When students first learn how to write essays, they’re often taught some form of the “five paragraph essay.” The five paragraph essay typically makes three related points, each with its own body paragraph. Although this type or sort of rigid essay structure are a good idea for very first time writers, it easily becomes predictable and boring. That’s why we’d like to present a model that is different of writing. With this page we provide some advice that is general the method that you can craft essays that are natural and organic. While structure is very important, we provide guidelines which can be flexible and be practical.

Basic Parts

What’s important is that there’s no set rule on how many paragraphs you may use for just about any portion of your essay. In a essay that is long your introduction usually takes up 2 or 3 paragraphs. In a short essay (e.g., 3-4 pages) it’s a good idea to keep your intro and conclusion sweet and short. You may want to have as many middle paragraphs as you love.

The number of paragraphs is completely irrelevant in other words, as long as you introduce your topic, argue your case persuasively, and provide some closure.

In fact, writing an essay is a little like crossing a stream. Think about the paragraphs while the stones that are stepping let you get to the other side high and dry:

In the event that stream is wide, you’ll need more stepping stones. Exactly the same holds true for an essay: the longer the essay, the greater paragraphs need that is you’ll.


Don’t overthink your introduction. There’s no need to cram all kinds of things into your introduction. Just introduce the topic and your argument:

A quotation or surprising fact), assume that your topic is interesting enough to grab your reader’s attention in other words, instead of coming up with some artificial hook ( e.g. Focus your energy on explaining the research question or problem that drives your research. Why is your topic significant? Why should people care? In the event that you answer the “why?” question, your reader will care enough to continue reading.

The thesis is a statement that is succinct of overall argument. It should come at the final end associated with the introduction. You have more flexibility where you place the thesis if you introduction is multiple paragraphs long.

Some teachers advice their students to create three points with their thesis. This is certainly generally a idea that is terrible. What invariably ultimately ends up happening is that you wind up writing three mini-essays that are only loosely connected.

Although you may have sub-points, the main thing is that you show up with ONE coherent argument that ties together everything in your essay.

You a few sentences to fully express your argument that’s no problem: a thesis doesn’t have to be just one sentence long if it takes.

Body Paragraphs

The middle paragraphs form the human body of the essay. These paragraphs are a bit like vases: they contain the contents of one’s essay, plus they may be found in all shapes and sizes:

Like vases, paragraphs tend to be more narrow in the middle. That’s where you’ll discover the specifics regarding the argument, the quotations therefore the facts.

The end and beginning of a paragraph usually are more general in scope. The opening sentence (the topic sentence) indicates what the paragraph is mostly about. It connects the paragraph as to what came before.

The trick with writing paragraphs is always to remind your reader regarding the argument that is general. However, there’s no need to conclude every paragraph with a directory of what came before. Just be sure you paragraphs transition nicely from 1 to another.

Lastly, each paragraph should make just one single point. If it’s just a different aspect of the same point, start a new paragraph if you’re starting to say something new, even!

The problem with conclusions is avoiding needless repetition. Don’t let your reader zone out when you zoom out.

Make an effort to explain why your findings matter. Point out those nuances and complexities that your particular thesis only hinted at, but that will now be fully understood. Provide observations that maintain your conclusion interesting and fresh.

Now you have some idea that is general how exactly to structure your essay, take care to study our more in-depth lessons regarding the various components of the essay (introductions, paragraphs, conclusions). And, they Can’t Write: Killing the Five-Paragraph Essay and Other Necessities, or read his blog post on the subject if you’re still not convinced that the five paragraph essay is generally a bad idea, check out John Warner’s book Why.

Thank you for this resource that is outstanding that has helped my community college writing students along with their coursework. I really do have a comment about the essay (5PE) that is five-paragraph.

I wish to suggest that this format shouldn’t automatically be written off. The 5PE can serve as “training wheels” for some writers that are hesitantand certainly for students in developmental writing courses found in many community colleges). The formulaic nature with this structure that is rigid help some writers understand both the event of necessary essay elements while the function of organization on paper projects.

A format from which they can find initial success with early writing projects in addition, the 5PE can also offer some students. Put another way, this format often helps some students produce a well-organized piece of writing. (as well as some developmental writing students, this may be the first occasion they have encountered success on paper.)

Although I agree totally that students must certanly be encouraged to move beyond this structure, the 5PE can allow some struggling students to see themselves as college writers. This will probably result in student growth; they could feel more content taking greater risks and making more sophisticated rhetorical choices within their writing.

Again, I many thanks because of this much-appreciated resource that is beneficial.

Thanks, Eileen, for your thoughtful feedback. You’re right that the five paragraph essay may is evolutionwriters legit be a fantastic step that is first. My hope is the fact that they will once move on they’re ready to test out their writing. Personally, I didn’t realize till second year of university that i possibly could split a point that is single into multiple paragraphs. I once wrote a 10 page paper with only two body paragraphs! That’s the downside of these rigid methods for writing essays. ??