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 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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5 Paragraph Essay Construction

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