How to Write a Killer 5 Paragraph Essay – Examples and Templates Included


How to Write a Killer 5 Paragraph Essay – Examples and Templates Included

Essay writing is a common assignment for students at all levels of learning. Although it is taught at lower levels, it is used in many standardized tests at all academic levels. Learning to write a 5 paragraph essay, therefore, is critical for all students. This guide will take you through how you can write a winning 5 paragraph essay regardless of the topic or the subject you are writing for. We will also show you some examples and give you a simple template that you can use to guide you in your writing.

What is a 5 paragraph essay?

As the name suggests, a 5 paragraph essay is an essay that contains five paragraphs – the introduction, 3 body paragraphs, and a conclusion paragraph. It is an easy way to introduce students to writing compositions and literary criticism. After students master writing the five paragraph essay, they are later introduced to other types of essays, including expository essays, argumentative essays, persuasive essays, and narrative essay writing among others. All of these essays may or may not follow the five paragraph essay format depending on the requirements.

Five paragraph essay outline – the five parts

The five paragraph essay is really easy to follow. Here is the outline you should follow


The essay starts with the introductory paragraph. This paragraph introduces your topic. It is important to learn how to write a good introduction because it makes the reader interested in reading your essay. The introduction should include a hook that gets the attention of the reader. There are several ways to get the attention of the reader in the introduction of the essay. You can use an interesting statement or fact, anecdotal technique (short story), surprising statement, and sometimes even historical information about the topic.

The introduction should also have a thesis statement. A thesis statement is a statement that sets the precedence for the rest of the essay. The thesis statement needs to be clear and straightforward for the reader to quickly get. It is the main idea for the essay. Make sure that you can get three different points to support the thesis statement you come up with.

The final sentence in the introduction is a transition statement. This statement creates a bridge or connects the thesis statement to the body of the essay.

Now that you know what you should do in an introduction, it is also important to know what you should not do. Here are some common mistakes to avoid in the introduction;

  • Do not announce your intentions in the introduction by using statements such as; “In this essay, I will…..” or “the purpose of this essay is….”
  • Do not downplay your expertise or apologize, showing the reader you do not know what you are talking about. Avoid using statements such as “in my humble opinion….” Or “I am not sure, but…”
  • Do not beat around the bush. Go straight to the point of the essay.
  • Avoid starting with a dictionary definition. It is a trite technique. You can do better!

Main body paragraphs

The main body paragraphs provide the reader with the evidence to support the thesis statement indicated in the essay’s introduction. The first paragraph should start with the point that makes the strongest argument supporting your thesis statement. The last sentence in the main body paragraph should be a transitional hook tied to the second body paragraph.

The second paragraph contains the second point that supports or relates to your thesis statement. There are two schools of thought on which argument to include in the second paragraph. Some people say to include the second strongest point, while others say to include the weakest argument. Including the weakest point here gives you an opportunity for a strong finish in the third paragraph. Most readers are impacted by how you start and how you finish your essay. What is in the middle is most often quickly forgotten. At, we are more in the second school of thought. We like to include the weakest argument in the second paragraph and the strongest in the third paragraph. It works like magic.

The last body paragraph includes the third and the second strongest point for the essay. It should also relate to the thesis statement. The last sentence in the paragraph provides the transition to the conclusion.

The topic sentence

Each body paragraph starts with a topic sentence. A topic sentence is a sentence that summarizes that argument or points you are going to discuss in that chapter. After the topic sentence, the following sentence (s) provide the arguments that support the topic sentence. The topic sentence, in turn, supports the thesis statement indicated in the introduction. This way, your essay becomes easy to not only read through but also comprehend.

The five paragraph essay conclusion

The last paragraph is the conclusion paragraph that puts an end to the essay. This paragraph is often the most difficult for most students to write. However, it is easy when you know how to do it. To write a conclusion, you should restate the thesis statement and tie it to the evidence or topic sentences explained in the body paragraphs. The final sentence should uphold your argument clearly and concisely, leaving no doubt in the reader’s mind. It should be impactful.

Do not include any new ideas in conclusion.

Now that you know the five parts of the five paragraph essay, it is time to learn how you can write one on your own.

How to Write a 5 Paragraph Essay Step by Step

Step 1: Come up with a topic

If the essay’s topic is not given, you must choose a topic on your own. Choosing a good topic is the crucial first step that ensures the success of your essay. When choosing a topic for your paper, it is best to choose a subject that you are familiar with. For instance, you might decide to write about sports if you are conversant with sports. When choosing a topic, choose one that you can support with three arguments required in the body paragraphs.

Step 2: Conduct research

The next step entails getting down and dirty into research. When conducting academic research of any kind, you should always focus on the latest sources. Use all available sources at your disposal, including; books, the internet, research papers, journals, interview people, and so much more.

The rule of thumb in this step is to go deeper than you think you need to. Collect more information than you feel you need for your essay. This way, you can easily discard what you do not need without going back to research. Imagine realizing at the last minute that you need to do more research for your essay. It becomes a race against time, which can become overwhelming.

Step 3: Come up with a thesis statement

As you conduct research, you can come up with a thesis statement for your essay. Everything you will write in the rest of the essay will relate to the thesis statement. Therefore, the success of your essay depends on the thesis statement you choose. 

When you choose a good thesis statement, the rest becomes quite easy.

Step 4: Write the essay outline

At this stage, now you have everything you need to start writing your essay. At this point, you are not writing everything about your essay. You are just creating an outline. Later, you will then beef up the outline with more words.

Writing an outline is important because it ensures nothing is left out in the essay. It also helps you clearly see how ideas are related and organize your thoughts for a logical and concise flow. Here is how you come up with the outline for a five paragraph essay

  • Introduction – write the thesis statement
  • First paragraph – write the strongest topic sentence for your essay
  • Second paragraph – write the weakest or the next supporting topic sentence
  • Third paragraph – write the second strongest topic sentence for the essay
  • Conclusion – connect the three body paragraphs with the thesis statement

When this outline is done, then you are ready to start the actual writing of your essay.

Step 5: Write the essay

It is now time to put pen to paper and write your essay. Use the outline written in the step above as the guideline when writing your essay. It is now time to present the information you found through your research the best way you know how. Remember to include all the elements discussed in the five parts of the essay.

Step 6: Proofread and edit the essay

You are not done quite yet. It is time to proofread the essay and edit it to ensure no mistakes might cost you marks. Ensure grammar, punctuation, spelling, tone, and all other aspects of your essay are on point. Read the essay also to ensure that there is a logical flow of ideas.

Five Paragraph Essay Template

Here is the 5 paragraph essay template that you can use to write essays for any subject and at any writing level. If you follow this 5 paragraph essay structure, you will develop a good essay each time.

Download the five paragraph essay template here.

The Limitations of the Five Paragraph Essay

Although it is used extensively to test students, the five paragraph essay is a starting point. It is easy to teach, and therefore students can quickly learn through it how they can write. However, the five paragraph essay is not common at the college level, and other essay-writing formats are adopted.

A 5 paragraph essay comes with the following limitations;

  • With a five paragraph essay, students engage only on the surface level writing without going in-depth into what they are writing about.
  • Essays written in this format are usually unfocused and broad. This kind of writing is not suitable for writing at higher levels, where the thesis statement needs to be highly focused.
  • The formulaic kind of writing experienced in the five paragraph essay can limit students’ creativity.

Although it has these weaknesses, the five paragraph essay is common in standardized tests and timed tests in college where a student is supposed to quickly develop a composition.

5 paragraph essay order

If you are still overwhelmed and unable to write an essay, then Essay Writing Service is here for you. We have professional writers who can write any type of essay, for any academic level, and any subject. We have been writing for a long time, and we know how to write killer essays that your teacher will love.



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