A 5-paragraph essay is a writing task students get to check their knowledge level on a specific subject. This essay type follows a standard structure and contains of introductory paragraph, 3 main body paragraphs and a concluding paragraph. However, even though the paper should follow a specific format, it does not mean that this task is easy to do.

Students who do not want to ruin their academic career should learn how to do this writing task. Otherwise, poor performance can sufficiently influence student’ marks and lead to unpleasant consequences. In order to complete 5-paragraph essay properly, a student should be able to express specific ideas clearly, he/she should also be able to work with different concepts and ideas learnt during classes and provide them in an organized manner.

Writing an essay of such type is the first step towards building a strong basis for further development of writing skills and for working with writing assignment of more complex type. Consequently, the success of each students may depend on how good he/she writes simple 5-paragraph essays.

Outline Writing

General structure of the 5-paragraph paper looks as follows:

  1. Introductory Paragraph
  2. Main Body
  • 1st Point
  • 2nd Point
  • 3rd Point
  1. Concluding Paragraph

In order to make the readers interesting in what you write, you should make sure that the introductory paragraph contains some hook. It should attract the attention of the readers to the extent that they continue reading the paper. Further, you will have to develop the main topic in your main body by providing supporting points. Conclusion serves as a tool of summarizing the above-provided information.

Introductory Part

The main requirements to this section include the following:

  • It should be relatively short (3 to 5 sentences);
  • It should set a tone of the paper;
  • It should start with a hook or attention grabber;
  • The section ends with a thesis statement;
  • The hook may be a quote, joke, some fact or statistics, etc.

First Sentence

Depending on the topic of your paper, you can start your introduction with a question that will encourage the readers to think about the topic and create their own position regarding it.

You do not have to answer this question after asking it. It will be used just to get the readers’ attention. You will provide facts to support your main point further in the paper. If you have problems with completing this essay type, you should look for paper samples online to understand how they should be written or ask us for professional writing assistance.

Supporting Arguments

  • After providing a hook, it is necessary to introduce the argument you are going to make;
  • You do not have to explain the argument in details, it will be done later;
  • It should be a clear statement of what you are going to discuss with a hint on your position. For example: Racism is a serious issue and it should be addressed both on the federal and local levels.


  • It is the strongest claim and the main idea of the paper.
  • All your paper will be based on thesis so you should make sure that it is clear and well-articulated.
  • Make sure there is a strong relation of thesis to the arguments in the main body.

Main Body

Each body paragraph should be approximately 6-7 sentence long. Three paragraphs of the main body should provide 3 clear points to support your thesis. The paragraphs in the main body should be formatted in the same way. Tips for writing main body paragraphs:

  • Start with the strongest argument as your first point;
  • The second paragraph may present a bit weaker point;
  • The final paragraph will also have to provide a bit stronger argument.

Concluding Paragraph

  1. It is recommended to start conclusion with a restatement of a thesis statement. It will remind the readers what the central point of the paper was.
  2. Make sure you mention all the supporting arguments presented earlier.
  3. Do not provide new information or citations in this paper part.

You can also provide some sort of a concluding hook. It is a sentence that is aimed at motivating the readers to take actions towards solving of the discussed issue. It can be a call for action or a question that will make the future discussion possible.

Tips on Writing a Five-Paragraph Essay

The following tips can be used by the students to write a 5-paragraph essay. Basically, these tips are suitable for essays regardless of their topics.

So, each writing should start frompicking a topic. You can be given a particular topic to work with or you may be allowed to choose it on your own. After it is done, follow these steps:

  1. Think about your main position in a paper and design your thesis statement;
  2. Think about points that can support your main idea. They will form your main body argument;
  3. Start with a catchy introductory paragraph (follow the tips provided above);
  4. Write all three paragraphs of the main body by providing the main evidences (one for each paragraph);
  5. Make sure you use transitional sentences at the end of each paragraph. They will lead the readers to the next supporting points;
  6. Provide second evidence. Make sure all your evidences are based on the thesis presented in the introduction;
  7. Use transitional sentence at the end of the paragraph that will lead to the final supporting point;
  8. Make the same for the third paragraph and your supporting evidence;
  9. Restate thesis at the beginning of your concluding paragraph. Further, restate the three points that were used as supporting points.
  10. Finalize your conclusion with the hook sentence, which can be presented in a form of a statement, call for action, question, etc.

If you can handle these simple steps, you will not have problems with completing your writing assignment. You should include reliable supporting facts to make your essay strong.

Types of 5-paragraph Essay Papers

Depending on the purpose of your essay, it may be of different types. It means that sometimes, the essays do not require serious or very narrow topics. On the contrary, you may be required to write something more like a story to deliver a specific message.

Consequently, the types of essays include:

  • Definition essay. It is an essay type, in which the writer provide personal interpretation of terms;
  • Descriptive essay. It is aimed at providing details in regard to a specific topic or a problem.
  • Narrative. This essay is connected to telling a story by the writer.
  • Persuasive. The name of this essay speaks for itself. The role of the writer is to persuade the reader in that his position on some issue is correct and should be supporter. To reach the aim, a writer will have to provide reliable facts and statements that will help to convince the readers.
  • Compare and contrast essay. In this essay, a writer explains the differences and similarities pf some objects.
  • Cause and effect. This essay provides information on something that happened, its causes and the consequences of the event.
  • Literary analysis. In this essay, a writer analyzes some literary piece, e.g. poem, book, etc.

Paper Topics Examples

Below is a list of topics that can be chosen for different essay types. Choosing a topic is very responsible, as you are supposed to talk about something you really know about. If you are not aware of the details regarding your topic, it may be very difficult for you to provide convincing information and make the readers interested in what you are going to say.

  1. Will sharing personal goods with other people lead to improvement of overall well-being of the society members?
  2. Is there a relation between bullying and development of dictatorship traits in children?
  3. Does fashion influence the development of personality?
  4. Hollywood is a tool of manipulating human minds.
  5. Pros and cons of death penalty.
  6. The scientists should be denied an opportunity to test drugs on animals.
  7. Is there a right age for creating a family?
  8. E-learning vs traditional curriculum: What is better?
  9. Mobile phones as a new educational tool.
  10. Is it possible to stop obesity by banning fast food companies?
  11. More freedom during lessons leads to better performanceof the students.
  12. Why does soccer have no future in the USA?
  13. The students need to take more tests to learn better.
  14. Why do girls and boys should learn separately?
  15. Protecting nature is the only way to ensure bright future for our children.

5-paragraph Essay Example to Read (Tone on Living to One’s Self)

To begin with, tone in the context of literature refers to the attitude or feelings of the writer. They are portrayed by scenery, emotions and even sounds. Tone may be sad, serious, irritated, considerate, playful, or sarcastic among others. Hazlitt William has used tone in his work to bring out different impersonation of his feelings. To start with, Hazlitt brings out the tone of happiness in paragraph one when he acknowledges that he has never been in a better place than that one at his time of writing. More to this point, he notifies the readers that he is having a bird called partridge for his supper. On the same paragraph, tone of seriousness is portrayed when he says that “it is as sound to do it at once as to enclose it to do for a week to come”. He prefers doing his work in time rather than rescheduling it for a later date.

Storming, soft and thoughtful tone has been employed throughout the story as Hazlitt tries to bring out his points in a thoughtful manner as he contemplates on his past being. He was in the past so unwilling to write and this is portrayed when he says that his mind takes its air travel through too elongated a cycle of years. He further says that during this time he was kept by the patience of thought and undisclosed longing after truth and good him to be at a defeat to comprehend the feeling he proposed to write about.

Following this point, in paragraph three, the writer has employed tone of irony when he says that “living to one’s self” means “never thinking at all to one’s-self.” He wants to convey the message of contentment to the society by not saying it directly and thus he portrays an attitude of being paradoxical. In the same line of thought, he mixes a tone of humor and irony when he says that he used to write a page in a duration of half a year and yet  he laughed at Nicholson, who in twenty years wrote as much as would make three hundred octavo volumes”. This is ironic and humorous.

The writer brings out the tone of anger and sadness as he remorsefully recalls the past, when he says in paragraph four that “I cared for nothing, I wanted nothing.” This is in reference to the kind of life that he led before writing the given literal work. On the same paragraph, he brings out an allegorical and good-humored tone when he refers to a contented person as one with freedom like air and self-governing like wind”.

From a general point of view, the tone of the author is a remorseful one mixed with a sense of understanding and an aspect of taking an about turn to do that which he used not to do. He was in this sense reluctant to write of which he has finally decided to. At the same time, the author brings out an aspect of coming out from ignorance to action. It is in fact a thoughtful tone that has been explained throughout the story.  

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