Creating a 5-Paragraph Essay Outline

Typically when you start dipping your toes into the world of essays, a 5-paragraph essay is one of the first. These essays follow a simple format that is easy to get down to a science after a few tries. Get a 5-paragraph essay outline and a graphic organizer to help you organize your thoughts. See how it works through a fun bee example.

Student writing a 5 paragraph essay Student writing a 5 paragraph essay

What Is a 5-Paragraph Essay?

Does a 5 paragraph essay seem daunting? If this is your first walk into the world of essays, then it might be. However, a 5-paragraph essay really isn’t as hard as you might think. In simplest terms, a 5-paragraph essay is made of 5 paragraphs: an introduction, 3 body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

These essays come in all different shapes like the persuasive, informative, argumentative, expository, and cause and effect essays, to name a few. Now that you’ve got a clue about what this essay is, explore the 5-paragraph essay outline.

5-Paragraph Essay Outline

When you think of a 5-paragraph essay, it’s fun to think of it like a hamburger. Your introduction is your top bun, the body paragraphs are your meat, and the conclusion is the bottom bun. Let’s check out the importance of each one.


Your introduction is the first paragraph readers will see. That means it needs to have pizzazz. You wouldn’t want to eat a hamburger with a tattered looking top bun, and you wouldn’t want to read an essay with a boring intro. Therefore, you’ve got to wow your audience in your introduction. To spark curiosity, your intro needs three parts.

  • Opening hook: Your first sentence needs to hook readers. Make it fun and interesting.
  • Topic introduction: Offer a brief introduction to what your essay will be about.
  • Thesis statement: This sentence provides the point for your essay and what your body paragraphs will discuss.

Body Paragraphs

After drawing in readers with your introduction, use body paragraphs to present your arguments, findings, or points for your article. In your body paragraphs, present your three points or arguments, from strongest to weakest.

Each paragraph has the same setup.

  • Topic sentence: Introduce the main point.
  • Supporting sentences: Introduce your research or arguments for this point through 3-5 sentences.
  • Conclusion sentence: Conclude your paragraph and use transition words to lead to the next paragraph.

For example, if your thesis statement is:

Bees are the lifeblood of our ecosystem. Without them, fewer fruits and vegetables are pollinated, and robotic pollination and food shortages result in higher costs.

Next in the paragraph, break down the points you made in your thesis of fewer fruits and vegetables pollinated, higher costs from robotic pollination, and food shortages.



You’ve made it to the bottom bun of your article. You don’t reach the conclusion until the end, but it’s vital to rounding your 5-paragraph essay outline. In your conclusion, restate your introduction.

  • Main points summary: Provide a quick summary of your points in the article.
  • Restate thesis: Don’t use your thesis word for word, but revise it a bit to say the same thing.
  • Concluding thought: Here, you might choose to use an ending hook that keeps the reader thinking about the topic.

5-Paragraph Essay Graphic Organizer

To help you get your essay in check, it can be helpful to use a 5-paragraph essay graphic organizer. Use this to organize your topics, research, and structure.

5 Paragraph Essay Graphic Organizer

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Tips For Writing 5-Paragraph Essays

While the structure of 5-paragraph essays is easy to follow, make sure your essay stands out and is clear and concise by following a few tips.

  • Make sure your research is thorough.
  • Always structure arguments from strongest to weakest.
  • Check spelling and grammar.
  • Remove unnecessary wordiness wherever possible.
  • Ensure evidence is clear and factual.
  • Use your thesis to focus your essay.
  • Write on a topic you enjoy.

Writing an Essay

Writing the perfect essay takes planning. And a 5-paragraph essay is only the beginning. Once you master that, move into the wild world of book essays or descriptive essays.