The five-paragraph essay: Beginners’ Guide with Examples

five paragraph essay featured

The 5 paragraph essay is the most standard type of essay writing assignment. You will be ready to tackle any other one once you’ve learned how to compose it. A five-paragraph essay is a concise framework for writing an entire essay that condenses the essential components of an article into only five paragraphs.

Although the five-paragraph essay format lacks intricacy, it is effective in assisting students and academics in structuring essential works.

If you’re having problems writing, the five-paragraph essay format might serve as a guide or template. We’ll go through the basics of the five-paragraph essay, including how to write one and what to include.

What is a 5 paragraph essay?

A five-paragraph essay is basically a prose composition with a predetermined framework of an opening paragraph, body paragraphs (3), and a concluding paragraph that is generally taught during early English education and used on standardized tests throughout schooling such as the TOEFL, IELTS, and SAT.

Students are trained to memorize this pattern because most of these exams limit students’ time on the “Writing” component of an exam. This enables pupils to respond to the exam prompt promptly and efficiently.

Because of the tiered structure, this sort of writing is also known as a hamburger essay, one-three-one, or a three-tier essay.

Writing a high-quality five-paragraph essay is an essential ability for students in early English classes because it helps them to articulate particular ideas, claims, or thoughts in an organized manner, replete with evidence that supports each of these beliefs.

There aren’t many five-paragraph essay examples in literature since the format is too short. The five-paragraph essay format is more commonly used for academic projects such as school papers or brief writing exercises. Consider it a writing tool to guide structure rather than an autonomous essay genre.

The five-paragraph essay style is appealing because it can accommodate many types of writing. If your topic is simple enough to be covered in five paragraphs, you can use the framework of a five-paragraph essay to communicate clearly and rationally.

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What are the types of 5 paragraph essays?

There are various types of 5-paragraph essays that are used for standardized tests. Each of these types varies on goals, objectives, and how it is presented. The essay structure or format remains almost the same. Here are the common types that you may encounter as an assignment:

  • Definition- Includes a personal meaning of the term or phrase in addition to the official one from the dictionary.
  • Descriptive – Includes as many specifics as possible to illustrate the study problem.
  • Narrative – a story told with vivid examples.
  • Argumentative and persuasive essays: The writer in an argumentative essay just needs to mention and defend their own opinion on the analyzed subject. In a persuasive essay, it is also necessary to defend your argument and persuade readers of your facts.
  • Compare and contrast – displays the contrasts and similarities between two or more subjects.
  • Cause and effect – explains why something happens and the repercussions of those actions.
  • Literary analysis – selects a specific literary text, such as a poem or essay, and analyses it.

Keep in mind that there are distinct rules for each style of essay while selecting one. After making your ultimate decision, delve deeper and discover more about it.

5-paragraph essay example topics

Examine the ten subject example ideas from various categories listed below. The subjects for 5 paragraph essays presented here are some of the most prevalent topics on which students compose essays. Choose those you favor, or propose new techniques to debate:

  • Is it possible to acquire a life lesson from an experience that one did not have?
  • Wealthy countries should share their resources with developing countries.
  • Should education be made available to all students?
  • Discrimination against female employees at work.
  • Should the death penalty be entirely abolished?
  • Male and female students have separate classes.
  • The significance of investing in space exploration
  • Living in a world where there are no rules
  • Should same-gender marriage be permitted?
  • The significance of sophisticated technologies in education

5-paragraph essay outline with examples

It is critical to adhere to the framework when writing a 5 paragraph essay. As previously stated, the standard essay format begins with an introduction, continues with three body paragraphs, and concludes with a conclusion. Each body paragraph should serve a distinct goal, and the essay should be shaped like a keyhole. This indicates that it begins pretty broad, gradually narrows, then ends very broad.

Introduction: 3-5 Sentences

So, let’s look at how to construct an essay’s beginning paragraph. Consider using a hook to make a solid first impression. A hook is a 1-2 captivating sentence that entices the reader to read the rest of the material. 

Some examples of a hook include – a rhetorical question, literary quote, joke, anecdote, metaphor, simile, a famous person saying, fact, or statistical data. However, verifying the integrity of the information you utilize is critical.

To summarize, 

  • The initial sentence of the introduction serves as the hook sentence for the rest of the essay.
  • Hook sentences spark a fire in the reader’s mind, and it piques their interest.
  • Usually, the hook can be a rhetorical question, a real-life example, or a startling truth.

Example: If your article is on ocean preservation, you may state something like, “Do we wish to exist on a planet surrounded by polluted water filled with plastic?” 

This is a rhetorical question where the answer is self-evident. 

Introduction of supporting arguments – Here, you add your supporting arguments and introduce them to the reader succinctly, without disclosing too much information.

Note: Consider it as a trailer for a movie. It should be thrilling, but it must not reveal the “PLOT.”

Example: One of the cornerstones to keeping our world healthy is environmental preservation.

Thesis Statement – The Thesis Statement is a critical component of your entire essay – it is your argument. This sentence will serve as the foundation for the rest of your essay. Given that we’ve already discussed ocean preservation, here’s an example of a solid thesis:

“The most crucial part of keeping the Ocean pollution-free avoids tragedies and disasters and preserves marine life and our planet.”

Tip: If you feel that your body paragraphs have nothing to do with your thesis, you can go back and revise your argument.

Body Paragraphs (1 – 3)

Although all body paragraphs are essential, keep in mind that the introductory paragraph must be the most powerful and incorporate the most solid argument. The topic phrase should be the most vivid example, the most brilliant illustration, and the most precise beginning point for the writer. 

Remember to include a “reverse hook” statement. Furthermore, each body argument must be related to the thesis. Here are some further body facts:

  • This is the “core” of your 5-paragraph essay, where you clarify your position. In other words, the core must be relevant to your thesis statement.
  • A body paragraph is often structured as follows: Intro sentence (1), Supporting Argument Explanation (3-5), and a Concluding sentence. 
  • Usually, the first sentence should summarize your argument without exposing too much information.

Example: Plastic and marine pollution harm the environment, degrade water quality, and increase the chance of disease and degradation.

Here’s an example of choosing a topic and delving into it in depth while still defending your thesis.

Supporting arguments – Example

Greed and selfishness are the two most destructive forces in our ecosystem. They lead to practices that harm marine life and degrade water quality. Though it may be advantageous for a few in the short term, it is dangerous for all in the long run. Every year, approximately 8 million tonnes of plastic enter our oceans. 

Our oceans are estimated to contain 5.25 trillion particles of plastic trash. 269,000 tonnes float and 4 billion microfibers per square kilometer live beneath the surface. 70% of our garbage sinks into the ocean’s environment, 15% floats, and 15% ends up on our beaches.

The conclusion should be the opposite of the introduction. At this point, you’ll be concluding your argument instead of establishing it and transitioning into the next paragraph.

Example: To summarise, the depletion of our natural resources and poor marine quality harm the planet’s and humanity’s health.

All three paragraphs follow the same format. To summarize, the arguments should be presented in the following order:

  • Your strongest and greatest argument should be included in the first paragraph of the body.
  • Your weakest argument should be included in the second paragraph of the body.
  • The third body should contain your most convincing argument.

Conclusion: 3-5 Sentences

The following factors must be included in your paper’s final paragraph:

  • An allusion to what was expressed in the first section.
  • A reworked thesis statement that uses your own new, unique wording and meaning – do not simply copy and paste the thesis (avoid repeating the thesis).
  • An overview of the three main issues of the paper’s body.
  • A concluding comment that warns the reader that the conversation is coming to an end.
  • Examine the detailed descriptions of the suggested steps to create a good conclusion paragraph.

Revise Your Thesis (Sentence 1) – Restate your core argument (thesis) conclusively. Assertively paraphrasing Demonstrate that you have “proven your argument.”

Example of a concluding paragraph: The safety and survival of aquatic life are highly dependent on how we, as humans, choose to treat it, and the more attentively we treat the process, the better it will be for all.

Finish your supporting arguments (1-3 Sentences) – Restate the central ideas of your supporting arguments (body paragraphs) into one sentence per paragraph. So, what if some supporting reasons sound the same? – Merge them into a single sentence to maintain proper structure.

Thus, if one of your supporting arguments was to restrict the use of plastic, you could say something like, “Limiting the use of plastic is one of the most important key steps to enhancing the health of our world.”

Hook Sentence at the End (Optional) ‍- A great way to end an essay is to do something unexpected that surprises the reader. Consider creating another hook at this point. At this point, it should be a hook that summarises everything in a few words—rhetorical questions are excellent for this.

Example of a concluding paragraph: “The health of our world is critical, and we don’t want to live in a wasteland, do we?” 

Example for 5 paragraph essay outline – Why are history and culture necessary to humankind?

Introduction

  • Human beings have an inclination toward repeating mistakes, whether they are personal or societal flaws. Thankfully, we have now realized that war never changes, and this realization has resulted in immense wealth. (Hook) 
  • Discussing the significance of traditions, knowing our roots, and the evolution of the human race. (Background information)
  • Remembering and appreciating our past while simultaneously learning and building from it can assist the human race in accomplishing great things at an increasing rate.

Body Paragraph 1

  • Add a topic phrase that introduces traditions and why they are essential.
  • Include the importance of our traditions and how we might build on them.
  • Evidence of previous attempts (Language) (Sticks + Stones & Rifles).
  • Finally, a comment about the importance of tradition.

Body Paragraph 2

  • The topic sentence emphasizes the significance of embracing our culture.
  • Showing our roots and highlighting the importance of understanding ourselves.
  • Give examples (civilizations, empires, and cities).
  • Finally, add a remark about the importance of our beginnings.

Body Paragraph 3

  • The topic sentence emphasizes the significance of discussing our race.
  • Making use of our history to improve our future and learning from our faults
  • Illustrations (Less War, Technological Growth, Human Rights).
  • The importance of documentation.

Conclusion

  • Restate the thesis (We can develop a better future by examining our cultural and historical past)
  • Sum up the claims of traditions.
  • A summary of the advantages of discussing our race.
  • A summary of the cultural claim.
  • If we do not see our past as a valuable source of information, we are displaying ourselves as uneducated people. (Overall Concluding Remark)

Five-paragraph essay writing rubric

Several colleges and institutions around the world employ various sorts of rubrics, but one of the most common is the 5-point form. The five major components of this style are: 

Focus, Organization, Conventions, Style, and Content.

  • Focus: Did the author devote sufficient time to proving their thesis? Did they achieve their goal?
  • Organization: Was the essay legible? Were the transitions between paragraphs seamless? Did the essay writer adhere to the correct essay outline without wandering away from the established format?
  • Conventions: Did the author commit a lot of grammatical errors? Were there any run-on sentences?
  • Style: Did the writer employ an extensive vocabulary, did they rarely repeat terms, and how unique were their sentence structures?
  • Content: Did the writer effectively prove their point, and were their comments logical, trustworthy, and factual?

5 paragraph essay examples

Example 1:

Capybaras are excellent pets, and the rules prohibiting their ownership should be revisited. Capybaras are dog-sized animals native to eastern South America with coarse fur. They’re known as the most excellent animal on the earth, yet there are a lot of misconceptions out there about them as pets. Because they are classified as exotic animals, several legal limitations hinder people from keeping them as pets, but it is time to reconsider these rules.

Example 2:

Dogs have traditionally been regarded as man’s best companions. However, dogs are not the only animal companions that people appreciate. Many individuals consider cats to be their best friends. Contrary to the prevailing belief, cats make excellent house pets as they are good friends, a civilized part of the household, and very easy to care for. Let me explain why.

Cats make excellent friends. They will snuggle up and request to be caressed or scratched under the chin. Who can resist the sound of a purring cat? Cats are often somewhat playful when they are not feeling affectionate. They enjoy chasing balls and feathers — or just about anything dangling from a string. Cats will wrap up in your lap to slumber when they’re weary of chasing laser pointers. Cats are devoted housemates.

Example 3:

Advice for bettering one’s health is everywhere, including on websites, periodicals, and infomercials. Much of this advice is motivated by economic interests, such as those looking for questionable market products and diet gimmicks. However, some of it, particularly the part urging a regular fitness program, deserves serious consideration. A program like this, if it lasts at least thirty minutes three times a week and is approved by a person’s doctor, has a lot of advantages. Regular exercise relieves stress, improves muscle tone, and boosts stamina.

The release of tension is one of the most immediate effects of exercise. Tension builds in the body as a result of an excess of adrenaline created by stress, anxiety, or fear. Doctors agree that thirty minutes of exercise relieves stress. Petty irritations and frustrations should be less bothersome when the tension has been released. As a result, planned physical activity can help to reduce or control stress.

Conclusion

Overall, the 5-paragraph essay is the basic essay format that has five paras in total. It has one introductory paragraph, three body paragraphs, and one conclusion paragraph. Each paragraph in the body plays a distinct role. Typically, the essays are 500 words long, and writing an essay outline helps you structure your thoughts while also saving time.

You can follow the essay examples, tips, and outline given in this article for your reference to come up with a terrific 5-paragraph essay on your own. With enough practice, you can ace this format pretty quickly.

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