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How To Structure A Three-point Essay Outline

Kirra Belle

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What do I need to write a good essay? You need a good topic to produce a great essay. You need great content. This increases the quality of your work. However, this is not enough. You also need a good structure to get better grades. In this article, we give you a guide on how to structure a three-point essay outline. After reading this guide, you will be in a position to write a winning essay. Your work will have all the qualities of a top-grade essay. Let’s get started.

Writing a three-point essay

A three-point essay is the most common essay format. It is mostly found in a 5-paragraph essay. You need to follow several steps to write a good essay.

First, read and understand the assignment. Determine the type of essay that your teacher needs. The most common types of 5-paragraph essays are;

Find out the required type of essays.

Second, identify other requirements. Look at the required number of words. Check if your teacher needs specific sources. Find out the required formatting style. Don’t forget to check the submission dates. You don’t want to face the penalties of missed deadlines.

Third, choose a topic. Sometimes, the topic will be provided. In this case, move to the next step. If it is not provided, you need to find one. Choosing an interesting topic is recommended. It makes it easier to write a good paper.

Fourth, after choosing a topic, research. Find materials that will support your work. Use scholarly databases to find good sources. Find peer-reviewed journals. Don’t read everything when looking for relevant sources. Read the abstract and conclusions. These sections contain important details. After identifying relevant articles, you can then read the article in full. Make notes throughout the research. Also, write your sources in full.

Fifth, outline your paper. Having an outline makes it much easier to draft your work.

Structure of a three-point essay outline

  1. Introduction

This is the first section in a 5-paragraph essay outline. This section serves two goals. First, it introduces your idea to the reader. Second, it convinces your reader to read your essay. In a 5-paragraph essay, an introduction can be about 4 to 7 sentences.

Start the paragraph with a hook. The purpose of this sentence is to grab the attention of your reader. Your hook can be an interesting story. It can be an interesting and relevant quote. You can use statistics. Either of these tricks can grab the attention of your reader.

Then, write some background information about your topic.

Finally, write your main argument. This may be 1 or 2 sentences. Just ensure that it is specific and clear. Choose a debatable argument. This means that one can agree or disagree with it.

  • Body paragraphs

This is the second section in a 5-paragraph essay outline. It is also the main section in a structure of a three-point essay outline. It is divided into 3 paragraphs. The focus of these three paragraphs is supporting your main point. Don’t discuss several supporting points in one paragraph.

Do’s

  • Address 1 point in each paragraph to support your main point. This is commonly known as the topic sentence. The following sentences should contain information that is related to the topic sentence.
  • Explain your topic sentence.
  • Provide evidence supporting that topic sentence. You can use paraphrases as evidence. Just remember to provide citations. You can use quotes. You can use narratives as evidence. You can also use facts such as study findings and statistics. Always remember to include in-text citations.
  • Explain the evidence.
  • Then, transition to the next paragraph.

You should follow this process while writing all the body paragraphs. Each body paragraph may be about 4 to 7 sentences. This may depend on the length of your essay. For a short essay, you may write about 4 to 5 sentences. For a longer essay, consider writing about 6 to 7 sentences.

How to write a 3-paragraph essay

There are different ways on how you can organize the body paragraphs.

Chronological order

This is a common way of arranging ideas. It involves arranging your points from the earliest to the most recent. It may also be vice versa. You can arrange the ideas from the most recent to the historical event. This order is the best when discussing changes over time.

  • General to particular

You can organize your three points from general to particular. For example, the first point may focus on a broad theme. Then, the second and third points can focus on specific themes. Another example is focusing on national laws and moving to state laws.

  • Cause and effect

In this strategy you can;

  1. Discuss one cause and its effect in each body paragraph. In this case, you will have three causes and three effects
  2. Discuss two causes in two paragraphs and one effect in the third paragraph.
  3. Discuss 1 effect in one paragraph and 2 causes in two paragraphs.
  • Compare and contrast

If you want to show one item is superior, you can use this organization. You can do it in three ways;

  1. Discuss 2 similarities in two paragraphs and 1 difference in the third paragraph.
  2. Discuss 2 differences in two paragraphs and 1 similarity in the third paragraph.
  3. Discuss 1 similarity and 1 difference in each body paragraph.
  • Problem and solution

You can also use this organization. In the first paragraph, you focus on the problem. In the second and third paragraphs, you focus on the solutions.

  • Importance

You can also arrange points based on their importance. You can begin with the most important point moving to the least important. You can also begin with the least important to the most important.

When planning on how to write a 3-paragraph essay, think about the organization. There is no one correct organization style. Your essay will determine the style you will use.

  • Conclusion

This is the third section in a structure of a three-point essay outline. This part should have three elements.

  1. Your main argument. In the introduction part, you presented your main argument. This is the point you have proven in the body paragraphs. You need to provide this argument in the conclusion paragraph. However, don’t copy and paste the information. Instead, write it in a different interpretation. In short, rewrite your point.
  2. An overview of the three supporting points. You have three supporting points in the body paragraphs. These are the topic sentences in every paragraph. Rephrase these points in this paragraph. Again, don’t copy and paste the topic sentences. Instead, rephrase them.
  3. A call for action. This is optional. It involves writing a recommendation.

Draft and revise your work

Use the outline to draft your essay. The structure of a three-point essay outline should serve as a guide. After drafting, take a break from your work. When you feel relaxed, revise your paper. After revising your work, ensure that it has the following qualities.

Qualities of a top-grade essay

When creating a structure of a three-point essay outline, consider the following qualities. Your teacher will look at five things.

  1. Focus. Ensure that your work has a thesis statement. Also, ensure that you have spent your time proving your main argument.
  2. Content. The reader will assess the quality of your content. Don’t rely on opinions. Also, don’t use unreliable sources such as personal blogs. Your content should be factual. Use reliable sources such as academic journals.
  3. Organization. Your reader will also assess your organization. Your work should be readable. This is can only be possible if your ideas are properly organized. Use transitions when moving from one section to another.
  4. Error-free. Ensure that your work has no mistakes. Read it several times. Eliminate any grammar and spelling mistakes.
  5. Meeting of the requirements. Also, ensure that you have followed all instructions. Check if you have met the required number of words. Check the formatting style. Have used the required style? What about the references? Have you used the required ones?

Conclusion

Writing a five-paragraph essay sounds easy. However, getting started is a problem. Knowing about the structure of a three-point essay outline can be a good starting point. It prepares your mind to start writing a great essay. Just don’t wait until the last minute. For an easier writing process, start working on your paper early. If possible, start the work as soon as it is assigned. This gives you enough time to produce a top-grade paper. However, sometimes writing your essay can be harder. In that case, seek essay help online. Expert writers will give you the help you need. It is only a matter of time. Soon, you will love writing five-paragraph essays. We hope this guide was helpful.

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