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How to Write an Outline for a Five-Paragraph Essay

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Five-Paragraph Essay

Have you ever cooked some fancy sophisticated dish without even seeing a recipe? If you were born a brilliant cook, you may make it. Otherwise, you likely won’t try to do it without knowing what ingredients to take, and how to mix them together. It’s enough to make one minor mistake, and the whole dish may turn into junk.

Essay writing doesn’t differ much from cooking. It’s possible to write a good essay on the first try, but you have to be a great writer to do it. Not only need you to have an interesting idea to share it with your readers, but you also must maintain a logical flow, and present your arguments in a proper order. Without it, your readers may not appreciate even the most unique ideas.

To make sure you do everything right, you must have a plan. Thus, most students usually write an outline before writing an essay itself. No matter what your project is, you can determine your key arguments first and draw up a structure of your essay.

Sometimes it’s easier to write a long essay than a 5-paragraph one because you need to be concise and informative as well. An outline can help you with it, and we decided to help you write it. Thus, let’s get to it.

Define the Structure of Your Essay

As the name suggests, five-paragraph essays consist of five paragraphs. Every paragraph has its particular purpose.

  1. An introduction that begins with a hook and presents a thesis statement.
  2. First argument supported by evidence.
  3. Second argument supported by evidence.
  4. Third argument supported by evidence.
  5. A conclusion that restates the thesis statement and points to the significance of your arguments and the entire essay.

You can draw up the structure of your essay in any way you like — it may be a diagram or a list. There are also some specific programs that allow you to create outlines using various pre-installed tools.

Identify Your Topic

First of all, you must decide what you’re going to write about.  You may get topic assigned by your instructor. In this case, you might also receive detailed instructions on how to write your 5-paragraph essay. If you have an opportunity to choose a topic yourself, we suggest selecting a subject that is really interesting for you, so you can demonstrate your creativity and knowledge.

Define Your Point on the Topic

You must have a clear position regarding your topic. Otherwise, your essay will be meaningless. If you’re writing about some controversial issue, you may be either for or against it. No matter what your topic is, your thoughts and arguments must lead readers in a certain direction.

A thesis statement is where you express your point. Make it clear and concise. Good thesis statements suggest a concrete solution or motivate readers to take some actions.

Support Your Position

Given that your 5-paragraph essay implies writing three body paragraphs, each of which is devoted to a certain argument, you need to make up three arguments. However, you can’t just state something and expect your readers to agree with you. If you want your readers to take your side, you need to support arguments with evidence — these may be facts or quotes from well-known experts.

We suggest supporting every argument with three pieces of evidence so that each body paragraph of your essay will repeat the overall structure of the essay. Start each paragraph with an introduction to your argument, provide three pieces of evidence, and then end up with a conclusion, making a transition to the next paragraph.

Develop Your Hook

A hook is the first phrase of your introduction. It should be catchy, grabbing readers’ attention and motivating them to keep reading the essay. We recommend that you get to this part after you wrote your thesis and arguments because otherwise, you won’t have a clear idea of what to introduce and what arguments are the most important for your readers to understand your thesis statement. Don’t forget that the hook should be brief and intriguing — it may be a quote, an anecdote, or a provocative statement that will motivate your readers to find out what you’re talking about.

Write a Conclusion

This part of work won’t cause any problems if you’ve successfully completed all the previous steps. First of all, restate your thesis statement in a different way than you did in the introduction. After this, quickly remind your readers the most important arguments, and point to the significance of your paper. We suggest considering your thesis statement in a broader context so that they will have something to think about after they read your paper.

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