How to Write a 5 Paragraph Essay Outline

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Have you noticed that most essay writing guides start by saying ‘craft an outline’? Today, we’re going to focus on that aspect of the academic writing process: writing a properly-structured outline.

The Structure of a 5 Paragraph Essay Outline works for Any Topic!

The structure of a five-paragraph essay outline it’s, actually, the structure of the 5-paragraph essay. That doesn’t mean you’ll write an entire essay and call it an outline, though. We’ll give you simple tips on the process of outlining, which will help you learn how to write a 5 paragraph essay from there on.

It seems simple, but writing an outline is more challenging than most people assume. In fact, that’s why many students request assistance at XpertWriters; they don’t know where to start.

1. Master the Format

Before you get any further, you need to be aware of the essay writing format. An essay (and your outline, too) consists of the following paragraphs:

  • Introduction (with a thesis statement)
  • Paragraph 2 (the first argument with supportive facts and opinions)
  • Paragraph 3 (the second argument with supportive facts and opinions)
  • Paragraph 4 (the third argument with supportive facts and opinions)
  • Conclusion

In the outline, you’ll give yourself short guidelines for the paragraph writing process. You’ll give structure to your ideas, so the following stages will go smoothly.

2. Start By Outlining the Introduction

Since the outlining process comes after brainstorming and preliminary research, you already know what you’re going to write about.

  • If your teacher didn’t give you a precise topic, you’ll have to specify their instructions into a captivating topic.
  • Then, you’re going to think of a thesis statement. What stand do you take regarding the topic? What are you trying to prove with this paper?
  • Then, think: how will you guide the reader towards that thesis statement? You’ll need a hook. It may be an anecdote, a quote, or an intriguing sentence that will capture the reader’s attention and set the tone of your paper.

You don’t have to be very precise when writing the hook and thesis statement in your outline. It’s just an outline. It needs precise ideas, which you’ll then turn into content. When you have those elements, you won’t be wondering how to start an essay. You’ll start straight away.

3. How Will You Develop the Arguments?

In a typical 5-paragraph essay, you should support the thesis statement with three arguments. Here are few hints from the Xpert Writers:

  • Clarify your arguments. Each body paragraph begins with a topic sentence, which sets the argument. Your outline should give hints of those topic sentences.
  • What evidence or arguments will you use to support those arguments?
  • How will you make smooth transitions between the body paragraphs?

4. How Will You Wrap It Up?

The conclusion will restate your thesis and summarize the arguments to make it stronger. If it’s successful, the conclusion should have a strong emotional appeal or something that will call the reader to action. Can you think of such ending that’s related to your thesis statement? Write few ideas in this section.

Once you have this structure, you’re ready for the five paragraph essay fill in the process.

Don’t Skip Writing an Outline for 5 Paragraph Essay

“If the outline has the same structure as the five paragraph essay, why should I bother writing it?” We often get that question here at XpertWriters.com. There’s a big reason why all academic writing guides recommend the outlining stage: it helps you write a logically connected paper. When you have your ideas ready, you won’t be wondering how to write an essay. You’ll have the bones and you’ll just add the meat.

The outline will also make you feel safe. How? It will give you a direction. You know you have good ideas and facts to support them. Nothing could possibly go wrong during the writing stage. If you start writing the paper without an outline, on the other hand, you might end up with messy content that your teacher won’t consider relevant. It’s easy for your mind to wander away after getting one idea and leading you to a mind block. That won’t happen when you have an outline.

Yes, the outline does take some time. However, it makes the writing process much faster. You won’t have to think what argument to write next; you’ll have it outlined. When you think about it, it actually saves you time.

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