If writing is like exercise, the 5-paragraph essay is more Ab Belt than sit-up.
With strong topic, supporting and concluding sentences you can create a filling paragraph that gives the reader all the information she needs to understand the topic.
Kate Beck started writing for online publications in 2005.
Understanding the components of a paragraph will help you improve your writing skills and may also help you improve your reading and comprehension.
Your paragraphs should have a main idea and information to support the statement.
If the 5-paragraph essay were good training for writing college-level academic essays, you wouldn’t hear so much carping from college instructors about the quality of writing from their students. We were 3rd graders, so of course, we didn’t do this.
Mature writers need to navigate choices rooted in genuine rhetorical situations. The extent to which we didn’t became apparent next class when Mrs.
Because of this, students write from a list of rules handed down by their teachers, starting with the form itself (five paragraphs: intro, body, body, body, conclusion), and including specifics like the use of “good” transition words, never using “I” or contractions, and even limits on the number of sentences per paragraph or words per sentence.
The result is a Frankenstein’s monster of an “essay,” something that looks vaguely essay-like, but is clearly also not as it lurches and moans across the landscape, frightening the villagers.
They cannot hope to develop unless and until we first undo the damage done.
There will be some who want to defend the 5-paragraph essay as “training wheels” for the type of academic writing that will come later.