Five Paragraph Essay: Step-By-Step Guides With Examples

Many students consider essay writing to be a significant challenge requiring much attention. Gone are the days of using large fonts to meet page requirements with minimal effort. Now, it's about word count checks and unnecessary jargon. But it doesn’t have to be this way. With a clear and structured approach, writing a 5 paragraph essay can become much more manageable and enjoyable. In this article, we’ll consider the 5 paragraph essay format and structure and provide recommendations on how to craft organized and effective essays according to academic standards.

How do you organize your writing?

hamburger essay

The traditional  5 paragraph essay structure, often called the "hamburger essay," provides a framework to comprehend the essential components of a well-structured document. This metaphorical comparison to a hamburger is more than a whimsical play on words; it serves as a memorable and effective teaching tool, simplifying a potentially complex concept. Much like the layers of a hamburger, the 5 paragraph essay format includes five distinct components, each contributing to the overall document quality and coherence.

First layer – Introduction

At the beginning of the text, we find the top bun corresponding to the introduction. When completing this part of your writing, a question like “Where is the thesis stated in a 5-paragraph essay?” may appear in your head. And we’ll answer! That’s precisely in this section, as its role is to acquaint the reader with the purpose, central theme of writing, and a key thesis. Just as the top bun holds everything together, the introduction sets the stage for the entire text, giving the reader an initial taste of what's to come.

Second, third, and fourth layers – Body paragraphs

The subsequent layers are like the meat patties in a hamburger, forming a substantial part of the document. These are the body paragraphs, where students present their arguments, analysis, evidence, and support for the central thesis, as introduced in the top bun. Each paragraph acts as a distinct, savory layer, providing the reader with a well-structured and compelling narrative.

The last layer – Conclusion

Finally, we arrive at the last layer, the conclusion, akin to the bottom bun. Just as the bottom bun completes the hamburger and supports the entire structure, the conclusion brings the text to a satisfying closure. Here, the writer recapitulates the key arguments and reinforces the main thesis, offering a final and powerful reminder of the essay's central point.

By embracing the “hamburger essay” structure, you can understand the key elements of essay composition more readily and appreciate the importance of well-organized, coherent, and balanced writing. It leaves a lasting impression, much like a delicious hamburger enjoyed to the very last bite. 

Types of a 5 paragraph essay 

This kind of writing, the same as a 3 paragraph essay, comes in various forms, each with its distinct focus and purpose. Let’s explore some of the prevalent types.


It’s a storytelling text that provides the reader with a personal experience or a captivating tale. This writing form begins with a well-crafted introduction, delves into body sections brimming with narrative details, and then neatly concludes the story.


In this 5 paragraph essay example, words become brushes, painting vivid pictures. Such texts employ sensory language to depict a place, person, or object in intricate detail. A clear thesis statement defines the subject, followed by body paragraphs that serve as the canvas, offering specific, evocative details to bring the subject to life.


The writing serves as an informational beacon, shedding light on a subject. It starts with a succinct introduction, presenting the topic, and body paragraphs that substantiate the thesis with evidence and examples. It culminates in a summary that distills the essential points.


It’s a powerful tool to support a specific point of view or stance. It boasts a clear thesis statement, body paragraphs that marshal compelling evidence plus supporting arguments, and a concluding section reiterating the pivotal ideas and reinforcing the thesis.

Compare and contrast 

This form draws parallels and distinctions between two or more subjects. The document's first paragraph introduces the subjects under scrutiny, continues with body paragraphs that delve deeper into their differences and similarities and concludes with a final paragraph reiterating the crucial points.

Each type has unique requirements and peculiarities tailored to its specific purpose. When composing a five-paragraph piece, essay writers can navigate the process more effectively by selecting the most appropriate structure for their topic. Understanding the distinctions between these texts is the compass that guides their choice.

How to start an introduction? 

Like any text, creating a five paragraph essay necessitates a clear grasp of your main subject or thesis. It embodies the core idea you intend to defend and expound upon; essentially, the entire document revolves around it. The middle three paragraphs are your thesis's background of support, proof, or elaboration.

Naturally, one cannot begin the writing journey without a compass for direction. If your assignment hasn't specified a thesis, it's advisable to select a topic with ample substance for discussion, ideally one substantial enough to fill five paragraphs.

Writers often encapsulate the essence of their thesis within a thesis statement, typically situated in the introductory paragraph that should arouse the reader’s interest and shouldn’t be too long. While it needn't be the first thing you write, formulating your topic into a single sentence can help you understand it more profoundly, refine its focus, and make necessary revisions.

Upon choosing a topic, we recommend creating a brief outline to understand better how to write a five paragraph essay and what information to include. This skeletal framework guides the incorporation of information into the respective paragraphs. It allows you to refine the sequence and structure of your text in advance, reducing the need for extensive editing later.

How do you write the body paragraphs? 

This section dissects the arguments that uphold the thesis statement introduced in the essay's outset. Before you start writing, you must know how many pages is 5 paragraphs and understand how to present your arguments.

Typically, every body paragraph commences by articulating an argument, followed by subsequent sentences that buttress this argument with evidence and additional clarification. To ensure a seamless flow, each paragraph concludes with a transitional statement or phrase, setting the stage for the next idea.

To assist you in structuring this section effectively, you may use the PEEL approach. This acronym has the following meaning:

Point: Commence the paragraph by articulating the core argument.

Evidence: Bolster the central idea with evidence and rationales. Evidence can manifest in various forms, encompassing statistics, facts, references to historical events, quotes from authoritative sources, and more.

Explanation: Elucidate how the presented evidence lends support to the central argument.

Link: Facilitate a seamless transition to the subsequent point by connecting the argument and the overarching thesis to the forthcoming idea to be addressed through transition sentences.

This method helps writers ensure that each paragraph conveys a clear point supported by relevant evidence, is thoroughly explained, and smoothly connects to the next paragraph or the text's main argument.

What are effective methods for moving smoothly between paragraphs? 

Creating a 5 paragraph essay outline presents the significant hurdle of transitioning smoothly from one paragraph to the next. The exceptional text is marked by its seamless and flowing nature. When transition words for first body paragraph are abrupt or harsh, readers can be jolted from the narrative, disrupting the overall rhythm and possibly diminishing engagement.

To bridge the gap effectively from one point to another, the key is to use particular means for the best transition in your text. To link ideas logically, it’s a good idea to introduce such transition words and phrases as: besides, in brief, specifically, however, therefore, consequently, on the other hand, finally, and similar. Sometimes, merely introducing a single word at the outset of a paragraph can serve as a bridge, connecting with the previous paragraph and ensuring the reader's progression through the text remains uninterrupted.

How do you write an essay conclusion? 

The concluding paragraph serves as the essay’s endpoint. It should refrain from introducing new arguments or evidence. Instead, its purpose is to recapitulate the points from the preceding paragraphs and weave them into a cohesive whole. Here, reiterating the thesis and revisiting the key arguments presented in the text’s body section are required.

In cases where the author's objective is to persuade the reader to take action, such as donating to a cause or altering their behavior, the conclusion can feature a “call to action.” It’s a clear request or statement that outlines what the writer desires the audience to do. 

This section is an opportune moment to elucidate the topic's significance or express a personal viewpoint. Concluding with an open-ended question or thought-provoking phrase is also advisable as it leaves the reader with something to ponder after reading. You may contact our essay writing service for professional support if you need more recommendations on how to improve your conclusion, have questions like “How many words is a 5 paragraph essay?” or any other concerns. 

Final words

Crafting essays is a valuable skill that opens doors to effective communication and academic success. By following the “hamburger” structure of a 5 paragraph essay and carefully considering the placement of your arguments and evidence, you can create texts that convey your thoughts clearly and engage your readers. 

If you ask how to write a 5 paragraph essay, let us give you some brief recommendations. Always prioritize clarity and conciseness and eliminate unnecessary jargon or wordiness, making your content more reader-friendly. Finally, take enough time to revise and proofread your work. A text with proper editing is a testament to your commitment to excellence and ensures your message is conveyed effectively.

With practice, patience, and a firm grasp of the suitable essay paragraph structure, you can become a proficient writer, making your thoughts resonate with readers and your essays a pleasure to read.

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