The Homeschool

Five Paragraph Essay

homeschool girl

The homeschool five paragraph essay is the backbone of English composition. It's easy to learn and will aid your child immeasurably...no more dread...no more guesswork...no more paralysis when he is faced with a writing assignment.

Similar to a math formula, this outline provides a definite path for the child to follow.

When teaching these basics of homeschool writing, be very elementary. The student needs to thoroughly understand the logic and order of the essay formula. Once the method is learned, the youngster can spread his creative wings.

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Notes:
  • It might be helpful to examine samples based on the five paragraph guide. These are book reports, used with permission, of a fifth grader and a ninth grader.

  • Always prepare an outline before writing.

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So let's get right to it.

Paragraph #1

Three sentences...(Three are the minimum to even make a paragraph.)

Here the youngster introduces his topic. He eases the reader into the material. So go from a general statement to the more specific.

Sentence #1--Very basic idea
Sentence #2--A statement of general interest
Sentence #3--Theme Here he states his main idea.

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Paragraphs # 2,3,4 (minimum of three sentences each)

The next three paragraphs offer support for the thesis. The student makes his arguments here. He clearly explains to the reader why he makes the thesis statement.

The three topics (one per paragraph) can be arranged chronologically or reversed, most important to least important or vice versa. The order which works best (is the most effective/convincing) depends on the material. Experiment. It takes practice to get the "feel" for which arrangement is best.

Each supporting paragraph begins with--

Sentence #1--Main idea to bolster thesis
Sentence(s) #2--Reason(s) to support main idea
Ending Sentence--Using different words (synonyms), repeat main idea of the paragraph.

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Paragraph #5

Here the student eases the reader out of the composition. To do so, he just reverses paragraph #1, again using synonyms.

Sentence #1--Theme
Sentence #2--General idea--mention arguments
Sentence#3--Very general statement

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The five paragraph essay is a boon to all students. It is a simple, easy-to- follow guide to writing effective, interesting papers. A writing assignment? No problem! Confidence and enthusiasm banish dread and frustration!

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