The Five Paragraph Essay Template

The mother of all essay construction guides is the five paragraph essay template. The five paragraphs correspond to one introductory paragraph, three body paragraphs, and one concluding paragraph. It’s not the only way to construct an essay, but it sure is pretty failsafe, and is the first one you should master before moving on to more innovative, complicated essay-writing styles.

Here’s a detailed outline of the basic five paragraph essay template:

Paragraph One: Introduction

  • Sentence 1: Attention-grabber
  • First things first: Before you can reel in readers, you’ll have to set up a pretty intriguing hook for them to bite. Serve up the juiciest bit of information, cite a shocking statistic, or ask a question that’ll have them wondering enough to continue reading.

  • Sentence 2: General background information
  • This will act to supply your readers with the information they’ll need to shed light on what your essay will be about.

  • Sentence 3: Narrowing down the topic
  • After citing some general information, narrow down your topic to lead your readers on to your thesis statement.

  • Sentences 4-5: Thesis statement and supporting points
  • Your thesis statement is a concise sentence that will pretty much summarize your entire essay. It states your main point in a clear manner, and gives a preview of the three points supporting your essay’s overall message.

Paragraph Two: Body Paragraph #1

  • Sentence 1: Topic sentence
  • A topic sentence is, in a way, like a mini-thesis statement. Instead of summarizing your entire essay, it encapsulates just one paragraph. Keep in mind that all your topic sentences should be aligned with your main thesis statement.

  • Sentence 2: Supporting information
  • Include facts, details and data that will support and give evidence that your topic sentence is true.

  • Sentence 3: Explanation
  • Here’s where you connect the dots. Show the readers how those facts and data are prove the truth in your topic sentence.

  • Sentence 4: Conclusion/transition
  • End the paragraph with a concluding statement that will preferably also serve as a transitional hook for the paragraph that follows it.

Follow the same outline for the next two body paragraphs:

Paragraph Three: Body Paragraph #2

  • Sentence 1: Topic sentence
  • Sentence 2: Supporting information
  • Sentence 3: Explanation
  • Sentence 4: Conclusion/transition

Paragraph Four: Body Paragraph #3

  • Sentence 1: Topic sentence
  • Sentence 2: Supporting information
  • Sentence 3: Explanation
  • Sentence 4: Conclusion/transition

Paragraph Five: Conclusion

Finally, the last part of the five paragraph essay template consists of three simple elements:

  • Sentence 1: Restatement of thesis
  • Sentence 2: Summary of the body’s three main points
  • Sentence 3: Clincher statement

Be careful not to parrot the thesis and topic sentences you wrote in the earlier parts of your essay. Construct original yet brief summary sentences. As for the clincher statement, clarify the essence and significance of your essay. This will be the last thought you’ll leave your readers, so make sure it creates an impressive impact.

About Lee

Lee Bailey is a Senior Lecturer at the Economics faculty at University of Toronto. His research interests include microeconomics studies and scarcity of resources, development of international trade and globalization. Been a great lecturer and researcher, he provides Personal Statement Help for students of economics. You can reach him here for more details and quick answers.