Five-Paragraph Essay Structure

Knowing the key components of a five-paragraph essay inside out makes the process of writing easy and interesting. Once you have figured out the purpose of your essay, think about what information has to be included in the introduction, body, and conclusion. Apart from containing information about the topic of the essay, each of these components has specific characteristics and purpose. The following information will help you better understand the basic requirements for creating a five-paragraph essay.

First paragraph: Introduction

The goal of this paragraph is to attract the reader’s attention so it should start with a hook. In this paragraph, you also discuss the background of your paper and present your thesis statement. The first paragraph of your essay serves to introduce the reader to the main idea of the essay. Be sure to include some interesting details to engage the reader. The most crucial part of the introduction, however, is thesis statement. Usually, this is the last sentence of the paragraph which contains your main claim. The body of the paper has to provide supportive evidence to explain this claim. Make sure the thesis statement is strong and clear. Otherwise, the essay will not be focused and the reader will be left guessing the purpose of the whole essay.  

Second, Third, and Fourth Paragraphs: the Body of the Paper

The next three paragraphs after the introduction are known as the body of the paper. Each of them has to explain one supporting point which refers to the claims made in the thesis statement. Every paragraph must start with a topic sentence and end with a brief concluding statement which also provides a transition to the following paragraph. The common mistakes students make is discussing several topics in one paragraph. Remember that one paragraph should be dedicated to one topic.

Fifth Paragraph: Conclusion

Here, you summarize the key points of your essay and finalize the discussion. In the last paragraph, repeat what you said in the thesis statement (but do not use the exact same words), and mention the central supporting points. Apart from that, you could provide “food for thought” by encouraging the reader to think about the topic further. However, do not bring up any new topics in this part of the essay. Rather, restate the main ideas of the essay as this is the paragraph where you summarize what has been mentioned before.