How to Prepare for Writing the Five Paragraph Essay

How to Write a Five-Paragraph Essay

How to write a 5-paragraph essay when you are limited in time? In fact it is almost impossible, but you must not lose hope. Today, we will provide you with a useful guide on how to write an essay as quickly as possible.

You can read our guide and learn how to write a five paragraph essay step by step. Before you learn how to write a paper, let’s find out the features of a 5-paragraph essay.

Features of a 5-paragraph essay:

  • A specific topic or question is present.
  • The essay presents individual impressions and considerations on a specific subject or issue.
  • As a rule, an essay implies a new opinion about something; such an essay may have a philosophical, historical, journalistic, or literary character.
  • In the content of the essay, the author presents his or her world view, thoughts, and feelings.

Classification of a 5-Paragraph Essay

In terms of content, essays are:

  • historical
  • philosophical
  • literary critical
  • religious
  • social

There are also the following essays:

  • descriptive
  • narrative
  • persuasive
  • argumentative
  • compare and contrast
  • analytical

Finally, we can offer the classification of the essay into two large groups:

  • A personal essay, where the basic element is the presentation of one or another side of the author’s opinion.
  • An objective essay, where the personal opinion is subject to the topic or some idea.

Now, check out these steps to writing a 5 paragraph essay.

Step 1: Switch off everything

This step should be clear to everyone. Switch off all gadgets that may distract you from working on your essay. Close the doors and windows – noises won’t bother you. In addition, you need to turn off the music, even if music always accompanies you while you are doing homework. Now, when the preparation is complete, you can go to the next stage.

Step 2: Find information

We will not lie to you. We must to say that the quality of the essay may suffer if you are going to write it only in one hour. Students ask how to complete a five-paragraph essay quickly, but they don’t understand that writing a great essay needs at least a couple of hours. However, it is important to realize that it is much better to get a low grade than no grade at all. For quick research you should find several reliable sources. It is better to look for articles on your topic which were published on sites of leading universities, such as Harvard University or the University of Cambridge.

Step 3: Conduct research

Look through articles and make some notes. In case you can print the articles, you should do so. Then, using a pencil, underline good ideas which will fit for your essay. If you find similar thoughts in these articles, make a note about this fact. The reoccurrence of a specific idea means that it is very popular and you should express your opinion about it when discussing the topic. If you don’t have the ability to print the articles, you can highlight those ideas with a specific color on an electronic document.

Step 4: Create a 5 paragraph essay outline

How would you write an essay without a five paragraph essay outline? It’s very difficult. The outline will help you to write fast. Look at the pieces of text which you underlined and try to organize them so that you have an outline. Don’t steal the structure from one of the articles you have chosen. If you do this, you will be accused of plagiarism. Take some points from the first article, others from the second, and still others from the third. Here is a template on how to write a five paragraph essay outline:

1. Introduction
a) General information on the topic
b) Thesis statement
2. Claim 1, which proves your thesis statement
a) Evidence 1 to support Claim 1
b) Evidence 2 to support Claim 1
3. Claim 2, which proves your thesis statement
a) Evidence 1 to support Claim 2
b) Evidence 2 to support Claim 2
4. Claim 3, which proves your thesis statement
a) Evidence 1 to support Claim 3
b) Evidence 2 to support Claim 3
5. Conclusion
a) Problems you faced when exploring the topic
b) Restatement of thesis
c) Predictions about development of the issue

Each numbered point from the list is one paragraph. Obviously, the introduction and conclusion should be shorter than each paragraph of the body. Out of all steps on how to write a good five paragraph essay, this one should not be skipped in any case.

Step 5: Write the first draft

Finally, you can start writing. Follow your outline. Don’t get stuck at one point for too long. You should mention all the points which you planned. If you develop each of them too thoroughly, you won’t finish your paper on time. For this reason, you should not stop even if you think that you could find better words. Perhaps you could, but you don’t have time for this kind of detail. So, complete the first draft as quickly as you can without thinking about the details.

Each of your claims should be supported with a couple of facts and pieces of evidence. If you are going to use information from another source, make sure that you paraphrase well. When you are paraphrasing a sentence, take into consideration that simply changing a couple of words doesn’t count as proper paraphrasing.

Step 6: Work on the details

If you succeeded in completing the previous step, you should have a few minutes to work on the details. Reread your paper and add or delete sentences or phrases. Don’t think too long on a specific sentence. You don’t have time to work on each sentence properly. Unfortunately, you also don’t have enough time to check inaccuracies. This activity needs deeper research. However, you have the ability to check your essay for inconsistencies. Read the text aloud. Hopefully, this will help you to notice inconsistencies.
Step 7: Revise your writing

This step is optional in this particular situation. As a rule, we normally insist that students revise their papers properly when giving tips on how to write a 5-paragraph essay. However, this time is a special case. We promised you that you will complete an essay in an hour. That is the price to pay – you won’t have time for polishing your paper. The only thing you can do is reread your essay, correct some typos, and pray that you don’t have any serious mistakes.

5 Paragraph Essay Template

  • 1st paragraph: the presentation of the topic

The problem of__(topic)__always caused debates. Some people believe that __(opinion which you are in agreement with)__. However, other people are convinced that__(opinion which you disagree with)__. Let’s argue what makes them think so.

  • 2nd paragraph: the author’s opinion (2-3 arguments “for”)

I can’t disagree with the fact that__(the opinion which you are in agreement with)__. (Then, you need to present your arguments.)

  • 3rd paragraph: opposite opinion (2-3 arguments “against”)

However, not all people agree with my opinion. They believe that__(the first argument of opponents)__. In addition, __(second argument of opponents)__.

  • 4th paragraph: counterarguments (disagreement with the 3rd paragraph)

However, I do not agree with the ideas presented above. We should consider the fact that__(deconstruction of opponents’ arguments)__.

  • 5th paragraph: conclusion.

Altogether, __(the opinion which you are in agreement with)__. Despite the arguments of different skeptics, I believe that__(a brief opinion which you agree with)__.

Rules of Writing a 5-Paragraph Essay

  • From the formal rules of writing an essay, you can name only one thing: the title.
  • The internal structure of the essay includes the introduction, body paragraphs, and a five paragraph essay conclusion.
  • The arguments should be supported by evidence.
  • All quotes used in the essay should be properly cited.

Mistakes in Writing a 5-Paragraph Essay

Take a look at our list and try to avoid the following mistakes:

  1. Bad proofreading. Do not think that you can restrict only checking the spelling and grammar. Reread your paper and ensure that there are no equivocal expressions.
  2. Lacking detail. Too often, an interesting essay loses because it includes a list of statements without their illustration via examples.
  3. Verbosity. Essays are bounded to a specific number of words – you need to manage this volume properly. Sometimes you need to give up some ideas or unnecessary details, especially if they have already been used somewhere or are not relevant to the case. These things simply distract the reader’s attention and overshadow the main topic of the essay.
  4. Long phrases. Some students think that the longer the sentence is, the better the essay becomes. However, that it is not the truth. Long phrases do not yet prove the author’s correctness, and short sentences often have a greater effect. The best way to write an essay is to alternate long phrases with short ones. Try to read the essay out loud. If you hear that the sentence is too long, make it shorter.
  5. Do not overload the essay. While writing a 5-paragraph essay, don’t use too many words from encyclopedias. If you use them in the wrong way, it will distract the reader’s attention, diminishes the meaning of the essay.
  6. The essay does not correspond to the 5 paragraph essay format. Make sure that you cite the sources according to the format you are assigned, such as MLA, APA, or any other formatting style.

By avoiding such common mistakes, you will be able to hold the interest of the reader.

Proofreading and Editing

Proofreading the first draft is important during the writing process. When writing a draft, the main tasks are to work out arguments, polish the ideas, arrange your thoughts and ideas in proper sequence, and add illustrative materials or reliable data. After completing the first draft, give it a day or two, and then return to work on improving it with a fresh mind.

When proofreading the essay, first of all, you need to pay attention to several important points:

  • Presented data. Whatever question you answer, you need to achieve specific goals. You are expected to be aware of the following questions when writing an essay: Did I answer the stated question? How concisely and clearly have I expressed my thoughts? Are there any errors?
  • Writing skills. The 5-paragraph essay is also intended to check your ability to express ideas and thoughts, and your general writing skills. For success, the ability to present your ideas well is important, and the ability to express them on paper is developed for those who regularly practice writing. A poorly written essay will not get a good grade.
  • Individuality. The only way to make an essay interesting is to add something personal or unique to the essay. Your essay will become more vibrant and attract attention. In this way, you will stand out among other students. The essay should be as personalized as possible if we are talking about application essays.
  • Details. Everything that you write in the essay must be supported with examples. Add important details, as they can make your essay more interesting and strong.
  • Originality and interest. Of course, you don’t have to joke in the essays in order to make them more interesting. However, try to use all the tools at your disposal so that your essays will be remembered.
    Readability. Teachers love essays that bring real pleasure while reading. Ensure your essay is really easy to read. Spend some time on checking whether your thoughts are clear, and whether they guide to a consequential conclusion. Using humor is great, but you should use it properly. A sarcastic tone is very annoying.

Academic Assistance With a 5-Paragraph Essay for Students

Now you know how to write an essay in an hour. If you like this post, also check out this one – Be Bright: How to Make a College Essay Stand Out. If our steps to writing a five paragraph essay didn’t help you, we can offer you another way.