How to Write a 5 Paragraph Essay with Examples

posted by Andy Preisler 09 Dec 2022
Table of contents:

Discussing how to write a 5 paragraph essay is one of the most important academic tasks. Students must learn how to create this paper no matter what subject they study or the college they attend. Are you having problems with your assignment right now? Don’t fret — with our help, it’ll take you just a moment to learn how to structure an essay and fill it with relevant information. Have a close look at the tips we prepared, and any worries will flee your mind!

Understand the Definition: What Is a 5 Paragraph Essay?

The first mistake students make is failing to understand what paper they are working on. Once you figure out your task, it stops looking intimidating, so let’s get this problem out of the way. 5 paragraph essay is the most standard type of academic work that has five sections with content. It could cover any topic — its central feature is structure. It should have an introduction, body with three paragraphs, and a conclusion. You’ll see what each of them must focus on a bit later, but we guarantee that there is nothing complex about it.

Popular Types of Five-Paragraph Essay Students Write at College

There are multiple types of 5 paragraph essays. We’re going to explore the most popular of them so that you understand their key features. Remember that differences or similarities in their content don’t matter: they all need to have 5 paragraphs. This feature unites them under one umbrella, and it means that you need to come up with the idea that has 3 major points, exploring each in every body paragraph.

  • Definition essays. Realizing how to write an essay like this won’t take you long. All you need to do is define a concept and explain it to readers. Choose 3 aspects that represent it and dissect them in a clear, comprehensive manner, as befits 5 paragraph essay format. After reading this paper, your audience should form an accurate understanding of what the concept you selected is.
  • Descriptive papers. The central goal here lies in describing something. This could be an object, a country, a holiday, or an event. Choose 3 details or 3 sets of details. For example, if you’re describing a person, you could explore their physical features in one body paragraph, their character in the second one, and their preferences in the third section. Be detailed and demonstrate what rich vocabulary you have by using synonyms, metaphors, comparisons, etc.
  • Narrative works. This is a personal paper type that tells your story. As a possible 5 paragraph essay example, you could describe a meaningful experience or share a lesson that transformed your life. Once again, you’d need to separate 3 key events.
  • Argumentative & persuasive essays. Students learn how to craft argumentative papers early. This tests their ability to do research and use evidence correctly, making it strong enough to convince readers of something. Once you choose an argument, break it into 3 parts and dedicate each of 3 paragraphs to them.
  • Compare & contrast papers. This essay type is among the easiest. Write a 5 paragraph essay by comparing, contrasting, or comparing plus contrasting two or more subjects. For instance, if you have strong feelings toward fictional vampires, compare and contrast Bella from Twilight and Elena from Vampire Diaries. Dedicate 3 paragraphs to their physical looks, behavior, and reception among fans.
  • Cause & effect essays. What causes a problem, and how does it happen? Tackle these questions. If you want an example of five paragraph essay, here is one: explore why Fuji apples are the sweetest by focusing on how they are planted. The cause would be 3 environmental conditions; the effect would be the excessive sweetness of these apples.
  • Literary analysis. Pick a text, such as a short story, an article or a novel, and perform an analysis. Settle on 3 different aspects, such as setting, characters, and literary techniques.

Your professor could ask you to write other kinds of essays, but in most cases, you’ll be working on one of the aforementioned types. They are popular and fairly easy. Understand them or ask for more help from professionals.

Prepare for Writing: See How to Start a 5 Paragraph Essay

Before students start working on their essays, they should cover several other steps. It’s important not to skip them. Rushing won’t do you any good since preparation is everything when it comes to academics.

Choose the best topic

If you want your essay to look great, you should enjoy writing it. Many students scoff at this, thinking that it’s impossible, but the topic is the key. Select one that you truly love. Think about your favorite books, movies, people or experiences; read about your course themes and choose one that interests you most. If you like your work, it’s almost guaranteed that others will equally enjoy it. Just in case, we prepared some five paragraph essays examples. Look through these titles, and who knows, you might want your perfect match.

  1. 3 Reasons that Cause Heart Attacks in People Under Fifty
  2. Major Consequences that War Waged by Russia Has Had on the World
  3. 3 Most Successful Movie Adaptations of Books
  4. Effective Strategies for Overcoming Nervousness when Speaking in Public
  5. Key Signs that a Bird Is Going to Lay an Egg
  6. The Best Gifts You Ever Received & Gave
  7. Hints Indicating that a Company Is about to Go Bankrupt
  8. Compare & Contrast Two US Colleges of Your Choice
  9. Drugs that Cause Most Powerful Addiction among Users
  10. Signs of Humans’ Complete Dependency on Technologies & What This Leads to

Do research

After selecting the best 5 paragraph essay topics, start doing research. Browse academic online databases like Google Scholar.  Check your college library — they might have great sources. Look at relevant books, articles, and websites; read their annotations, abstracts or summaries to get an idea of what they discuss. Choose those that were published within the last 5 years, have DOI, or come from relevant publishing houses. They must be credible and based on real experience of professional researchers.

Transitioning Between Paragraphs

Every paragraph in a paper should be readable. It needs to have a certain size, and you should include smooth links between them. You cannot explore one topic and then just straight to the next one. Transition from point to point gradually. How to do it when writing a 5 paragraph essay? Easy! The best way is to use a closing sentence. It should restate everything you’ve explored in a body paragraph and/or mention a common point between it and the next one. Learning how to do that effectively might take some work, but once you gain experience, it’ll be extremely simple.

Format Each 5 Paragraph Essay Should Have

Students are often curious about the size of their paper. So, how many words is 5 paragraphs? As experience shows, they equal 1000 word essay or something close to it. They could take less but definitely not more since the volume of one paragraph cannot exceed 200 words. Regarding formatting itself, it tends to be MLA or APA. They have a specific system of references that ranges from unique in-text citations to work-cited lists. Check templates online or take them from your school library. Other common formats are Harvard and Chicago, but they are more complex. If you need assistance with them, let us know.

Why Outline Is Important and How Much to Write There

We often receive this question from students: “Why do I need to know how to outline an essay if it wastes my time?” It’s understandable, no one wants to bother writing outlines when they should concentrate on a paper itself. But outlines play a crucial role in the education process. They show the structure of your essay, remind you of ideas you had, and help keep things simple and comprehensive. This is the model we suggest:

1) Introduction: 3-5 Sentences

5 paragraph essay introduction consists of three major parts. You could outline them in one sentence each or expand some of them — this is up to you. Just make certain your text looks understandable to you.

a) Hook. This is an intriguing claim that you present in your first sentence. Its goal lies in impressing readers enough to encourage them to keep reading. Writers could choose between multiple hook types. They could include a question, a fun fact, a powerful statement, statistics, or something similar. Go for shocking, stimulating, fascinating, sad, etc.

Example: “The more people witness an accident, the fewer of them try to help the victim.”

b) Background. In this part of the five-paragraph essay, writers should outline their topic. They should explain its relevancy or history. Don’t include too many details: remember that this is an outline, not an actual introduction. One sentence could be more than sufficient.

Example: “The first cure that treats boils appeared over a thousand years ago, and as legend demonstrates, it was made for an influential woman who intended to marry a man of note.”

c) Thesis. This last introduction sentence must produce the biggest and most effective impact on readers. It should present a claim, which is usually argumentative in nature, describing what your essay is about. Never use phrases like “this paper is…” or “I am going to discuss.” Do something like this:

Example: “While exceptions exist, the majority of people who argue against abortions are men, who are religious and who possess an average level of intellect.”

2) 3 Body Paragraphs: 5-7 Sentences

As we mentioned before, every 5 paragraph essay structure is going to have three body sections. The good news is that they all follow the same pattern. When you learn the details of one, you’ll automatically know what to write in others.

a) Opening sentence. Start every body paragraph with a sentence that introduces this paragraph’s topic. As a tip, it should have a direct link to the thesis. Let’s take the previous section as an example. The first paragraph would open with a line like this:

Example: “Research shows that most people who support ban on abortions are men.”

b) Proof. Direct quotes are usually the best evidence. Decide which line to use in advance since it’ll direct your other ideas and sentences.

Example: “As NWG (2018) research showed, 63% of men believed that abortions should be banned at least at some period.”

c) Elaborate. Now elaborate on this quote. Make it clear why you used it and how it supports your argument.

Example: “This fact demonstrates that the majority of men voted in favor of abortion.”

d) Closing sentence. Sum up what you’ve just discussed. Remember what we said about transitions: they should be smooth and gradual.

Example: “Therefore, even though abortions concern women first and foremost, men support it in biggest quantities.”

3) Conclusion: 3-5 Sentences

Summarize your main findings in this section. Don’t present new information or quotes. Stick to what you’ve already described.

a) Restate thesis. Where is the thesis stated in a 5-paragraph essay? As we indicated above, it should be the last sentence of introduction. Take it, reword it, and place it at the start of your conclusion.

Example: “Male population that holds strict religious beliefs and possesses a medium level of intelligence are the most ardent supporters of abortion ban.”

b) Restate major points. You had to derive three main conclusions from your body paragraphs. Now remind people of them.

Example: “These men believe that the life of a child is precious no matter at what stage of physical development it is. They consider the decision to abort this child a crime, as research indicated.”

c) Mention relevancy. Demonstrate why these findings matter.

Example: “It is essential to understand why men support abortion because it can explain the decisions made on a government level and discrimination that exists there.”

5 Paragraph Essay Outline Example on the Topic “Three Major Stages of Grief”

To help you understand the outline for your 5-paragraph essay, we prepared a direct model. It follows the same topic of stages involved in grief. This is what it could look like.


  • Most people felt a paralyzing sense of grief at least once in their life. (Hook)
  • Grief is an ancient feeling that accompanies tragic events. (Background)
  • Three main stages of grief include avoidance, confrontation, and accommodation. (Thesis)

Body Paragraph 1

  • Avoidance means an attempt to distance oneself from the feeling of grief. (Opening sentence)
  • Research illustrates that this stage might last up to several years. (Source reference)
  • This is because people react to events differently: some feel better soon while others struggle for years. (Explanation)
  • Avoidance is the first stage that lasts for a long time if people are set on ignoring their pain. (Closing sentence)

Body Paragraph 2

  • Confrontation signifies anger at the loss a person experienced. (Opening sentence)
  • Studies show that the second stage is the most dangerous. (Source reference)
  • Since they feel rage, people can do drastic negative actions. (Explanation)
  • Confrontation is the most volatile of grief stages. (Closing sentence)

Body Paragraph 3

  • Accommodation means accepting the loss. (Opening sentence)
  • Researchers proved that people understand the futility of their anger here. (Source reference)
  • They realize they cannot recover the loss, which helps them embrace it. (Explanation)
  • Accommodation could happen years after the loss, but it finally brings peace to a person. (Closing sentence)


  • People undergo avoidance, confrontation, and accommodation upon losing someone or something. (Restated thesis)
  • Each stage takes time: avoidance results in dismissal of pain, confrontation is associated with frustrated rage, while accommodation means finding peace. (Restated key points)
  • Understanding grief can help make the experience of loss less painful. (Relevancy)

Grading Rubric for Assessing Your Own Essay

When students work on their assignments, they worry about results. Some of them contact us with the words, “Could you write my paper because I can’t handle it any longer?” This is certainly an option! But we also suggest checking your paper against the grading rubric. It could show you how to write a five paragraph essay effectively.

  • Focus. Does an essay follow the same goal through all paragraphs?
  • Organization. Does your paper have five paragraphs of appropriate length?
  • Conventions. Follow formatting guidelines and academic rules.
  • Style. Did you use formal language while avoiding personal pronouns and contractions?
  • Content. Does your content flow smoothly and prove your point?
  • Answer these questions. Maybe you’ll see that your paper looks amazing. If not, don’t hesitate to ask for help.

Order Five Paragraph Essay Example from Professional Writers

You’ve seen what an essay of 5 paragraphs is and how to write it. In case you forgot anything, go through our guide again. Prepare thoroughly, but if you’re still worried, order assistance from our professional service. Contact us today and receive your answer momentarily. We’ll do your research and produce a flawless essay example based on your topic. Use it for boosting your performance and creating a perfect paper of your own.


What are 5 sections in 5 paragraph essay?

These are introduction, three body paragraphs, as well as conclusion. Remember that each of them has its unique nuances.

How long is a 5 paragraph essay?

Its length should be somewhere between 700-1000 words. Keep the optimal size of each paragraph in mind.

How do you write a 5 paragraph essay quickly?

Experience helps speed the work up. Another option is ordering an essay from experts: they’ll provide it by the date you need.

Andy Preisler

Blog writer for GrabMyEssay

Andy Preisler


Hey there!

I’m Andy Preisler, and I’m super happy to be joining the blog team at!

While I hail from Fayetteville, Arkansas (I know, not the most progressive state!), I left the Southern life behind me many years ago when I went to college for my first degree. I’ve received it in University of Arkansas, Fayetteville and I’m really proud of this. Since then, I have studied in the U.S., and later on, continued my education in Loughborough University, UK, where I actually my second Bachelor’s Degree along the way.

With my perpetual studies (my parents wonder if it will ever stop), I have become a bit of an expert on college life – academic, social, and financial – and love sharing my experiences and my methods of “circumventing the system” with others.  I will be sharing all of these great tips and strategies with my readers, so stay tuned!

When I am not blogging or enrolling in some new course that interests me, I am backpacking through Europe and staying in hostels, working on my second novel (a riveting murder mystery), and pursuing my interest in music. Yes, I travel with my guitar, and you would be amazed at the amount of cash I can accumulate, just performing on the streets of European cities (they are so much more tolerant of vagabond musicians). 

My other passion is environmental. In my short 27 years of life on this planet, I have witnessed the extinction of species, the destruction of rain forests, and irreparable harm to our oceans. I contribute both time and money to several international environmental organizations, because we all must do our part to save Mother Earth.

But I digress! If you are interested in the “ins and outs” of college life, and want some great tales of navigating through the game of “degree attainment,” as well as tips for easing the pain of those pesky essay and paper assignments, follow my blog!

I would love to hear from you, to give you advice, and to lend a listening ear. You can contact me at [email protected] anytime! And follow my posts – you won’t be disappointed!

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