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Mastering The 5 Paragraph Essay Outline

The five-paragraph essay outline refers to the most common structure when it comes to writing an essay. The greatest advantage of this particular format of an essay outline is its incredible flexibility. Regardless of topic or nature (whether it’s a debate, analysis or narration) of the written piece, there’s a very good chance that this structure will work for you.

If you’re generally new to writing, the basic five-paragraph essay outline is a good place to start. It enforces some much-needed discipline for amateur writers. Otherwise, everything you write will sound awkward and lack the proper flow we’ve typically come to expect from the pieces we read.

In addition, it’s also a great way to determine if the topic you’ve chosen will allow you to reach the word count and also whether it has the potential to make for a great essay. This is because the usual 5 paragraph essay comprises all the essential sections that make a great and complete piece of writing. Therefore if the content of your article can fit perfectly into this outline, it means you’ve chosen a great topic to work with.

Five Paragraph Essay Structure And Format

This template is broken down into five sections, and each is allocated one paragraph only, hence the name. While the actual names of each section may vary, they will all mean the same thing.

What is the typical 5 paragraph essay structure?

  1. Introduction – This is your first and only chance to really ‘hook’ your reader. Hence the introduction needs to have a brief summary of what to expect from the rest of the article, some interesting information surrounding the topic and your thesis statement. Ideally, you would write this last.
  2. Body one – Typically, when creating the body paragraph outline, you allocate one sub-topic to each paragraph. We highly recommend that you write about your most interesting sub-topic or argument in the first paragraph so you can keep your reader hooked for longer. However, if they follow a chronological order, make sure that you stick to that. In addition, you should also write your first claim and relevant supporting evidence.
  3. Body two – Likewise, here you introduce your second sub-topic, second claim, and evidence to support it.
  4. Body three – the same template as the first and second body paragraphs should be followed in the third and final paragraph.
  5. Conclusion – this is the final section of the essay, where you wrap up everything. You need a write a brief but comprehensive summary of the details presented and discussed in the body. This way if someone has not read the entire essay, he/she will have a basic idea of the content. In this section, you should also either reject or accept your thesis statement and perhaps give some call-to-action if possible.

What Is The 5 Paragraph Essay Format?

In this case, the words ‘format’ and ‘structure’ are interchangeable. The above is the usual essay format, and you can probably see now why it is the most common structure for writing. It takes the reader smoothly through the content from start to finish, while setting expectations at the very beginning and wrapping up at the end.

How To Write A 5 Paragraph Essay Outline

The above format should give you a good idea of what goes into a typical essay. Even the best and most reputed college essay writing service will use it very often. Now, it’s time to dive deeper into each section with some specific tips. While a five paragraph essay outline isn’t supposed to be very detailed, it still helps to include the right amount of information. Otherwise, you won’t have a clear sense of direction when you’re actually writing a 5 paragraph essay.

Writing A Killer Opener For The Introduction

If you want to write a great opening line, you should know how to package it as a solution to a specific problem. In addition, it should also be clear and catchy and more importantly, describe the reader’s personal stake in it. For instance, let’s say your essay is about a new method to clear up air pollution. Everyone is for cleaner air but to get them actually excited about it, you’re going to have to state why they should care. So when you’re making the outline, write down everything your target audience cares most about when it comes to air pollution: the safety of their children, how smog ruins the aesthetic of their city, or chronic health problems are examples.

How To Plan Great Body Paragraphs

When you’re making your outline for body paragraphs, don’t just stop at the sub-topics. List out in short bullet points what you’re going to include in each of the three. Since paragraphs shouldn’t be more than 4-5 lines, we recommend that you make your claim in the first line, present your evidence in the next 2-3 lines and use the last line to make a conclusion statement that ties everything together.

Give People Something To Think About At The End

Something every writer should strive for is to put a dent in the reader’s memory. If they think about the contents of your essay repeatedly over the next few days, then you’ve had a big impact. A great way to do this is by including a call-to-action in your outline. For instance, if you’re essay is about combating air pollution, end the essay with a suggestion of what the reader can do to reduce it. By addressing the reader directly like this, you’ll ensure that your essay is more memorable.

5 Paragraph Essay Outline Template

Combining everything we’ve learned so far, the five-paragraph essay structure should look like this:

I. Introduction

A. Opening statement (‘hook’)

B. General information about the topic

C. What to expect in this essay

D. Thesis statement

II Body (Repeat for three paragraphs)

A. Claim

B. Supporting Evidence

C. Conclusion statement

III Conclusion

A. Accept or reject the thesis statement

B. A brief recap of the major details

C. Conclusion statement

D. Call-to-action statement

To summarize, this essay outline is the most common and in the vast majority of cases, the most effective. It’s a great way for amateurs to sharpen their writing skills and writers of any level can utilize this whenever in doubt. We hope you make use of the above-established template to propel your essays to the next level. Hence if you want to learn how to write 5 paragraph essay outlines, make sure you read this article in its entirety.

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