What Is a 5-Paragraph Essay

What Is a 5-Paragraph Essay

Before going deep into what a five-paragraph essay entails and then discuss the principles on how to write such an essay, it is paramount to define what it is. This will enable us to be clear about the piece and its requirements right from the start.

What is a Five-Paragraph Essay?

What is a five-paragraph essay? It is an essay that is written in prose form and is more often used in academic settings. It is characterized by five paragraphs which include the introductory paragraph, three paragraphs which entail the body of the essay, and a final concluding paragraph. Students mostly use this format of a five-paragraph essay in writing essays for the English subject, and it sets the standard method of testing throughout primary English Education.

Importance of Learning How to Write a 5-Paragraph Essay

As seen from the description, it is crucial for you to not only learn how to write a 5-paragraph essay but also to be an expert in such compositions. It is an essential skill that is developed with more practice, and it will be helpful to you in your early English classes. Learning how to write such essays will enable you to express your opinions, arguments, and ideas followed with supportive evidence to make your claims credible. Students also get to learn other forms of an essay as a result of first of all mastering the 5-paragraph essay.

Additionally, the 5-paragraph essay is a concise essay packed with the right ideas and information in five paragraphs, and it teaches students to discuss relevant and useful points which build the piece. There is no chance to discuss other irrelevant things as it will limit the amount of helpful information that you can review in a given paragraph.

Types of 5-Paragraph Essays

Having defined what a 5-paragraph essay is and its importance, there are various types of 5-paragraph essays. It is now imperative to consider the types of 5-paragraph essays. These include:

  1. Expository essays
  2. Narrative essays
  3. Argumentative essays
  4. Cause and effect essays
  5. Persuasive essays

Considering these types of essays, students may write 5-paragraph essays in school, especially in English essay writing. This type of academic-oriented essay is referred to as an academic 5-paragraph essay.

Steps of Writing a 5-Paragraph Essay

  1. Select a topic. The topic may be pre-selected like in the case of schooling, whereby the teacher provides a specific topic to be discussed in the essay and for the student to answer a particular question. The issue may also be selected directly by the individual writer.
  2. Develop an outline for the 5-paragraph essay. Just like for any other piece, it is crucial to create an overview. When it comes to designing a 5-paragraph essay outline, there are some few tips which you should pay attention to. These tips are outlined below.
  • Identify the topic of discussion
  • Create a basic outline of the essay
  • Develop the framework of the introduction
  • Come up with points to discuss in each paragraph.
  • Design a conclusion
  • Create a reference or work cited list.
  1. Select the format to write the essay
  2. Read wide and select the reference materials to use.

How to Write a 5-Paragraph Essay

When it comes to how to write a 5-paragraph essay, there are a few basic things which you should pay attention to and include them in your essay. These are what we call the essential parts of the 5-paragraph essay. As you have seen, every paragraph in the piece is crucial as it should contain its information. This, in turn, will determine the general approach to the topic and enables you to earn a high grade in your writing.

The essential parts of the 5-paragraph essay include:

  1. Paragraph Essay Introduction

The paragraph essay introduction should accomplish two to three roles in the essay.

  1. To capture the attention of the reader.

Here, the best way to capture the attention of the reader is to use a “hook,” which is an opening statement that is fascinating and immediately raises the interest of the reader. Such an opening statement may contain a rhetorical question, an anecdote, an analogy, or even an interesting fact on the topic of discussion. The more you practice developing a “hook” in your writing, the better you will become at it.

  1. To introduce the topic of discussion to the reader

At the introduction is where the writer states the topic of discussion. This can be done indirectly where you lean towards a given topic and or the use of specific words which refer to the issue or directly through a statement which tells the reader that this is the topic to be discussed.

  • To give the thesis statement of the writer which will form the basis of the discussion in the essay

This is the last bit of the paragraph essay introduction, whereby the writer needs to give a thesis statement. A thesis statement is the last sentence in the introductory paragraph, which should provide the specific opinion or distinct argument of the writer concerning the topic, and it should be clear and precise. The thesis statement will then determine the discussions that will be included in the other paragraphs and the conclusion.

  1. Paragraph Essay Body

In term of the body of the essay, there are three paragraphs which have been set aside for that. These paragraphs should be used to discuss the thesis statement as provided by the writer in the introduction. The sections should be in a systematic order, and each paragraph has four features.

  1. The first sentence or topic sentence. The very first sentence of the paragraph is unique because it contains the topic or main issue to be discussed in the essay. You should pay attention to this sentence because it sets the main discussion point of the paragraph.
  2. The additional supportive sentences in the paragraph. These are called supportive sentences because they follow up and address the topic that was introduced in the first sentence of the paragraph. These sentences are about four to eight sentences, and they contain detail where the writer presents the arguments, defense, and relevant supportive facts and evidence that concur with the first sentence of the paragraph.
  3. The opinion or commentary sentence. This refers to the sentence whereby the writer gives his or her opinion concerning the given argument in a particular paragraph. This is the feedback from the writer concerning the presented evidence.
  4. The concluding sentence

The final sentence in the paragraph essay conclusion is the closing sentence in each paragraph. It contains the summary of the argument and or a concluding statement concerning the argument. It also plays the role of ending the discussion and ushering in a new point in the next paragraph.

  1. Paragraph Essay Conclusion

In the paragraph essay conclusion, there are also some key things to always remember as part of the basic parts of the 5-paragraph essay. Here there are three things to consider:

  • Remember to summarise your work. This includes summarising your thesis statement, the main points of the paragraphs, and then the concluding opinion.
  • Remember to give an attractive, catchy statement in the conclusion, or maybe an opinion. This will leave the reader with a good impression of the essay.
  • Remember also to give a specific recommendation that can be of great benefit for the topic.

Essential but Non-Spoken Tips to Improve Your 5-Paragraph Essay

These are points that are not commonly discussed, but they will tremendously improve your essay writing skills:

  1. Use transitional words. These are quite essential in writing the essay as they establish the flow of ideas in the piece. Moreover, the use of transitional sentences enhances the reading experience for your essay. This works primarily in the case of academic 5-paragraph essay whereby the examiner is trying to establish the level of knowledge of the topic as well as mastery in writing skills. Such transitional words include; moreover, additionally, furthermore, and many more.
  2. Focus on the topic at hand. Do not deviate from the topic by discussing other information that does not build the argument or the essay.
  3. Use a formal language, especially in the case of academic 5-paragraph essay writing where the student is focussing on showing mastery of the English language.
  4. Establish a good flow of ideas and present the work in a manner that shows the progression from one idea to another. This should also be evident in the supportive paragraphs of the essay.
  5. Go through your work so that there is little to no mistakes in the entire essay. This remains one of the most useful yet the unused tip for excellent essay writing.

5-Paragraph Essay Example

When it comes to the 5-paragraph essay example, there are many examples of such essays and more so in the line of argumentative, cause and effect, and persuasive essays in the academic setting. These are essays that are based on the argumentation and development of a series of evidence-based information for the benefit of showing that you understand a topic thoroughly and to earn a high grade in the subject. Examples of the topics that are covered in a 5-paragraph essay example in the academic setting include:

  • Democracy is the best form of government in a nation
  • Both boys and girls have a right to determine whether they should go to school to be educated or not
  • Slave trade is an inhumane act
  • The nations of the world should, in togetherness, ban nuclear weapons
  • The higher the economic power of a country, the greater its political power
  • Home-based learning is not as efficient as school-based learning
  • Teachers should be allowed to punish students who do not obey school laws
  • Students have a right to decide which career they want to pursue in their lives.

These topics outlined above are just but a few examples of some of the issues that can be discussed and illustrate an excellent 5-paragraph essay example after adhering to all the above points of writing this type of an essay.

5 Paragraph Essay Topics

Having considered the various great ways to design a 5-paragraph essay, some of the best 5 paragraph essay topics that you could discuss include:

  • Fast foods are associated with obesity
  • Students who play videogames have low grades in school
  • The more you earn in your career, the more you are satisfied with life
  • The government is good for the high-class people of society
  • Children need to play more than to focus on academics
  • Healthy living refers to having a good fitness routine and regular gym attendance
  • The more educated you are, the more income you will learn
  • Scientific innovations, like mobile phones, have improved our lives
  • The use of social media is associated with high rates of depression among young people
  • Politicians should earn less money as compared to C.E.O.s of business organizations
  • The use of mobile phones is making people have less social interaction
  • Road traffic signs are useful in minimizing road accidents.

This list of 5 paragraph essay topics presents some of the most common issues in our societies that form a basis of exceptional arguments.


In conclusion, we have answered the question “What is a five-paragraph essay?” and outlined how to write a 5-paragraph essay. We have also discussed what is entailed in a 5-paragraph essay outline and the basic parts of the 5-paragraph essay. What is left is to implement such tips to enhance your writing experience.

In addition, pay special attention to the essential tips of writing a 5-paragraph essay that are rarely mentioned including the following; Use of transitional words, focusing on the topic at hand, using an appropriate language for the essay based on the reader, establish a good flow of ideas in the piece, and finally go through your work after completion. Having followed all these tips, there is a high likelihood that you will come up with a masterpiece of an essay that will amaze not only you but also the target reader.