Structuring A Short Essay: Five Paragraphs

Having trouble putting together your essay?  Try this simple structure that effectively outlines how your short essay, of whatever subject, may be presented.

This format breaks down the essay into five paragraphs, each one playing a specific role in the material.  While it’s not a hard and fast rule that you must adhere to (unlike having to use an English writing software, which we’ve been constantly making a point of), it’s a workable outline that can help your writing if you’re stuck with how to best present your ideas.

Paragraph 1: Introduction

The introduction, as the name implies, acquaints the reader with the topic.  Apart from that though, it should give them a glimpse of what to expect from the body of your text, which you can do by clearly stating your specific assertion and point of view.  Make sure your introduction is written in an active tone, with strong verbs and powerful statements – it’s your chance to hook the reader or lose their interest forever.

Paragraph 2,3,4: Body

In the body of the essay, focus on one main idea that supports your assertions in the Introduction.  Dissect that main idea into three distinct parts (the main argument, supporting examples and a summary) and present each as one paragraph in your body.

For instance, if you made an assertion that the movie Transformers is bad in your introduction, you will use the body to present evidence why it is so.  Choose a main idea that explains why the movie is bad in the paragraph 2, support it with specific instances and events in paragraph 3 and close it with a summary of your statement in paragraph 4.

Paragraph 5: Conclusion

In the Conclusion, your summarize the main points, reassert your claim and end the essay with impact.  This will be the last thing readers will get from your essay, so make sure it ties everything together succinctly as well as creates a lasting impression in their mind.