5 Paragraph Essay Structure: How To Use It

Writing an essay is a critical survival skill in the academic world. Regardless of your field of study, you'll be called upon again and again to provide essays on a wide array of topics. Whether you are looking to graduate from high school in one piece, or pursuing an undergraduate degree, the sooner you develop essay writing skills the easier academic life will become. The 5 paragraph essay is one essay structure you'll need to understand and put to use.

This brief guide will introduce you to the critical elements of a 5 paragraph essay, and offer some helpful tips to improve your writing skills. This type of essay consists of an introduction, 3 supporting paragraphs and a concluding paragraph.

  1. The Introduction Paragraph
  2. This is the time to engage your reader and grab their attention. It's where you will state your thesis, and briefly outline your supporting evidence. The main points that will be addressed in your three supporting paragraphs will be stated here. These three points will be the topics of your supporting, or “body” paragraphs.

  3. Supporting Paragraph #1
  4. You should open this first body paragraph with the main point you first mentioned in the introduction paragraph. This is called the topic sentence. Explain why your opening statement is true, and then provide an example or fact that proves your position. Close with a line that clearly identifies the importance of the topic and facts presented in the paragraph.

  5. Supporting Paragraph #2
  6. Open your second body paragraph with your second key point that you mentioned in your introduction. Repeat the steps outlined above in the first supporting paragraph.

  7. Supporting Paragraph #3
  8. Begin with the third main point made in your introduction. Follow the same steps as you did with body paragraphs one and two to prove your point. Remember to keep your writing concise, clear and avoid run on sentences.

  9. Conclusion/Final Paragraph
  10. By now, the reader should be convinced that your argument or assertion is the irrefutable truth! You should sum up your position, restate your thesis and the main points that you made in your essay. You can make closing remarks if so desired, just don't allow the conclusion to become too wordy.

TIP! How to write perfect supporting paragraphs!

Remember “SEXI” are the steps when writing your 3 body paragraphs

  • S= Statement
  • E= Explanation
  • X= eXample (or evidence or fact)
  • I = Importance

Add your introduction paragraph and your conclusion and you're done!


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