Thesis and introduces three main supporting subtopics. The second through fourth paragraphs are the body and they individually support the subtopics.



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  • Brad Case
  • English 9

The standard five paragraph essay structure follows a specific format. The introduction has a thesis and introduces three main supporting subtopics. The second through fourth paragraphs are the body and they individually support the subtopics. The fifth paragraph is the conclusion and it should restate the thesis and remind the reader of the supporting subtopics. Although the essay can have more than five paragraphs, it is often called a five-paragraph essay.

  • The standard five paragraph essay structure follows a specific format. The introduction has a thesis and introduces three main supporting subtopics. The second through fourth paragraphs are the body and they individually support the subtopics. The fifth paragraph is the conclusion and it should restate the thesis and remind the reader of the supporting subtopics. Although the essay can have more than five paragraphs, it is often called a five-paragraph essay.

There are three main types of essays:

  • There are three main types of essays:
    • Narrative essays—tell a story from a defined point of view.
    • Persuasive or argumentative essays— attempt to convince the audience that the point of view or course of action recommended by the writer is valid.
    • Expository essays—define, explain, or analyze by using facts and statistical information, cause and effect relationships, or examples.

This is the focusing statement of any essay.

  • This is the focusing statement of any essay.
  •  
  • The basic structure of this sentence should contain three sections. The sentence must be written in parallel structure; thereby controlling the topics of the first, second and third body paragraphs. The thesis is stated in the introduction and then is artfully reiterated, not repeated, in the conclusion.

The introduction serves two main functions:

  • The introduction serves two main functions:
  • 1. To engage the reader—catch the reader’s interest
  • 2. To introduce the main idea and supporting points that will be discussed.

There are six main ways to engage your audience:

  • There are six main ways to engage your audience:
  • 1. Ask a question (the weakest of the methods)
  • 2. Tell an anecdote
  • 3. Provide a relevant quotation
  • 4. Share some dialogue
  • 5. Reveal a startling or unusual fact
  • 6. Paint a vivid description (use sensory detail)

There are five main ways to introduce your main idea:

  • There are five main ways to introduce your main idea:
  • 1. State the problem
  • 2. Present the information you are going to compare/contrast
  • 3. Give background for your story
  • 4. State your thesis
  • 5. Introduce the idea/object/process
  • person/place that you are going to describe

In the body, the writer presents at least three paragraphs. Each paragraph has a main supporting idea that directly relates to the thesis, main idea or topic of the paper as presented in the introduction. For these main supporting ideas, the writer supplies additional details explanations and proof related to the supporting main ideas.

  • In the body, the writer presents at least three paragraphs. Each paragraph has a main supporting idea that directly relates to the thesis, main idea or topic of the paper as presented in the introduction. For these main supporting ideas, the writer supplies additional details explanations and proof related to the supporting main ideas.

Goal—the body serves one or more of the following purposes:

  • Goal—the body serves one or more of the following purposes:
  • 1. Tell your story in a narrative essay
  • 2. Compare and contrast your information in an expository essay
  • 3. Describe your idea/object/process/person/
  • place in an expository essay
  • 4. Prove your point or thesis in an argumentative essay
  • 5. Explain your solution to a problem in an argumentative essay

Use a specific order or orders in the body of an essay:

  • Use a specific order or orders in the body of an essay:
  • 1. Spatial order—order based on location—use for descriptions
  • 2. Chronological order—order based on time—use for events in a narrative essay

3. Logical order—order based on ways of thinking—use for cause/effect, problem/solution, main idea/support in argumentative and expository essays

  • 3. Logical order—order based on ways of thinking—use for cause/effect, problem/solution, main idea/support in argumentative and expository essays
  • 4. Order of Importance—order based on most important information to least important/ least important to most important—use in argumentative and expository essays

The goal of the conclusion is to signal to the audience that the piece is complete

  • The goal of the conclusion is to signal to the audience that the piece is complete

There are nine basic ways to write a conclusion:

  • There are nine basic ways to write a conclusion:
  • 1. Restate (put in new words) the main idea— show chain of main ideas
  • 2. Answer a question from the body or introduction
  • 3. Ask an additional question that extends your main idea
  • 4. Make a call to action

5. Make a suggestion

Remember, this is not exhaustive. If you can figure out a way to organize or present your piece that grows out of the information itself, use that.

  • Remember, this is not exhaustive. If you can figure out a way to organize or present your piece that grows out of the information itself, use that.


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