The 5 paragraph persuasive essay is acknowledged as the standard for essay writing assignment. After learning how to write the 5 paragraph persuasive essay, you have the ability to tackle any other type of writing. This detailed guide by Lumbasi.com will help to perfect your writing skill to the level of an experienced persuasive essay writer.
What Is a 5 Paragraph Persuasive Essay?
The 5 paragraph persuasive essay format is the most widely used one that a student can be asked to write. Its name derives from its five-paragraph structure that comprises of: one introduction paragraph, followed by three body paragraphs, and ending by a conclusion paragraph. Its layered structure may sometime inspire this essay to get the name three-tier, one-three-one, or hamburger essay.
The 5 paragraph persuasive essay is used in standard exams, such as IELTS, SAT, and TOEFL. These exams are time limited and require students to go to the “writing” section to complete the task. Students who understand how to use the 5 paragraph answer the exam prompt efficiently and quickly and score high grades unlike those who do not understand this special type of essay structure.
You may ask how many words should a 5-paragraph essay have or contain? Typically, this essay should have between 250 and 500 words. The flexibility of the 5-paragraph essay allows students to write various essay styles, such as argumentative, persuasive, cause and effect, and expository.
Types of 5 Paragraph Essay Used on Standardized Tests
Standardized tests offer the most challenging assignments for students. The types of essay during the standardized tests determines the topic and thesis statements. Therefore, 5-paragraph essays should have serious and narrow topics or creative ones full of humor. Below is a list of different types of essays.
- Argumentative & persuasive — here, the writer mentions and gives explanation to the personal opinions or positions held about the problem under discussion. The essay mainly seeks to provide and defend a specific position in a manner that convinces the readers.
- Cause & effect — this explains the reasons and consequences or happenings and results, respectively.
- Definition — this essay adds personal interpretations about a phrase or term besides the official one derived and paraphrased with reference to the dictionary.
- Compare & contrast — highlights the similarities and differences that exist between various subjects.
- Descriptive — gives detailed information to illustrate a specific research problem.
- Literary analysis — evaluates or criticizes a specific literary text, such as poem or novel.
- Narrative — tells a story using vivid examples.
Students should understand that the secret to writing a good 5-paragraph essay is preparing an outline to guide the writing process.
10 Good Topics of a 5-Paragraph Essay
The examples bellows feature topics from different categories that can help students to write good 5-paragraph essays.
- The importance of investing money in space exploration
- Should education be free for all students?
- Wealthy nations should share goods with countries living in poverty
- Should the death penalty be abolished completely?
- The discrimination of female employees at work.
- Can one learn a life lesson from an experience that they didn’t have?
- The role of advanced technologies in education
- Living in a world without any rules
- Should same-sex marriage be allowed?
- Separate classes for male and female students
Before you choose a topic and begin the writing process, a student should come up with a topic that grabs the attention of readers from the beginning to the end. The catchy title plays an important role in writing the 5-paragraph essay and influencing the final grade.
Writing an outline is a crucial step in writing a 5-paragraph persuasive essay. Students should follow a specific format when writing a 5-paragraph essay. Typically, an essay begins with an introduction paragraph, followed by three body paragraphs, and summarizes everything in a conclusion paragraph. Every body paragraphs plays a specific purpose so that the essay looks like a keyhole in that, it begins from a very broad perspective, becomes narrow, and ends by narrowing out again.
Introduction Paragraph: 3-5 Sentences
The introduction of the 5-paragraph essay should starts from an impressive angle by using a hook statement. The hook comprises of 1-2 sentences held together to capture the attention of the readers and make them yearn to read more about the text. The hook sentence can be a literary quote, rhetorical question, anecdote, saying by a famous person, metaphor, statistics, simile, or fact. It is good practice to confirm the credibility of the information utilized in the introduction.
- The introduction sets pace and structure for the rest of the paper. The first sentence of the introduction is the hook sentence.
- The hook sentence represents a spark of flame that grabs the readers’ attention.
- The hook may be a rhetorical question, statistics, stunning fact, example, or saying.
For instance, when writing an essay about the environmental conservation, you can begin by saying “will we be happy to live in a planet surrounded by huge wasteland and deserts?” This good and relevant rhetorical question means it needs no answer because it is obvious that many people will say no as the answer.
Brief Introduction of the Supporting Arguments (1-3)
At this stage, you make supporting arguments and briefly introduce them to the reader, but do not reveal too much information.
Important quick tip: Think about a movie trailer, it should be exciting, but doe not give away the whole ‘PLOT’ of the movie.
For example, a reason statement would support the hook. “Conserving the environment is one important way of keeping the planet safe.”
The Thesis Statement is the most essential part of the whole essay. In fact, the thesis statement is your argument.
For example :Conserving the planet is the most crucial aspect of keeping the forces of mother nature in check and eliminating climatic disasters.”
Quick and important tip: In case you find that the body paragraphs are unrelated to the thesis statement, go back and change these statement or its arguments.
Body Paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 each having 5-7 Sentences
Each body paragraph is vital but you should begin with the strongest opening body paragraph that supports your argument. Students should provide the strongest examples and smart illustrations that provide starting points using topic sentences. Each argument provided in a separate body paragraph should relate back to the thesis. Below are more facts given about the body of an essay.
- The body is the meat of the 5-paragraph essay that explain the position defended by the paper and thesis statement.
- The structure of each body paragraph should comprise of (1) Intro sentence that supports the argument of the thesis statement (3-5) sentences with examples or illustrations to support the argument, lastly (1) concluding sentence.
- The intro sentence should bring a brief perspective of the argument without providing so much revealing information.
Example: An increased case of pollution and deforestation hurt the planet, reduces air quality, and open opportunities for disease.
- The examples of Explanations are supporting Arguments are provided below. More details should help to support the thesis.
Selfishness and greed are major factors that contribute to the destruction of the environment. These vices inspire people to use harmful methods that pollute the land, air, and water. Although greed satisfies some people for a short period, it triggers long-term adverse effects. Beijing-for example has poor air quality that people are compelled to wear marks while walking in the streets.
- The Concluding Sentence should play an opposite role to the introduction by summarizing the argument and moving to the next one.
To sum up, the destruction of the world’s natural resources and pollution of air quality worsens the health of both humanity and the planet.
Note that the same format should apply to the other three body paragraphs.
The arguments should follow this order:
- The 1st body paragraph should be the strongest argument.
- The 2nd body paragraph should be your weakest argument.
- The 3rd body should be the most persuasive argument.
The picture below gives readers an glimpse of the outline template to inform them about the 5 paragraph essay based on the standard Graphic Organizer.
Conclusion (3-5 Sentences): The “Mirror” of The Introduction
The final paragraph of the paper must have these elements.
The last paragraph of your paper must contain these elements:
- An illustrative allusion to the argument given in the opening part.
- A rewrite or rephrasing of the thesis statement, using new interpretation and language tied to the introduction but not copied directly.
- Summary of the three major points given in the body of the paragraph.
- Closing statement that summarizes entire discussion and shows end of the paper.
Restating the Thesis Statement (Sentence 1)
Rewrite or restate the thesis statement in a concise manner in this first sentence of the conclusion paragraph. Here, show that you have strongly proved your point.
Concluding paragraph example:
The survival and safety of planet Earth mainly depends on how people decide to treat it.
Conclude your supporting arguments (1-3 Sentences)
The subsequent sentences after the restatement of the thesis should summarize the body paragraphs. If the paragraphs are similar, combine them into one sentence.
Concluding Hook Sentence (Optional)
End the essay in an eloquent and excellent manner by using a second hook that is different from the one in the introduction. The statement should summarize the entire essay. Using rhetorical questions is a good way of doing this.
Concluding paragraph example:
“The health of our planet is very importance, and overall, we don’t want to live in a desert, do we?”
This final hook provides some spice to the reader and marks the end of the 5-paragraph essay.