Do you want to write such a terrific 5 paragraph essay that even your strictest and most demanding professor will be proud of you? I bet you do. So, to know the secret behind it, we advise you to read this article until the end and find out how to start a 5 paragraph essay and organize it in the best way.
Begin With Creating an Outline
The very first step is writing a 5 paragraph essay outline. Many students regard it as an unnecessary and time-consuming process however it really helps you organize the paper in a logical way. Therefore, begin writing your outline with writing down the main subheadings, topic sentences, and supporting arguments. See how the literature review or previous research you have conducted will fit into the development of arguments.
Make sure to provide the following:
- Introduction ending with a properly formulated strong and clear thesis statement.
- Topic sentence and supporting evidence for the first body paragraph.
- Topic sentence and supporting evidence for the second body paragraph.
- Topic sentence and supporting evidence for the third body paragraph.
Get to the Main Focus of the Paper
In the opening sentence of your 5 paragraph college essay, make sure to hook the attention of your target audience. Make sure to properly explain the focus of your paper in the introduction. Provide sufficient background information for your readers to understand the context of what you are writing about.
For example, if you are writing a college 5 paragraph essay about the advantages of starting a culinary business, make sure to explain the core focus in the opening paragraph.
Briefly Mention Your Arguments in the Thesis Statement
The last sentence of your introduction should be a clear and concise thesis statement. Actually, you should formulate it in such a way that it will logically connect all the presented arguments together.
For example: “Having your own culinary business leads to artistic satisfaction, professional creativity, and personal freedom.” This thesis statement is a good one as it provides arguments why owning such business is a great idea. As such, it can be inferred that the main body paragraphs will focus on the discussion of such criteria as artistic satisfaction, professional creativity, and personal freedom.
Such thesis statement as, “Owning a culinary business is a great idea” is rather weak and not properly developed as it does not put forward any main points of essay development.
Start Presenting Your Arguments for a 5 Paragraph Essay Topic in the Order of Their Importance or Priority
Your strongest argument (probably the most convincing one or the one that you consider the most important should be presented in the first body paragraph). So, in the very first body paragraph, you should state precisely why artistic satisfaction may be derived from owning your own culinary business.
Continue Presenting Your Arguments in the Second and Third Body Paragraphs
A five-paragraph essay must definitely have three arguments (and, consequently, three body paragraphs, where you discuss the main ideas). As such, your second body paragraph should be focused on the discussion of professional creativity and the third body paragraph – on the discussion of personal freedom.
Sum Up Your Arguments
Reiterate your thesis and the restate the core aspects of your argumentation in the conclusion. It’s normal to repeat the ideas (as you are not allowed to introduce any new ideas in the conclusion), but make sure that you do not copy-paste the same formulation of your text. Restate the main points in other words. Remember that your conclusion has the very last chance to convince the reader in your point.
Have Some Rest and Then Proofread the Paper
Always make a break before proofreading the paper. You need to have a break at least for a few hours and preferably even for a few days before revising the paper. Only under such circumstances will you be able to spot all the mistakes and not overlook anything. Therefore, always make sure you devote enough time to working on your academic papers. When you start proofreading straight after writing, you won’t notice any mistakes or some minor flaws.
If you don’t have sufficient time to put the paper aside and proofread it after a while, ask a friend or a family member to help you with it. A friend will provide you an objective viewpoint concerning your work. He/ she might easily spot not even grammar or punctuation mistakes but also tell if there is some awkward wording or if some sentences are confusing for a reader.
Remember to check the paper via plagiarism checker. You need to make sure the paper is 100% original and that all information you have taken from the outside sources is properly cited and quoted.
Writing an Essay for a Standardized Test: Tips for Writing a Successful Five-Paragraph Essay
As a rule, any standardized test will include a writing assignment. In particular, students are given a writing prompt and they need to provide an essay according to it. A part that is the most challenging for students is that they are greatly limited in time. However, if you practice a lot in writing before taking a standardized test and know what to expect, you will easily cope with the task.
Types of Essays Given on Standardized Tests
As you start writing an essay for your test, first make sure that you have properly decided on the paper organization and structure. You are given a prompt but you are not told what type of essay to write (a narrative, descriptive, comparison & contrast, persuasive, argumentative, expository, etc.). Actually, agreeing on the type of essay organization is really important as it will determine your way of presenting the core argument and discussing the topic. Mostly, the essays required for standardized tests are persuasive in nature. Still, always read the prompt attentively to know what structure will suit best. Regarding the essay length, you are expected to write 500-800 words of text. Make sure to follow the structure and include an introductory paragraph, three body paragraphs, and conclusion.
The Opening Paragraph: The Introduction
In the opening paragraph, you need to properly introduce the topic to help make your target audience get a general notion of it. Actually, this paragraph is really important as it provides direction and pinpoints to the main focus of the rest of the paper. Make sure you can hook readers’ attention with the information you provide here. You can as such provide some controversial fact or statement which will be a food for thought for your readers and will make them read on.
The main way to organize the introduction is the following: in one sentence briefly summarize the main idea. Afterwards, provide sufficient background information on the topic and narrow down to the main essay focus. Finish your introductory paragraph with a strong and clear argumentative thesis statement. It should provide a strong argument answering you main essay question. Make sure you provide three points of argumentation in the thesis statement, which should be further discussed in detail in the body paragraphs.
The Second, Third and Fourth Paragraphs: Presenting Supporting Details
The second, the third, and the fourth body paragraphs form the body paragraphs of your essay. They provide supporting details for your argumentation of the core essay points. In particular, when providing supporting evidence you should indicate numerical data and statistics (when it corresponds to your essay topic), examples, citations, quotes, practical examples, etc. Each body paragraph should start as follows. Begin with a strong and clear topic sentence indicating the main point you make (this is the opening sentence of your body paragraph). Next, provide argumentation and backup points (it will help you make your argument more credible and pinpoint why the idea is true).
Now you have written the first body paragraph. Just repeat the same structure for the remaining two body paragraphs and your main discussion of the essay will be complete. Remember to provide logical transitions to ensure the paragraphs are coherent.
The Fifth Paragraph: Conclusion
The last paragraph of your essay is the conclusion. Here make sure you do not introduce any new ideas but summarize the main essay points. Reiterate the thesis statement and pinpoint the key ideas under discussion.
All in all, when you have an essay to write for a standardized test, make sure to write it more quickly than you do it on a regular basis. Remember that you should have enough time to cover all the points on the prompt and outline your essay before writing. If you fail to cover all points, you won’t get a good grade for sure. Also, make sure you have a few minutes to review and edit your paper. When you write fast, you are more prone to make some minor mistakes.