Tips For Writing A 5-Paragraph Expository Essay Outline

Before making a plan for any expository essay, it’s very important to analyze the topic thoroughly. You should understand the requirements completely. You can underline some key words to help you structure your work appropriately.

Remember that the structure of 5-paragraph essays is strict. Thus, organize your ideas as follows:

  • Introductory paragraph.
  • In this paragraph, you are supposed to state your point of view (thesis) regarding the subject. However, an attractive introduction should draw attention and catch the interest of the audience, as well. Therefore, before formulating your thesis, think of some interesting fact or quote (a ‘hook’) to surprise the reader. After stating your thesis, make a lead-in to your essay by outlining your ideas. Structure the introduction according to this outline:

    • ‘Hook’ (catchy beginning).
    • Thesis.
    • Outline of your body paragraphs.
  • Body paragraphs.
  • Think of the key idea or subtopic for each of the three body paragraphs. Each paragraph must include your argument or an example to validate your thesis, and a proper explanation. Your first body paragraph should be based on the strongest evidence you have. In addition, it is important not only to find strong examples, but to explain why it supports your point of view. Thus, organize each of your body paragraphs according to the following structure:

    • Topic sentence.
    • Example or evidence.
    • Explanation and analysis.
  • Conclusion.
  • The conclusion of your writing should not be regarded as a mere supplement. It’s crucial to organize it according to the requirements. The structure of the conclusion is similar to the introduction. Although it should consist of only about four sentences, it is a decisive element of your work. Start the conclusion by paraphrasing the ‘hook’ from the introduction and restating your thesis. The next element of the conclusion is a clear and concise overview of the main ideas presented in the body paragraphs. The whole structure of the conclusion must be as follows:

    • Paraphrasing of the ‘hook’ and thesis.
    • Review of the main ideas.
    • General conclusion.

Remember that your writing must be coherent. Thus, it is very important to have logical connections between the structural elements of your work. Make sure that you use appropriate transition and linking words between sentences and body paragraphs. In addition, your introduction must not only outline the main ideas, but include a link to the first body paragraph.

These simple recommendations will help you understand the structure of the 5-paragraph essay and make a good outline.