How to Prepare for Writing the Five Paragraph Essay

5 paragraph essay template

Without any doubt it can be said that essay writing is one of the most difficult tasks that students can face. How can you correctly express your thoughts, give them logical arguments, back them up with examples and explanations, and at the same time, correctly and without error, arrange the text, and still not go beyond the word limit? Rather often students are assigned to write essays consisting of the basic five paragraphs. If you get such an assignment, you can look through a 5 paragraph essay template and check out the requirements and tips for writing this type of paper. How to Write a Five-Paragraph Essay in One Hour?

Formally, your essay in English should consist of around 200-250 words. This should not be taken literally, so don’t panic if you wrote 198 words. However, keep in mind that the essay will not be checked if the number of words in it is less than 180. If you have more than 275 words, the examiner will count 250 words from the beginning of the essay, and check everything down to the word limit. The process of writing the five paragraph essay can be divided by a few stages:

  • problem stating
  • brainstorming
  • planning
  • writing
  • revising
  • improving written text

The quality of any essay depends on three interrelated components, such as:

  • the source material that you are going to use (abstracts of read literature, lectures, recording of the results of discussions, your own considerations, and the experience gained on this issue);
  • quality of processing of the available source material (its organization, arguments);
  • argumentation (how closely it relates to the problems raised in your essay).

Scripting, especially when reading, is a strategic intellectual skill and discipline (and not a mechanical process of compiling a summary). Why?

When you make notes, you pay attention (after making the appropriate decision) to those moments that are key (as a theoretical or general argument, and an empirical argument or a case study of a particular issue).

In outlining, you select the relevant material and develop your understanding of theoretical positions and/or empirical arguments (i.e. facts of what kinds either confirm or refute a particular position).

It should be noted that when you read certain texts, you make more notes compared to others because they will be useful to you in future work or are more relevant to the problem of interest to you, or are more interesting and more informative from the theoretical or empirical points of view.

We bring to your attention the following method of note-taking: divide your notebook into two columns. In the left column, you make an abstract of the material that you are reading, and in the right one, you perform a comparative analysis of the contents of this abstract with other facts about which you previously read, heard (in lectures), which were discussed (in class, tutorials, or in an informal setting), as well as with your own comments and critical comments on the text that you are reading. In other words, you use your notes to build a cross reference, based on your own considerations, formulations, data, and also your own comments on the statements of others.

What to Read? How Much to Read?

There is some kind of conditional relationship between quality and quantity of material for reading: how you read and how much you read. In general, it is better to read less, but better material, than reading more and worse material. The latter leads to misunderstanding, misjudgment, and destruction of the connection between argument and facts.

This means that a very important point is the choice of the material for reading: for each specific topic, you should first read two or three key articles or chapters of books, eight of which, for example, give a clear conceptual framework or theoretical reasoning and comprehensive empirical data (and, as far as possible, the most recent data), and often a wide range of literature on this topic is reviewed and evaluated. Such strategic reading will begin the formation of some key reference points on the topic (including various interpretations and discussions), which will serve as a basis for the direction and development of your further reading.

The plan of training courses and consultations of teachers will help you in finding the material for the subject reading. The effective use of thematic materials and data will help you avoid the typical error of excessive generalization of the material in the five paragraph essay.

Preparing to Write an Essay

When choosing a question on any topic, before making a plan for your answer, make sure that you carefully read and understand it correctly, because it can be interpreted in different ways. To present it, there are several approaches – therefore, you have to choose the variant of the interpretation or approach that you will follow, and also be able to substantiate your choice. At the same time, the content of the question can cover a wide range of problems that require a large volume of literature. In this case, you can make a decision according to which you will cover and illustrate only certain aspects of this issue. You will not have any problems if you do not go beyond the outlined circle, and your choice will be fully justified and you can back it up with relevant evidence.

The structure of written work, as a rule, consists of such components as:

  • Introduction: the essence and rationale for choosing this topic.
  • Theme development.
  • Conclusion.

5 Paragraph Essay Template

The template for writing a 5 paragraph essay is rather simple:

1. Thesis statement
Body paragraph #1
1. Topic sentence
2. Supporting details
Body paragraph #2
1. Topic sentence
2. Supporting details
Body paragraph #3
1. Topic sentence
2. Supporting details
Conclusion with restatement of thesis

If you want to learn more on how to write a five paragraph essay, you can check out our blog for more articles. By the way, we have tips on writing other types of papers as well.