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Beyond the 5-Paragraph Essay

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How to move beyond the 5-paragraph essay

How to move beyond the 5-paragraph essay

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  • 1. Paper Organization
    Part one: Full Paper
    A Journey Onward from the 5-Paragraph Essay
  • 2. Back in High School, so Long Ago…
    The Five-paragraph Essay
    It was a good start for what it was trying to do: “Say what you’re going to say, then say it, and then say what you said.”
  • 3. Example 5-paragraph Essay
    Thesis: “Boys rule and girls drool. Boys are too cool for school.”
    Outline:
    “Boys rule and girls drool.”
    Evidence for boys ruling
    point one
    Point two
    Evidence for girls drooling
    point
    Evidence for boys being too cool for school
    Point one
    Point two
    5. Conclusion: “Boys rule and girls drool. Boys are too cool for school”
  • 4. Strengths of the 5-Paragraph
    Easy to write quickly
    Easy to follow
    Well-suited for 2-3 page assignments
    It’s a classic!
  • 5. And Weakness of the 5-Paragraph
    Difficult for long papers
    Lose opportunity to include additional useful information such as history or review of literature.
    Comes off as less sophisticated.
  • 6. So what other options are there?
    Compare/Contrast
    History
    Review of Literature
    Argument and Counter-argument
    Implications
    Etc.
  • 7. Consider Timbur’s Paper
    Introduction
    Roots of SACHED and its goals
    Changes in race relations
    Critique of 70s-era black education
    Political composition of SACHED
    Explanation of thesis (definitions, etc.)
    SACHED popular literacy
  • 8. Popular Literacy and SACHED
    Roux’s work “Easy English”
    Origins of “Easy English”
    Problems with “Easy English”

    How does this outline change things?
    Lengthening and strengthening
  • 9. A More Sophisticated Outline
    Thesis: “Boys go to Jupiter to get more stupider; girls go to Mars to get more candy bars.”
    Thesis
    History of juvenile space travel
    Lack of gender studies in review of literature
    Boys’ increased stupidity, post-Jupiter
    Evidence #1
    Evidence #2
    Girls’ increased candy from Mars
    Evidence #1
    Evidence #2
    Implications for gender relations on Earth
    Conclusion
  • 10. Strengths of a Mixed Outline
    Greater freedom of motion
    More information than just analysis
    Weaknesses of a Mixed Outline
    Can be harder to follow
    Hint 1: Try using sub-headings!
    Hint 2: Try setting out “road map” in thesis
    Best for longer papers
  • 11. Bless Your HS Teachers!
    The 5-paragraph essay is a beautiful thing and very useful for high school students to learn, but there’s a whole world of organization out there. Go and write!
    Please remember to go home and write your high school teacher a nice email thanking him/her for teaching you the basics of writing!