The Five-Paragraph Essay

     (1) The Five Paragraph Essay:  Only when you have an understanding of the process and product, will this lesson on how to write introductory paragraphs make sense
Introduction:------------------ . ---------------------- .  Thesis Statement ........idea 1.., idea 2..., idea 3....


 First Supporting Paragraph:    idea 1


 Second Supporting Paragraph: idea 2


 Third Supporting Paragraph:     idea 3




    (2)  First and foremost, do not try to write a whole five-paragraph essay the first time you try.

      (3)  Start with learning to write the introductory paragraph. It is the most important as you are grabbing the reader's attention by informing him or her of the main points of your essay. Spend a lot of time learning to write this well. A poor impression often "turns off" the reader and/or evaluator. That leads to a less than appropriately appreciated essay or a lesser grade. You have to grab the reader's attention with interest and  clarity. That is not an easy task. 

      (4) Choose a topic about which you know quite a bit. Jot it down. Do some brainstorming to determine which the three best supporting ideas are. Write them down too. Now go back and think about the point that you are trying to make. How can you word the first sentence to clearly and concisely tell that to the reader? Try to do that in the active voice as it is much stronger that way. Jot down the new sentence.       

            Now do the same thing for each of the three supporting ideas. Be sure that they are well written and explain a facet of the topic that you want to develop. Once you have that, there is just one more thing to write. It is the transition sentence that will connect these thoughts to your supporting paragraphs. Remember that you are developing one sentence at a time. 

     (5)  When you are finished, take a second to look back over that paragraph. Be sure that you have made it exciting to the reader. Usually, if you are honest, if it is not exciting or interesting to you, it will not be so to the reader. Be sure that you are not using dull similar sentence structure. Be sure that the ideas flow easily one from the other. The reader needs to see that there is connection. Unless you are writing a personal narrative, try not to use the pronoun "I." Most people do not know you so there is little authority      given to your opinions. Make any corrections. When you are please, share it with someone whose writing you respect. Get their impressions. They are important. Writing is communication with an audience. Once that audience is defined, you need to learn what is important to that audience, not just to yourself. Then and only then will you be successful. 

      (6)  Do not give up with just one try. Write on many topics, just writing the introductory paragraph. You will find that the process of following the format and thinking through and good introduction becomes easier with practice. That is only true if you go through some good pre-thinking, and evaluation so do not skip  that part. 

      (7)  Put the introductory paragraphs that you have written aside and perhaps they can be developed later. Even if you do not later use them, they can be looked at in the future and compared with the type of writing you are doing now. It is nice to see a pattern of progress.