The 5 paragraph essay is the normal form of presentation for college essays and has a set format which must be followed, staring with the first paragraph which is the introduction, followed by 4 supporting paragraphs with facts, quotes and statistical information which supports the thesis of the essay which appears in the introduction. Finally the conclusion paragraph restates but does not repeat the thesis in the introduction and summarizes the reasons supporting the thesis , perhaps with a final call to action at the end. No new facts must appear in the conclusion, which is the final justification of the thesis.
- The introduction must be attention grabbing with a short sharp sentence.
- It must also introduce the thesis, which is the argument of the essay
- It must describe the central idea and the direction of the essay.
- List three sentences supporting the thesis argument.
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The second third and fourth paragraphs:
- Write a sentence, which summarizes the point of the paragraph
- Write an argument as to why the sentence is true
- Thirdly present the evidence, which supports the argument, and repeat this process for each paragraph.
- The second paragraph will present the main support for the thesis in facts, citations and statistics.
- The third paragraph will present the second most compelling argument in support of the thesis.
- The fourth paragraph will cover the least important evidence supporting the thesis.
Each paragraph must be linked with a transitional word or phrase linking it to the previous paragraph. The must be a clear flowing and logical progression throughout the essay.
- Repeat the thesis argument but in a different way to the introduction.
- Summarize the points made in each paragraph in a convincing manner.
- Show why they support and lead to the conclusion of the essay.
- The end should be striking and lead to a call to action. If the essay is introduced as a question , the conclusion should provide the answer.
The five-paragraph format provides the means to write a logical progressive essay. The links between the paragraphs require careful thought so that they provide good links. The paragraphs lead on one from the other to arrive at the conclusion, which proves the thesis