How to Write a 5 Paragraph Essay


The 5 paragraph essay is the most common type of essay writing assignment. You’ll be ready to tackle any other one once you’ve learned how to write it. Continue reading the detailed guide from the Grade office team to improve your writing skills to the level of a seasoned essay writer.

What Is a 5 Paragraph Essay?

The 5 paragraph essay format is the most common essay format that a student will encounter. The title comes from the five-paragraph structure: one introductory paragraph, three body paragraphs, and a concluding paragraph. Because of the layered structure, this type of essay is also known as a hamburger essay, one three one, or a three-tier essay.

Most exams, including the TOEFL, IELTS, and SAT, use it. Students are trained to memorize this format because most of these exams limit students’ time on the “Writing” section of an exam. This enables students to respond to the exam prompt in a timely and efficient manner.

You may be wondering how many words are in a five-paragraph essay. They are typically between 250 and 500 words long. Because of the format’s adaptability, students can try out different essay styles. This format can be used to write persuasive, argumentative, expository, narrative, and cause and effect essays.

Types of 5 Paragraph Essay on Standardized Tests

The most difficult assignment is one that must be completed during a standardized test. The topic and thesis of an essay can be defined by the type of essay. It means that some essays are better suited to students who can write creative stories full of jokes, while others are better suited to students who can write narrow and serious topics. Among the various types of essays are:

  • Definition — adds a personal interpretation of the term or phrase in addition to the official one from the dictionary
  • Descriptive — adds as many specifics as possible to demonstrate the research problem
  • Narrative — tells a story with vivid examples.
  • Argumentative & persuasive — The difference between these academic projects is that in an argumentative essay, the writer is only required to mention and explain his or her personal position on the analyzed problem. It is also necessary to defend your position and persuade readers of your truth in a persuasive essay.
  • Compare & contrast — demonstrates the differences and similarities between various subjects.
  • Cause & effect — explains why something happened and what happened as a result of these actions
  • Literary analysis — chooses a specific literary text, such as a poem or an essay, and evaluates/criticizes it

While answering a question is sometimes sufficient, in other cases, a student must conduct extensive research and offer additional solutions to the problems discussed.

Work hard at home to perfect your academic writing skills. Remember that any essay you write for a standardized test has a time limit, so you may need to prepare an outline and write the text at the speed of light.

Take a look at the 10 topic example ideas from various categories listed below. The topics for 5 paragraph essays listed here are some of the most common topics on which students write essays. Choose those you like, or propose new approaches to debate:Can one learn a life lesson from an experience that they didn’t have?

  • Wealthy countries should share their resources with impoverished countries.
  • Should education be provided free of charge to all students?
  • Workplace discrimination against female employees.
  • Should the death penalty be completely abolished?
  • Male and female students have separate classes.
  • The significance of investing in space exploration
  • Living in a world without rules
  • Should same-sex marriage be permitted?
  • The role of cutting-edge technology in education

Before selecting a topic and beginning the writing process, students should create a catchy title to capture the reader’s attention right away. It may have an impact on the final grade.

The Outline

It is critical to adhere to the structure when writing a five-paragraph essay. As it is commonly stated, the typical essay format begins with an introduction, continues with three body paragraphs, and concludes with a conclusion. Each body paragraph should serve a specific purpose, and the essay should be shaped like a keyhole. This means that it begins very broad, gradually narrows, and ends very broad.

Introduction: 3-5 Sentences

So, let’s look at how to write an essay introduction paragraph. Consider using a hook to make a strong first impression. A hook is a 1-2 sentence bang that entices the reader to read the rest of the text. It could be a rhetorical question, a literary quote, a joke, an anecdote, metaphor, simile, a famous person’s statement, a fact, or a statistic. It is critical to verify the veracity of the information you use.

  • The introduction establishes the framework for the remainder of the essay, with the first sentence serving as the hook sentence.
  • The hook sentence is similar to the spark that starts a fire. It piques the reader’s interest.
  • The hook is typically a rhetorical question, a real-life example, or a startling fact.

For Example: If your essay is about environmental preservation, you could say something like, “Do we want to live on a planet surrounded by desert and wasteland?” This is a rhetorical question, which means it does not require an answer because it is self-evident.

Brief Introduction of Supporting Arguments (1-3)

Here, you take your supporting arguments and introduce them to the reader briefly, without revealing too much information.

Quick Tip: Consider it like a movie trailer. It should be thrilling, but I can’t reveal the “PLOT.”

For example, one of the keys to keeping our planet healthy is environmental preservation.

Thesis Statement

The Thesis Statement is a critical component of your entire essay: it serves as your argument. This statement will serve as the foundation for the rest of your essay. Given that we’ve already discussed environmental preservation, here’s an example of a good thesis:

Thesis example“The most important aspect of keeping Mother Nature in check and avoiding draconian disasters is the preservation of our planet.”

Quick Tip: If you discover that your body paragraphs have nothing to do with your thesis, you can revise your argument.

Body Paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 (5-7 Sentences)

Let’s look at how to begin a body paragraph. Even though all body paragraphs are important, keep in mind that the opening paragraph should be the most powerful; it may include the most powerful argument. The topic sentence should be the most vivid example, the smartest illustration, and the most obvious starting point for the writer. Remember to include a “reverse hook” sentence. Each body argument must be related to the thesis. Here are some more facts about the human body:

  • This is the “meat” of your five-paragraph essay, in which you explain the position you’re defending. In other words, it must be relevant to your thesis statement.
  • A body paragraph is typically structured as follows: (1) Introductory Sentence, (3) Supporting Argument Explanation, (4) Concluding Sentence (1)
  • The first sentence should summarize your argument without revealing too much information.

Example: Deforestation and air pollution not only harm the environment, but also reduce air quality and increase the risk of disease.

What about the Argument for Support and Explanation? Here’s an example of taking a topic and delving into it in depth while still defending your thesis.

Example: Greed and selfishness are the two most damaging factors to our environment. They lead to methods that kill our trees and pollute our air. Though it may be profitable for a few in the short term, it is dangerous for all in the long run. In Beijing, for example, the air quality is so bad that it is frequently required to wear masks just to walk around the streets, despite the city’s large population.

The Concluding Sentence should be the inverse of the introduction. Instead of introducing your argument, you’re concluding it briefly and transitioning into the next one.

Example: To summarize, the depletion of our natural resources and poor air quality harm not only the planet’s but also humanity’s health.

The format for all 3 body paragraphs is the same.

The arguments should go in this order:

  1. Your strongest argument should be in the first body paragraph.
  2. Your weakest argument should be in the second body.
  3. Your most persuasive argument should be in the third body.

Conclusion (3-5 Sentences): The “Mirror” of Your Intro

The following elements must be included in your paper’s final paragraph:

  • A reference to what was said in the first section.
  • A rewritten thesis statement that incorporates your own new, original language and interpretation — do not simply copy-paste the thesis.
  • A synopsis of the three main points of the paper’s body.
  • A concluding statement that warns the reader that the discussion is coming to an end.

In order to write a good conclusion paragraph, read the detailed descriptions of the recommended steps.

Restate Your Thesis (Sentence 1)

Take your main point (thesis) and restate it succinctly. assertively paraphrasing Demonstrate that you’ve “proved your point.”

Concluding paragraph example: The Earth’s safety and survival are incredibly dependent on how we, as humans, treat it, and the more carefully we treat the process, the more beneficial it will be for all.

Conclude your supporting arguments (1-3 Sentences)

Take your supporting arguments (body paragraphs) and summarize the main points in one sentence per paragraph. What if some of the counter-arguments are the same? – To maintain proper structure, combine them into a single sentence.

So, if one of your supporting arguments was to limit resource use, you could say something like, “Limiting the use of our natural resources and improving their efficiency are key steps to improving the health of our planet.”

Concluding Hook Sentence (Optional)

A great way to end an essay is to do something unexpected, something that will surprise the reader. Make another hook. This time, it should be a hook that summarizes everything in a few words—rhetorical questions are excellent for this.

Concluding paragraph example:“ Our planet’s health is critical, and we don’t want to live in a wasteland, do we?”

This adds some spice to the 5 paragraph essay at the end and causes the reader to question your statement.

5 Paragraph Essay Outline Example: Why Are History and Culture Important to Society?


  • Humans have a tendency to repeat mistakes, whether they are personal or societal flaws. Thankfully, we have finally realized that war never changes, and this realization has resulted in great prosperity. (Hook)
  • Discussing the significance of traditions, our ancestors, and the evolution of the human race. (Background information)
  • Remembering and embracing our past, while learning and building from it, can help the human race achieve great things at an increasing rate!

Body Paragraph 1

  • A topic sentence that introduces traditions and explains why they are important.
  • Connecting the importance of our traditions and how we can build on them.
  • Past evidence of this (Sounds Language) (Sticks + Stones Rifles).
  • A final statement about the importance of tradition.

Body Paragraph 2

  • A topic sentence that emphasizes the significance of embracing our culture.
  • Demonstrating our origins and emphasizing the importance of self-awareness.
  • Give examples (civilizations, empires, and cities).
  • A final statement about the importance of our ancestors.

Body Paragraph 3

  • A topic sentence emphasizing the importance of discussing our race.
  • Learning from our mistakes and using our past to improve our future.
  • Illustrations (Less War, Technological Growth, Human Rights).
  • Importance of the documentation


  • By analyzing our cultural and historical past, we can create a better future! (Restatement of the Thesis)
  • A summary of the claim about traditions.
  • A synopsis of the cultural claim.
  • A summary of the benefits of discussing our race.
  • If we do not regard our past as a valuable source of information, we are displaying ourselves as an illiterate race. (Overall Concluding Remarks)

General Grading Rubric

Several schools and universities around the world use various types of rubrics, but one of the most common is the 5 point style. Focus, Organization, Conventions, Style, and Content are the five components of this style.

  • Focus: Did the author devote time to proving his or her thesis? Did they achieve their goal?
  • Organization: Was the essay readable, were the transitions between paragraphs smooth, and did the writer adhere to the proper outline format without deviating from the established structure?
  • Conventions: Did the author make a lot of grammatical errors? Were there any run-on sentences?
  • Style: Was the writer’s vocabulary high-level, were words rarely repeated, and how unique were his or her sentence structures?
  • Content: Is the writer’s argument adequately supported, and are his or her statements logical, reliable, and factual?

Five Paragraph Essay Examples


Organ Donation

Fundamentals of Human Communication

Genetically Modified Food

Conclusion: Things to Remember

  • The 5 paragraph essay includes 1 introductory paragraph, 3 body paragraphs and 1 concluding paragraph.
  • Each body paragraph serves a specific purpose.
  • The format for all 3 body paragraphs is the same.
  • Typical 5 paragraph essays are up to 500 words long.
  • One of the most challenging assignments is the one written for a standardized test, as there are various types of essays and a limitation on time.
  • Writing an essay outline helps structurize your thoughts and saves you time.