Writing a 5 Paragraph Essay Outline – A-Z Guide

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Writing a 5 Paragraph Essay Outline – A-Z Guide

5 paragraph essay

Writing a 5-Paragraph Essay Outline for a Masterpiece

Forget about wasting time on making up your thoughts and start the actual essay writing process! There is no need to wrestle with the contents to cover in your paper. Writing a 5 paragraph essay outline will make your life easier and save you precious time. It will help you to organize all the key points in the most effective way and to create a perfect sketch of your paper before “coloring it in” with all the details. Earn top grades – follow the below steps to writing a 5 paragraph essay we have prepared for you. We will help you make your writing truly special!

Five-paragraph essay – distinctive features

A 5-paragraph essay is by far the most popular academic writing task assigned to middle-/ high-school students. You can even see this assignment among college-level tasks. The popularity of a five-paragraph essay is associated with the fact that it gives complete freedom to the writer. Thus, a student can himself decide what topic to choose, what data to use as the informational backbone, and how to reveal a theme. 

Of course, there are different types of essays – each having a particular set of rules, styles, and best writing practices. However, this doesn’t prevent the one from using a 5-paragraph approach when coping with the task. No matter what essay type is assigned to you, you can always use the 5-paragraph format to present paper content in the most effective and an all-covering way.

Five-paragraph essay outline template

A short and straight-to-the-point outline will help you structure your thoughts and develop a 100% effective content strategy for any type of a writing assignment whether it is a:

  • persuasive essay that defends a side of an argument;
  • analytical essay that develops your own idea regarding an original topic/ issue;
  • narrative essay where you tell a story;
  • creative essay where you write about something using your imagination.

The main distinctive feature of such an outline is that it breaks down the content into five main sections, with each containing between 3-5 subpoints. If it is the very first time that you are writing a 5 paragraph essay lesson plan, here is a template you can stick to.


  • Hook statement;
  • Background info;
  • Thesis statement.

1st body paragraph

  • Topic sentence;
  • Statement;
  • Evidence/ proof/ supporting fact;
  • Concluding statement.

2nd body paragraph

  • Topic sentence #2;
  • Statement #2;
  • Evidence/ proof/ supporting fact;
  • Concluding statement.

3rd body paragraph

  • Topic sentence #3;
  • Statement #3;
  • Evidence/ proof/ supporting fact;
  • Concluding statement.


  • Summarization of all main points and topic sentences;
  • Restatement of a thesis sentence;
  • An all-covering concluding statement.

The outline is done – what’s next?

It’s time to move further to the actual writing part and stick to the previously defined content structure, which you have covered in your outline.

Step 1 – Hook a reader

Start your 5-paragraph essay with an exciting hook – grab the reader’s attention from the get-go. Use an interesting fact, catchy statement, rhetorical question, or a humorous idea to get your reader’s interest high. Done? Then provide your reader with background information introducing the theme.

Step 2 – Formulate a thesis statement

Any essay should have a key idea supported by key points and proofs. Therefore, conclude your intro by presenting a well-thought-out thesis statement covering the main idea covered in your writing. It should be the central point of your paper, and the entire essay content revolves around this statement.

Step 3 – Prepare a topic sentence

Once the introduction is done, create a topic sentence that transitions the essay from the previous point to the next one. Use appropriate transition words and constructions to keep your writing logical and smooth. Make sure that the topic sentence reveals the supporting idea and defends your thesis. At the same point, you are to have your topic sentence supported by evidence and fact, thus, illustrating the link between your supporting idea and the thesis.

Step 4 – Do not be lazy to provide evidence

No one will believe you if your claims are not supported by any facts. That’s why it is so important to defend every statement with evidence. Facts, statistics, or anything else can be used to support the claim. One-three sentences will be enough to create a solid support base for your statement. Lastly, to complete a body paragraph, present a concluding statement proving the significance of the link between the claim and key thesis.

Step 5 – Do the same for the next 2 paragraphs

Remember that each body paragraph has the same structure; the only thing that differs is a unique claim, evidence, key arguments, and a concluding statement. The above approach will help writing a 5 paragraph essay and build a well-rounded essay. 

Step 6 – Write a conclusion

To finish off a 5-paragraph essay with the four sections ready, you are to summarize all the information in the concluding part. And there are three main objectives for you. Firstly, restate your thesis statement using different words. Secondly, summarize the claims made in every body paragraph and highlight their significance. Lastly, present an all-addressing concluding statement that demonstrates the value of your work from a real-world perspective. Thus, a reader will clearly see a call to action and get motivation for further investigation.

Ready, steady, go!

We do hope that our comprehensive guide will help with writing a 5 paragraph essay and answers your main questions. Use it as a universal template when writing any type of essay assigned to you!

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