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How To Prepare An Essay Using The Five-paragraph Format

By Expert Author: Ronald Richardson

Preparing an essay is really simple and can be accomplished by using some type of structured format. Whether you're writing for a class assignment, a college application, or a standardized test, your essay must have structure.
Because structure is where beginning writers experience the most difficulty, writing instructors often recommend using the five paragraph essay to help students clearly understand the concept structured writing. Some educators steer away from the five paragraph essay because they believe it misleads young writers into thinking that essays are only five paragraphs long; others however, see the five paragraph essay as a great starting point that helps alleviate much of the anxiety that causes students to dread the writing process in the first place.
The first paragraph of a five paragraph essay should clearly establish the beginning by introducing the topic, filling in some background information, briefly reviewing the essay's content, and establishing the authors purpose and position. The introductory paragraph essentially tells readers what they are about to read and gives them a reason for reading it, and is where they will likely decide to keep reading if the topic continues to pique their interest.
Next is the body, the middle, or meat of the essay, consisting of three or more paragraphs that support the topic; however, don't restricted yourself to only three paragraphs. Although there body paragraphs is sort of an unwritten minimum, it's more important to include as much information as necessary to fully support and explain the main idea, whether it takes one paragraph or a dozen. The body is where all the smaller ideas that support the main idea are fleshed out into fine detail. Writers should make sure that each supporting idea contains enough information in the form of examples, anecdotes, facts, and figures to fully inform readers about the topic and your position.
Finally the last paragraph, or conclusion, is where writers wrap up the main idea and solidify their position. Start the paragraph by restating the main idea, and then provide a call to action, giving readers something to after they've read your work. A call to action can consist of calling a senator, how to get involved in community development, or simple additional places where readers may find more information on the topic. There are many ways to write a conclusion for an essay, a call to action is just one suggestion. The point is that conclusions must give readers a sense of completion.
Although very basic and formulaic, the structure provided by the five-paragraph essay enables beginning writers to understand essay preparation from a non-writers perspective. Knowing how to structure an essay allows beginning writers' opportunity to focus more on the quality of their ideas instead of flustering over how to prepare the finished product. For further essay writing instruction, type "sentence structure," "grammar basics," "how to write a paragraph," "common spelling mistakes," or any combination of terms mentioned into a browser's search bar, you'll discover many resources from prestigious universities and private organizations that can help you on your way to essay writing success, and it's all free.

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