The five-paragraph essay is one of the most basic and easiest formats to follow when writing a paper.
Because of this, it can be helpful when you have little time (during a written exam) or when you’re stuck with writer’s block. It is also a great way to start writing for anyone who may be out of practice.
You can think of a five paragraph essay like a sandwich. Each paragraph is one part of the sandwich: bread, lettuce, cheese, meat, bread.
- Introduction (bread)
- Supporting Argument 1 (lettuce)
- Supporting Argument 2 (cheese)
- Supporting Argument 3 (meat)
- Conclusion (bread)
The introduction and conclusion are considered the pieces of bread that hold everything together. They are similar because they layout what you will say and describe what you said.
Your supporting arguments make up the main part of your sandwich - the insides. Each one is different, but they all complement each other. In the same way, your supporting arguments shouldn’t repeat one another but should fit together to make a complete argument.
Tip: Five paragraph essays are best utilized for short papers. However, you can expand the format so that each supporting argument is several paragraphs.