Academic Writing Basics: The Definition Of A Five-Paragraph Essay


In order to better utilize most of the academic writing basics, it is important that students understand certain terms. This is where a 5-paragraph essay comes into the picture. In order to understand this type of paper, students should first have a proper definition of the term. Therefore, in defining what this type of paper is, the students should first understand the definition of paragraph. Simply put, a paragraph is said to be a group of three to five sentences. There are also, paragraphs that contain over 10 paragraphs.

There is one unique thing about sentences though, whether they are within an academic writing or any other type of paper. Sentences are placed in order of importance which is as follows:

  • Topic Sentence: This is the beginning part of your paragraph and it introduces your target readers to the topic or issue being discussed in your essay.
  • Supporting Sentences: These are those sentences closely following the topic sentence. They tend to enlighten your target readers more about the issue you first introduced in the topic sentence.
  • Concluding Sentence: This is where the paragraph comes to an end with its concluding sentence. It summarizes all you said in the topic and supporting sentences. In most cases, it introduces the target readers to the following paragraph.

Now that it is clear what a paragraph is, you should have a clearer picture of what a 5-paragraph paper is when it comes to academic writing. Simply put, a 5-paragraph essay is a paper made up of 5 paragraphs. These paragraphs are strategically structured thus:

  • Introduction: This paragraph is made up of 3 to 5 sentences and is the beginning of the paper. You use the first sentence to captivate your readers, elaborate further with 1 or 2 sentences and finally, compose your thesis in one sentence.
  • Three Body Paragraphs: This part of your academic writing is made up of four or more sentences for each paragraph. This starts with the topic sentence, followed by several supporting sentences and finally, the concluding sentence.
  • Conclusion: This is the last paragraph in your 5-paragraph essay and just like the introduction, it is made up of 3 to 5 sentences. It is here that you restate your thesis but in different words that convey the same message in your introduction.

So, now you can see that carrying out your 5-paragraphs academic writing is not as difficult as you might have imagined. All you need to do is pick an interesting topic, compose the body paragraphs and craft your introduction and conclusion. With these taken care of, you then proofread for errors and you are done.

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