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How to Write a Five Paragraph Essay

Last Updated: January 20, 2023 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Jake Adams and by wikiHow staff writer, Danielle Blinka, MA, MPA . Jake Adams is an academic tutor and the owner of Simplifi EDU, a Santa Monica, California based online tutoring business offering learning resources and online tutors for academic subjects K-College, SAT & ACT prep, and college admissions applications. With over 14 years of professional tutoring experience, Jake is dedicated to providing his clients the very best online tutoring experience and access to a network of excellent undergraduate and graduate-level tutors from top colleges all over the nation. Jake holds a BS in International Business and Marketing from Pepperdine University. There are 9 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 520,210 times.

Five paragraph essays are a common assignment throughout your school career, especially in high school and college. Since any subject can include a five paragraph essay, you’ll want to be good at writing them. Luckily, five-paragraph essays are really easy to write if you know the expected format and give yourself the time you need to write it. To write your five paragraph essay, draft your introduction, develop three body paragraphs, write your conclusion, and revise and edit your essay.

Drafting Your Introduction

A draft of a hook for an essay written on a piece of paper.

  • For example, you could phrase your hook like this: Nature’s life cycle is often used as a metaphor to convey ideas about the passage of life.
  • If you are writing a persuasive essay, don’t include your stance in your hook.
  • Don’t say “In this essay” or “I am going to show.” Instead, use the “show, don’t tell” technique using descriptive language.
  • It’s often easiest to come up with your hook after you write the rest of your essay. If you’re struggling to come up with one, use a basic placeholder and then create a better hook when you revise your essay.

Step 2 Include a sentence about your topic that provides more information.

  • Don’t reveal your main points yet.
  • For example, you could say something like this: While spring compares with birth, summer can symbolize maturity, with fall and winter showing a descent toward death.

Step 3 Write another sentence about your topic that leads to your thesis.

  • This sentence depends on what type of paper you’re writing. If it’s an argumentative paper, introduce both sides of the argument. In an informative paper, mention the central idea and focus.
  • As an example, you could narrow your topic like this: Writers often use nature metaphors in their work to show themes about life, such as the blossoming of youth.

Step 4 Finish the introduction...

  • For example, your thesis could read like this: In the poem “Raspberries,” the author shows youth through the ripening berries, summer blossoming, and blushing color of the fruit.
  • Each of the three examples provided in the thesis will become the topic of a body paragraph. For the example thesis, you would have body paragraphs about ripening berries, summer blossoming, and the blushing color of the fruit.

Developing Three Body Paragraphs

Step 1 Arrange your points to sandwich your weakest.

  • You should include three body paragraphs, one for each supporting point.

Step 2 Begin each body paragraph with a topic sentence.

  • Your topic sentence is like a mini-thesis for just that paragraph.
  • Use a quote related to your thesis and analyze it in the body paragraph. If you use a topic sentence, put the quote next.
  • For example, your topic sentence could look like this: Ripening berries show youth in the poem “Raspberries” by reaching maturity and becoming ready for picking.

Step 3 Provide your evidence or examples.

  • Each paragraph should contain two to three examples or pieces of evidence.
  • If you use research, cite your sources in the appropriate format that your instructor specifies.

Step 4 Add your own commentary.

  • Include two to three sentences of commentary for each example or piece of evidence.
  • Depending on the type of evidence or examples, it’s often best to alternate your evidence and commentary throughout the paragraph. For example, provide one example, then provide the commentary.

Step 5 Conclude your paragraph by linking back to your thesis.

  • For example, you could wrap up your paragraph like this: As the girl plucks the ripe raspberries from the bush and eats them, her actions represent her own youth and readiness to be “plucked” by someone.

Drafting Your Conclusion

Step 1 Restate your thesis.

  • For example, you could restate your thesis like this: The poem “Raspberries” provides an allegorical representation of youth through a metaphor of ripening berries, summer blossoming, and blushing color of the fruit.
  • If you're a beginning writer, it's okay to start your conclusion with "In conclusion." However, if you're an advanced writer, avoid starting your conclusion with statements like “In conclusion,” “To conclude,” or “In the end.”

Step 2 Summarize how your points supported your thesis.

  • Use an authoritative tone as you restate your arguments so that your reader walks away knowing that you are correct.

Step 3 Avoid introducing new information.

  • Include a call to action.
  • Provide a warning about what could happen if your stance is ignored.
  • Create an image in the reader’s mind.
  • Include a quote.
  • Make a universal statement about life.

Revising and Editing Your Essay

Step 1 Use spell check.

  • Always reread your sentence to make sure that the word processor is suggesting the right word. If you’ve misspelled a word that is similar to another word, then it’s possible that your spell check could suggest the wrong spelling, such as “then” instead of “than.”

Step 2 Proofread your essay.

  • Look for errors that your spell checker missed.
  • If you can, ask someone else to proofread your paper. They will usually spot errors that you overlooked.

Step 3 Revise your essay to improve the flow.

  • Combine choppy sentences.
  • Breakup long, convoluted sentences into shorter sentences.
  • Rewrite fragments and run-on sentences.

Step 4 Fix your formatting.

  • If you have cited sources, make sure that you include a reference page in the style chosen by your instructor.

how should a 5 paragraph essay look like

Expert Q&A

Jake Adams

Video . By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube.

  • Never plagiarize an essay, which means copying someone’s work or ideas without giving them credit. Your teacher will deny you credit for the essay, and you may also get a discipline consequence. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

how should a 5 paragraph essay look like

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Write a Comparative Essay

  • ↑ Jake Adams. Academic Tutor & Test Prep Specialist. Expert Interview. 20 May 2020.
  • ↑ https://www.grammarly.com/blog/five-paragraph-essay/
  • ↑ https://www.jscc.edu/academics/programs/writing-center/writing-resources/five-paragraph-essay.html
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/college-writing/
  • ↑ https://www.bucks.edu/media/bcccmedialibrary/pdf/FiveParagraphEssayOutlineJuly08_000.pdf
  • ↑ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4789530/
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.fas.harvard.edu/pages/ending-essay-conclusions
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/the_writing_process/proofreading/proofreading_suggestions.html
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/the_writing_process/proofreading/steps_for_revising.html

About This Article

Jake Adams

To write a five paragraph essay, start with an introductory paragraph that includes a hook to capture your audience’s attention, and a thesis that explains the main point you’re trying to make. Then, use the next 3 paragraphs to explain 3 separate points that support your thesis. As you explain each point, use evidence from your research or examples in the text you’re discussing. Finally, conclude your essay with a paragraph summing up the points you’ve made and telling the reader how those points support your thesis. For tips on how to revise your essay to improve the flow and formatting, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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The Ultimate Guide to the 5-Paragraph Essay

PeopleImages / Getty Images

  • M.Ed., Education Administration, University of Georgia
  • B.A., History, Armstrong State University

A five-paragraph essay is a prose composition that follows a prescribed format of an introductory paragraph, three body paragraphs, and a concluding paragraph, and is typically taught during primary English education and applied on standardized testing throughout schooling.

Learning to write a high-quality five-paragraph essay is an essential skill for students in early English classes as it allows them to express certain ideas, claims, or concepts in an organized manner, complete with evidence that supports each of these notions. Later, though, students may decide to stray from the standard five-paragraph format and venture into writing an  exploratory essay  instead.

Still, teaching students to organize essays into the five-paragraph format is an easy way to introduce them to writing literary criticism, which will be tested time and again throughout their primary, secondary, and further education.

Writing a Good Introduction

The introduction is the first paragraph in your essay, and it should accomplish a few specific goals: capture the reader's interest, introduce the topic, and make a claim or express an opinion in a thesis statement.

It's a good idea to start your essay with a hook (fascinating statement) to pique the reader's interest, though this can also be accomplished by using descriptive words, an anecdote, an intriguing question, or an interesting fact. Students can practice with creative writing prompts to get some ideas for interesting ways to start an essay.

The next few sentences should explain your first statement, and prepare the reader for your thesis statement, which is typically the last sentence in the introduction. Your  thesis sentence  should provide your specific assertion and convey a clear point of view, which is typically divided into three distinct arguments that support this assertation, which will each serve as central themes for the body paragraphs.

Writing Body Paragraphs

The body of the essay will include three body paragraphs in a five-paragraph essay format, each limited to one main idea that supports your thesis.

To correctly write each of these three body paragraphs, you should state your supporting idea, your topic sentence, then back it up with two or three sentences of evidence. Use examples that validate the claim before concluding the paragraph and using transition words to lead to the paragraph that follows — meaning that all of your body paragraphs should follow the pattern of "statement, supporting ideas, transition statement."

Words to use as you transition from one paragraph to another include: moreover, in fact, on the whole, furthermore, as a result, simply put, for this reason, similarly, likewise, it follows that, naturally, by comparison, surely, and yet.

Writing a Conclusion

The final paragraph will summarize your main points and re-assert your main claim (from your thesis sentence). It should point out your main points, but should not repeat specific examples, and should, as always, leave a lasting impression on the reader.

The first sentence of the conclusion, therefore, should be used to restate the supporting claims argued in the body paragraphs as they relate to the thesis statement, then the next few sentences should be used to explain how the essay's main points can lead outward, perhaps to further thought on the topic. Ending the conclusion with a question, anecdote, or final pondering is a great way to leave a lasting impact.

Once you complete the first draft of your essay, it's a good idea to re-visit the thesis statement in your first paragraph. Read your essay to see if it flows well, and you might find that the supporting paragraphs are strong, but they don't address the exact focus of your thesis. Simply re-write your thesis sentence to fit your body and summary more exactly, and adjust the conclusion to wrap it all up nicely.

Practice Writing a Five-Paragraph Essay

Students can use the following steps to write a standard essay on any given topic. First, choose a topic, or ask your students to choose their topic, then allow them to form a basic five-paragraph by following these steps:

  • Decide on your  basic thesis , your idea of a topic to discuss.
  • Decide on three pieces of supporting evidence you will use to prove your thesis.
  • Write an introductory paragraph, including your thesis and evidence (in order of strength).
  • Write your first body paragraph, starting with restating your thesis and focusing on your first piece of supporting evidence.
  • End your first paragraph with a transitional sentence that leads to the next body paragraph.
  • Write paragraph two of the body focussing on your second piece of evidence. Once again make the connection between your thesis and this piece of evidence.
  • End your second paragraph with a transitional sentence that leads to paragraph number three.
  • Repeat step 6 using your third piece of evidence.
  • Begin your concluding paragraph by restating your thesis. Include the three points you've used to prove your thesis.
  • End with a punch, a question, an anecdote, or an entertaining thought that will stay with the reader.

Once a student can master these 10 simple steps, writing a basic five-paragraph essay will be a piece of cake, so long as the student does so correctly and includes enough supporting information in each paragraph that all relate to the same centralized main idea, the thesis of the essay.

Limitations of the Five-Paragraph Essay

The five-paragraph essay is merely a starting point for students hoping to express their ideas in academic writing; there are some other forms and styles of writing that students should use to express their vocabulary in the written form.

According to Tory Young's "Studying English Literature: A Practical Guide":

"Although school students in the U.S. are examined on their ability to write a  five-paragraph essay , its  raison d'être  is purportedly to give practice in basic writing skills that will lead to future success in more varied forms. Detractors feel, however, that writing to rule in this way is more likely to discourage imaginative writing and thinking than enable it. . . . The five-paragraph essay is less aware of its  audience  and sets out only to present information, an account or a kind of story rather than explicitly to persuade the reader."

Students should instead be asked to write other forms, such as journal entries, blog posts, reviews of goods or services, multi-paragraph research papers, and freeform expository writing around a central theme. Although five-paragraph essays are the golden rule when writing for standardized tests, experimentation with expression should be encouraged throughout primary schooling to bolster students' abilities to utilize the English language fully.

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  • The Five Steps of Writing an Essay
  • How to Write a Solid Thesis Statement
  • The Introductory Paragraph: Start Your Paper Off Right

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how should a 5 paragraph essay look like

Guide on How to Write a 5 Paragraph Essay Effortlessly

how should a 5 paragraph essay look like

Defining What Is a 5 Paragraph Essay

Have you ever been assigned a five-paragraph essay and wondered what exactly it means? Don't worry; we all have been there. A five-paragraph essay is a standard academic writing format consisting of an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

In the introduction, you present your thesis statement, which is the main idea or argument you will discuss in your essay. The three body paragraphs present a separate supporting argument, while the conclusion summarizes the main points and restates the thesis differently.

While the five-paragraph essay is a tried and true format for many academic assignments, it's important to note that it's not the only way to write an essay. In fact, some educators argue that strict adherence to this format can stifle creativity and limit the development of more complex ideas.

However, mastering the five-paragraph essay is a valuable skill for any student, as it teaches the importance of structure and organization in writing. Also, it enables you to communicate your thoughts clearly and eloquently, which is crucial for effective communication in any area. So the next time you're faced with a five-paragraph essay assignment, embrace the challenge and use it as an opportunity to hone your writing skills.

And if you find it difficult to put your ideas into 5 paragraphs, ask our professional writing service - 'please write my essay ,' and consider it done.

How to Write a 5 Paragraph Essay: General Tips

If you are struggling with how to write a 5 paragraph essay, don't worry! It's a common format that many students learn in their academic careers. Here are some tips from our admission essay writing service to help you write a successful five paragraph essay example:

How to Write a 5 Paragraph Essay Effortlessly

  • Start with a strong thesis statement : Among the 5 parts of essay, the thesis statement can be the most important. It presents the major topic you will debate throughout your essay while being explicit and simple.
  • Use topic sentences to introduce each paragraph : The major idea you will address in each of the three body paragraphs should be established in a concise subject sentence.
  • Use evidence to support your arguments : The evidence you present in your body paragraphs should back up your thesis. This can include facts, statistics, or examples from your research or personal experience.
  • Include transitions: Use transitional words and phrases to make the flow of your essay easier. Words like 'although,' 'in addition,' and 'on the other hand' are examples of these.
  • Write a strong conclusion: In addition to restating your thesis statement in a new way, your conclusion should highlight the key ideas of your essay. You might also leave the reader with a closing idea or query to reflect on.
  • Edit and proofread: When you've completed writing your essay, thoroughly revise and proofread it. Make sure your thoughts are brief and clear and proofread your writing for grammatical and spelling mistakes.

By following these tips, you can write strong and effective five paragraph essays examples that will impress your teacher or professor.

5 Paragraph Essay Format

Let's readdress the five-paragraph essay format and explain it in more detail. So, as already mentioned, it is a widely-used writing structure taught in many schools and universities. A five-paragraph essay comprises an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion, each playing a significant role in creating a well-structured and coherent essay.

The introduction serves as the opening paragraph of the essay and sets the tone for the entire piece. It should captivate the reader's attention, provide relevant background information, and include a clear and concise thesis statement that presents the primary argument of the essay. For example, if the essay topic is about the benefits of exercise, the introduction may look something like this:

'Regular exercise provides numerous health benefits, including increased energy levels, improved mental health, and reduced risk of chronic diseases.'

The body paragraphs are the meat of the essay and should provide evidence and examples to support the thesis statement. Each body paragraph should begin with a subject sentence that states the major idea of the paragraph. Then, the writer should provide evidence to support the topic sentence. This evidence can be in the form of statistics, facts, or examples. For instance, if the essay is discussing the health benefits of exercise, a body paragraph might look like this:

'One of the key benefits of exercise is improved mental health. Regular exercise has been demonstrated in studies to lessen depressive and anxious symptoms and enhance mood.'

The essay's final paragraph, the conclusion, should repeat the thesis statement and summarize the essay's important ideas. A concluding idea or query might be included to give the reader something to ponder. For example, a conclusion for an essay on the benefits of exercise might look like this:

'In conclusion, exercise provides numerous health benefits, from increased energy levels to reduced risk of chronic diseases. We may enhance both our physical and emotional health and enjoy happier, more satisfying lives by including exercise into our daily routines.'

Overall, the 5 paragraph essay format is useful for organizing thoughts and ideas clearly and concisely. By following this format, writers can present their arguments logically and effectively, which is easy for the reader to follow.

Types of 5 Paragraph Essay 

There are several types of five-paragraph essays, each with a slightly different focus or purpose. Here are some of the most common types of five-paragraph essays:

How to Write a 5 Paragraph Essay Effortlessly

  • Narrative essay : A narrative essay tells a story or recounts a personal experience. It typically includes a clear introductory paragraph, body sections that provide details about the story, and a conclusion that wraps up the narrative.
  • Descriptive essay: A descriptive essay uses sensory language to describe a person, place, or thing. It often includes a clear thesis statement that identifies the subject of the description and body paragraphs that provide specific details to support the thesis.
  • Expository essay: An expository essay offers details or clarifies a subject. It usually starts with a concise introduction that introduces the subject, is followed by body paragraphs that provide evidence and examples to back up the thesis, and ends with a summary of the key points.
  • Persuasive essay: A persuasive essay argues for a particular viewpoint or position. It has a thesis statement that is clear, body paragraphs that give evidence and arguments in favor of it, and a conclusion that summarizes the important ideas and restates the thesis.
  • Compare and contrast essay: An essay that compares and contrasts two or more subjects and looks at their similarities and differences. It usually starts out simply by introducing the topics being contrasted or compared, followed by body paragraphs that go into more depth on the similarities and differences, and a concluding paragraph that restates the important points.

Each type of five-paragraph essay has its own unique characteristics and requirements. When unsure how to write five paragraph essay, writers can choose the most appropriate structure for their topic by understanding the differences between these types.

5 Paragraph Essay Example Topics

Here are some potential topics for a 5 paragraph essay example. These essay topics are just a starting point and can be expanded upon to fit a wide range of writing essays and prompts.

  • The Impact of Social Media on Teenage Communication Skills.
  • How Daily Exercise Benefits Mental and Physical Health.
  • The Importance of Learning a Second Language.
  • The Effects of Global Warming on Marine Life.
  • The Role of Technology in Modern Education.
  • The Influence of Music on Youth Culture.
  • The Pros and Cons of Uniform Policies in Schools.
  • The Significance of Historical Monuments in Cultural Identity.
  • The Growing Importance of Cybersecurity.
  • The Evolution of the American Dream.
  • The Impact of Diet on Cognitive Functioning.
  • The Role of Art in Society.
  • The Future of Renewable Energy Sources.
  • The Effects of Urbanization on Wildlife.
  • The Importance of Financial Literacy for Young Adults.
  • The Influence of Advertising on Consumer Choices.
  • The Role of Books in the Digital Age.\
  • The Benefits and Challenges of Space Exploration.
  • The Impact of Climate Change on Agriculture.
  • The Ethical Implications of Genetic Modification.

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General Grading Rubric for a 5 Paragraph Essay

The following is a general grading rubric that can be used to evaluate a five-paragraph essay:

Content (40%)

  • A thesis statement is clear and specific
  • The main points are well-developed and supported by evidence
  • Ideas are organized logically and coherently
  • Evidence and examples are relevant and support the main points
  • The essay demonstrates a strong understanding of the topic

Organization (20%)

  • The introduction effectively introduces the topic and thesis statement
  • Body paragraphs are well-structured and have clear topic sentences
  • Transitions between paragraphs are smooth and effective
  • The concluding sentence effectively summarizes the main points and restates the thesis statement

Language and Style (20%)

  • Writing is clear, concise, and easy to understand
  • Language is appropriate for the audience and purpose
  • Vocabulary is varied and appropriate
  • Grammar, spelling, and punctuation are correct

Critical Thinking (20%)

  • Student demonstrate an understanding of the topic beyond surface-level knowledge
  • Student present a unique perspective or argument
  • Student show evidence of critical thinking and analysis
  • Students write well-supported conclusions

Considering the above, the paper should demonstrate a thorough understanding of the topic, clear organization, strong essay writing skills, and critical thinking. By using this grading rubric, the teacher can evaluate the essay holistically and provide detailed feedback to the student on areas of strength and areas for improvement.

Five Paragraph Essay Examples

Wrapping up: things to remember.

In conclusion, writing a five paragraph essay example can seem daunting at first, but it doesn't have to be a difficult task. Following these simple steps and tips, you can break down the process into manageable parts and create a clear, concise, and well-organized essay.

Remember to start with a strong thesis statement, use topic sentences to guide your paragraphs, and provide evidence and analysis to support your ideas. Don't forget to revise and proofread your work to make sure it is error-free and coherent. With time and practice, you'll be able to write a 5 paragraph essay with ease and assurance. Whether you're writing for school, work, or personal projects, these skills will serve you well and help you to communicate your ideas effectively.

Meanwhile, you can save time and reduce the stress associated with academic assignments by trusting our research paper writing services to handle the writing for you. So go ahead, buy an essay , and see how easy it can be to meet all of your professors' complex requirements!

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Five Paragraph Essay Outline

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The five paragraph essay exists as one of the most commonly assigned essays, especially for high school students. In fact, the five paragraph essay format is so popular, it is often used not only in the classroom but for exams and admission essays as well. If you’ve never written a five paragraph essay, or find that you simply need a good refresher, you’ve come to the right place! We have thrown out all the useless information and boiled it down to the essential info you need to both understand what a five paragraph essay is and how to write one to earn the grade you want.

five paragraph essay

What is a Five Paragraph Essay?

Unlike some misleading names, the five-paragraph essay is exactly what it sounds like: an essay that consists solely of five paragraphs. This type of essay is strictly about the structure. That’s what matters much more than the topic or questions to be discussed in the essay. The paragraphs in the essay paragraphs follow a very specific outline.

This kind of essay was separated from all other types with a sole purpose – teaching students about the concept of the essay by practicing it’s most basic structure variant. Even though any kind of essay can have five paragraph – from a  definition essay to story-based narrative essay ; five paragraph essay is never limited to the approach. It might look like any other essay, but the structure is the king here.

Meet the Five Paragraph Essay Outline

This type of essay contains three distinctly different kinds of paragraphs including (in order):

  • Introduction paragraph
  • Three body paragraphs
  • Conclusion paragraph

While all three types of paragraphs follow traditional grammar and syntax conventions, what goes into each paragraph varies based on its purpose.

Let’s take a look at what makes each of these paragraphs unique:


The introduction paragraph should have three key parts: an attention getter , background information , and a thesis statement . These elements should appear in this order; the thesis statement typically appears as the last sentence in the introduction because it acts as a transition to the body paragraphs which each work to support the argument outlined within the thesis. Let’s say that the topic of your five paragraph essay is the best type of pet to own. After doing some research, you decide to write about cats. The attention getter sentence should capture the audience’s attention and make them want to read more about cats. Attention getter sentences often fall into one of four categories:

  • An interesting fact
  • An engaging statistic
  • A relevant quotation
  • A personal anecdote

It’s important to note that a personal anecdote or story from your own life may not be appropriate for all types of essays — especially if an instructor has noted that no personal pronouns be used in the paper.

Related post: How to write an Essay introduction

After gaining the audience’s interest, the next few sentences, anywhere from 3 to 10 sentences, depending upon the essay, should be about background information. Such information may define specific vocabulary or generally provide background information relevant to the topic.

In a five-paragraph essay about cats, relevant background information could include when cats became domesticated, how many breeds of cats are available today, and where individuals can find cats as pets.

Finally, the last part of the introduction paragraph should be the thesis statement. A well-written thesis statement should include an argument and a roadmap on how to prove it.

In this case, a simple yet effective thesis statement could be: “Cats make the best pets because they are intelligent, friendly, and sociable.” The first part, “cats make the best pets” is the argument while the second part, “intelligent, friendly, and sociable” is the roadmap. This is called a roadmap because it outlines the ideas that will guide the paper in the body paragraphs.

According to this thesis statement, there will be a body paragraph that provides evidence that cats are intelligent, another proving that cats are friendly, and a third proving that cats are sociable.

Stuck on writing your outline? Our essay writer will help You!

Body Paragraphs

A typical body paragraph is anywhere from six to twenty sentences; the length of a body paragraph depends upon the amount of research, analysis, and discussion needed in each paragraph to support the argument set forth in the thesis statement. Typically, a body paragraph will follow an organization such as this:

  • Topic sentence
  • Background sentence(s)
  • Explanation

There could be more sentences if you have more quotations from research to include. Additionally, some topics may require several background sentences while others only require one.

Remember: value your time and your teacher’s time; skip writing sentences to pad the length of your paper and ask yourself if each sentence contributes to proving the argument outlined within the thesis. If the sentence doesn’t, get rid of it!

The conclusion paragraph should be the final paragraph in the paper. It is often the shortest paragraph. Its purpose is to review the main points and prove to the audience that the writer has successfully argued his or her point. A conclusion paragraph should never introduce any new information. Most teachers prefer students to skip obvious phrases such as “In conclusion” or “Before ending” because these statements are understood by the reader.

Related post: Cause and Effect essay outline 

Following the conclusion paragraph, you will likely need to create a “Works Cited” and/or a “Bibliography” page if you included any type of research within the five paragraph essay outline. After each quotation or paraphrase in the essay should be a parenthetical citation, and each parenthetical citation should be referenced in the Works Cited and/or Bibliography page. Your teacher or professor should clearly communicate their preference; a Works Cited page exists as a reference for all the works quoted in the essay whereas the Bibliography page lists every source you consulted during the research process.

Tips and Tricks

If writing isn’t one of your favorite requirements of academic life, check out these 10 tips and tricks to navigate creating a five paragraph essay smoothly:

  • Begin early
  • Make an appointment with the teacher to discuss your ideas/progress and get feedback
  • Take good notes, and cite the sources as you go
  • Create a sentence outline before the draft
  • Edit the essay twice: once for content, once for grammar
  • Get at least one other person to provide constructive criticism
  • Make an appointment at the Writing Center if your campus has one
  • Hire a professional editing service to catch pesky grammar errors
  • Review the final essay against any provided rubric item by item
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How to Write a 5 Paragraph Essay: Guide with Structure, Outline & Examples

5-Paragraph Essay

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A 5-paragraph essay   is a common assignment in high school and college, requiring students to follow a standard structure. This essay format consists of five main components: an introduction paragraph, followed by 3 body paragraphs, and a final paragraph. Each paragraph serves a specific purpose and contributes to the overall coherence and organization of the essay.

Since this is one of the most popular assignments teachers give, you should be prepared to write using a five paragraph essay format. From structure and outline template to actual examples, we will explain how to write a 5 paragraph essay with ease. Follow our suggestions and you will be able to nail this task.

What Is a 5-Paragraph Essay: Definition

A 5-paragraph essay is as simple as it sounds: an essay composed of five paragraphs. It's made up of five distinct sections, namely an introduction , 3 body paragraphs and a concluding section . However, a 5 paragraph essay goes beyond just creating 5 individual sections. It's a method of organizing your thoughts and making them interconnected. 

Despite its straightforward 5-paragraph format, there's more going on beneath the surface. When writing a 5-paragraph essay, you should address the main objective of each part and arrange every section properly. 

Let’s learn about each of these sections more in detail.

5-Paragraph Essay Structure 

A five-paragraph essay structure is often compared to a sandwich that has 3 distinct layers:

  • Introduction: This initial paragraph should introduce the main topic and tell what will be discussed further in the essay.
  • Body: This part consists of three body paragraphs, each focusing on a specific aspect of your subject.
  • Conclusion: The final paragraph rounds off the main points and offers key takeaways.

As you can notice, each of these sections plays an important role in creating the overall piece.

5-Paragraph Essay Structure

5-Paragraph Essay Outline & Template Example 

Imagine heading out for a journey in the woods without a map. You'd likely find yourself wandering aimlessly, right? Similarly, venturing into writing an essay without a solid essay outline is like stepping into the academic jungle without a guide. Most high school and college students ignore this step for the sake of time. But eventually they end up writing a five-paragraph essay that lacks a clear organization. 

It’s impossible to figure out how to write a 5-paragraph essay without having a well-arranged outline in front. Here’s a five-paragraph essay outline example showing subsections of each major part. 

5 Paragraph Essay Outline Example

  • Hook: Spark the reader's interest.
  • Brief background: Provide a general context or background.
  • Thesis statement: State the main argument or position.
  • Topic sentence: Introduce the main point of this paragraph.
  • Supporting evidence/example 1: Provide data, examples, quotes, or anecdotes supporting your point.
  • Analysis: Explain how your evidence supports your thesis.
  • Transition: Tie the paragraph together and link to the next paragraph.
  • Supporting evidence/example 2 : Provide further supporting evidence.
  • Analysis: Discuss how the evidence relates back to your thesis.
  • Transition: Summarize the point and smoothly shift to the next paragraph.
  • Topic sentence: Present the main idea of this paragraph.
  • Supporting evidence/example 3: Offer additional support for your thesis.
  • Analysis: Show how this backs up your main argument.
  • Transition: Sum up and signal the conclusion of the body section.
  • Thesis reiteration: Revisit your main argument accounting for the evidence provided.
  • Summary: Briefly go over the main points of your body paragraphs.
  • Final thoughts: Leave the reader with a parting thought or question to ponder.

How to Write a 5-Paragraph Essay Outline? 

When creating an outline for 5-paragraph essay, begin by identifying your topic and crafting a thesis statement. Your thesis statement should encapsulate your main argument. Identify 3 ideas that support your thesis to lay the foundation of your body section. For each point, think about examples and explanations that will help convince the reader of your perspective. Finally, plan what you will include in the concluding section. 

Throughout this process, remember that clarity and organization are key. While it's not necessary for your 5-paragraph outline to be "perfect", it is indeed important for it to be arranged logically. 

Below, you can spot an example of an outline created based on these instructions.

Five Paragraph Essay Outline Example

How to Write a 5 Paragraph Essay Step-by-Step?

There is nothing difficult about writing a 5-paragraph essay. All you need to do is to just start creating the first sentence. But for most of us, it;s easier said than done. For this reason, we prepared informative step-by-step guidelines on how to write a 5-paragraph essay that your teacher will like. 

As we navigate these stages, remember that good writing isn't a destination, it's a process. So grab your notebook (or laptop) and let's dive into the art of crafting your five-paragraph essay.

>> Learn more: How to Write an Essay

1. Understand the Task at Hand 

The initial step is to make sure you have a full grasp of your assignment instructions. How well you understand the given guidelines can either make or break your 5-paragraph essay. Take a few minutes to read through your instructor’s requirements and get familiar with what you're supposed to do: 

  • What’s your topic? Do you need to choose one yourself?
  • What  essay type  do you need to write – argumentative , expository or informative essay ?
  • What’s your primary goal – persuade, analyze, descibe or inform?
  • How long should an essay be ? Is there any specific word count?

Understanding these crucial details will help you remain on course.

2. Research and Take Notes 

Now that you have a good idea of your assignment, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and start researching. Spend some quality time gathering relevant resources to get acquainted with the discussed topic. Make sure you don;t refer to outdated resources. Always give a preference to credible, recent sources.

Read these sources carefully and jot down important facts – this is what will form the basis of your essay's body section. Also, you will need to save the online sources to cite them properly.

3. Develop Your Thesis Statement

We can’t stress enough: your thesis statement will guide your entire essay. Write 1-2 sentences that convey your underlying idea. Keep in mind that your thesis  must be succinct. There is no need for long introductions or excessive details at this point.

4. Make an Outline 

A five-paragraph essay outline shows how your paper will be arranged. This visual structure can be represented using bullet points or numbers. You can come up with another format. But the main idea is to prepare a plan you are going to stick to during the writing process. 

Did you know that you can send an outline to professionals and have your essay written according to the structure. Order essay from academic experts should you need any assistance.

5. Write an Introduction Paragraph 

To start a 5-paragraph essay, compose an attention-grabbing statement, such as a question or fact. This is also known as an essay hook – an intriguing opening sentence. Its goal is to spark curiosity and draw your reader into your topic.

Next, you need to establish a background and show what;s under the curtains. Write 1-2 contextual sentences helping your reader understand the broad issue you're about to discuss.

Your 5-paragraph essay introduction won’t be complete without a thesis statement – the heart of your writing. This 1 or 2-sentence statement clearly expresses the main point you will develop throughout your essay. Make sure your thesis is specific, debatable, and defensible.

A staggering report by the World Health Organization reveals that poor diet contributes to more disease than physical inactivity, alcohol, and smoking combined. In our fast-paced world, convenience often trumps health when it comes to food choices. With an alarming rise in obesity and diet-related illnesses, a closer look at our eating habits is more critical than ever. For this reason, adopting a healthy diet is essential for individual health, disease prevention, and overall wellbeing.

>> Read more: How to Start an Essay

6. Create a Body Part 

A body section of a standard 5-paragraph essay layout comprises 3 paragraphs. Each body paragraph should contain the most important elements of the discussion:  

  • Topic sentence  
  • Detailed explanation
  • Supporting evidence from credible sources
  • Further exploration of examples
  • Transition.

Begin your body paragraph by introducing a separate aspect related to your thesis statement. For example, if you are writing about the importance of physical activity, your body paragraph may start this way: 

Regular exercise is essential for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. 

Don’t just make a bold statement. You will need to expand on this idea and explain it in detail. You should also incorporate facts, examples, data, or quotes that back up your topic sentence. Your evidence should sound realistic. Try to draw the examples from personal experience or  recent news. On top of that, you should analyze how this evidence ties back to your overall argument. 

It’s not a good idea to finish your body paragraph just like that. Add essay transition words to keep your five-paragraph paper cohesive. 

First and foremost, a healthy diet plays a pivotal role in maintaining individual health and vitality. A balanced diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, provides the essential nutrients our bodies need to function effectively. A research study by the American Heart Association found that individuals who adhered to a healthy eating pattern had a 25% lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease. This data emphasizes that a proper diet is not just about staying in shape. It directly affects critical health outcomes, impacting our susceptibility to serious health conditions like heart disease. While the implications of diet on personal health are substantial, the preventative power of healthy eating against disease is equally noteworthy, as we shall explore next.

>> Read more: How to Write a Body Paragraph

7. Write a Concluding Paragraph 

Wrapping up your 5-paragraph essay might seem like a breeze after developing your introductory and body parts. Yet, it's crucial to ensure your conclusion is equally impactful. Don't leave it to the reader to join the dots – restate your thesis statement to reinforce your main argument. Follow this by a brief recap of the 2-3 key points you've discussed in your essay.

The last taste should be the best, so aim to end your 5-paragraph essay on a high note. Craft a compelling closing sentence that underscores the importance of your topic and leaves your reader considering future implications.

As was outlined in this essay, a balanced diet isn't just a lifestyle choice, but an essential tool for maintaining individual health, preventing disease, and promoting overall wellbeing. Healthy eating directly affects our personal health, its power in disease prevention, and how it contributes to a sense of wellness. What we consume profoundly impacts our lives. Therefore, a commitment to healthy eating isn't merely an act of self-care; it's a potent declaration of respect for the life we've been given.

>> Learn more: How to Write a Conclusion for an Essay

8. Review and Revise

Your 5-paragraph essay should be up to scratch now. However, double-check your work for any errors or typos. It's worth revising your essay at least twice for maximum impact. Our practice shows that revising your essay multiple times will help you refine the arguments, making your piece more convincing.

As you proofread, make sure the tone is consistent, and each sentence contributes something unique to the overall point of view. Also, check for spelling and grammar errors. 

Once you're happy with your 5-paragraph essay, submit it to your teacher or professor.

5 Paragraph Essay Example

Students can ease their life by exploring a sample five paragraph essay example shared by one the writers. Consider buying a college essay if you want your homework to be equally good.


Extra 5-Paragraph Writing Tips 

Here’re some bonus tips on how to write a good 5-paragraph essay:

  • Be clear and concise Avoid fluff and filler. Every sentence should contribute to your argument or topic.
  • Keep paragraphs focused Each paragraph should be dedicated to an individual point or idea.
  • Use strong evidence To support your points, use solid evidence. This could be statistics, research findings, or relevant quotes from experts.
  • Use active voice Active voice makes writing direct and dynamic. It puts the subject of the sentence in the driver's seat, leading the action.
  • Avoid first-person pronouns To maintain a formal, academic tone, try to avoid first-person pronouns (I, me, my, we, our). First-person pronouns are acceptable only when writing a narrative essay , personal statement or college application essay .

Final Thoughts on How to Write a Five Paragraph Essay 

Writing a five-paragraph essay may seem challenging at first, but with practice and determination it can become a piece of cake. Don’t forget to use your secret power – an outline, so that you have a clear idea of what points to cover in each paragraph. Make sure that you stick to the right format and cite your sources consistently. With these tips and 5 paragraph essay examples, you will be able to write an effective piece.

If any questions pop out, do not hesitate to leave the comments below or contact our professional writing service for expert assistance with your “ write an essay for me ” challenge.


Our team of experienced writers is ready to provide you with high-quality, custom-written essays tailored to your specific requirements. Whether you're struggling with a complex topic or short on time, our reliable service ensures timely delivery and top-notch content. Buy essays online and forget about struggles.

FAQ About Five-Paragraph Essays

1. how long is a 5-paragraph essay.

A five-paragraph essay typically ranges from 300  to 500 words, depending on the topic and type of paper. It's important to consider the length of your essay when determining how much information you want to include in each paragraph. For shorter essays, it is best to stick to one main point per paragraph so that your essay remains concise and focused.

2. What is a 5-paragraph format?

The five-paragraph essay format is a classic structure used to organize essays and persuasive pieces. It consists of an introduction (which includes your thesis statement), 3 body paragraphs that explain each point, and a conclusion which sums up your fundamental ideas. Each paragraph should feature one main aspect, with supporting evidence discovered during research.

3. How to start a 5-paragraph essay?

The best way to start a five-paragraph essay is by writing an engaging introduction that contains your thesis statement. Your first paragraph should provide readers with some context as well as introduce your main argument. Make sure to cover at least 2 or 3 points in your thesis statement so that you have something to elaborate on further in your text.


Daniel Howard is an Essay Writing guru. He helps students create essays that will strike a chord with the readers.


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What Is A Five-Paragraph Essay & How Do You Write One?

  • What Is A Five-Paragraph Essay?
  • How To Write One
  • Essay Outline

If you’re a student in the US, there’s a good chance you’ll be asked to write a five-paragraph essay at some point in your academic career. In fact, you’ll probably be asked to write one several times in your academic career. By the time you graduate, you may have written these essays so many times that you groan at the mere mention of them. We can’t blame you for that, but there’s a reason why so many teachers require them.

The five-paragraph essay is a perfect introduction for learning how to research, structure, and write a succinct and effective essay. Once you master the style, you can move on and become an expert at so many other styles of writing. The five-paragraph essay is foundational, so if you’ve been assigned one, breathe easy. You’re doing important work, and this handy guide to writing a five-paragraph essay will help make the writing process a breeze.

What is a five-paragraph essay?

The five-paragraph essay is primarily used in academic writing, and it’s one of the first styles of essay most students are taught. Within the framework of the five-paragraph essay, students can practice persuasive writing, compare and contrast two ideas, or even write researched informative pieces.

If you’re like a lot of students, you might remember learning the five-paragraph essay using the “hamburger method.” With this method, the parts of the essay are listed just like a hamburger, with the introduction and conclusion acting as “buns” around the detail paragraph “toppings.” Now that we’ve stimulated your appetite right along with your writer’s brain, grab a snack and let’s break down the steps to writing a flawless five-paragraph essay.

How to write a five-paragraph essay

The good news about writing a five-paragraph essay is that it has an easy-to-follow format. It’s clear from the title alone that the process will involve writing five separate sections, each with its own guidelines and specifications. From there, the trick is infusing creativity and your own unique writing style into the essay format.

Before we get to that, let’s talk about the different parts of the typical five-paragraph essay.

1. The introduction

Every five-paragraph essay begins with a thesis statement and an introductory paragraph. The thesis statement is a single sentence that clearly summarizes what the essay will be about , including your opinion on it if you’re writing an argumentative or persuasive piece.

Once you have a clear thesis written, the rest of your introduction should include:

  • Basic context or information about your intended topic (if necessary).
  • A brief mention of the main points to be expanded on in the body of the essay.

Save the most significant information for the body paragraphs, but offer a preview of the points you intend to make in order to entice readers to read more. When put together, a strong introduction will look something like this:

There’s a lot of debate about which food category hot dogs fit into, but it’s clear from the evidence that a hot dog is a type of sandwich. Hot dogs are an incredibly popular food in America. The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council estimates that we consume about 20 billion hot dogs a year. With that kind of devotion, it’s easy to see why people feel so passionate about which food category their beloved hot dogs fit into. But many experts, restaurateurs, and even the dictionary classify hot dogs as sandwiches, and it’s time to end this heated food debate once and for all.

Review the three main types of thesis statements here.

2. Three body paragraphs

The support for your thesis comes in the form of three separate body paragraphs. These paragraphs are where you include relevant details, expert quotes, citations from books or other resources, and any other information you need in order to convey your full argument or knowledge to the reader. Each of your body paragraphs should include the following:

  • A topic sentence that clearly defines what the paragraph is about.
  • Transition words (like first, lastly, additionally, however, etc.) to help guide the reader.
  • Details that specifically support and expand on the thesis.
  • Pertinent data, properly cited sources, quotes and/or relevant anecdotes.
  • At least five sentences, though higher level writing may call for more.

Remember that each body paragraph should focus on one main argument or supporting detail. Including three body paragraphs means you have three separate paragraphs to write about three separate supports for your thesis. Finally, make sure the information you include is relevant. These paragraphs should be succinct and informative and not include tangential information.

Here’s a sample body paragraph:

To begin, hot dogs fit the dictionary definition of the word sandwich. Sandwich is defined as “two or more slices of bread with a layer of meat, fish, cheese, and whatever other filling you’d like between them.” A hot dog is a grilled or steamed sausage, usually made of pork or beef, which qualifies as a layer of meat. They can also have toppings, such as condiments or cold vegetables, just like other kinds of sandwiches might. Hot dogs are served on buns, which are a type of split sandwich roll. In many delis, other types of sandwiches are served on split rolls. Since they are served on the same bread as many sandwiches, hot dogs are clearly a type of sandwich.

When it comes to research and citations, do your essay justice by reading this tips on how to avoid plagiarism.

A five-paragraph essay outline

Now that you know the parts of a five-paragraph essay, it might help to see them in action. Here’s an outline format you can use to plan your own essays, filled in with examples of a thesis statement, topic sentences for your body paragraphs, and the main parts of a strong conclusion.


  • Thesis statement: There’s a lot of debate about which food category hot dogs fit into, but it’s clear from the evidence that a hot dog is a type of sandwich.

Body paragraph #1

  • Topic sentence: To begin, hot dogs fit the dictionary definition of the word sandwich.
  • Supporting detail: Sandwich is defined as “two or more slices of bread with a layer of meat, fish, cheese, and whatever other filling you’d like between them.”
  • Supporting detail: A hot dog is a grilled or steamed sausage, usually made of pork or beef, which qualifies as a layer of meat.
  • Supporting detail: Hot dog buns are split rolls, similar to the ones used for deli sandwiches.

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Body paragraph #2

  • Topic sentence: Secondly, hot dogs meet the legal definition of sandwiches in many places.
  • Supporting detail: Mark Wheeler, a food safety specialist with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), says the organization defines a sandwich as “a meat or poultry filling between two slices of bread, a bun, or a biscuit.”
  • Supporting detail: In New York state, tax law lists “hot dogs and sausages on buns” as types of sandwiches.
  • Supporting detail: Additionally, tax law in California clearly includes “hot dog and hamburger sandwiches” served from “sandwich stands or booths.”

Body paragraph #3

  • Topic sentence: Finally, most Americans agree that hot dogs are sandwiches.
  • Supporting detail: In a poll of 1,000 people conducted by RTA Outdoor Living, 56.8% of respondents agreed a hot dog is a sandwich.
  • Supporting detail: Many fast food chains that serve primarily burgers and sandwiches, like Five Guys burgers and Shake Shack, also sell hot dogs.
  • Supporting detail: Lexicographers at Dictionary.com have also declared that hot dogs officially meet the criteria to be included in the sandwich category. (Curious? Read the article here for this and other great food debates explained .)
  • Restatement of thesis: Hot dogs are a unique kind of food, but the evidence makes it clear that they are indeed a type of sandwich.

Refine your writing with this review on run-on sentences.

how should a 5 paragraph essay look like

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5 paragraph essay

How to Write a 5 Paragraph Essay: Outline, Example

how should a 5 paragraph essay look like

‍ Imagine this:

You have to write your first essay, but you’re not sure where to start. You have a hundred questions , and more are coming to you every minute, but you’re afraid to ask the teacher for help.

What’s the difference between an argumentative essay and an informative essay? How will I be graded? What must I include? The list goes on. Well, first, take a breath. Before you tackle different essay varieties, grading rubrics, and the bullet points of exactly what should go in your essay, you need to make sure you understand structure. The 5 paragraph essay format is a classic example of an essay, and once you know how to create a 5 paragraph essay outline, you can write any essay that’s assigned to you.

Perfecting the art of essay writing is not only essential for acing your assignments but also for securing financial support as you transition from high school to college. A well-structured essay, such as the 5-paragraph essay, showcases your writing prowess and your ability to articulate ideas in a coherent and compelling manner. As you master the formula of a 5-paragraph essay, consider leveraging these skills to apply for scholarships. Numerous scholarships are specifically geared towards high school seniors, offering a financial launching pad for your college adventure. Discovering the best scholarships to apply for high school seniors can provide you with the resources you need to pursue your academic endeavors. The skills you hone while crafting precise and impactful essays will serve you well as you embark on the exciting journey of drafting scholarship essays, each one a stepping stone towards your higher education and a bright future.

The 5 Paragraph Essay Outline

Don’t know the 5 paragraph essay structure? It’s pretty simple. Here’s the basic outline you should follow:

5 paragraph essay

Now let’s discuss what should go in each paragraph. The following 5 paragraph essay template by our service should tell you exactly what you need to do to complete your assignment.

how should a 5 paragraph essay look like

Paragraph 1: Introduction

In the introduction, you should provide background information on your topic. Usually, this information should be factual, especially for a history paper, but you can be creative in how you present it. The key is that you want to intrigue the reader. You want to draw the reader into your topic by creating a natural curiosity about it.

Somewhere in the middle of your introduction, you need to present the 3 main points you will discuss in your 5 paragraph essay . These 3 points are crucial for the basic essay, as you need to ensure you have enough to talk about, and it’s best to introduce them in the first paragraph. However, keep in mind that as your essays get longer, you may need to use more than 3 main points. That’s not something you should worry about now, though.

In any essay, your introductory paragraph should end with a strong thesis statement that tells readers exactly what you aim to prove. If the essay is meant only to inform, the thesis statement should clarify to readers exactly what you’re going to inform them of.

Paragraph 2: First Main Point

The second paragraph is where you begin laying out the 3 main points that you promised in your introduction. In this paragraph, the first sentence should transition from the previous paragraph to the current one. It should also clearly introduce the topic, your first main point.

The sentences that follow should provide examples and support, or evidence, for your topic . Readers should see that every example and every piece of support you provide (e.g., quotes, graphs, paraphrased information) is connected to your topic. They should never be left wondering why you included something.

Paragraph 3: Second Main Point

The third paragraph of your 5 paragraph essay is where you lay out the second main point. As the previous paragraph, it should begin with a transition and a description of the topic you’re about to discuss. Any examples or support you provide should be related to the topic at hand.

Paragraph 4: Third Main Point

The fourth paragraph is where you lay out the third main point that you promised in your essay’s introduction. Like any paragraph, it should have a transition and a topic sentence, and any examples or support should be related and interesting.

Paragraph 5: Conclusion

The last paragraph of a 5 paragraph essay — or any length should be a conclusion . It should not present new information, but it should always wrap up your discussion. One way to conclude is to summarize your 3 main points and then leave the reader with some key takeaways or a final thought about your thesis that drives your essay home.

However, your essay should not end with a cliffhanger. Remember that idea of cohesion? When the reader finishes your essay, he or she should feel like the information or argument is complete and fascinating.

Creating the 5 Paragraph Essay Graphic Organizer

Now that you understand the 5 paragraph essay format, it’s time to begin planning and writing your essay. To do that, custom writing professionals suggest using a graphic organizer. It can be a simple outline in bullet points, or it can be more visual in nature.

For example, you can create a mind map with your thesis idea — or even the whole thesis sentence — in the middle. Circle your thesis. From there, you can draw lines from the thesis outward and create new bubbles for your mind map, perhaps showing the main points you intend to discuss. Your mind map can include any information that’s helpful, and you may find that you want to expand on each main point with new bubbles.

PRODUCTION: Create a simple drawing of a mind map. Put the word “Thesis” in the middle (circled), and then put the words “Point 1,” “Point 2,” and “Point 3” around it. Draw circles around those words, and connect them to “Thesis” using lines. See example below.

Don’t spend too much time creating a graphic organizer, though. At some point, you need to start writing your 5 paragraph essay! Then the real fun begins. Read more on how to reference an essay

5 paragraph win

The 5 Paragraph Essay Rubric

If you’re wondering how your essay will be graded, you’re not alone. While the exact rubric your teacher uses will vary, here’s a basic one that may help you see what’s expected in your essay.

Grade A: Excellent

  • Both introduction and thesis are strong.
  • Details and examples are strong and well organized.
  • The conclusion is strong enough.
  • Grammar is correct.

Grade B: Good

  • Has some spelling and grammar errors.

Grade C: Fair

  • The introduction is good, but the thesis is weak.
  • Examples used are weak.
  • The conclusion is weak.
  • Has major spelling and grammar errors.

Grade D: Poor

  • Introduction and thesis are weak.
  • Details and examples are weak and somewhat unorganized.
  • Details or examples are few.
  • Does not have a conclusion.
  • Has serious spelling and grammar errors.

Grade F: Unsatisfactory

  • Does not contain a thesis, and introduction is weak.
  • Details and examples are weak and have no clear organization, or there are none at all.

In some cases, your teacher may give you a rubric before you start your essay. If so, make sure you read it carefully and don’t be afraid to ask questions if you don’t understand something. The rubric should tell you exactly what the teacher is looking for, whether it’s a 5 paragraph essay or something much longer. To succeed with your task, please find some essay writing tips .

5 Paragraph Essay Sample

Below you can find free 5 Paragraph essay sample called " The Impact of Technology on Education ".

"In today's rapidly advancing world, technology has become an integral part of our daily lives, revolutionizing various sectors, including education. Its influence on the way we learn, teach, and interact with educational materials is undeniable. This essay examines the significant impact of technology on education, highlighting its benefits and exploring real-life examples that illustrate its transformative power.

One of the primary benefits of technology in education is the enhanced accessibility to information. The internet has brought a wealth of knowledge right to our fingertips. Students can now access a vast array of educational resources, such as e-books, online articles, and interactive learning platforms. For instance, platforms like Khan Academy provide video tutorials and practice exercises on various subjects, enabling students to learn at their own pace and revisit concepts as needed. Furthermore, online forums and discussion boards foster collaborative learning, connecting students and educators from around the globe to share ideas and insights.

Another key advantage of technology in education is its ability to promote active and personalized learning. With the advent of educational software and applications, students can engage in interactive activities that cater to their individual needs and learning styles. For example, adaptive learning platforms like Duolingo tailor language lessons based on the learner's proficiency level and progress. This personalized approach helps students stay motivated and enhances their comprehension and retention of the material. Additionally, digital simulations and virtual reality tools provide immersive learning experiences, allowing students to explore complex concepts in a hands-on and engaging manner.

Furthermore, technology has revolutionized the way educators deliver instruction and assess students' progress. Online learning management systems, such as Moodle and Canvas, enable teachers to create and share course materials, assign tasks, and provide timely feedback. These platforms streamline administrative tasks, giving educators more time to focus on designing innovative lessons and individualized support for students. Moreover, digital assessment tools offer immediate feedback, enabling students to track their progress and identify areas for improvement. Platforms like Kahoot! and Quizlet make learning enjoyable by incorporating gamification elements, making the assessment process interactive and engaging.

In conclusion, technology has had a profound impact on education, transforming the way we learn and teach. The accessibility to vast amounts of information, the promotion of active and personalized learning, and the innovative methods of instruction and assessment are just a few examples of the positive effects of technology in education. However, it is important to ensure that technology is used as a tool to enhance learning rather than replace traditional teaching methods. As we continue to embrace technological advancements, it is crucial to strike a balance between leveraging its benefits and maintaining the human element in education. By doing so, we can harness the full potential of technology to create a future where education is accessible, engaging, and empowering for all learners."

Final Thoughts on the 5 Paragraph Essay

Once you’ve mastered the format of the 5 paragraph essay, you can write a paper at any length imaginable. Remember that it’s helpful to create an outline or graphic organizer to organize your ideas before you start writing , especially for a longer essay. If you have a rubric ahead of time, you’ll know exactly what you need to watch out for as you edit and polish your paper.

how to write the best 5 paragaph essay

With the above information at your disposal and a rubric in-hand, you should have no excuses for a poor grade. Just be mindful of how much time you have to work, and break the writing into small chunks if you need to. Always start early to get the best grade possible.

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How to Write a 5 Paragraph Essay with Examples

Discussing how to write a 5 paragraph essay is one of the most important academic tasks. Students must learn how to create this paper no matter what subject they study or the college they attend. Are you having problems with your assignment right now? Don’t fret — with our help, it’ll take you just a moment to learn how to structure an essay and fill it with relevant information. Have a close look at the tips we prepared, and any worries will flee your mind!

Understand the Definition: What Is a 5 Paragraph Essay?

The first mistake students make is failing to understand what paper they are working on. Once you figure out your task, it stops looking intimidating, so let’s get this problem out of the way. 5 paragraph essay is the most standard type of academic work that has five sections with content. It could cover any topic — its central feature is structure. It should have an introduction, body with three paragraphs, and a conclusion. You’ll see what each of them must focus on a bit later, but we guarantee that there is nothing complex about it.

Popular Types of Five-Paragraph Essay Students Write at College

There are multiple types of 5 paragraph essays. We’re going to explore the most popular of them so that you understand their key features. Remember that differences or similarities in their content don’t matter: they all need to have 5 paragraphs. This feature unites them under one umbrella, and it means that you need to come up with the idea that has 3 major points, exploring each in every body paragraph.

  • Definition essays. Realizing how to write an essay like this won’t take you long. All you need to do is define a concept and explain it to readers. Choose 3 aspects that represent it and dissect them in a clear, comprehensive manner, as befits 5 paragraph essay format. After reading this paper, your audience should form an accurate understanding of what the concept you selected is.
  • Descriptive papers. The central goal here lies in describing something. This could be an object, a country, a holiday, or an event. Choose 3 details or 3 sets of details. For example, if you’re describing a person, you could explore their physical features in one body paragraph, their character in the second one, and their preferences in the third section. Be detailed and demonstrate what rich vocabulary you have by using synonyms, metaphors, comparisons, etc.
  • Narrative works. This is a personal paper type that tells your story. As a possible 5 paragraph essay example, you could describe a meaningful experience or share a lesson that transformed your life. Once again, you’d need to separate 3 key events.
  • Argumentative & persuasive essays. Students learn how to craft argumentative papers early. This tests their ability to do research and use evidence correctly, making it strong enough to convince readers of something. Once you choose an argument, break it into 3 parts and dedicate each of 3 paragraphs to them.
  • Compare & contrast papers. This essay type is among the easiest. Write a 5 paragraph essay by comparing, contrasting, or comparing plus contrasting two or more subjects. For instance, if you have strong feelings toward fictional vampires, compare and contrast Bella from Twilight and Elena from Vampire Diaries. Dedicate 3 paragraphs to their physical looks, behavior, and reception among fans.
  • Cause & effect essays. What causes a problem, and how does it happen? Tackle these questions. If you want an example of five paragraph essay, here is one: explore why Fuji apples are the sweetest by focusing on how they are planted. The cause would be 3 environmental conditions; the effect would be the excessive sweetness of these apples.
  • Literary analysis. Pick a text, such as a short story, an article or a novel, and perform an analysis. Settle on 3 different aspects, such as setting, characters, and literary techniques.

Your professor could ask you to write other kinds of essays, but in most cases, you’ll be working on one of the aforementioned types. They are popular and fairly easy. Understand them or ask for more help from professionals.

Prepare for Writing: See How to Start a 5 Paragraph Essay

Before students start working on their essays, they should cover several other steps. It’s important not to skip them. Rushing won’t do you any good since preparation is everything when it comes to academics.

Choose the best topic

If you want your essay to look great, you should enjoy writing it. Many students scoff at this, thinking that it’s impossible, but the topic is the key. Select one that you truly love. Think about your favorite books, movies, people or experiences; read about your course themes and choose one that interests you most. If you like your work, it’s almost guaranteed that others will equally enjoy it. Just in case, we prepared some five paragraph essays examples. Look through these titles, and who knows, you might want your perfect match.

  • 3 Reasons that Cause Heart Attacks in People Under Fifty
  • Major Consequences that War Waged by Russia Has Had on the World
  • 3 Most Successful Movie Adaptations of Books
  • Effective Strategies for Overcoming Nervousness when Speaking in Public
  • Key Signs that a Bird Is Going to Lay an Egg
  • The Best Gifts You Ever Received & Gave
  • Hints Indicating that a Company Is about to Go Bankrupt
  • Compare & Contrast Two US Colleges of Your Choice
  • Drugs that Cause Most Powerful Addiction among Users
  • Signs of Humans’ Complete Dependency on Technologies & What This Leads to

Do research

After selecting the best 5 paragraph essay topics, start doing research. Browse academic online databases like Google Scholar.  Check your college library — they might have great sources. Look at relevant books, articles, and websites; read their annotations, abstracts or summaries to get an idea of what they discuss. Choose those that were published within the last 5 years, have DOI, or come from relevant publishing houses. They must be credible and based on real experience of professional researchers.

Transitioning Between Paragraphs

Every paragraph in a paper should be readable. It needs to have a certain size, and you should include smooth links between them. You cannot explore one topic and then just straight to the next one. Transition from point to point gradually. How to do it when writing a 5 paragraph essay? Easy! The best way is to use a closing sentence. It should restate everything you’ve explored in a body paragraph and/or mention a common point between it and the next one. Learning how to do that effectively might take some work, but once you gain experience, it’ll be extremely simple.

Format Each 5 Paragraph Essay Should Have

Students are often curious about the size of their paper. So, how many words is 5 paragraphs? As experience shows, they equal 1000 word essay or something close to it. They could take less but definitely not more since the volume of one paragraph cannot exceed 200 words. Regarding formatting itself, it tends to be MLA or APA. They have a specific system of references that ranges from unique in-text citations to work-cited lists. Check templates online or take them from your school library. Other common formats are Harvard and Chicago, but they are more complex. If you need assistance with them, let us know.

Why Outline Is Important and How Much to Write There

We often receive this question from students: “Why do I need to know how to outline an essay if it wastes my time?” It’s understandable, no one wants to bother writing outlines when they should concentrate on a paper itself. But outlines play a crucial role in the education process. They show the structure of your essay, remind you of ideas you had, and help keep things simple and comprehensive. This is the model we suggest:

1) Introduction: 3-5 Sentences

5 paragraph essay introduction consists of three major parts. You could outline them in one sentence each or expand some of them — this is up to you. Just make certain your text looks understandable to you.

a) Hook. This is an intriguing claim that you present in your first sentence. Its goal lies in impressing readers enough to encourage them to keep reading. Writers could choose between multiple hook types. They could include a question, a fun fact, a powerful statement, statistics, or something similar. Go for shocking, stimulating, fascinating, sad, etc.

Example: “The more people witness an accident, the fewer of them try to help the victim.”

b) Background. In this part of the five-paragraph essay, writers should outline their topic. They should explain its relevancy or history. Don’t include too many details: remember that this is an outline, not an actual introduction. One sentence could be more than sufficient.

Example: “The first cure that treats boils appeared over a thousand years ago, and as legend demonstrates, it was made for an influential woman who intended to marry a man of note.”

c) Thesis. This last introduction sentence must produce the biggest and most effective impact on readers. It should present a claim, which is usually argumentative in nature, describing what your essay is about. Never use phrases like “this paper is…” or “I am going to discuss.” Do something like this:

Example: “While exceptions exist, the majority of people who argue against abortions are men, who are religious and who possess an average level of intellect.”

2) 3 Body Paragraphs: 5-7 Sentences

As we mentioned before, every 5 paragraph essay structure is going to have three body sections. The good news is that they all follow the same pattern. When you learn the details of one, you’ll automatically know what to write in others.

a) Opening sentence. Start every body paragraph with a sentence that introduces this paragraph’s topic. As a tip, it should have a direct link to the thesis. Let’s take the previous section as an example. The first paragraph would open with a line like this:

Example: “Research shows that most people who support ban on abortions are men.”

b) Proof. Direct quotes are usually the best evidence. Decide which line to use in advance since it’ll direct your other ideas and sentences.

Example: “As NWG (2018) research showed, 63% of men believed that abortions should be banned at least at some period.”

c) Elaborate. Now elaborate on this quote. Make it clear why you used it and how it supports your argument.

Example: “This fact demonstrates that the majority of men voted in favor of abortion.”

d) Closing sentence. Sum up what you’ve just discussed. Remember what we said about transitions: they should be smooth and gradual.

Example: “Therefore, even though abortions concern women first and foremost, men support it in biggest quantities.”

3) Conclusion: 3-5 Sentences

Summarize your main findings in this section. Don’t present new information or quotes. Stick to what you’ve already described.

a) Restate thesis. Where is the thesis stated in a 5-paragraph essay? As we indicated above, it should be the last sentence of introduction. Take it, reword it, and place it at the start of your conclusion.

Example: “Male population that holds strict religious beliefs and possesses a medium level of intelligence are the most ardent supporters of abortion ban.”

b) Restate major points. You had to derive three main conclusions from your body paragraphs. Now remind people of them.

Example: “These men believe that the life of a child is precious no matter at what stage of physical development it is. They consider the decision to abort this child a crime, as research indicated.”

c) Mention relevancy. Demonstrate why these findings matter.

Example: “It is essential to understand why men support abortion because it can explain the decisions made on a government level and discrimination that exists there.”

5 Paragraph Essay Outline Example on the Topic “Three Major Stages of Grief”

To help you understand the outline for your 5-paragraph essay, we prepared a direct model. It follows the same topic of stages involved in grief. This is what it could look like.


  • Most people felt a paralyzing sense of grief at least once in their life. (Hook)
  • Grief is an ancient feeling that accompanies tragic events. (Background)
  • Three main stages of grief include avoidance, confrontation, and accommodation. (Thesis)

Body Paragraph 1

  • Avoidance means an attempt to distance oneself from the feeling of grief. (Opening sentence)
  • Research illustrates that this stage might last up to several years. (Source reference)
  • This is because people react to events differently: some feel better soon while others struggle for years. (Explanation)
  • Avoidance is the first stage that lasts for a long time if people are set on ignoring their pain. (Closing sentence)

Body Paragraph 2

  • Confrontation signifies anger at the loss a person experienced. (Opening sentence)
  • Studies show that the second stage is the most dangerous. (Source reference)
  • Since they feel rage, people can do drastic negative actions. (Explanation)
  • Confrontation is the most volatile of grief stages. (Closing sentence)

Body Paragraph 3

  • Accommodation means accepting the loss. (Opening sentence)
  • Researchers proved that people understand the futility of their anger here. (Source reference)
  • They realize they cannot recover the loss, which helps them embrace it. (Explanation)
  • Accommodation could happen years after the loss, but it finally brings peace to a person. (Closing sentence)
  • People undergo avoidance, confrontation, and accommodation upon losing someone or something. (Restated thesis)
  • Each stage takes time: avoidance results in dismissal of pain, confrontation is associated with frustrated rage, while accommodation means finding peace. (Restated key points)
  • Understanding grief can help make the experience of loss less painful. (Relevancy)

Grading Rubric for Assessing Your Own Essay

When students work on their assignments, they worry about results. Some of them contact us with the words, “Could you write my paper because I can’t handle it any longer?” This is certainly an option! But we also suggest checking your paper against the grading rubric. It could show you how to write a five paragraph essay effectively.

  • Focus. Does an essay follow the same goal through all paragraphs?
  • Organization. Does your paper have five paragraphs of appropriate length?
  • Conventions. Follow formatting guidelines and academic rules.
  • Style. Did you use formal language while avoiding personal pronouns and contractions?
  • Content. Does your content flow smoothly and prove your point?
  • Answer these questions. Maybe you’ll see that your paper looks amazing. If not, don’t hesitate to ask for help.

Order Five Paragraph Essay Example from Professional Writers

You’ve seen what an essay of 5 paragraphs is and how to write it. In case you forgot anything, go through our guide again. Prepare thoroughly, but if you’re still worried, order assistance from our professional service. Contact us today and receive your answer momentarily. We’ll do your research and produce a flawless essay example based on your topic. Use it for boosting your performance and creating a perfect paper of your own.

What are 5 sections in 5 paragraph essay?

These are introduction, three body paragraphs, as well as conclusion. Remember that each of them has its unique nuances.

How long is a 5 paragraph essay?

Its length should be somewhere between 700-1000 words. Keep the optimal size of each paragraph in mind.

How do you write a 5 paragraph essay quickly?

Experience helps speed the work up. Another option is ordering an essay from experts: they’ll provide it by the date you need.

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While I hail from Fayetteville, Arkansas (I know, not the most progressive state!), I left the Southern life behind me many years ago when I went to college for my first degree. I’ve received it in University of Arkansas, Fayetteville and I’m really proud of this. Since then, I have studied in the U.S., and later on, continued my education in Loughborough University, UK, where I actually my second Bachelor’s Degree along the way.

With my perpetual studies (my parents wonder if it will ever stop), I have become a bit of an expert on college life – academic, social, and financial – and love sharing my experiences and my methods of “circumventing the system” with others.  I will be sharing all of these great tips and strategies with my readers, so stay tuned!

When I am not blogging or enrolling in some new course that interests me, I am backpacking through Europe and staying in hostels, working on my second novel (a riveting murder mystery), and pursuing my interest in music. Yes, I travel with my guitar, and you would be amazed at the amount of cash I can accumulate, just performing on the streets of European cities (they are so much more tolerant of vagabond musicians). 

My other passion is environmental. In my short 27 years of life on this planet, I have witnessed the extinction of species, the destruction of rain forests, and irreparable harm to our oceans. I contribute both time and money to several international environmental organizations, because we all must do our part to save Mother Earth.

But I digress! If you are interested in the “ins and outs” of college life, and want some great tales of navigating through the game of “degree attainment,” as well as tips for easing the pain of those pesky essay and paper assignments, follow my blog!

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  • How to Write a Good Five-Paragraph Essay
  • Writing a Five-Paragraph Essay Step-by-Step

Writing a Five-Paragraph Essay Step-by-Step

What is a Five-Paragraph Essay?

Types of five paragraph essays, 5-paragraph essay topics, how to write a five-paragraph essay in 5 steps, five-paragraph essay outline, introduction, general tips on writing a 5-paragraph essay, bottom line.

Writing an excellent five-paragraph essay is a choice. Some students may choose to exert their efforts and time to meet all requirements. But others may opt for the easy path and submit a poorly-crafted paper which ultimately will lead them nowhere. To ensure that your next five-paragraph essay will shine, our professional essay writers have collected the best tips on creating an excellent piece. Let's look at the writing process stages and crucial ingredients that will make your essay stand out.

As its name suggests, a five-paragraph essay is a composition that includes five paragraphs: an essay introduction , three body paragraphs, and a concluding paragraph. Due to its structure, five-paragraph writing is otherwise called a hamburger essay. This three-tier structure is commonly used to provide an in-depth exploration of three main points related to the subject.

A standard length for a five-paragraph essay ranges 500 to 750 words. A 500 word essay offers enough space to discuss the subject matter without going too much into detail. A general rule of thumb is to keep a paper concise and to-the-point. When composing a three-tier essay, it is also critical to evenly distribute information related to the topic so that your piece looks neat.

In an academic context, the five-paragraph essay fits various tasks. Be it a standardized test or a high school assignment, students will mostly need to develop their ideas within 5 paragraphs. However, depending on the purpose of writing, a five-layer structure may be used in over a dozen essay types. Therefore, a student should be familiar with each academic writing type and tailor their essay to the writing prompt.

Some of the most common essay types that stick to the five-paragraph structure are:

  • Persuasive essay : convinces a reader to accept a specific viewpoint by providing supportive examples
  • Argumentative essay : presents a writer's opinion on the topic
  • Expository essay : offers factual information about a subject
  • Narrative essay : shares a personal story that has a valuable takeaway
  • Descriptive essay : creates a picture with the help of demonstrative details
  • Analytical essay : offers an in-depth analysis of a literary work or an issue

These essay types require much more than a simple answer to a question. Students also need to showcase their critical and research skills. In this respect, a five-paragraph essay is a perfect choice since it offers enough room for profound reflection.

A good topic should arouse curiosity and invite readers in. Consider these great topic ideas recommended by our professional writers.

  • Do we learn from other people's mistakes?
  • Who is responsible for our destiny?
  • Is it ethical to use animals for tests ?
  • What are the advantages of same-sex marriage?
  • How can the government minimize criminal activity ?
  • Who must be punished to death?
  • Is LSD that dangerous as most people think?
  • Why should education become entirely free?

These are just several topics commonly used in academic writing. Feel free to choose one of them for your future paper. You can also use this list as a reference to come up with topic ideas yourself.

The best five-paragraph essays are those that clearly communicate the writer's idea and address the main issues. Besides, such academic papers should contain supporting evidence. Let's take a closer look at each step of composing a great five-paragraph essay:

  • Decide on the topic . It should be memorable and, by its nature, give a hint on the major issue addressed in academic work. Regardless of what subject you select to discuss, be ready to develop your writing around the central idea.
  • Conduct in-depth research . If you were asked to write a five-paragraph paper as part of your homework, be certain to research your topic thoroughly. This step involves working with the primary and secondary sources, gathering all necessary information, and interpreting related examples. In case you need to compose an essay for a standardized test, you naturally won't have time for research. Still, a student will be expected to reflect deeply on the question in the prompt.
  • Carefully organize the essay outline . After research, it's time to mind map your thoughts on the subject. All related arguments act like branches for your central idea, so writing them down makes it easier to structure information. Try to be as specific as possible; this way, you will be able to spark off writing ideas.
  • Craft a structured essay . The next step is to make your creative juices flowing. Needless to say, that the essay should contain 5 paragraphs: an introduction, body part, and conclusion. Make sure to have an outline in front to explore each aspect in great depth.
  • Provide examples . Your paper won't be complete without evidence that backs up your reasoning. Carefully gathered examples help bridge the gap between your central idea and audience. Don't forget to provide proof; this way, you will convey your key message to the reader.

As said earlier, a 5-paragraph essay structure is self-explanatory and includes neither more nor less than five separate sections. Below are the basic components that make a perfect five-paragraph paper:

  • Introductory paragraph including a thesis statement
  • Three-body paragraphs exploring your arguments
  • Concluding paragraph that briefly sums up all critical points
  • References page (depending on guidelines)

Following this three-tier structure ensures consistency of thought as you write a five-paragraph essay. Whether you're aiming for an A+ or simply striving to make your reader satisfied, this paper outline fits any intent of academic writing. Now let's learn more about each of these parts in detail.

The first paragraph presents the central idea of the entire essay. In essence, the introductory paragraph is the most significant part of your writing since it navigates the readers throughout the whole piece. It also determines the tone of voice and essay angle. This doesn't mean that you shouldn't focus on the rest of the paper; however, you need to make sure that your introduction sparkles the interest and grabs the reader's attention from the opening line.

There are several essential components that a great introduction should have:

  • A hook for essay .  It may be a rhetorical question, shocking fact, joke, quote, or some real-life experience. In case you start your essay with a rhetorical question, make sure that you don't answer it; otherwise, it will lose its function.
  • Background information . Briefly introduce the main topic as if you were creating a trailer of a movie. Don't be a spoiler - there is no need to go into detail. It should take around 2-3 sentences to make a brief overview of the topic.
  • A thesis statement . It serves as a solid basis for the rest of the 5-paragraph essay. Make sure that the body paragraphs are closely related to the thesis statement made in the introduction.

The three body paragraphs contained in this part serve as stuffing for your essay. This section is where you discuss the main points of the subject. Here, you should provide specific details - factual information, examples, statistics, or any other supporting evidence that will make your essay easier to digest.

Stick to the following structure when working on each body paragraph:

  • A topic sentence that describes the main point
  • An explanation why this point is crucial
  • An example that supports your reasoning

Make sure to discuss each point in the right order. One brilliant suggestion is to present the most powerful point in the first body paragraph. Then, a writer should provide a less significant aspect in the second part. And the last body paragraph should go for another strong point.

The concluding paragraph should nicely wrap up your ideas and give your final thoughts on the subject. Here are several things you need to include to end your 5-paragraph essay:

  • A rephrased thesis statement presented in the first paragraph
  • An overview of three main points discussed in each body paragraph
  • Final thoughts that provide some space for consideration

The final stage is the so-called concluding paragraph hook. You may include it to add the last touch to your essay. It is a good idea to finish your writing with something your reader can't expect. In other words, you need to put some sugar and spice to leave a lasting impression. Check out our conclusion paragraph examples for more inspiration.

Students write 5-paragraph essays to improve their academic performance. The grades are part of their final score per course. That's why it is vital to know what other things teachers take into consideration when grading your academic papers writing .

  • Focus . The entire essay should be developed around the main idea presented in a thesis.
  • Organization . This means providing a smooth transition between sentences/ paragraphs and following a logical order.
  • Grammar . A paper should be free of grammar, spelling, punctuation, or stylistic mistakes.
  • Content . Your writing should be compelling and have enough examples.

These simple tips will keep you on track to composing an excellent essay for high school or college.

Long story short, a five-paragraph contains five sections, each having a different purpose. While the introduction is an eye-catching wrapping that should grasp the reader's attention, the following three body paragraphs work like rich stuffing. That's why you should carefully mix all ingredients - three main points and proper examples. Conclusion, on the other hand, should briefly summarize all arguments and leave your reader thinking.

It’s time for essay writing but you do not know how to start, what to write about, and how to organize your work? This article will guide you on how to write a 500 word essay fast, will reveal all the essay writing secrets regarding essay structure, writing process as well as give good examples for ...

Students frequently strive towards saving their time (and postponing that boring essay writing) and try completing an assignment without spending enough time on creating an outline. They consider an outline to be a waste of time.  Here is a short and most critical tip by professional essay writers: ...

“Book titled “Neverending Story” is the best literary piece I’ve ever read!”“Shopping at Walmart Makes My Day.”“How Comes Some People Don’t Fear Death?”Students break their heads against the wall trying to understand how to title an essay. These phrases seem extractions from some stories. Some colle...

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  • How to write an essay outline | Guidelines & examples

How to Write an Essay Outline | Guidelines & Examples

Published on August 14, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on July 23, 2023.

An essay outline is a way of planning the structure of your essay before you start writing. It involves writing quick summary sentences or phrases for every point you will cover in each paragraph , giving you a picture of how your argument will unfold.

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Table of contents

Organizing your material, presentation of the outline, examples of essay outlines, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about essay outlines.

At the stage where you’re writing an essay outline, your ideas are probably still not fully formed. You should know your topic  and have already done some preliminary research to find relevant sources , but now you need to shape your ideas into a structured argument.

Creating categories

Look over any information, quotes and ideas you’ve noted down from your research and consider the central point you want to make in the essay—this will be the basis of your thesis statement . Once you have an idea of your overall argument, you can begin to organize your material in a way that serves that argument.

Try to arrange your material into categories related to different aspects of your argument. If you’re writing about a literary text, you might group your ideas into themes; in a history essay, it might be several key trends or turning points from the period you’re discussing.

Three main themes or subjects is a common structure for essays. Depending on the length of the essay, you could split the themes into three body paragraphs, or three longer sections with several paragraphs covering each theme.

As you create the outline, look critically at your categories and points: Are any of them irrelevant or redundant? Make sure every topic you cover is clearly related to your thesis statement.

Order of information

When you have your material organized into several categories, consider what order they should appear in.

Your essay will always begin and end with an introduction and conclusion , but the organization of the body is up to you.

Consider these questions to order your material:

  • Is there an obvious starting point for your argument?
  • Is there one subject that provides an easy transition into another?
  • Do some points need to be set up by discussing other points first?

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how should a 5 paragraph essay look like

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Within each paragraph, you’ll discuss a single idea related to your overall topic or argument, using several points of evidence or analysis to do so.

In your outline, you present these points as a few short numbered sentences or phrases.They can be split into sub-points when more detail is needed.

The template below shows how you might structure an outline for a five-paragraph essay.

  • Thesis statement
  • First piece of evidence
  • Second piece of evidence
  • Summary/synthesis
  • Importance of topic
  • Strong closing statement

You can choose whether to write your outline in full sentences or short phrases. Be consistent in your choice; don’t randomly write some points as full sentences and others as short phrases.

Examples of outlines for different types of essays are presented below: an argumentative, expository, and literary analysis essay.

Argumentative essay outline

This outline is for a short argumentative essay evaluating the internet’s impact on education. It uses short phrases to summarize each point.

Its body is split into three paragraphs, each presenting arguments about a different aspect of the internet’s effects on education.

  • Importance of the internet
  • Concerns about internet use
  • Thesis statement: Internet use a net positive
  • Data exploring this effect
  • Analysis indicating it is overstated
  • Students’ reading levels over time
  • Why this data is questionable
  • Video media
  • Interactive media
  • Speed and simplicity of online research
  • Questions about reliability (transitioning into next topic)
  • Evidence indicating its ubiquity
  • Claims that it discourages engagement with academic writing
  • Evidence that Wikipedia warns students not to cite it
  • Argument that it introduces students to citation
  • Summary of key points
  • Value of digital education for students
  • Need for optimism to embrace advantages of the internet

Expository essay outline

This is the outline for an expository essay describing how the invention of the printing press affected life and politics in Europe.

The paragraphs are still summarized in short phrases here, but individual points are described with full sentences.

  • Claim that the printing press marks the end of the Middle Ages.
  • Provide background on the low levels of literacy before the printing press.
  • Present the thesis statement: The invention of the printing press increased circulation of information in Europe, paving the way for the Reformation.
  • Discuss the very high levels of illiteracy in medieval Europe.
  • Describe how literacy and thus knowledge and education were mainly the domain of religious and political elites.
  • Indicate how this discouraged political and religious change.
  • Describe the invention of the printing press in 1440 by Johannes Gutenberg.
  • Show the implications of the new technology for book production.
  • Describe the rapid spread of the technology and the printing of the Gutenberg Bible.
  • Link to the Reformation.
  • Discuss the trend for translating the Bible into vernacular languages during the years following the printing press’s invention.
  • Describe Luther’s own translation of the Bible during the Reformation.
  • Sketch out the large-scale effects the Reformation would have on religion and politics.
  • Summarize the history described.
  • Stress the significance of the printing press to the events of this period.

Literary analysis essay outline

The literary analysis essay outlined below discusses the role of theater in Jane Austen’s novel Mansfield Park .

The body of the essay is divided into three different themes, each of which is explored through examples from the book.

  • Describe the theatricality of Austen’s works
  • Outline the role theater plays in Mansfield Park
  • Introduce the research question : How does Austen use theater to express the characters’ morality in Mansfield Park ?
  • Discuss Austen’s depiction of the performance at the end of the first volume
  • Discuss how Sir Bertram reacts to the acting scheme
  • Introduce Austen’s use of stage direction–like details during dialogue
  • Explore how these are deployed to show the characters’ self-absorption
  • Discuss Austen’s description of Maria and Julia’s relationship as polite but affectionless
  • Compare Mrs. Norris’s self-conceit as charitable despite her idleness
  • Summarize the three themes: The acting scheme, stage directions, and the performance of morals
  • Answer the research question
  • Indicate areas for further study

If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

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You will sometimes be asked to hand in an essay outline before you start writing your essay . Your supervisor wants to see that you have a clear idea of your structure so that writing will go smoothly.

Even when you do not have to hand it in, writing an essay outline is an important part of the writing process . It’s a good idea to write one (as informally as you like) to clarify your structure for yourself whenever you are working on an essay.

If you have to hand in your essay outline , you may be given specific guidelines stating whether you have to use full sentences. If you’re not sure, ask your supervisor.

When writing an essay outline for yourself, the choice is yours. Some students find it helpful to write out their ideas in full sentences, while others prefer to summarize them in short phrases.

You should try to follow your outline as you write your essay . However, if your ideas change or it becomes clear that your structure could be better, it’s okay to depart from your essay outline . Just make sure you know why you’re doing so.

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.

Caulfield, J. (2023, July 23). How to Write an Essay Outline | Guidelines & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved January 15, 2024, from https://www.scribbr.com/academic-essay/essay-outline/

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What Does an Essay Look Like? Tips and Answers to Succeed

What does an essay look like? At a glance, the answer is obvious. An essay looks like a mere piece of paper (one page or several pages) with an organized text. It’s generally divided into five paragraphs, though there may be more. The essential essay structure includes:

Our specialists will write a custom essay on any topic for 13.00 10.40/page

  • introduction;
  • 2-3 body paragraphs;
  • conclusion.

Yet, will this description help you write a good essay? We suppose not because this piece of paper “hides” many secrets inside!

Let our team give you more details and describe what a good essay looks like in reality. We’ll show the inside and out of this academic paper with a few tips on writing it.

📃 What Does an Essay Look Like on the Outside?

First of all, you should know that a good essay should look pretty. How can you do that? By following all the requirements set by your teacher or of a particular formatting style.

  • What does an essay look like according to the teacher’s requirements? It is usually a paper with 1-inch margins on all sides typed using a 12 pt. standard font. Standard school and college essays have a five-paragraph format.
  • What does an essay look like if it should be arranged according to a format? Depends on the format. MLA and APA are the most popular ones, but there are many more (Chicago, Harvard, Vancouver, etc.). Besides, each of them has different editions. Before writing an essay, ensure that you understand what format is required.

You will also have to set up 1-inch margins, use a 12 pt. font and double spacing throughout the text. However, it is better to get a specific style manual for more details. You can also check our article about MLA or APA styles.

✒️ What Does an Essay Look like on the Inside?

What we mean is how the text itself should be organized. Its content relies on the task given and the paper’s type.

We recommend you follow the instructions and understand clearly what the tutor wants from you regarding the task. If you’re unsure, don’t hesitate to clarify before writing. Checking out some examples of academic essay writing would be helpful too.

The essay type defines the contents of your assignment, considerably affecting the main body of your text. To identify it, make sure you read the task well, and understand what the tutor asked you to do.

In other words:

Not everyone knows that what makes a good essay is how precisely you follow your essay guidelines. First, underline the keywords from your assignment that will help you in doing that. Then, complete the task.

Here is the list of the most common keywords:

Receive a plagiarism-free paper tailored to your instructions.

  • Agree/Disagree. Identify your position and think about a list of arguments that can support your point of view. It can help come up with an essay plan at this point because it will allow you not to deviate from your arguments.
  • Analyze. Here, the college instructor or your school teacher wants to test your analytical abilities. They want to see if you can build bridges between the arguments and analyze the relationships between them.
  • Compare. This keyword means that you need to demonstrate differences and similarities between problems, ideas, or concepts in your essay.
  • Describe/Discuss. On a surface level, to describe is to examine an issue or an object in detail.
  • Explain. Similarly, to explain is to tell why the things the way they are.
  • Illustrate. Here, your teacher expects you to come up with some great examples to bring the topic alive.
  • Interpret. If you find this keyword in your assignment, you should give your understanding of the matter. It should provide some interesting angles of looking at the topic.
  • List/State. To write an essay with this keyword in the assignment, make a list of facts or points.
  • Summarize. Your essay should focus on the main ideas and problems.

A typical essay structure is split into five paragraphs:

  • Introduction: The goal of an introduction is to hook your reader. It sets a tone and prepares for what is yet to come. It is done through your thesis statement. You can start your introduction paragraph with a quote, a short joke, a question, or a historical reference. Don’t try to bring complicated terminology and wording into this part of your essay. Use clear sentences that are engaging and catchy for a high-quality essay introduction.
  • Body Paragraphs: Think about this part of your essay as the essay base. Here, you are expected to prove your thesis and find an interesting approach to looking at it. You will have to restate your main idea again, provide evidence that proves it, analyze the evidence, and connect these ideas.
  • Conclusion: A conclusion is the last part of your essay, which summarizes the arguments and explains the broader importance of the topic. In a way, a concluding paragraph should answer a “so what?” question. To have a clearer vision of what a conclusion for your essay may look like, you can put its text into a summary machine and see what comes out.

It is a standard structure that allows disclosing a topic properly, logically expressing all your ideas. What does an essay look like if you want to make it original? In this case, it will look like a paper with a couple of pictures, diagrams, or maps.

It is always useful to check some examples before getting down to work. Here you can check how 9th-grade essays should look like.

Thank you for reading this article. We hope you found it useful. Don’t forget to share it with your peers!

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  • Essay Structure: Elizabeth Abrams, for the Writing Center at Harvard University
  • General Essay Writing Tips: Essay Writing Center, International Student
  • What is an Essay? How to Write a Good Essay: LibGuides at Bow Valley College
  • Academic Essay Structures: Student Support Center Quick Tips, University of Minnesota
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I really don’t understand the connection been a topic and a thesis.

Hey Anna, It’s our pleasure to hear from you. A lot of students have difficulties understanding the connection between a topic and a thesis statement. That’s why we’ve created a super useful guide to cover all your questions. Or, you may want to check out the best examples of thesis statements here . We hope it helps. In case of any questions, do not hesitate to contact us.

Wonder, what does an essay look like! Read the post, and you’ll find the answer to your question and many tips to use in your paper.

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Basic Essay Structure: The Five-Paragraph Essay

Introduction: what is a five-paragraph essay.

The three fundamental sections of the five-paragraph essay are −

The introduction

The body, and

The conclusion.

how should a 5 paragraph essay look like

Functions of an Essay’s First Paragraph

The essay's first paragraph serves a number of functions. This section grabs the reader's interest, develops the fundamental concepts you'll address, and offers the essay's argument. The topic, focus, and three primary ideas of the essay are all included in the thesis statement, which is often only one phrase long.

Each body paragraph should begin with a transition, which might be a word or phrase like First or Another significant point is. The subject sentence should then continue the first sentence. Like a more concise thesis statement, the subject sentence informs the reader of the purpose of the paragraph. Supporting sentences will make up the remainder of the paragraph. Four or more of these phrases should clarify your topic sentence to the reader.

Make sure that every sentence in the paragraph closely relates to both the topic sentence and the thesis statement. A point should not be made in a paragraph if it is not directly related to the main sentence. You might write a different paragraph on that other topic, but you shouldn't just throw it in any old paragraph because you had the idea at that particular moment. (Just as adding a crimson towel to a load of white laundry would ruin the remaining white clothing, so would adding an off-topic item to a paragraph in an essay. Keep your laundry and your paragraph points apart!)

The essay's final paragraph is its conclusion. This section concludes the essay, reviews its main points, and restates the thesis. Since the conclusion is a summary of the essay's substance, it shouldn't introduce any new concepts. The argument is restated in a less complex manner than it was in the introduction.

An essay's structure can be aided by following the five-paragraph essay pattern. Three supporting body paragraphs, one ending paragraph, and one introduction paragraph make up the essay. The "hamburger essay," "one-three-one essay," and "three-tier essay" are all names given to it because of its format.

The five-paragraph essay format's appeal stems in part from the fact that it may be used for any style of essay. As long as your topic is straightforward enough to be addressed in only five paragraphs, you may use the framework of a five-paragraph essay to communicate clearly and rationally, regardless of whether your assignment is an argumentative essay or a compare-and-contrast essay.

Beginning a Five-Paragraph Essay

Like other essays, a five-paragraph essay requires you to know your thesis, or major issue, before you can start writing. The three middle paragraphs of your essay will support, prove, or expound on your thesis. Your thesis is the notion you will defend or expand upon, and ultimately, it is what your whole essay is about.

Obviously, you cannot start writing unless you have a strategy for it. If your thesis isn't included in the assignment, pick one that has enough information to warrant discussion, or at the very least, five paragraphs' worth.

The thesis statement, which is a line in the introduction that informs the reader of the topic of the essay, is often where writers provide an explanation of the thesis. Although you don't have to write this first, putting the issue in a single phrase can help you grasp it, give it emphasis, and allow you to edit it as necessary.

Once you have a topic in mind, it is a good idea to quickly draught an essay outline so you will know what material to add and in which paragraphs. Your five-paragraph essay outline serves as a kind of blueprint that allows you to plan out your essay's organisation and structure in advance, saving time on editing.

How Should Paragraphs Be Transitioned?

Lastly, transitioning from one paragraph to the next is one of the most difficult aspects of writing essays. Readers will become disoriented from the flow and lose momentum or even interest if your paragraph transitions are abrupt or jarring since good writing is smooth and fluent.

Making transition sentences with words or phrases like "however," "similarly," or "on the other hand" is the greatest approach to rationally shift from one idea to another. Sometimes connecting a new paragraph to the one before it and keeping the reader on track only requires adding one word.

Essay with Five Paragraphs

Knowing what material to use in each paragraph can aid you when developing your five-paragraph essay outline or when starting the first draught. The fundamental units of your essay are its paragraphs, just like in any prose writing.

Each paragraph in essays with five paragraphs has a certain purpose. Below, we outline each paragraph's objectives as well as what should belong there.

Paragraph to introduce

Crucial is the first sentence. It establishes the overall tone of your essay and gives the reader a brief overview of the subject so they know what to anticipate. Thankfully, many of the same guidelines for essay introduction still apply to five-paragraph essays.

Your thesis statement should be the first sentence of your introduction paragraph. This one statement sums up the whole essay, including any justifiable opinions or arguments, in a clear and concise manner.

The first line usually contains the thesis statement, although you are allowed to relocate it later if you wish to start with something more attention-getting, like a hook. A hook in writing is something that draws the reader in, such as mystery, urgency, etc.

Include any background information about your topic in your introduction paragraph. However, you may use the introduction to provide fundamental information that your readers might not be aware of. You should reserve the most important material for the body paragraphs.

In a manner similar to an outline, your first paragraph should touch on each of the ideas stated in the following paragraphs. Just a quick description of what you'll explain in the next paragraph is sufficient. Save the details for the subsequent paragraphs, which will allow you to go into further detail.

Detailed sentences

The three body paragraphs are what your essay is made of; in them, you describe specifics, present proof, clarify your thinking, and otherwise work to support your thesis. Each paragraph should have a distinct, stand-alone idea that bolsters your argument.

Start each paragraph with a topic sentence that serves as a sort of thesis statement but solely addresses the subject of that particular paragraph. Although it describes the main idea of the paragraph, the subject sentence leaves the specifics to the words that follow. If the subject shift from the preceding paragraph is too sharp, don't be afraid to include a transitional word or phrase in the topic sentence.

The rest of the paragraph should be filled up with information after the topic phrase. These might be solid justifications, factual information, quotations from reliable sources, or logical reasoning alone. The goal of a five-paragraph essay is to be brief, so only include the information that is pertinent. Be sure to omit any lines that are off-topic or tangential.

Sentence conclusion

The essay is finished with this paragraph. In the last paragraph, you shouldn't include any new evidence or arguments; instead, you should restate and connect the key ideas from the earlier sentences. In this section, the author restates the thesis and reviews the three body paragraphs' key arguments for the reader.

A call to action can be included in the final paragraph of your essay if you want to persuade the reader to take an action, such as donate to a cause or alter their behaviour. A call to action is a declaration or demand that makes it crystal apparent what the author wants the reader to do. Your call to action, for instance, may read: "Remember to respect safety rules when camping" if your focus is avoiding forest fires.

Five-paragraph essays can also use the fundamental guidelines for writing an essay conclusion. A nice place to introduce your own viewpoint or to explain why this issue is important is in the final paragraph, for instance. To offer your readers something to consider after reading, it also helps to close with a thought-provoking statement, such an open-ended inquiry.

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The Top 10 Global Risks for 2024

Activists Demand More German Military Support For Ukraine

I n 2023, the big stories centered on two wars in Europe (Russia vs Ukraine) and the Middle East (Israel vs Hamas). Those conflicts will expand in 2024, but it’s a third “war”—the United States versus itself—that poses the greatest global risk. And, as always, there will be new stories that deserve more attention than they’re getting.

Read more about the Ideas of the Year—and TIME's complete coverage of the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland

1. The United State vs itself    

While America’s military and economy remain exceptionally strong, the U.S. political system is more dysfunctional than any other advanced industrial democracy. In 2024, the problem will get much worse. The presidential election will deepen the country’s political division, testing American democracy to a degree the nation hasn’t experienced in 150 years and undermining U.S. credibility internationally. With the outcome of the vote close to a coin toss (at least for now), the only certainty is damage to America’s social fabric, political institutions, and international standing. In a world beset by crises, the prospect of a Trump victory will weaken America’s position on the global stage as Republican lawmakers take up his foreign policy positions and U.S. allies and adversaries hedge against his likely policies.

2. Middle East on the brink    

The fighting in Gaza will expand in 2024, with several pathways for escalation into a broader regional war. Some could draw the U.S. and Iran more directly into the fighting. The conflict will pose risks to the global economy, widen geopolitical and political divisions, and stoke global extremism. The straightest path to escalation would be a decision by either Israel or Hezbollah to attack the other. Top Israeli leaders have pledged to “remove” the threat from Hezbollah. If Israel were to attack preemptively, the U.S. military would provide support, and Iran would assist Hezbollah, its most important regional proxy. Houthi militants are also pursuing an escalatory path, and Shia militias operating in Iraq and Syria have increased attacks on U.S. bases with Tehran’s blessing. No country involved in the Gaza conflict wants a regional conflict to erupt. But the powder is dry, and the number of players carrying matches makes the risk of escalation high.

More From TIME

3. partitioned ukraine    .

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine remains an historic failure. NATO is strengthened by new members Finland and Sweden. The EU has opened a membership process for Ukraine, Russia has faced 11 rounds of sanctions, with more on the way, and half of its sovereign assets have been frozen—money increasingly likely to be used for Ukrainian reconstruction. Europe no longer buys Russian energy. But Ukraine will be de facto partitioned this year, and Russia now has the battlefield initiative and a material advantage. 2024 is an inflection point in the war: and if Ukraine doesn't solve its manpower problems, increase weapons production, and set a realistic military strategy soon, its territorial losses could prove permanent and may well expand. Kyiv has taken a body blow from ebbing political and material support from the United States, and the outlook for European assistance is only slightly better. Ukraine is desperate for more troops. For all these reasons, Kyiv will take bigger military risks this year, including strikes on more targets inside Russia that provoke unprecedented Russian responses and could pull NATO into the conflict.

4. Ungoverned AI     

Technology will outstrip AI governance in 2024 as regulatory efforts falter, tech companies remain largely unconstrained, and far more powerful AI models and tools spread beyond the control of governments.   

5. Axis of rogues  (and America’s dangerous friends)   

In 2024, Russia, North Korea, and Iran will boost one another’s capabilities and act in increasingly coordinated and disruptive ways on the global stage. Meanwhile, even Washington’s friends—the leaders of Ukraine, Israel and (potentially) Taiwan—will pull the U.S. into confrontations it wants to avoid.

6. No China Recovery      

Absent an unlikely loosening of President Xi Jinping’s grip on power or a radical pivot toward large-scale consumer stimulus and structural reform, China’s economy will underperform throughout 2024. Beijing’s failure to reform the country’s sputtering economic growth model, the country’s financial fragilities, and a crisis of public confidence will expose gaps in the Chinese Communist Party’s leadership capabilities and increase the risk of social instability. 

7. The fight for critical minerals     

Critical minerals will be a crucial component in virtually every sector that will drive growth, innovation, and national security in the 21st century, from clean energy to advanced computing, biotechnology, transportation, and defense. In 2024, governments around the world will intensify their use of industrial policies and trade restrictions that disrupt the flow of the critical minerals.

8. No room for error    

The global inflation shock that began in 2021 will continue to exert an economic and political drag in 2024. High interest rates caused by stubborn inflation will slow growth around the world, and governments will have little scope to stimulate growth or respond to shocks, heightening risk of financial stress, social unrest, and political instability.   

9. El Nino is back   

After a four-year absence, a powerful El Nino climate pattern will peak in the first half of this year, bringing extreme weather events that trigger food insecurity, increase water stress, disrupt logistics, spread disease, and foment migration and political instability, particularly in countries already weakened by the pandemic and the energy and food prices shocks created by the Ukraine war.   

10. Risky business    

Customers, employees, and investors—mostly on the progressive side—have brought the U.S. culture wars to corporate offices, and now courts, state legislatures, governors, and activist groups—mostly conservative ones—will hit back. Companies caught in the political and legal crossfire will face higher uncertainty and costs.

Red herrings

U.S.-China crisis

This will be another turbulent year for U.S.-China relations, particularly over Taiwan and tech competition, but domestic preoccupations have persuaded Presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping that better-managed relations serve both sides.

Populist takeover of European politics   

Europe’s populists will continue to strike fear in the European political establishment, but limited setbacks for mainstream parties at European Parliament, national, and local elections will neither upend the European political order nor derail EU ambitions rejuvenated by the Covid-19 pandemic and Ukraine war.     

BRICS vs. G7   

Even after this year’s expansion, the BRICS will not emerge as a China-led rival to the G7.

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A Confusing New World for College Applicants

How high-school seniors have navigated the supreme court’s landmark ruling against affirmative action..

This transcript was created using speech recognition software. While it has been reviewed by human transcribers, it may contain errors. Please review the episode audio before quoting from this transcript and email [email protected] with any questions.

From “The New York Times“, I’m Michael Barbaro. This is “The Daily“.

Last summer —

We begin tonight with the Supreme Court striking down affirmative action and reshaping college admissions.

— in a landmark ruling, the US Supreme Court overturned nearly 50 years of precedent and banned the use of affirmative action in college admissions.

In a 6 to 3 decision, the justices ruled that Harvard University and the University of North Carolina violated the Constitution.

In doing so, the court eliminated the single most powerful tool for ensuring diversity on America’s college campuses and forced college admissions officers and high school seniors to figure out what the college admissions process should look like when race can no longer be taken into account.

It’s college application season, a stressful time for high school seniors and their parents. But now, six months since affirmative action was repealed, things are even more uncertain for many Black students across the country.

Today, “Daily” producer, Jessica Cheung, documents how over the past year, both students and college officials tried to navigate the new rules. It’s Friday, January 5th.

So this past July, just two weeks after the Supreme Court ended affirmative action, I flew to Rochester, New York to meet some of the students who are part of this first historic class to apply to college under an affirmative action ban.

How’s it going?

How are you all?

Good. How are you?

I’m good. I’m good.

A group of about 90 high school seniors had also flown in from all across the country to Nazareth University. They were brought here by Pure Forward, a nonprofit that helps mostly Black and Hispanic students from low income communities apply to college. And they had gathered here for a workshop on how to make their college essay stand out.

We’re going in now.

OK. I walked into a small classroom with an instructor and 5 seniors who were sitting facing a whiteboard scribbling into their spiral notebooks with tips on how to write the perfect college essay envisioning that no one else know who you are hundreds of students they’ve never met you. They cannot see who you are. So, what makes you different?

The college essay is a high stakes genre of writing that is supposed to capture everything a 17-year-old is and was and everything he or she could offer to the college of their dreams.

Starting an essay strong —

And with that high stakes genre are rules, rules about what to do.

That’s a good thing that he just said, a hook.

Write a hook.

What exactly do we mean by show and tell?

Show, don’t tell.

Do you guys remember when we were in third or fourth grade, we would have to bring an animal in, and we would have to do what? Well, some schools had to bring an animal, but you had to bring something in —

And rules about what not to do. Many of the students told me about certain edicts around the college essay. Don’t write a sob story. No COVID. No dying grandparents. These are topics that won’t set you apart from the batch.

How can we help — what are some words we should be using to help the reader visualize what we’re saying?

But what about an applicant’s race. Historically, race could offer an edge to these students, but in its ruling banning affirmative action, the Supreme Court said that colleges couldn’t do that anymore. Using race as a factor in admissions is no longer legal, and to play it safe, many of the schools these kids are applying to have decided to hide what they call the race box, which means that while students might still check the box that corresponds with their race, the schools will be blind to it. So, unlike any other applicants before them, this year’s class of high school seniors face a new dilemma.

With the race box gone, the question becomes, should students write about race, or should they avoid it altogether, and could writing about race actually work against them?

I think that was an awesome job. So tomorrow —

But by the end of the session, the instructor never brought any of this up.

Hi, guys. I’m Jess.

So during their lunch break, I walked into the dining hall to ask students of color how they were all thinking about this.

I was wondering — oh, thank you.

I walked over to a table strewn with pizza crust and leftover french fries, and at that table, I met two kids sitting next to each other. Their name tags read Jordan Williams and Francesco Macias from the Bronx.

Some clubs I’m in is peer ministers, drama, mock trial

Jordan told me he wants to be a corporate lawyer, and Francesco wants to be an electrical engineer.

I’ve been, like, really fascinated in electronics and how they work. I really like to build stuff. I like to design things, create things.

Have you designed anything?

I made a mini Tesla coil.

He patiently explained to me that a Tesla coil is a tightly bound coil of wires that can produce a spark. He made it for his eighth grade science fair.

I was watching this documentary on Nikola Tesla, and I like saw it. And I was like, hmm. Maybe some people made a miniature model.

Francesco combs by his passion pretty naturally.

I was born here, but my parents are from Ecuador.

When his grandfather emigrated from Ecuador in the 1960s, he settled in Queens doing laundry at a hospital. Francesco’s dad grew up there and eventually became a technician for buildings around the city, so Francesco grew up tinkering and building stuff with his dad. At one point, they built a computer he found on the sidewalk using spare parts from other computers that were thrown away.

I guess it’s just really affected my life.

When Francesco was 12, he started watching YouTube videos of engineers exploding Coke bottles and making roving hoverboards. And when he looked at where many of these engineers went to college, time and again, he saw one name. MIT. And that became his dream.

I really love engineering.

Francesco did everything right to make himself an attractive candidate. He has a 4.0, and he has more extracurricular activities than he can possibly list on the Common Application, which includes student body vice president, engineering club, community service, woodworking, school theater, and he’s a third degree black belt in taekwondo. But his test scores are lower than MIT’S average, and now he thinks the Supreme Court’s decision on affirmative action won’t give him the boost normally given to Latino students like him.

Now they’ve taken out the race, which I don’t have that much of an upper hand.

With MIT’S acceptance rate at just 4.8 percent, losing this upper hand feels like a big loss. And so, other parts of his application are rising to a new level of importance. Most crucially, his essay.

So, I’m going to have to write something that is about me.

He told me he’s writing about his leather briefcase —

Because I found that bag at a thrift store for $10.

— that helped him conquer his shyness, helped him gain confidence, and make friends. But he was struggling with whether or not his story should include his race.

Do you think that you might consider working in your racial identity to your essay now that you know that the box is gone.

I don’t know because on one part, it’s like, I can show who I am more. But on the other hand, I don’t want to sound too redundant, and then it’s like — it’s kind of like when they tell you like don’t write about a sob story because they read a sob story all the time. I just want to write about me, myself.

And you don’t want to talk about it?

Not really.

Because although yeah, it’s a part of my identity, but I don’t really let it define me in a sense. So, it’s one of these things. I mean, I’ll ask questions from my other peers and the advisors, see what to do. It is confusing, especially because other generations —

Jordan the aspiring corporate lawyer was sitting next to us quietly listening this whole time.

What did you write about?

I asked what was in his essay so far.

I wrote about one of my favorite movies, and I related it to my life.

What’s the movie?

Training Day.

He said the movie training day taught him to question conventional wisdom.

I always felt like there was a lot of pressure to follow in with the crowd, but if you question, why am I following this crowd when I can stand out myself? So, that’s why I wrote about it.

Jordan told me more about himself. He could have written about a lot of things. As a Black kid raised by a single mom, he knew his biological dad, but his dad chose not to be an active part in Jordan’s life. And so, he would get himself into trouble succumbing to peer pressure, but his grandfather encouraged him to set his own course in life and focus on school. And now, he’s an honor roll student. But none of that was in his Training Day essay.

No, not appearing in my essay at all. Not appearing in my essay at all.

Would you consider working it in your essay?

That I’m Black?

Now that I’m thinking about it, yeah.

How would you do that?

I don’t even know.

I don’t even know. That’s — I would probably have to say that I’m a Black kid from the Bronx, I guess. I don’t know. That’s crazy. I didn’t even think about that. It’s weird. It’s a weird situation.

Francesco and Jordan weren’t the only ones confused. As I talked to more students at the workshop, it was clear that the confusion over the ruling was everywhere.

I am not really too educated on what’s happening in the government right now.

I don’t really know what’s going on.

They told me they were worried and uncertain of what it meant for them.

I was just like, damn. That’s not going to help me, I guess.

Not going to help you.

Because I was kind of hoping it would, but — One of my essays were actually, like, surrounded by my identity, my culture, being Black and Nigerian. And I feel like now that, like, affirmative action is gone, colleges can actually say, well, we don’t really care about your identity now.

And there was panic over news that was being shared on Instagram —

It says here, like, in Missouri, the attorney general director all colleges to immediately stop considering race and scholarships.

— about how the University of Missouri and the University of Kentucky would go beyond the ruling and end race based scholarships.

Some of my peers saying now I can’t apply to this school or now I have to change this option.

And in the absence of answers, some were making up their own, sometimes wrongly.

You think that students might redact that they were part of NAACP and —

And so, it’s leading some students to hide their race.

So, it was a plus before. Now you feel like it’s a minus to be Black?

Yes. In the fear of that’s too race related, so now you’re hiding that side of yourself to make others feel better in a way.

And with all of this misinformation floating around —

Lunch is over.

OK. OK. Thanks.

You’re welcome.

Have a good next session.

You too. I mean, thank you.

— these questions and confusions eventually made their way inside the classroom —

Why is it bad?

— into the next session, when two students sparred over, if you don’t indicate your race in your essay, would colleges know at all?

When you fill out FAFSA, you still have to enter the race question, so it’s not going to be just out of the question entirely. It’s not like race isn’t a question at all.

And if you apply for financial aid as students said, they would know, wouldn’t they?

But then now the concern comes in is, will they tackle that as well because they’re already having —

And if the schools knew their race, what would they do with that information? There was a pause. I waited for the adults in the room to give some sort of answer.

So, we’re in our second session.

But, no. The writing coach gently guided their attention back to class.

— writing. Let’s make sure that we’re being attentive. We want to be an active listener, so —

I eventually looked into this, and the schools in fact wouldn’t know a student’s race from financial aid forms, but no one at the workshop told the kids this.

So, the writing workshop continued business as usual. Between classes, I’d asked the head of Pure Ford, which is guiding all these kids, how their guidance would change as a result of the affirmative action ban. He said it doesn’t. He told me they were still waiting to hear more from colleges themselves about how the ruling might change their admissions formula.

So after the workshop, I started reaching out to those admissions offices, and it turns out the people charged with implementing the court’s decision are just as confused as the students applying.

We’ll be right back.

After my trip to the writing workshop in Rochester, I wanted to get a better understanding of how admissions offices around the country were going to change. Out of the thousands of universities and colleges in the US, a small percentage, some put the number around 10 percent, are actually affected by the decision, the ones who are practicing affirmative action in the first place. But the small percentage are the most selective in the United States. Think the top 100 colleges in the US News and World Report, colleges that are known for their outsized ability to help students from poor backgrounds become high earners after graduation. So, these were the colleges I started to call.

Hi. How’s it going?

Hey, Jeff. How are you?

Hey, Jess. Hi, how are you?

Gary, thank you so much for taking the time to talk. How are you doing today?

I called over 30 people inside the admissions world.

So, what we’re still trying to understand, I would say the ruling specifically for Carleton, and we’re working with our legal counsel to ask some of these specific questions.

Some admissions offices never responded to my requests. Some admissions offices wanted to talk, but were vetoed by their general counsel. Some would only talk to me off the record.

A college can be sued for many, many reasons. In a time when there’s a substantial movement in the United States that seems to be reacting against even the mere idea of diversity.

And that’s because colleges are treading this new terrain cautiously. No school wants to end up in a legal battle like Harvard did, who was a defendant on the case that led to the overturning of affirmative action. The trial unearthed embarrassing discoveries about Harvard’s notoriously opaque admissions system, including something called a personal score, which admissions officers use to rank traits like an applicant’s self-confidence and likability and routinely scored Asian applicants near the bottom. And Harvard is still being investigated for its admission practices.

But the other admissions officers that did talk to me started to give me a sense of what it’s like inside the schools.

Hello, hello.

Matt McGann is the Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid at Amherst College, a small liberal arts college in Massachusetts. It has an acceptance rate of seven percent.

Because we do want to attract a diverse applicant pool, we do believe that a diverse student body makes for a better residential liberal arts education.

Currently, about half of its student body are students of color.

Even before this decision, race was never by itself the reason why someone would be admitted.

McGann told me that before the ruling, Amherst achieved this diverse student body in part by considering race among a variety of factors. Do you play a sport? Do you play the French horn? Did you grow up white and on a farm, or Black in an inner city? Race was just one piece of the puzzle.

It was always one of many parts of a whole person review to better understand a student’s context, to better understand a student’s life, but never it by itself, never a determining factor.

What McGann told me is something I heard from every admissions office I talked to, that race by itself was not determinative. But the Supreme Court disagreed, saying that race was determinative for a significant percentage of admitted Black and Hispanic students at Harvard and UNC. And now places like Amherst have lost their ability to consider race.

We’re going from a time where we can consider everything that a student wants us to consider to there being one aspect that remains important in society that we must ignore.

When the affirmative action cases got to the Supreme Court’s door, McGann along with many administrators at Amherst sent an amicus brief to the court and predicted that without affirmative action, the number of Black students on their campuses will drop from seven percent to two percent.

— lawyers. I don’t have a law degree, although the longer I do this, I feel like my legal expertise certainly is increasing.

And after the court’s ruling, McGann and his team at Amherst pored over the decision, which came in the form of a 237 page PDF.

You know, like, we didn’t get the chance to ask the Supreme Court, like, right, so we do this. Like, so what now? Like, it’s not a step by step manual, so we’re left with the work to figure out how we make sure that we’re compliance with everything.

But what does being in compliance mean exactly? Unlike with sports, orchestra, and geographic status, race is now off the table. But what if participating in an extracurricular like the Black Student Union has to do with race? How would that work?

And so, just to get specific, like with an extracurricular activity, for instance, where a student says that they were a member of the BSU. How could that have been considered before the affirmative action ruling, and what changes about it after?

So, that cannot be put in the context of —

well, so, understanding a student’s participation in an activity through a lens of racial status is something that at the very least cannot be as easily done anymore. We’re still working on our training and guideline language on how the admissions staff should approach these questions. We’re still working on that.

All right. Well, thank you so much for your time and good luck with the next admissions cycle. And again, thank you for the time.

It’s been an interesting conversation, and I appreciate your thoughtful approach to it, so best wishes. Cheers. All right. Bye.

The Dean at Amherst isn’t the only one scratching his head over this ruling. In several on and off the record conversations with current and former deans of admissions, they expressed tremendous uncertainty about how all of this was going to work. How do you not consider race when it can be so apparent in things like a student’s extracurriculars, their last name, their essay topic?

But as I continued to talk to admissions officers, I finally started to get somewhere. They seemed to all point to a key passage in the decision that was in this moment of darkness a kind of north star. Chief Justice Roberts wrote it, and it goes, nothing in this opinion should be construed as prohibiting universities from considering an applicant’s discussion of how race affected his or her life, be it through discrimination, inspiration, or otherwise. But he says, a benefit to a student who overcame racial discrimination, for example, must be tied to that student’s courage and determination, or a benefit to a student whose heritage or culture motivated him or her to assume a leadership role or attain a particular goal must be tied to that student’s unique ability to contribute to the university. In other words, the student must be treated on the basis of his or her experiences as an individual, not on the basis of race.

So, what does that mean? Roberts says that if a student does write about race, you as the admissions officer will now have to connect race to a lived experience, like overcoming discrimination. Then, you’d have to explain how overcoming discrimination uniquely connects to the mission of the college, like how overcoming discrimination shows resilience and promise. And these are the students that we’re looking for. The distinctions between race and race as a lived experience is a granular distinction, and I wasn’t sure how it would play out.

But by the fall, as colleges launched their applications on the Common App, I began to notice a new kind of essay question pop up.

Over and over again, I kept seeing schools introduce new supplemental essay prompts that draw words directly from Roberts passage. Prompts like, talk about lived experiences and how you could uniquely contribute to their campus. It was a subtle change, but a change nonetheless.

For example, Brown University used to ask its applicants to write, quote, about a time when you were challenged by a perspective that differed from your own. Here, it allowed applicants to argue that by simply belonging to a minority group, other students can learn from them and vice versa. It relied on a previous Supreme Court precedent that says colleges can use affirmative action to create a diverse learning environment. But after the overturning of that precedent, Brown replaced it with a new prompt this year with words drawn directly from Roberts. It read, share how an aspect of your growing up has inspired or challenged you and what unique contributions this might allow you to make to the Brown community.

The key change here is that there is now a right kind of race essay and a wrong kind. And in the end, I found that at least 20 selective colleges, including several in the Ivey League, had changed their essay questions this year using words from Robert’s passage. But the students this year will have a hard time understanding this distinction on their own.

The plaintiffs will look at any institution that doesn’t see a dip and wonder, were you like, wink, wink, using a proxy but really going against the law. So, I want to be really clear, and I would want you to print that Colorado College is going to follow the law. I know that it’s an optimistic goal to try to maintain compositional diversity, and we probably won’t, to be honest with you. But I don’t want to set a goal that we will. We know we’ve got to set aspirational goals, but you’re right that our numbers probably will decline.

In my conversations with admissions deans, they told me their schools were still committed to diversity, but the schools are in a bit of a bind. If they produce the same level of racial diversity in the incoming year as the year before the ruling, they put themselves at legal risk. The anti-affirmative action opposition are on the lookout for schools that, behind the closed doors of admissions offices, are practicing a kind of under-the-table affirmative action.

I talked to Jeff Brenzel who was the Dean of Admissions at Yale but is now working with Morehouse College to figure out what this new world of admissions is starting to look like. He crunched the numbers. He estimates that there will be a 20 to 30 percent drop in Black enrollment in the top 100 colleges. He says he expects HBCUs like Morehouse to catch some of those 20 to 30 percent, but it’s unclear how many of those students those colleges can actually support.

And as for Latino students, no one I talked to has speculated on where they might wind up. I asked McGann at Amherst, given all of this, whether students of color are applying this year will have a harder time getting into schools, schools like Amherst.

I would hope that that student would know that nothing about this changes who they are, and it’s incumbent upon the colleges. It’s not the student’s job. The student should present themselves as wholly and fully and as best they can, and it’s on the colleges to lawfully consider and have an admission process that allows them to live up to their mission.

OK. I have it on the recording thing.

OK, great. And you’re holding it to your ear like you’re on the phone?

Just weeks before Francesco submitted his application to MIT, I call him after school.

To start, I would just love to know how you’re feeling about the applications you have so far.

Oh, I really like it. I feel that it speaks to who I am.

I wanted to know where he landed, whether he ended up mentioning race in his application essay.

No. I don’t think I did. I did try to stay away from it.

He says even though race is still a big part of who he is, it’s not the thing he wants admissions officers to see.

I don’t want to be categorized saying, oh, he’s a Hispanic. Then saying like, oh, look at what he’s done. He’s done this. He’s done that. I was actually speaking to one of my friends about it. We were saying it’s essentially being, I guess, confined to a box. And it’s like, oh, what race are you? Like, Hispanic. Right? And I have pride for my race. I’m not saying like, oh, I’m ashamed, but specifically pertaining to college application, I want to show them who I am as a person, what my dreams are, what I like, what are my aspirations, who I am.

When you think about someone boxing you in because they know your racial background, what do you think that boxing in is, or what do you think that boxing in means?

I don’t want to be confined by saying, oh, they have this preconceived notion of me being Hispanic. OK. And I don’t know their attitudes or their feelings, but whether I like it or not, there are people in the world who don’t like my race or just they have differing opinions. And that’s OK. People have their right to have their own opinions, but I want to go in saying who I am so if I ever were to be confined in that box, essentially an issue for me.

It’s a way to play safe.

Yeah. Just play it safe.

You know, in a world where affirmative action was still practiced by colleges and by admissions officers where it would actually be a favor to you, would you have mentioned your racial background?

If it were an advantage to me, then I’d take it. But now that it’s gone, I’d rather play it safe.

His decision is fueled in part by the same narrative I heard from the other students at the workshop six months ago, which is this feeling of increasing distrust. Francesco knew that affirmative action guaranteed that his race could only help him, but now that that protection is gone, he’s worried that the discrimination he sees everywhere else in the world could now enter the admissions process.

Because at the end of the day, the world is not a kind place. As much as I don’t like it, I got to deal with it, and especially heading into the adult world.

It’s kind of scary and confusing, but I’m also trying to keep an open mind and just figure my way out through this world, this new world I’m entering.

A few weeks ago, I met up with Jordan, who if you remember was working on his essay on the movie Training Day. He ended up scrapping that all together. He said he thought more about the court’s ruling, and unlike Francesco, he decided he would not only mention his race, but he was going to dedicate the topic of his essay to his identity about growing up as a Black kid in the Bronx, he said. If the Supreme Court ruling says race doesn’t matter, he’s saying race matters to me and this is how.

And that’s the choice a generation of 17-year-olds is having to make in a moment as formative as applying to college. Do they choose to define themselves by their race like Jordan, or do they hide their race like Francesco? And while that choice may or may not mean the difference between getting in and not, it will almost certainly shape how they see themselves and how they think the world sees them.

Here’s what else you need to know today. The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the bombing attack that killed 84 people in Iran on Wednesday, a claim that according to the Times aligns with an intelligence assessment by American officials. The claim is significant because some Iranian leaders had initially sought to blame Israel for the attack, raising fears that Israel’s war in Gaza could widen into a regional conflict. Now that ISIS has said it was responsible, that possibility seems less likely.

And new documents released by congressional Democrats show that during Donald Trump’s presidency, his businesses received at least $7.8 million from 20 foreign governments, most of it from China. The transactions offer concrete evidence that Trump engaged in the kind of conduct that congressional Republicans allege that President Biden did as they try, so far without success, to build a case for impeaching him.

Today’s episode was reported and produced by Jessica Cheung with help from Will Reid. It was edited by Lynsea Garrison and Michael Benoist, fact checked by Susan Lee, contains original music by Marion Lozano, Pat McCusker and Rohini Niemisto, and was engineered by Alyssa Moxley. Our theme music is by Jim Brunberg and Ben Landsverk of Wonderly.

That’s it for The Daily. I’m Michael Barbaro. See you on Monday.

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In a landmark ruling last summer, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned nearly 50 years of precedent and banned the use of affirmative action in college admissions.

The decision eliminated the most powerful tool for ensuring diversity on America’s college campuses and forced college admission officers and high school seniors to figure out what the college admissions process should look like when race cannot be taken into account.

Jessica Cheung, a producer on “The Daily,” explains how, over the past year, both students and college officials have tried to navigate the new rules.

On today’s episode

how should a 5 paragraph essay look like

Jessica Cheung , a producer on “The Daily” for The New York Times.

Students sit around a wooden table, mid conversation.

Background reading

The first high-school seniors to apply to college since the Supreme Court’s landmark decision have had to sort through a morass of conflicting guidance .

From June: The Supreme Court rejected affirmative action programs at Harvard and U.N.C.

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We aim to make transcripts available the next workday after an episode’s publication. You can find them at the top of the page.

Jessica Cheung contributed reporting.

Fact-checking by Susan Lee .

The Daily is made by Rachel Quester, Lynsea Garrison, Clare Toeniskoetter, Paige Cowett, Michael Simon Johnson, Brad Fisher, Chris Wood, Jessica Cheung, Stella Tan, Alexandra Leigh Young, Lisa Chow, Eric Krupke, Marc Georges, Luke Vander Ploeg, M.J. Davis Lin, Dan Powell, Sydney Harper, Mike Benoist, Liz O. Baylen, Asthaa Chaturvedi, Rachelle Bonja, Diana Nguyen, Marion Lozano, Corey Schreppel, Rob Szypko, Elisheba Ittoop, Mooj Zadie, Patricia Willens, Rowan Niemisto, Jody Becker, Rikki Novetsky, John Ketchum, Nina Feldman, Will Reid, Carlos Prieto, Ben Calhoun, Susan Lee, Lexie Diao, Mary Wilson, Alex Stern, Dan Farrell, Sophia Lanman, Shannon Lin, Diane Wong, Devon Taylor, Alyssa Moxley, Summer Thomad, Olivia Natt, Daniel Ramirez and Brendan Klinkenberg.

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Jessica Cheung is a senior producer at “The Daily,” focusing on politics and education. More about Jessica Cheung



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    The Five-Paragraph Essay. A classic format for compositions is the five-paragraph essay. It is not the only format for writing an essay, of course, but it is a useful model for you to keep in mind, especially as you begin to develop your composition skills. The following material is adapted from a handout prepared by Harry Livermore for his ...

  12. How to Write a 5-Paragraph Essay: Outline, Steps & Examples

    Sum up and signal the conclusion of the body section. When creating an outline for 5-paragraph essay, begin by identifying your topic and crafting a thesis statement. Your thesis statement should encapsulate your main argument. Identify 3 ideas that support your thesis to lay the foundation of your body section.

  13. What Is A Five-Paragraph Essay & How Do You Write One?

    There's a reason the five-paragraph essay is popular: it's the foundation for learning how to organize research, and this guide will walk you through it.

  14. How to Write a 5 Paragraph Essay: Outline, Example

    A well-structured essay, such as the 5-paragraph essay, showcases your writing prowess and your ability to articulate ideas in a coherent and compelling manner. As you master the formula of a 5-paragraph essay, consider leveraging these skills to apply for scholarships.

  15. Five Paragraph Essay: Full Guide With Examples

    The 5 paragraph essay is really small, so warp from original topic is a big breakdown of the rule. You must focus on the exact theme, create thesis statements, and use them during the whole essay. Besides, your conclusions should also be connected with the introduction and body; use fair and strong arguments.

  16. How to Write a 5 Paragraph Essay: Expert Guide

    5 Paragraph Essay Outline Example on the Topic "Three Major Stages of Grief" To help you understand the outline for your 5-paragraph essay, we prepared a direct model. It follows the same topic of stages involved in grief. This is what it could look like. Introduction. Most people felt a paralyzing sense of grief at least once in their life ...

  17. How to Write a Killer 5-Paragraph Essay: Full Guide

    How to Write a Five-Paragraph Essay in 5 Steps. The best five-paragraph essays are those that clearly communicate the writer's idea and address the main issues. Besides, such academic papers should contain supporting evidence. Let's take a closer look at each step of composing a great five-paragraph essay: Decide on the topic. It should be ...

  18. 10.4: Writing Skills- From Paragraph to Essay

    A five-paragraph essay is exactly the same: The top of the bun is the introduction (paragraph 1). It needs to look good, so that your readers will want to continue. The introduction usually contains a thesis statement. This is a one-sentence statement of what you want to say in your essay. Everything in your essay is governed by this thesis ...

  19. How to Write an Argumentative Essay

    Make a claim. Provide the grounds (evidence) for the claim. Explain the warrant (how the grounds support the claim) Discuss possible rebuttals to the claim, identifying the limits of the argument and showing that you have considered alternative perspectives. The Toulmin model is a common approach in academic essays.

  20. How to Write an Essay Outline

    How to Write an Essay Outline | Guidelines & Examples Published on August 14, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on July 23, 2023. An essay outline is a way of planning the structure of your essay before you start writing.

  21. Paragraph Structure: How to Write Strong Paragraphs

    Most paragraphs contain between three and five sentences, but there are plenty of exceptions. Different types of paragraphs have different numbers of sentences, like those in narrative writing, in particular, where single-sentence paragraphs are common. Likewise, the number of sentences in a paragraph can change based on the style of the writer.

  22. What Does an Essay Look Like? Tips and Answers to Succeed

    An essay looks like a mere piece of paper (one page or several pages) with an organized text. It's generally divided into five paragraphs, though there may be more. The essential essay structure includes: Our specialists will write a custom essay on any topic for 13.00 10.40/page. 308 certified professionals on site.

  23. Basic Essay Structure: The Five-Paragraph Essay

    An essay's structure can be aided by following the five-paragraph essay pattern. Three supporting body paragraphs, one ending paragraph, and one introduction paragraph make up the essay. The "hamburger essay," "one-three-one essay," and "three-tier essay" are all names given to it because of its format. The five-paragraph essay format's appeal ...

  24. How to write an essay

    Using evidence. Evidence is the foundation of an effective essay and provides proof for your points. For an essay about a piece of literature, the best evidence will come from the text itself ...

  25. The Top 10 Global Risks for 2024

    2. Middle East on the brink. The fighting in Gaza will expand in 2024, with several pathways for escalation into a broader regional war. Some could draw the U.S. and Iran more directly into the ...

  26. A Confusing New World for College Applicants

    Background reading. The first high-school seniors to apply to college since the Supreme Court's landmark decision have had to sort through a morass of conflicting guidance. From June: The ...