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How to Write a 5 Paragraph Essay Outline

How to Write a 5 Paragraph Essay Outline

Writing a 5 paragraph essay outline will help you to organize your thoughts and create a rough sketch of your final product before “coloring in” all the details. Our EssayPro writing service has crafted a method which has helped students consistently earn top marks. But before we get to the nitty-gritty, let’s discuss what makes this type of writing so special.

Table of Contents

What Is a Five Paragraph Essay

The 5 paragraph essay is one of the most common academic writing assignments given to students. Starting from middle school and working all the way up to college level tasks, this particular style is seen in all educational levels. The reason this type of writing is so popular has to do with its main perk: it gives the writer complete freedom when choosing between topics.

As there are many different types of essays that each contain their own sets of rules and writing styles, one will be limited when it comes down to choosing a topic for more specific types. For this reason, the 5 paragraph format is the most versatile among all essay types.

5 Paragraph Essay Outline Template

Most commonly, a student will be asked to write a 5 paragraph essay that defends a side of an argument (persuasive) or develops their own idea from an original question (analytical). Sometimes, they will be asked to tell a story (narrative essay) or write using their imagination (creative writing), but for most academic assignments, one will be asked to write about the former of the two groups.

That being said, the outline is broken down into five main sections (1 per paragraph), and each section will have between 3-5 subpoints. Each subpoint has its own objective, so to build a complete essay outline, one will need to accurately come up with 15-20 guidelines. Down below is a 5 paragraph essay outline template:


  • Hook Statement
  • Background Information
  • Thesis Statement

Body Paragraph 1

  • Topic Sentence
  • Claim
  • Evidence
  • Concluding Statement

Body Paragraph 2

  • Topic Sentence 2
  • Claim #2
  • Evidence
    Concluding Statement

Body Paragraph 3

  • Topic Sentence 3
  • Claim #3
  • Evidence
  • Concluding statement


  • Restatement of Thesis
  • Summarization of Main Points
  • Overall Concluding Statement


5 paragraph essay outline template

The 5 Paragraph Essay Outline Is Done. What’s Next?

Start With a Hook

To start any five-paragraph essay, you should always implement an exciting hook to grab the reader's attention from the get-go. This can be something like an interesting fact, rhetorical question or humorous idea; the main goal is to keep your reader interested. Following this step, you want to provide your reader with any necessary background information regarding your topic.

Define the Central Point of Your Essay

This is especially true if the majority of your information cannot be classified as general knowledge. The main goal of this step is to clear up any possible confusion that your audience may have encountered. Lastly, you want to conclude your introduction by presenting a well-thought-out thesis statement that covers the main idea of your entire essay. As this is the central point of your paper, it is important to ensure that the focus of the body revolves around this statement.

Continue with the Topic Sentence

After presenting your introduction, the next step is to create a topic sentence that transitions the essay from the previous point to the ongoing one. Use strong transitions words such as firstly, afterwards and moreover to keep your writing flowing smoothly. That being said, the topic sentence should reveal the supporting idea that will defend your thesis. After finishing this step, you must create a claim. In essence, this illustrates the link between your supporting idea and the thesis statement.

Defend Your Claim with Evidence

So, if we consider the thesis statement to be the focal point of our entire essay, then likewise, we can consider the claim to be the central piece of its respective body paragraph. After presenting a claim, you must then defend it with evidence. Facts, statistics, logic or anything else that can be used to support the claim should be presented. This will usually be between 1-3 sentences. Lastly, to finish a body paragraph, one must present a concluding statement. This sentence presents the significance of the link between the claim and thesis statement, strengthening the validity of the body paragraph accordingly.


Body paragraph structure

It is important to note that each body paragraph follows the same structure; however, each should have their own unique claim as well as separate evidence to help build a well-rounded essay. Lastly, the order of argument strength does indeed matter.

This means that your best argument should come in the first paragraph, the second best in the second, and the weakest argument in the third (although you shouldn’t have weak arguments… but, you know what I mean). The reason for this has to do with reader attention span, and most likely their mind will start wandering off as they get deeper into the writing, so make sure they get the best at first!


Three types of arguments

Finish off with Three Final Objectives

To finish off a good 5 paragraph essay, you have three final objectives. First of all, restate your thesis in a different language using conclusive phrases such as: in conclusion, to wrap things, in the end, etc. Afterwards, the next step is to summarize the claims made from each body paragraph and their significance.

Make sure to do this for all three claims. To finish the entire essay, present an overall concluding statement that offers value from a real-world perspective. In other words, how can the information be taken from the writing and applied to a real-world situation? This leaves the reader with a call to action and motivation for further investigation.


Three steps to the decent conclusion

Do you need some help with your 5 paragraph essay outline? Count on the support of our professional writers and editors.

5 Paragraph Essay Outline Example

Topic: Why Are History and Culture Important to Society?


  • Humans tend to repeat mistakes, whether it be personal ones or general faults of our species. Thankfully, we finally understood that war never changes, and this acceptance has brought great prosperity. (Hook)
  • Introducing the importance of traditions, understanding our roots, and dialoguing the growth of the human race. (Background info)
  • Remembering and embracing our past while simultaneously learning and building from it can help the human race achieve great things at an ever increasing rate!

Body Paragraph 1

  • The topic sentence introducing traditions and why they hold value.
  • Linking the value of our traditions and how we can build from them.
  • Evidence of this done in the past (Sounds → Language) (Sticks + Stones → Rifles)
  • Concluding statement about the significance of tradition.

Body Paragraph 2

  • Topic sentence introducing the importance of embracing our culture.
  • Showing our origins and highlighting the value of understanding ourselves
  • Provide examples (Civilizations → Empires → Cities)
  • Concluding statement about the value of our origins

Body Paragraph 3

  • Topic sentence that exclaims the importance of dialoguing our race.
  • Using our past to better our future and learning from our mistakes
  • Examples (Less War, Technological Growth, Human Rights)
  • Significance of the documentation


  • By analyzing our cultural and historical past, we can build a future for a better tomorrow! (Thesis Restatement)
  • Summary of traditions claim.
  • Summary of the cultural claim.
  • Summary of value that comes from dialoguing our race.
  • If we don’t consider our past as a valuable pool from where to obtain information, then we are showcasing ourselves as an ignorant race. (Overall Concluding Statement)

Still Need Some Help?

Sometimes, even with the tools on your side, it can be hard to start churning out information and actually get thoughts down on paper. If you would like qualified academic writing assistance, then work with our team. As most of these experts have written dissertations and other large bodies of work before, they can easily guide you through the steps of five paragraph essay outlining. All you have to do is request help from our custom essay writing service.

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