Creating An Excellent 5-Paragraph Expository Essay

Writing an essay in only 5 paragraphs is actually a pretty easy way to go about it. The limit of 5 paragraphs means you won’t write a lot of excess stuff and you don’t have to spend hours and hours on it or go into such great detail it becomes overwhelming.

Basically, here are the parts you would fit into the 5 paragraphs:

  • The first paragraph is the introduction. As you write it, you will need these parts, in this order – set the tone. Engage the audience with a hook to lure them in. Then, introduce your topic, where you can define terms or give them an example. State your thesis next and the last sentence transitions into the body of the paper.
  • The next 3 paragraphs are known as the body. Each one has its own supporting point that is highlighted and evidence given. The first paragraph of the body should be your strongest supporting point. After your examples are given, you need a transition sentence leading into the next body paragraph. The second paragraph is your next strongest point, and the third paragraph your last point.
  • The fifth paragraph is the summary or conclusion. You will wrap everything up and give your reader a condensed version of what the paper was all about.

An expository essay follows these guidelines:

  • Topic selection – the topic should be sufficiently focused so it’s manageable to cover it within the scope of the essay.
  • Thesis sentence – this sentence or question should be the idea or expression the entire paper is based on. Make sure you can develop it effectively.
  • Method of development – there are several to choose from. Select the method that best serves the thesis. You might choose from cause and effect, classification, example, definition, process analysis or classification.
  • Organize your paper by making an outline. This will be made by listing your main ideas in a logical order and then using them to expound upon when writing the body of the paper.
  • Topic sentences for each paragraph of the body. These sentences are the main supporting idea you will be describing for each paragraph. The most important one should go in the first paragraph after the introduction
  • After the body of the paper, end with a conclusion. This is a final summary, reminding the reader of the important points and giving them a condensed version of the details you’ve presented.

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