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The Five-Paragraph Essay. You have to know the rules…. …in order to break the rules. Mrs. Griz English 9. Why do we have to learn how to write a five-paragraph essay anyway?. MCAS SAT English10 English11 English12 College Entrance Essays. Quotes :.

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the five paragraph essay

The Five-Paragraph Essay

You have to know the rules…

…in order to break the rules.

Mrs. Griz

English 9

why do we have to learn how to write a five paragraph essay anyway
Why do we have to learn how to write a five-paragraph essay anyway?
  • MCAS
  • SAT
  • English10
  • English11
  • English12
  • College Entrance Essays
Quotes :

“A good essay must have this permanent quality about it; it must draw its curtain round us, but it must be a curtain that shuts us in, not out.” –Virginia Woolf

“There is no room for the impurities of literature in an essay.... the essay must be pure—pure like water or pure like wine, but pure from dullness, deadness, and deposits of extraneous matter.” –Virginia Woolf

diagram of a five paragraph essay
Diagram of a Five-Paragraph Essay

Introduction Paragraph

Body Paragraphs

Conclusion Paragraph

purpose of an intro paragraph
Purpose of an Intro Paragraph:
  • The Intro previews the entire structure of the paper.
  • It must grab the reader’s attention.
  • It gives the reader background information that the reader needs to understand about the topic.
  • The intro identifies the topic of the paper as well as the author’s opinion about the topic.


the intro paragraph
The Intro Paragraph


Q. Why is an up-side-down triangle used to represent an intro paragraph?


A. The intro moves from general to specific ideas.


parts of the intro
Parts of the Intro:

Grabber (or Hook)

  • The first sentence of the entire essay.
  • Must grab or hook the readers attention
  • May determine whether anyone will want to read your essay.


types of grabber sentences
Types of Grabber Sentences:
  • Question: What is love?
  • Quote: “All you need is love”
  • Interesting Fact: Many people feel that they are unhappy because one thing is missing in their lives—love.
  • Tell a story (only 2-5 sentences): As I opened the brown paper bag containing my lunch I was disappointed to find another peanut butter a jelly sandwich. “Not again,” I muttered to myself thinking angry thoughts towards my mother who had packed it that morning. Then my eye caught the shiny wrapper of a Snickers Bar, my favorite candy! On a napkin, in my mother’s neat handwriting were the words, “I love you.”

The Thesis is THE most important sentence of you entire essay!!!

It is the last sentence of your intro paragraph.

It is the most specific sentence of you essay.



Parts of a THESIS:

Topic or Subject

+ Statement or Opinion

= Thesis Statement

Example: Love is a powerful force which can add a sense of security, hope and belonging to a person’s life.




is a powerful force which can instill a sense of security, hope and belonging in a person’s life

okay if an essay is a car what part of the car would be the thesis
Okay…if an essay is a car…what part of the car would be the thesis?

The thesis is like the steering wheel of a car because it has the power to decide what direction the essay is going to go. More importantly, if your essay does not have a thesis than there is no direction. The thesis tells the reader exactly where the essay will go. For example…

we know exactly what each body paragraph will be about
We know exactly what each body paragraph will be about…

Love is a powerful force which can add a sense ofsecurity, hopeandbelongingto a person’s life.




These are called:

Thesis Parts

the body paragraphs the heart of your essay
The Body Paragraphs: The Heart of Your Essay

Each Body Paragraph

must develop an idea

or a sub-topic

that supports the

Thesis Statement.

parts of a body paragraph
Parts of a Body Paragraph

Topic Sentence:

  • The first sentence of a body paragraph
  • This sentence is a signpost that lets your reader know what you will be discussing in this paragraph.
  • This sentence must relate back to the thesis.

Example: A sense of security is felt when someone loves you because, you know they will never leave you.

types of sentences found in a body paragraph
Types of Sentences Found in a Body Paragraph:
  • Concrete Details
    • Any fact or statement
  • Quotes
    • Words from a text or an expert on the subject
  • Commentary
    • Your opinion telling why something is important
the clincher
The Clincher
  • The last sentence of a body paragraph clinches off the topic.
  • A summarizing or transitional sentence
  • Often rephrases the topic sentence
  • Signpost telling your reader you are done with one topic and moving on to the next.


conclusion paragraph
Conclusion Paragraph

Reword the Thesis

  • This sentence reminds readers what the point of your essay was.

Example: People need to be loved in order to have a sense of security, a sense of hope in the future and a sense of belonging.

draw your reader out
Draw your reader out…

Your conclusion must…

  • Tie up any loose ends.
  • Summarize main ideas or important points.
  • Answer the questions: So what? Why is this important?
  • Connect the reader back to the larger context of the world.
diagram review
Diagram Review

Grabber or Hook



Topic Sentence



Rephrased Thesis