Every essay obviously has an introduction and a conclusion. When you look at the middle you’ll find a bunch of paragraphs.

Every essay obviously has an introduction and a conclusion. When you look at the middle you’ll find a bunch of paragraphs.

When students first figure out how to write essays, they’re often taught some type of the “five paragraph essay.” The five essay that is paragraph makes three related points, each with its own body paragraph. Although this form of rigid essay structure is a good idea for first time writers, it easily becomes predictable and boring. That’s why we’d like to present a model that is different of writing. With this page we offer some general advice about how you can craft essays that are natural and organic. While structure is very important, we offer guidelines which can be flexible and meet your needs.

Basic Parts

What’s important is that there is no set rule as to how many paragraphs you can use for just about any portion of your essay. In a long essay, your introduction might take up two or three paragraphs. In a essay that is shorte.g., 3-4 pages) it’s a good idea to help keep your intro and conclusion sweet and short. You can also have as many paragraphs that are middle you want.

This basically means, if you introduce your topic, argue your case persuasively, and provide some closure, how many paragraphs is totally irrelevant.

In fact, writing an essay is a bit like crossing a stream. Think about the paragraphs because the stones that are stepping allow you to arrive at the other side high and dry:

If the stream is wide, you’ll need more stepping stones. The same holds true for an essay: the longer the essay, the more paragraphs you’ll need.


Don’t overthink your introduction. There’s no need to cram a myriad of things into your introduction. Just introduce the topic along with your argument:

A quotation or surprising fact), assume that your topic is interesting enough to grab your reader’s attention in other words, instead of coming up with some artificial hook ( e.g. Focus your effort on explaining the research question or problem that drives your research. How come your topic significant? Why should people care? In the event that you answer the “why?” question, your reader shall care enough to continue reading.

The thesis is a statement that is succinct of overall argument. It will come during the end associated with the introduction. You have more flexibility where you place the thesis if you introduction is multiple paragraphs long.

Some teachers advice their students to create three points with regards to their thesis. This is certainly generally a terrible idea. What invariably eventually ends up happening is you end up writing three mini-essays that are only loosely connected.

While you can have sub-points, the most important thing is that you come up with ONE coherent argument that ties together everything in your essay.

If it takes you a couple of sentences to totally express your argument that’s not a problem: a thesis doesn’t have to be just one single sentence long.

Body Paragraphs

The middle paragraphs form the human body of your essay. These paragraphs are a bit like vases: the contents are held by them of your essay, and additionally they may be found in all sizes and shapes:

Like vases, paragraphs will be more narrow in the middle. That’s where you’ll find the specifics regarding the argument, the quotations as well as the facts.

The end and beginning of a paragraph are usually more general in scope. The opening sentence (the sentence that is topic indicates what the paragraph is approximately. In addition it connects the paragraph as to what came before.

The key with writing paragraphs would be to remind your reader associated with general argument. However, there’s no have to conclude every paragraph with a directory of what came before. Just be sure you paragraphs transition nicely in one to another.

Lastly, each paragraph should make only one point. If you’re beginning to say something new, even when it is just a different facet of the same point, start an innovative new paragraph!

The difficulty with conclusions is avoiding needless repetition. Don’t let your reader zone out whenever you zoom out.

You will need to explain why your findings matter. Point out those nuances and complexities that your thesis only hinted at, but that will now be fully understood. Provide observations that keep your conclusion fresh and interesting.

Now that you have some general idea about how to structure your essay, take the time to study our more in-depth lessons from the various components of the essay (introductions, paragraphs, conclusions). And, they Can’t Write: Killing the Five-Paragraph Essay and Other Necessities, or read his blog post on the subject if you’re still not convinced that the five paragraph essay is generally a bad idea, check out John Warner’s book Why.

Thank you for this outstanding resource, which has helped my community college writing students with their coursework. I really do have a comment in regards to the five-paragraph essay (5PE).

I wish to claim that this format shouldn’t automatically be written off. The 5PE can act as “training wheels” for many writers that are hesitantand certainly for students in developmental writing courses present in many community colleges). The formulaic nature of this rigid structure can help some writers understand both the function of necessary essay elements plus the purpose of organization written down projects.

A format from which they can find initial success with early writing projects in addition, the 5PE can also offer some students. Quite essay writing simply, this format can help some students produce a well-organized piece of writing. (as well as some writing that is developmental, this could be the first occasion they usually have encountered success in writing.)

Although I agree that students needs to be encouraged to maneuver beyond this structure, the 5PE can allow some struggling students to view themselves as college writers. This could lead to student growth; they can feel more comfortable taking greater risks and making more sophisticated rhetorical choices within their writing.

Again, I thank you because of this much-appreciated beneficial resource.

Thanks, Eileen, for your thoughtful feedback. You’re right that the five paragraph essay may be an excellent initial step. My hope is that they will once move on they’re prepared to experiment with their writing. Personally, i did son’t realize till second year of university that i really could split a point that is single into multiple paragraphs. I once wrote a 10 page paper with only two body paragraphs! That’s the downside of those rigid methods of writing essays. ??