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Writing the Five Paragraph Essay Some basic rules for writing that you should always follow!

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Presentation on theme: "Writing the Five Paragraph Essay Some basic rules for writing that you should always follow!"— Presentation transcript:

1 Writing the Five Paragraph Essay Some basic rules for writing that you should always follow!

2 The Topic When you read an essay question or prompt, first determine what it is you are being asked to do. Underline, highlight, circle important words so that you know what you’re going to talk about.

3 Once you know your topic… Develop a thesis statement. Your THESIS is a sentence (or two) that announces your topic and your conclusions you are going to draw about your topic. Similar to a topic sentence in a paragraph. Your thesis should have THREE PARTS. This will help you organize your three body paragraphs.

4 Introduction The first paragraph of your essay is called the INTRODUCTION. Your introduction should start very general and end up with your specific thesis statement.

5 Ideas for an Introduction Start with a bold statement, a thought, quotation or rhetorical question (NOT a cheesy one)—this is your HOOK! Then get more specific, narrowing down your topic. End with a really specific thesis statement.

6 The Perfect Thesis Statement The best type of thesis statement for a five- paragraph essay is a thesis with three parts. Each of the parts goes with each body paragraph. Example: John Smith, Anne Bradstreet, and Jonathan Edwards were all influential early American writers who shaped the literature of America in different ways.

7 Each author in the thesis statement will become the topic of one of the three body paragraphs.

8 Body Paragraphs Each body paragraph will then have a topic sentence, supporting sentences, and a conclusion (transition to the next sentence). Topic Sentence Example: John Smith was one of the first American writers who wrote of his experiences in the New Land; his writings illustrate what life was like in early America.

9 What is support? Evidence from the text, including paraphrasing (summarizing in your own words) and quotations (word for word, from the text, including page numbers). Your own analysis or interpretation about what you’ve read. Example: John Smith was an arrogant author, as seen in his reference to himself in third person. He never actually says this, but most of you thought it as you were reading.

10 What is transition? A good transition will get you from the end of one paragraph to the beginning of another one. Consider this example: While John Smith wrote of his struggles with the Indians, Anne Bradstreet chose to focus her writing on religion. Your topic sentence of the next paragraph will then have something to do with Bradstreet and her Puritan belief.

11 What makes a good conclusion? A good conclusion WILL summarize the main points of the paper, make sure you have proven your thesis to the reader, and have a strong ending. It will NOT supply any new information that has not yet been addressed in the essay.

12 Some final tips… Always do pre-writing. Whether it is in an outline or a Venn diagram, you need to do some planning before you start writing. Start with a strong thesis, but don’t be afraid to change it if you need to. EDIT, EDIT, EDIT!!! I can’t say this enough— check spelling, grammar, etc.

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