The Five-Paragraph Essay

The Five Paragraph Essay format is one of the most basic essay writing formats. It’s important to keep the five paragraph structure in mind as you write your essays. The Five Paragraph Essay consists of five basic components:

  • an introduction (paragraph 1)
  • a body (paragraphs 2, 3, and 4)
  • a conclusion (paragraph 5)


In the introduction you will briefly describe your topic. Your introduction paragraph will have these main elements:

  • Hook —it an interesting fact or line that grabs your readers attention and makes one to read your essay
  • Topic— make sure that the topic of your paper is clearly mentioned in your introduction.
  • Thesis statement—this is the sentence that shows the main purpose of your essay. It ensures that your reader immediately knows your opinion or point of view. Your thesis statement will include key words from your three body paragraph topics.

Body paragraphs

These are the paragraphs that will contain most of your arguments and the evidence you use to support them.

  • Paragraph 2—This paragraph should discuss the first and strongest of your three supporting arguments (details). Begin by stating your argument and then following up with the evidence to support or expand it. These supporting sentences may consist of specific details, evidence, or examples that prove the point you are making.
  • Paragraph 3—This paragraph should discuss your second supporting argument (detail). It will follow the same approach as your first body paragraph. It will state the supporting argument followed by evidence or details to back it up.
  • Paragraph 4—This paragraph will discuss and expand your third supporting argument (detail) with evidence or details to back it up.


Main idea—at the start of your concluding paragraph you will restate your main purpose, argument or idea

Summary—you will then summarize the important points you have discussed in your body paragraphs. Don’t introduce any new ideas you have not discussed before the conclusion.