The Five Paragraph Essay

The five paragraph essay is used as a test for writing proficiency, and is often a timed exercise.

Analyze the assignment and determine what is required. With a highlighter, note important words that define the topic, then organize your plan.

For example, you have been given this writing prompt:
You have a present that was really memorable. It could have been given for an important occasion or just for no reason at all. Tell us about the present and why it was memorable. Include the reason it was given, a description of it, and how you felt when you got it.
The objective is to write a narrative essay about a present you were given

The subject is a memorable present
The three main subtopics are:

Outline the five paragraph essay. Your essay will include these elements:

Introductory Paragraph

General Topic Sentence:   memorable present

  1. Subtopic One: the reason it was given
  2. Subtopic Two: a description of it
  3. Subtopic Three: how you felt when you got it


First Supporting Paragraph

Restate Subtopic One

Supporting Details or Examples


Second Supporting Paragraph

Restate Subtopic Two

Supporting Details or Examples


Third Supporting Paragraph

Restate Subtopic Three

Supporting Details or Examples


Closing or Summary Paragraph

Synthesis and conclusion of the thesis rephrasing main topic and subtopics.

Write the essay!

Think small, then build the full essay gradually.
Divide your essay  into sections and develop each separately and incrementally.

The Introductory Paragraph

Supporting Paragraphs

The Ending or Summary Paragraph

This is a difficult paragraph to write effectively. You cannot assume that the reader sees your point

Edit and revise your essay

Review individual sentences

Ask a knowledgeable friend to review and comment on your essay
and to repeat back what you are trying to say.  You may be surprised.