5-Paragraph Essay Definition

5-Paragraph Essay Definition

It is common knowledge that the most widespread format of essays is a five-paragraph one. You can meet it in many academic-related spheres, for instance, while doing TOEFL, IELTS, or the SAT. Another common requirement for completing this assignment is limited time, which means that while you are restricted in time, the need to be ready for the writing section grows. A practical trick is to know the structure of a five-paragraph essay on any possible topic. Once you get familiar with it, you will accelerate the process of compiling any type of writing, as well as will do it more efficiently and flawlessly.

Among the advantages of this type of writing is its flexible structure, depending on picking up the topic and the writing format independently. Prior to taking an examination, you should learn more about six basic essay types:

  • Argumentation;
  • Persuasion;
  • Narration;
  • Exposition;
  • Compare and contrast;
  • Cause and effect.

Devising any of them, you have to bear in mind a five-paragraph essay structure.

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Organizing Your Paper

You have no choice but to follow the typical structure: the introductory paragraph with a thesis statement, the main body, which consists of three paragraphs, the conclusion, and the references page.

You start with a broad conception in the introduction to grab the readers’ attention and effectively present your argument. In the main body, you need to narrow the argument down in order to describe each specific feature of the concept. In the end, you summarize all mentioned in the essay and make a general conclusion related to your argument. Let’s have a closer look at all these paragraphs.


It consists of 3-5 sentences, where the first one is a hook and the last is a thesis statement. The hook should relate to a joke, personal experience, stunning fact, rhetorical question, or even quotation. Bear in mind that your thesis statement determines the structure of your paper. If you have three different notions, you should illustrate them in the same order as you mention them in the thesis. It is never late to change your claim if you realize that it does not meet your needs.

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Main Body

As it has been already mentioned, you have three main body paragraphs, each of which consists of 5-7 sentences. Three-paragraph structure means you have to present three various arguments to support your standpoint. Remember that all passages should be interconnected, and the writing itself should be coherent.


This section ought to be up to 5 sentences. Summing up your piece of writing, you must not insert quotations and are strongly encouraged to implement a concluding hook. It could be an unexpected question or unknown fact, which will stimulate the further reflection of the topic.

As a bonus, we offer you some inspirational topic ideas:

  1. How other people’s mistakes can influence our experience?
  2. No matter how you call it: destiny, fate, or doom; does any of these forces exist?
  3. Is testing products on animals ethical?
  4. Should same-sex marriage be legalized?
  5. What actions should be taken to curb the criminal activity?
  6. Who deserves capital punishment?
  7. Are drugs as hazardous as people think?
  8. Should education be optional?

If you have any other ideas, you are free to use them for your writing. Just remember to follow a five-paragraph essay structure and compile a top-notch essay!

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