5 Paragraph Essay Construction

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I have to admit to downloading this from Mr. Sheehy's English site and modifying it to fit what I already teach my students. Just visiting his site, which I found through a search for others teaching …

I have to admit to downloading this from Mr. Sheehy's English site and modifying it to fit what I already teach my students. Just visiting his site, which I found through a search for others teaching The Old Man and the Sea, was an eye-opener into all the things I could add to my wikispace. Thank you!

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  • 1. What you need to know about writing the 5-paragraph essay Mrs. Dagen’s English III & IV
  • 2. The Ancient Arrangement
  • 3. The More Modern Look
  • 4. Brainstorm first
    • Come up with your details – the meat of your thinking.
      • Do it first – this will tell you whether you have enough material to write the essay.
      • It’s too hard to think of details when you’re trying to think about making a good sentence.
    • Know your topic sentences BEFORE you begin writing the essay.
  • 5. The Introduction
    • Begins with an attention-grabber
      • Attention grabber can be more than one sentence.
    • Focuses attention from attention grabber to thesis (a transition)
    • Last sentence of introduction is thesis
  • 6. The Attention Grabber
    • Ideas for attention grabbers:
      • A startling statement
      • A small story (anecdote)
      • A quote
      • A fact
      • An interesting observation
    • Make your attention grabber more than one sentence – it takes the pressure off
  • 7. The Thesis
    • Thesis is the last sentence of the introductory paragraph
      • That means it’s the last sentence of the first paragraph
    • Thesis defined: A one sentence statement of what the essay is about
  • 8. The Thesis cont’d
    • For a 5-paragraph essay
      • Build the thesis out of your topic sentences.
      • Mention all three topic sentence ideas in your thesis.
    • Write it before you begin your essay.
      • You can rework it later to make it blend with the rest of your introduction.
      • Doing it before helps you focus your introduction.
  • 9. Supporting Paragraphs
    • Each one begins with a topic sentence
      • The topic sentences state the main ideas of the paragraph – they mention all the ideas that are coming!
      • They also help make the transition from the paragraph before it.
    • Filled with details related to the topic sentence - that support/defend the claim
    • Finishes with a clincher statement, leaving reader with a reminder of the paragraph’s point
  • 10. Concluding Paragraph
    • Always begins with the thesis statement
      • Should be worded slightly differently than the first time
      • Go ahead – cut and paste it in the conclusion, then adjust
    • Reminds reader about the 3 main points
      • This is often a recasting of the clincher sentences
    • Leaves reader with a thought to ponder
      • This is the final statement of the essay
      • Works well if this relates to the attention grabber at the beginning