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A Manual For Composing A Winning 5 Paragraph Expository Essay

A type of essay is where the student examines an idea, sets out the evidence, discusses how the evidence and the idea fit together and presents an argument in a logical and precise way. The format presents the content in a regular and formalized style that allows for easy grading without the distraction of irregular presentation. Combine these together, and you have a winning format.

How to begin

  • Brainstorming for ideas. It is important to have more than one idea as you begin your research to narrow down the choice of the topic as you may not find the evidence you need to make your argument.
  • Research. Find the best evidence on which to base your argument, you are trying to convince your reader that you are right.
  • Outline. Consider color coding your research notes and your outline. A well-constructed outline almost writes your paper for you.

How to write your paper

  • Introduction. The first paragraph is always the introduction. Start with a general statement of your subject or begin with an anecdote which relates to your argument. Narrow down to specifics and end this first section with the thesis state that presents your argument.
  • Body. The body of your paper is always the second, third and fourth paragraphs. These present your evidence in a logical and concise way. The second paragraph should contain your strongest evidence. The third should contain your weakest evidence, and the fourth should contain your second strongest evidence. This order will leave the reader feeling that you know what you are talking about. Each paragraph starts with a topic sentence stating your evidence and provides a discussion of the evidence, both pros, and cons. They should end with a transition into the next section.
  • Conclusion. The first sentence of the final paragraph should rephrase your thesis statement try to use different words to say the same thing. From there you can gradually move back to a general discussion of your subject. If you used an anecdote in the introduction, then you might want to consider waiting to give the “punchline” until the conclusion.

Specific to Expository Essays

  • Always write in the second person (you)
  • There are many ways to develop the paper in this style – define, analyze, classify, cause and effect, compare and contrast – make sure you pick one style and stick with it
  • The most effective work will be clear, concise, and factual. The will be no fuzzy language or subjective data

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