How to Write an Effective Five-Paragraph Essay?

pencilsThis article is focused on the how to effectively write and format a five-paragraph essay. The five-paragraph essay goes by a lot of different names, some of them you’ve probably heard. You could call it a basic essay, you could call it an academic essay, you could call it the 1-3-1 essay. But no matter what’s name you call it, no matter what name you’ve heard about it, there’s one name that I want you to remember and to use throughout this lesson and that name is: “the easy essay”. Because once I show you these three formulas for this five-paragraph essay, you’re going to know that it’s something that is easy for you to write and easy for you to deploy when writing about science, technology, social issues, health or whatever else.

Let’s talk about the five-paragraph essay and talk about the formula I’m going to give to you to produce such an essay. That first formula is “the magic of three”. You know 3 has an important place in our culture, whether it’s something like the “Three Little Pigs” or the three wishes that you get from a genie, etc. Three seems to have an important place in human memory so we are going to benefit from it to help create our five-paragraph essay.

Let’s pretend that you’re given whole a general topic like this one: “how science and technology could extend your life”. Before you are starting to write your science and technology essay, you apply the magical rule of three. In other words, you’re going to focus on three most important things about the topic such as the newest advancements in technology, how technology influences the medical sector, and how people can effectively benefit from these advancements. Again there could be more, but limit yourself to 3 for the easy essay.

Tip: You may find useful this guide on writing a comprehensive and high-quality essay.

Let’s take another example: “should women getting into the military be given for combat duties”. Very controversial. We’re going to do it with three main points. These three main points could be something like: “would be women assigned to combat”, “is equality the second reason”, or the third reason “is their proven courage”.

Now if you notice something repetitious and you’re asking yourself “wait a minute is this repetition good as good” the answer is “yes”, it is very good. Because although something might seem repetitious in the sentences, remember these are your main points they’re going to be separated by paragraphs.

Now let’s go to the next secret; that secret is the essay formula for the thesis. 

Every essay has to have a thesis. A thesis can be written with the formula. You know these statements go by names like controlling idea, overall point, the position statement. They’re all your opinion on the topic, your position on the topic, and more importantly, there’s a very strong formula for producing that position on your topic so that we call it a statement.

Let’s go over that formula. First, you take a topic that we’ve already discussed above, and you do your position or your opinion, you have to be able to defend it, and then you put those two together, and you’ll get your thesis.

Let’s take a topic we have already used: “how science and technology could extend your life”. Now you have to express your opinion on on that topic, discuss the 3 main subtopics: the advancement in technology, how it could prove beneficial to the health system and how patients could be cured. You put all those things together and you get your thesis, you set your opinion and defend it by argumenting your position providing scientific evidence.

Now one last formula that I wanna show you, and that formula is the 1-3-1 outline. What does the 1-3-1 look like? It looks like this:

  • one paragraph for your introduction
  • three paragraphs for your body (sometimes you can have more but limit to three for easy essays)
  • one paragraph or your conclusion

Back to our example with the science and technology essay, we have to put all the first subtopics into the introduction paragraph to be able to introduce the thesis – not the entire essay, as most people might thing. The introduction paragraph’s purpose is to lead up, to provide context, and then provide a position for the thesis statement.

Now, in the body paragraphs, you are going to discuss the three subtopics: the newest advancements in technology, how technology influences the medical sector, and how people can effectively benefit from these technologic improvements.

At the end you’re going to have a conclusion and that one must reflect your overall importance of what you’ve written. You must reread the thesis and draw the conclusion based on the facts and opinions you’ve exhibited before.

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