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Peculiarities of Five Paragraph Essays

Professional writers and journalists rather rarely rely on a five paragraph paper structure, whereas students of all educational establishments get this task assigned on a regular basis. Such essay structure teaches students to organize their ideas on paper. Moreover, students encounter a similar assignment while passing their tests and exams, which is seen in the form of response writing. As in most essay types, this paper includes the basic comments:

  • Introduction
  • Main body (consisting of 3 paragraphs)
  • Conclusion

We will explain you how to deal with all essay parts in a five paragraph paper. Moreover, we will explain you how to make your paper coherent with the usage of suitable transitions.


You should start your introductory paragraph by presenting general background ideas on the topic. Afterwards, you should move to more specific sentences and present the main argument that will be discussed in the whole paper. This sentence is called a thesis statement. Remember that your introduction is the only chance to make your reader explore the paper further. You should present a catchy introduction in order to attract attention of your readers. Do not make your thesis statement longer than 1-2 sentences. The length of introduction should be approximately the same as conclusion.

For example, if your paper focuses on the importance of using helmets, your introduction can present a catchy and terrifying statistics about road accidents among bikers and possible damages. In this case, the usage of statistics in introduction may serve as “attention grabber” – you will appeal to the readers’ emotions and make them sympathetic. Remember that it is essential to use a thesis statement in the end of your introduction, which should give a hint about a future division of the paper. If you plan to discuss three main reasons why helmets must be used, your thesis statement should reflect all of them, but in a shortened form.

Main Body

There should be three main body paragraphs in this type of essay. Every main body paragraph should include a topic sentence, which would reflect a purpose of writing. Your topic sentence is a partial reflection of a thesis statement. Remember about the length of the main body paragraphs, which should be almost equal in length. You have to dedicate enough focus to the discussion of all elements presented in the thesis statement. Do not forget about using enough evidential support in every main body paragraph. However, your examples should be relevant and up-to-the-point.


Your conclusion is a restatement of the thesis statement (key points that were elaborated in the paper). However, be sure that they are paraphrased in other words, not just repeated. You can also introduce several new sentences restating the importance of exploring the topic and how valuable your standpoint is.  Concluding paragraph is a “mirror reflection” of an introduction in terms of its organization. You should begin a concluding paragraph from specific ideas and move on to the discussion of general views leading to the closure.

Transitions and Linking Phrases

Linking words and transitional phrases should be placed between paragraphs and extensive sentences to connect ideas and make reading smoother. You should make sure that there are no abrupt and shortened sentences without any definite idea. Do not place transitions in the beginning of paragraphs. They should be used to join ideas inside paragraphs to ensure that they are related.

If your main body paragraph proceeds with the discussion of the previous idea (either adds new details or contrast existing ones), you should also use a transition. Here are some general recommendations:

  • If your main body paragraph discusses one point and the next one describes opposing ideas, you can use such transitions “however, on the other hand,” etc.
  • If you want to add significance or value to the previously mentioned ideas, you can begin your paragraph with transitions “more importantly, more significantly,” etc.
  • To explain a cause or purpose, your paragraph can begin with “in order to, for the purpose of, since,” etc.
  • To demonstrate time and chronology, the following transitions can be placed “as long as, as soon as, meanwhile,” etc.

Do not forget about “the golden means” – inserting too many transitions will confuse the reader. Your concluding paragraph is a summary of the preceding paragraphs, so be sure you do not present new ideas. Your five paragraph essay should include enough examples, which would make your paper detailed and informative.

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