essay writing ideas

Creating a simple 5 paragraph essay outline


When you are writing a simple 5 paragraph essay it is important that you include all of the components. The best way to make sure everything is included is to have an outline at the start of your project. An outline will keep you and your writing on track. The outline is the preliminary step before the rough draft. It is where you collect all of your nets and supporting evidence and refine your arguments. The outline is where you can play around with the order of your text until the arguments are properly set up. The outline is also where you can verify whether you have supporting evidence to back all of your arguments. If there is any part missing from your five paragraph essay the outline will show you and give you time to fix it.

So what components constitute the five paragraph essay?


  1. The introduction. This part works in conjunction with the conclusion to frame your arguments or the body of your text. The introduction serves as a roadmap for the reader. It tells them where your essay will take them and what your thesis statement or topic is. This should be one paragraph in length.
  2. The body. This section consists of three paragraphs. Each paragraph should contain a single argument and supporting evidence for that argument. The order in which you present these arguments is entirely up to you. Some students prefer to submit their arguments in order from strongest to weakest while others prefer to do it in the opposite direction. You can use the outline to move the paragraphs around and see which way reads best for your audience. Each of these paragraphs should be similar in length. You should have three even paragraphs of roughly the same size. You should also present roughly the same amount of evidence. If you have two facts to support the first and last argument but only one fact for the second argument you might consider finding another piece of evidence to support the second argument. Conversely you can just pad the middle argument with the stronger two arguments on either side or open with the weaker argument and lead the reader to the stronger two.
  3. The conclusion. This is the final paragraph of the five paragraph essay. It should work in tandem with your introduction to frame your argument. It should cover all of the arguments that you 1. made as well as recount the evidence you presented.

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