5 Paragraph Essay: Format & Example Outline

5 Paragraph Essay: Format & Example Outline

One of the most common questions that used to appear on student forums in the past was simple: what is the order of a five paragraph essay? Although it is a standard academic assignment that professors use to evaluate their students’ knowledge, the paper writing process itself may seem confusing. Still, it is enough just to know certain rules and to keep up with particular professional recommendations to craft an excellent five paragraph essay without any problems.

Here below, you’ll find the short but detailed guide on writing five paragraph papers successfully. The point for you to know here is that the assignment you’ve got is probably the shortest essay possible to find. You can write it nicely and easily. Here is how to do that.

How to Write a 5 Paragraph Essay Outline & Paper

In this guide, we’ll unite the tips for crafting an outline and the final paper draft. It’s because the overall structure of essays always remains the same. It includes the introductory part, the main essay body, and the concluding paragraph. Your outline should keep up with that model to stay effective and relevant.

By the way, it is worth noting that students are often too lazy to craft outlines for their academic papers. That’s a mistake you should not make if you want your essays to bring you top grades. The reason is simple: an essay outline is nothing but a plan.

A thoroughly composed outline can serve you as a perfectly detailed roadmap. It will help you keep the elements of your five paragraph essay logically interconnected. Consequently, the whole paper will function as intended.

An outline will be your basement to build a great and solid building, which is an essay. If you spend enough time to craft an effective outline, it will be enough just to add a couple of details to it to get the final essay draft. Now, let’s check the format of a good outline that will allow you to craft a perfect paper.

Standard Five Paragraph Essay Outline Format

You should read the recommendations and tips touching on outlines even before you check the five paragraph essays examples available online. It will be easier for you to analyze the way they are written if you are aware of all the main structural elements of an academic paper.

Suppose this is your first essay. In that case, there is the basic info to understand. Every academic paper of that type, regardless of its kind, consists of three main elements:

  • introduction;
  • main body;
  • conclusion.

Let’s take a closer look at each of them. Additionally, there is a typical number of paragraphs for you to include in this or that essay part. And yes, a 5 paragraph narrative essay outline should have the same structure as an argumentative, persuasive, informative, or any other paper.

Intro – 1 Paragraph

The introductory paragraph is the first part of your essay that your professor will see. That is why professionals frequently recommend writing it last. That’s because you’ll have a better view of your entire paper after completing the body and the conclusion, and your introduction will more likely be perfectly balanced. On the one hand, it won’t reveal too much info to make the further reading boring and pointless. On the other hand, it will stay connected to the further topic development, and that connection will help it keep the professor’s interest and attention. And, finally, an introduction should let them know about your attitude towards the chosen theme or problem – your thesis statement.

Regarding the key moments of the previous paragraph, one can understand three main points of a good intro:

  • a topic announced;
  • a clear thesis statement revealed;
  • a hook phrase inserted to grab the prof’s attention.

Still, to craft a good intro, you surely need to know what arguments and evidence you are going to use to support your thesis statement. And that is the focal point of the main essay body.

Main Body – 3 Paragraphs

All three paragraphs of the main body are the space for you to maneuver. Though, the five paragraph essay is not too wordy to go in for in-depth discussions and extremely expertly detailed explanations. A standard five-paragraph essay is rarely longer than two pages, so keep the required word count in mind when picking your arguments and doing your research.

The common principle of essay body writing is easy to understand and apply: one argument – one paragraph. So, to come up with a perfectly balanced paper here, you need three key argumentative, persuasive, narrative, or other elements along with supporting evidence for each provided next to them.

Conclusion – 1 Paragraph

The concluding paragraph serves as a summary. Here, you tie all the previously given elements of an essay together to finalize the picture and prove your viewpoint once more.

The last part of an essay is not the least important one, though many students tend to lose their focus and write conclusions randomly and quickly. They want to finish the paper quicker, and that’s understandable. Still, if you count on getting top grades, you should stay attentive until the very last word of your essay is placed right where it should be.

Students who are misfocused frequently make one mistake able to spoil their grades a lot. For some reason, they decide to present the additional argument in a concluding paragraph. That’s a bad choice.

Don’t forget that your conclusion should not contain new facts, proofs, or data that was not mentioned in the main body paragraphs. To finalize an essay correctly, you should work only with what you’ve got. Restate your thesis statement using the arguments used, and underline the direct connection between them, the available evidence, and your viewpoint.

Example of 5 Paragraph Essay Outline

Okay, now you know the structure of a five paragraph essay perfectly. To strengthen your knowledge even better, it will be a good decision to check the sample of a suitable 5 paragraph essay outline. So, here it is.

Topic: Are Humans of 2021 Ready to Contact an Alien Civilization?

Thesis statement: No, humanity is not ready to contact aliens.


  • nobody knows if humans are the only intelligent civilization in the universe;
  • Fermi paradox;
  • suppose we are not alone in this reality;
  • humans are not ready to contact alien civilizations.

Main Body

Argument 1: Low tech progress

Proof: even despite trillions of dollars invested in scientific and aerospace development throughout recent years, humans are still unable to reach other planets of the Solar system themselves. The contact with an alien civilization able to master long-distance space flights will mean that humans are significantly weaker in terms of technology. The consequences of that contact, if it happens today or soon, can be unpredictable.  

Argument 2: Lack of global unity

Proof: nowadays, the unitary human civilization does not exist yet. Humans all over the world do not have a common viewpoint regarding their development. As a result, there is the risk for aliens to treat our kind as immature. We need to develop mutual integration processes if we want to stand among the representatives of a hypothetical galactic society as its equal members.

Argument 3: No self-understanding

Proof: humans still have a lot of things to discover and understand, including those connected with their deep inner self. Contacting aliens in a profitable way requires the ability to understand their values and goals, potentially involving a lot more self-consciousness than an average person of today might have.


Humans are not ready to contact extraterrestrial intelligence because our technologies are still too primitive, our civilization is not united, and the personal self-understanding level of an average person is still not enough to understand alien minds, values, and goals.

To Conclude

It is not too difficult to craft a short five paragraph essay worth the best grade. You only need to know the structure, conduct the required studies, and choose arguments and proofs to use in your paper. A properly built 5 paragraph essay outline will surely be a helpful mind map to stay on track.

If you don’t feel confident enough to complete a five paragraph essay on your own for some reason, there is a solution you should not forget about. Professional essay assistants are always online and ready to help you with outlines, essays, research papers, and even dissertations. Asking for help does not make you a bad student. That action only proves that you care about your studies.

Good luck with writing!