Practically all standardized tests at the high school and college-levels require you to write an essay in English to demonstrate your writing skills. The best approach is to utilize a basic 5 paragraph format to present your argument on a given topic. You will have the chance to defend your position utilizing three examples or supportive evidence as well as an introduction of the topic and a summary conclusion. This article will demonstrate how to successfully master this style in order to achieve the highest possible scores no matter what the subject matter:
What Exactly is a 5 Paragraph Essay?
Many students have wondered how long is a paragraph in this kind of writing, but unfortunately, there is no simple explanation for this. A paragraph may be as little as 75 words to as much as 150; it all depends on how much needs to be said to cover a sub-topic appropriately and effectively. A good rule of thumb is to start with a topic sentence, followed by one or two examples of the topic and a transitional sentence leading into the next topic. But this should in no means prevent somebody from going beyond these simple sentences if needed. Don’t fall into the trap of static or “cookie cutter” writing where you simply follow what a guide suggests as the definitive answer to how many sentences in a paragraph there should be. Varying sentence length, as well as paragraph size, will keep your readers interested in your argument.
The Parts of a 5 Paragraph Essay
Most teachers utilize a 5 paragraph essay rubrics to score an assignment – and even if you don’t know what these rubrics are you can be sure that you will need to follow a basic essay format consisting of an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. This is what you should know about each of these distinct parts of an assignment:
The Intro Paragraph
You should always start your essay with a hook. This is an opening sentence that captures the reader’s attention and urges him or her to keep reading. The next couple of sentences should provide some background on your topic – giving the reader just enough information so that they understand important details by putting your work into context. Finally, end your introduction with a thesis statement. This should be a clear and concise sentence which states the position you are taking on the subject. Keep in mind that your thesis statement must be an arguable point.
The Body or Core Paragraphs
The next three paragraphs in this type of essay are often referred to collectively as the body or core. This is because they are the most important part of your argumentative topic. The right paragraph structure should include a topic sentence, an opinion or original idea (i.e., what it is you are saying about the topic), and examples or supporting evidence. Arrange your body paragraphs so that your weakest topic sits in the middle and your two best points start and end this section of your paper.
The Conclusion Paragraph
This paragraph brings your writing to a close by summarizing and synthesizing all of the topics, examples, and evidence you have presented. This paragraph should remind the reader of all key points but shouldn’t simply repeat what you have said in the same words. Revise from scratch but don’t veer off what you have presented in the four paragraphs prior to the conclusion.
Essay Writing Tips
- Research and Prepare
The first thing you need to know about how to write a 5 paragraph essay is that you must conduct a lot of research and preparation. Chances are that you don’t have time to research when writing this kind of essay for a standardized test, but if you are writing this for a class assignment you need to hit the books. Preparation should include choosing the best points, outlining your argument, and setting enough time to fit in multiple drafts and revisions.
- Create a Five Paragraph Essay Outline
Creating 5 paragraph essay outline before starting the actual writing process will help you organize your thoughts and effectively defend your thesis statement. A standard Roman or alphanumerical format should suffice in organizing your work. You’ll have time to rearrange your material as you evaluate its effectiveness with little to know trouble.
- Start with a Rough Draft
The best way how to start an essay is to simply get down to writing a draft. This should be rough in the sense that you will have numerous mistakes in grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Don’t break your rhythm by constantly stopping to make corrections. Just write as quickly as possible so that you get your ideas down as efficiently as possible. You’ll have plenty of time to fix your work later in the process. Essay editing services can help you a lot, if you’re not sure about your proofreading skills.
- Use Fluid Transitions
Just like sentence variety and great choices in words will bring your essay to life, so do fluid transitional sentences. They serve a very important function on how to end a paragraph because they take the reader from one idea to the next without a sense of awkwardness or disjointedness. It may take a while for you to master these transitions but when if you read your paper aloud you should find great ways of improving how you go from one topic to the next.
- Edit and Proofread
Most of us make simple mistakes when it comes to essay writing, which makes the process of editing and proofreading very important. Take for instance the example of the “hamburger paragraph” – this is a popular teaching example in which a student wrote an excellent essay on the German history and its city of Hamburg, a cultural center for the country. The student made a simple mistake of spelling the city’s name incorrectly and then relied upon spell check for all corrections. Of course, this proved to be disastrous because the word processing tool simply overlooked the word since it was spelled correctly. Always print out your essay and read it carefully for any mistakes that the word processor may have missed.
Piecing it All Together
While you may want to believe that this article alone will help you write a five paragraph essay that surpasses the highest academic standards, mastery takes a lot of practice. The above content provides you with the tools you need to accomplish just this, but you need to have patience and put in the work. Think of this as a sort of checklist to help guide you through any assignment with these requirements. In no time you will see your grades improve and researching, preparing, and writing will come naturally.