The Five-Paragraph Essay a framework for Expository Writing Different Kinds of Writing



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The Five-Paragraph Essay

  • A Framework for
  • Expository Writing

Different Kinds of Writing

  • We write for fun. We write letters, stories, jokes, and to share information with our family or friends.
  • Most school writing, however, is expository writing and fits into a different category.

Expository Writing

  • Gives information about a topic
  • Explains ideas
  • Gives directions
  • Shows how to do something
  • The purpose of most expository writing is to communicate ideas or answer questions.

Expository Writing Uses Transitions

  • Writer’s Express says:
  • “Expository writing uses transition words (such as first, second, and most importantly). These words help guide the reader through the explanation.”
  • Writer’s Express - A Handbook for Young Writers, Thinkers, and Learners ©1995

So, your teacher gives you a prompt and tells you to write an expository essay:

  • What do you do???
  • Don’t panic.
  • Follow this plan…
  • (Watch for the color-coding, it will help you organize your ideas.)
  • “Write about your favorite pet.”

It’s Easy!

  • You ONLY Need Three Ideas...
  • Start with your main idea or topic.
  • (use key words from the prompt)
  • Three reasons that show your topic sentence is true
  • And three examples for each of your reasons (Remember to show, not tell.)
  • That’s all you need for the start of a great essay!!!

Use Correct Paragraph Form

  • Topic Sentence
  • Three Examples
  • Conclusion
  • Each paragraph must include:

The Beginning - Your First Sentences

Now end with a conclusion:

You already have your first paragraph done! Pretty easy, huh? To make it even easier look at this organizational plan using color-coding.

Paragraph 1: The Introduction

    • Introduction or Topic Sentence (Use key words from the prompt)
    • First Subtopic (A “Showing” Example)
    • Second Subtopic (A “Showing” Example)
    • Third Subtopic (A “Showing” Example)
    • Conclusion (Restates Introduction)

Paragraph 1: Example

  • My favorite pet is my dog, Romeo. He is beautiful and easy to care for. Playing with him is lots of fun. He always takes care of me. I have never had a better pet.

Restate each subtopic as the topic sentence for each of the next three paragraphs.

  • Restate each subtopic as the topic sentence for each of the next three paragraphs.
  • First Subtopic (Example #1)
  • “He is beautiful and easy to care for.” is the topic sentence you will restate for your next paragraph.

Paragraph 2: Example #1

      • Topic Sentence (Restates Example #1 from the Introduction “He is beautiful and easy to care for.” )
      • 3 Example Sentences (Prove your Topic Sentence)
      • Concluding Sentence (Restates Topic Sentence from Example #1)

Paragraph 2: Example #1

      • Romeo is beautiful and easy to care for. He is a tricolor Sheltie, mostly black with white and a bit of brown. Caring for him is easy because I simply have to make sure he has fresh water and food every day. I exercise him by throwing his toys. Because he is good looking and doesn’t require much care Romeo is a good pet.

Restate the second subtopic as the topic sentence for the next paragraph.

  • Restate the second subtopic as the topic sentence for the next paragraph.
  • Second Subtopic (Example #2)
  • “Playing with him is lots of fun.” is the topic sentence you will restate for your next paragraph.

Paragraph 3: Example #2

  • Topic Sentence (Restate Example #2 from the Introduction “Playing with him is lots of fun.”)
  • 3 Example Sentences (Prove your Topic Sentence)
  • Concluding Sentence (Restates Topic Sentence from Example #2)

Paragraph 3: Example #2

      • Romeo is lots of fun to play with. He loves to play catch. He follows me around the house with a toy and drops it on my foot so I will toss it. He can catch just about anything, but his favorite is chasing a Frisbee. I really have fun playing with Romeo.

Use the third subtopic (example) as the topic sentence for the next paragraph.

  • Use the third subtopic (example) as the topic sentence for the next paragraph.
  • Third Subtopic (Example #3)
  • “He always takes care of me.”
  • is the topic sentence for your next paragraph.

Paragraph 4: Example #3

      • Topic Sentence (Restates Example #3 from the Introduction “Romeo takes care of me.”)
      • 3 Example Sentences (That prove your Topic Sentence)
      • Concluding Sentence (Restates Topic Sentence from Example #3)

Paragraph 4: Example #3

      • Romeo takes care of me. He always follows me when I leave a room. When I am sitting on a couch he plops down right beside me. On sunny days when we are hiking in the woods he always makes sure that I keep up with the rest of the family. He always watches out for me.

Paragraph 5: Conclusion (Restates Paragraph 1: Introduction)

      • Introduction
      • First Subtopic (Example)
      • Second Subtopic (Example)
      • Third Sentence (Example)
      • Conclusion

Paragraph 5: Conclusion (Restates Paragraph 1: Introduction)

      • As you can see, Romeo is a great pet. I am proud of him and he doesn’t require much care. Playing with him is very pleasurable. I am always safe because he watches over me. Romeo is a wonderful pet.

There you have it!

  • Expository writing isn’t that difficult when you have a plan. To make it even easier you may want to use a graphic organizer like the following ones to organize your thoughts.

Have fun with your writing & remember, you only need THREE IDEAS for a great expository essay!



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