Key Components Of A Five-Paragraph Essay: Things To Consider

The five-paragraph essay is the classic format for high school and college essays. It isn’t the only accepted format for writing essays, of course, but it is a fairly easy model for you to follow when you’re developing your composition skills. The key components of a typical five-paragraph essay are explained here:

Introductory paragraph

This paragraph has more than one purpose. This is where you either peak your reader’s interest, enticing him or her to read on, or you lose them completely and they move on to something else. Your introductory paragraph should include your thesis statement. The paragraph should conclude with a transition to move the reader to the body of the essay.


The body of your paper will be divided into three separate paragraphs, each with its own job.

  • First paragraph: this is where you’ll make your strongest, most impressive argument. This is your beginning point, so you want to come on strong. The topic for this paragraph should be your first or second sentence and should relate to the thesis statement you made in your introduction.
  • Second paragraph: this paragraph will contain your second strongest argument, a significant example or a clever follow up to the first paragraph. Your topic sentence for this paragraph should be in the first or second sentence. It needs to relate back to the thesis statement in the introductory paragraph.
  • Third paragraph: in this paragraph, you’ll make your weakest argument in defense of your thesis statement. Your topic sentence for this paragraph needs to be in the first or second sentence. You can use an example or an illustration here to relate back to your thesis statement. The final sentence in this paragraph should include a conclusion that signals to the reader that you are making your final major point of your paper. This last sentence should lead into the concluding paragraph of your essay.


The key components of your concluding paragraph bring your argument together and wrap it all up for your reader. It should include these points:

  • a reference to the pattern you used in your introductory paragraph restate your thesis statement. It must not be a duplicate of your thesis statement, however. You want to mirror the
  • original language.
  • summarize the three main points you made in the body of the paper.
  • a final statement that lets the reader know that your discussion of your topic has come to an end. If this is a persuasive paper, this would be considered at “call to action.”

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