, the sorts of topics you could write about and how to make your essay interesting (and not too wordy).
Here is a scheme that shows the structure of a five-paragraph essay. As we can see, a basic five paragraph essay consists of five structural elements, which are often likened to layers of the hamburger. These structural elements include: introduction, a few body paragraphs, and a conclusion:
Our first body paragraph (your second paragraph of your five paragraph essay) will talk about the length of your essay. Typically most lecturers or teachers will assign the length they would like your essay to be. We think it is best to draft out a word count plan first so you can break your essay down. This is extremely helpful if you feel you are procrastinating and you need a kick up the backside to get the momentum going. If you have been given the instruction that your essay should be 500 words, then the math is simple. Simple break each paragraph down into equal words and now all you have to think about is writing excellent material in 100 words per paragraph.
Our second body paragraph (your third paragraph of our example of a five paragraph essay) is what can you write about. Most lecturers will set the topic but if you want originality then you need to dig a bit deeper into the topic. What is your opinion on what you have been asked to demonstrate? Do you have a strong perspective you want to give? If so this is where you can start doing some research to prove you know your stuff. Don’t sit on the fence when you write your essay. You are, in many cases, being asked to give your interpretation or argument to the material so bring it. If you are up for a good debate this is your opportunity to really show key strengths.
Our third body paragraph (the fourth paragraph of our five paragraph essay) is to help you focus on the structure of your sentences that will create a great essay. First thing, keep your sentences short. Make a statement and then back it up. Use keywords like; in this essay, we discuss the differences, or this is how we can illustrate why this situation/event has occurred. Illustrate is a great keyword because immediately you know what you have to do and your reader is immediately influenced by this strong action word.
In our closing statement (our fifth paragraph of our example of a five paragraph essay) we want you to reflect on the points you are trying to make and reiterate them here. Remember your job in your essay is to inform and educate your reader. You want to be seen as an authority on the topic and the better research you have done the better you will write. Your research arms you with vital insights that will help you separate the facts from fiction. Your writing is then just an extension of your research.
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