Academic Writing Tips: The Five-Paragraph Essay Summary


The five-paragraph essay summary is a common writing exercise showing a student’s reading and writing ability. It provides detailed information about a subject of interest. A writing prompt is provided and the student is required to provide a summary based on what they know. The assignment simply organizes personal thoughts into a constructive format. It features an introduction, 3 body paragraphs, and conclusion.

As you learn how to write each part of your paper, be sure to rewrite and revise information. This helps you provide a clear easy to read summary with solid content. Understanding components in each paragraph can help you develop an outline to speed up the writing process. The following points are basic tips to help you understand structure and organization for 5-paragraph essay writing.

  • The introduction of the essay features a hook, thesis statement, and details related to the main idea. This paragraph will detail background information related to your subject. The hook grabs attention of readers. The thesis is the main reason for the paper. The remaining content sets the tone for readers while giving more insight on what readers should expect.
  • The body paragraphs throughout the essay include 3 structured paragraphs each with a supporting point providing evidence for the main point or thesis statement. Each paragraph includes a topic sentence, main point, transition sentence and evidence to support the main idea outlined in your introduction. Supporting points can appear based on level of importance.
  • Each paragraph should have an element of transition that connects each point with one another for further clarification. This is an important element that pulls your essay together while giving a solid foundation for your main idea. You can check this element after writing your paper from start to finish. You can make changes to details and rearrange information to ensure smooth transition of concepts and thoughts.
  • The conclusion or last paragraph of the essay restates points mentioned and detailed importance of the main idea. A good conclusion effectively closes your topic. Depending on the type of essay you may not need to add anything new here, but summarize your content. The conclusion can be the easier part of the paper to complete, even though it gives students plenty of headaches. As you restate important points reword each point and present them based on level of importance.

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