A five paragraph essay is organized with an introduction, 3 main points, and a summary:

Paragraph 1.—THE INTRO–Introduce your subject and the 3 main points you will make.


Paragraph 2.—first point

Paragraph 3.—second point

Paragraph 4.—third point

Paragraph 5.—THE SUMMARY–Summarize your points and share any conclusions you have come to.


Breaking it down into steps

  1. Choose your subject and the title.
  2. Next, brainstorm ideas—
    Without thinking about spelling or grammar, write down any facts and points you’d like to make concerning your topic. Jot down ideas or quotes–anything that relates. This will give you some basic thoughts to begin working with.
  3. Organize –
    • From your list of ideas, circle 3 main ones to serve as topics for each of the 3 body paragraphs you’ll be writing. 
    • Now look at the other ideas you wrote down. If they relate to one of your main 3 topics, draw a line from that idea to the main topic it falls under.
    • Brainstorm a bit more under each of the 3 topics.
  4. Write your introduction. You should clue your reader into what your basic idea for the paper is and introduce the 3 topics for each paragraph. The first sentence of your intro should be a “hook” for the reader making him want to read more.
  5.  Write each of your 3 body paragraphs. Stick to the main idea of each paragraph.
  6.  Write your summary paragraph. This is when you “bring it home” and sum up for the reader what you have been saying to make sure he gets it. Draw some conclusions if you can. Perhaps you can throw in some added fact or fun idea to close with. Maybe you have learned something that you could mention. Or think about what you have wanted to help the reader understand.  All of these ideas are good for the final paragraph.


Writing an essay is often summarized like this: first you tell your reader what you are going to say. Then you say it. Then you tell him what you said.

For a look at an essay written according to this formula, see this essay on camping. Go to the page and then scroll down to the essay.

  1. See if you can pick out where all three main points are mentioned in the introduction.
  2. Then look at how each new main point is introduced in each of the 3 body paragraphs.
  3. And last of all, look at the 5th concluding paragraph and how it summarizes what has already been said.