What Is a 5-Paragraph Essay and How to Write It?

• Posted on • Updated
What Is a 5-Paragraph Essay and How to Write It?
Table of Contents
  1. What Is a 5-Paragraph Essay and How to Write It?
  2. Definition of a 5 Paragraph Essay
  3. Different Types of 5 Paragraph Essays
  4. How to Write a 5 Paragraph Essay?
  5. 5 Paragraph Essay Outline
  6. Five Paragraph Essay Introduction
  7. Five Paragraph Essay Conclusion
  8. General Grading System and a 5 Paragraph Essay Example
  9. 35 Excellent 5 Paragraph Essay Topics to Review
  10. Five Paragraph Essay Topics for Middle School
  11. 5 Paragraph Essay Topics for High School
  12. Bottom Line

All academic institutions require the students to be capable of handling various writing assignments. A 5-paragraph essay is a standard task among those. If a student is prepared to tackle such a project, it means they will be able to work with any other (eg  position paper format). The ability to follow a simple 5-paragraph essay outline and knowing how to use the research materials helps with many things in the future. It ensures that students have gained valuable knowledge and mastered the necessary skills for their further academic pursuits. 

This article has gathered the most valuable information about a 5-paragraph essay and how to write it. We have also found some excellent topics for you to consider. With all these guidelines followed, you are guaranteed to succeed at writing your 5-paragraph essay that will stand out!

Definition of a 5 Paragraph Essay


A 5-paragraph essay is an ordinary academic task assigned by the school or college teachers to check students' skills and knowledge. It is an informative piece of writing with descriptions of the chosen topic. This writing task is assigned to determine how well a student interacts with the reader, defends the thesis statement, conducts research, comes up with arguments, and summarizes the findings. This assignment improves reading, writing, and analytical skills a lot. A student has to ensure the relevance of the topic. It is also crucial to support the arguments in every paragraph with the help of credible evidence. 

Different Types of 5 Paragraph Essays

It is essential to know each of the five types of essays before deciding on the sentence and passage structure. They are:

  • Narrative
  • Expository
  • Persuasive
  • Argumentative
  • Cause and effect


We can point out more types like compare and contrast or character analysis essay. However, those five are the basic categories.

Whenever you choose an essay type, keep in mind that there are different rules for all kinds of essays. After you make a final decision, dig down a little bit and learn more about it.

Anyway, you need to outline and start memorizing how a 5-paragraph paper should look. It is the most common structure of any academic writing assignment, no matter whether we talk about your homework paper or test.

How to Write a 5 Paragraph Essay?

It is time to find out how to write a 5-paragraph essay. The 5-paragraph format usually includes an introduction with the powerful thesis statement in the last sentence, 3-5 body sections (usually, it's three paragraphs), and a conclusion. Body paragraphs should begin with the sentence which contains a powerful argument:

  1. First paragraph: argument one
  2. Second paragraph: argument two
  3. Third paragraph: argument three


Each of the arguments serves as the supporting point for your thesis statement. There should be no less than three arguments in favor of or against the chosen topic or research question. These arguments have to support your thesis statement. Without good evidence, it is impossible to persuade the reader of the importance of your research question. 

5 Paragraph Essay Outline

Once you have picked the topic to write about, consider developing an outline first. It works as an action plan for your project. It allows keeping in mind what each paragraph should include. Second, depending on the paper format, write an abstract or your first section. Writing an abstract is a requirement of the APA format. It's a one-paragraph summary of the essay unlike a critical précis, where there should be 500-1500 words.

Do not ignore the vital role of a 5-paragraph essay outline – it will serve as a perfect roadmap to a journey called academic paper writing. Take a closer look at each possible section.

  • Introduction: Introduces the essential parts of the 5-paragraph essay. Begin with a broad sentence to reveal the target audience's main idea to catch an eye. Such an initial sentence is called a hook. Share the context of the topic; show its meaning to the audience. Stress the research problem and outcomes, interpret the key themes, further develop the plot, and end the introduction with a powerful thesis statement.
  • Topic sentence: It reveals the specific paragraph's main idea and its relation to the thesis statement. The topic sentence should not be too long and present only your work's topic, not more.
  • Evidence: Use a few sentences to support the topic sentence. Choose them during the process of in-depth research to explain the topic and support every stated claim.
  • Commentary: Evaluate the selected evidence with your feedback.
  • Concluding sentence: It's a part that ties the paragraph's main idea directly to the thesis statement.
  • Repeat the steps mentioned above to create a couple of more body paragraphs.
  • Conclusion: Review the major arguments. Reword the thesis statement, provide a summary of the body paragraphs one-by-one. Add up to 2 sentences that motivate the reader to take specific actions regarding the discussed problem.
     

Here is a shorter version of a 5 paragraph essay outline:

Five Paragraph Essay Introduction

The first paragraph should include three important parts (sentences):

  • Hook
  • Background information
  • Thesis statement


The hook is about grabbing the reader's attention with the first sentence. Some good ideas for the introductory sentence may be a joke, shocking fact, or intriguing question on the chosen theme. On the whole, the entire paragraph is about forcing the reader to read the paper sentence-by-sentence. Provide background information to explain what's coming next. Finally, state your thesis in the last sentence of your introduction paragraph. 

The opening few sentences must make the reader realize why the proposed topic may play a significant role in their life. Example: A writer offers to discuss how ordinary citizens can help avoid corruption as it influences most of the population's income level. It would be an intelligent step to start the paper with some impressive statistics. Play with facts. Quote famous people to make the target audience understand why it is essential to research the suggested problem and act.

Important: Professional Advice!
"After the hook sentence, share a background explaining why the problem matters. Recall the rent events in politics, economics, or the social sphere to stress the increasing corruption. End up with a strong thesis statement. It may sound like, "As the level of corruption in our country has increased by 15% during the last 3 months according to [source], a sharp need to regulate associated issues with the government's support became obvious, and every citizen should contribute to it by reporting about any signs of corruption."

Helen Teashort, academic counselor and professional writer at WriteMyPaper4Me 

Five Paragraph Essay Conclusion

Before discussing the conclusion, it is necessary to look at the way body paragraphs are built. Using transition words, move to the process of writing your second paragraph, which is the first paragraph of your essay body. Find all possible ideas on your research question. Pick the best parts to come up with at least three impressive arguments. Include examples into each paragraph of the paper's body. They may also act as excellent supporting points for your thesis.

The last paragraph is the conclusion. Write down some transition words to transfer from your body part to the last paragraph. A conclusion should restate the thesis sentence. This time, you'll have to write down the findings grabbed from each body paragraph. Explain how they are all interrelated and think about possible alternatives, and offer predictions for the future. 

General Grading System and a 5 Paragraph Essay Example


Please find the information below to know the grading rubric for any academic 5-paragraph paper.

It is essential to know that specific schools, colleges, and universities might have their own grading rubrics. However, the five-point system is the most frequently met. There are five features used while grading your 5-paragraph piece on any topic:

  • Focus: Were the supporting points strong enough to defend each argument and thesis statement?
  • Organization: What about the essay structure? How well were the transition words between paragraphs used? Has the writer developed the proper outline, and did they keep to the specific scenario?
  • Conventions: Were there any mistakes in the sentences? Were there any run-on sentences?
  • Style: Were the students successful with their vocabulary in the 5-paragraph essays? What about the level of creativity and plagiarism?
  • Content: Did the student manage to prove the argument and topic thesis logically and meaningfully?  


The best way to meet all of the criteria listed above is to download a free 5-paragraph essay example on a popular topic.


35 Excellent 5 Paragraph Essay Topics to Review


In-depth research helps to define the topic if your teacher does not assign you one. It is one of the most challenging parts as students often get stuck when deciding on their thesis statement. Select your topic based on these parameters:

  • How easy is it to find supporting points?
  • How easy would it be to make powerful supporting arguments?
  • Will your introduction paragraph be eye-catching for your reader?
  • Would it be possible to include a strong thesis in the last sentence of the first paragraph?
  • Is the subject relevant to your community? How the conclusion and forecasts may help?


The list of great 5-paragraph essay topics will help make a final decision regarding the main research problem. 

Five Paragraph Essay Topics for Middle School

Here are some topics for those who study at middle school. Of course, those can be great for older students as well.

  1. Things to do to defend endangered species of animals or plants from continuous extinction
  2. School teachers should allow students to use their mobile devices for lessons
  3. School children are too young to put on makeup
  4. Teachers must pass specific proficiency tests and share results with their students to prove they are competent in the particular field of study
  5. Fast-food companies are guilty of the increased level of obesity
  6. Soccer will not ever become popular enough in the United States
  7. Some of the prestigious sports celebrities justify the significant number of cash that they are paid
  8. Textbooks are an old-fashioned way of learning; e-Books and mobile apps should be popularized
  9. Spending a day with any person in the world: Who would it be? Why?
  10. How the educational semester has helped to improve knowledge of Math
  11. The importance of English language classes
  12. There is no way to force school students to wear a uniform
  13. Having a higher education does not necessarily result in a successful job
  14. Talk about recent news and what they mean to society
  15. How do modern innovations and technology help in learning? 

5 Paragraph Essay Topics for High School

Here are the best topics for high school students. These are great even if you are not studying at the high school anymore because these topics highlight important issues and modern age questions.

  1. Reasons why highly-paid jobs at top organizations are likely to be filled by men
  2. Parallels between dictatorship and high school bullying
  3. Voting on a new subject: Which one to include in the curriculum?
  4. Are Hollywood actors overrated?
  5. Does the death penalty work in the United States?
  6. Teachers must give more freedom to their students
  7. Boys and girls should study in separate classes
  8. The nuclear weapon is a killing device
  9. The use of animals in scientific studies is immoral & unethical
  10. The right age for dating
  11. Use imagination to discuss which social norms and rules can be changed for the better or removed
  12. E-learning is getting more powerful than traditional education
  13. Wealthy people should share their goods with more impoverished people
  14. Fashion is not important when it comes to defining personality
  15. The high school grading system is not 100% accurate/fair
  16. Should diversity in high schools be encouraged?
  17. Should affairs and cheating in families be illegal?
  18. What is the importance of the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of the United States?  
  19. How can a student choose an appropriate faculty at the university or college?  
  20. Should college admissions be easier for students? 

Bottom Line

If you are still looking for efficient academic writing help to develop a well-organized 5-paragraph paper, know that you may order a complete writing solution online without any obstacles or risks.

You might think that it's not okay to order papers online. Still, if you feel too much pressure on yourself and don't have enough time to do the assignment, it might be an excellent way for you to get done with all tasks. Writing services will provide you with the best and fastest solution in no time, so you can be sure that you can trust them.