Essay writing can often be greatly simplified into a 5 paragraph process. For writers who are particularly verbose or dealing with topics that require greater depth of analysis, additional paragraphs can easily be put into the middle. The general format remains the same and it is as follows:
Your very first paragraph will be dedicated to an introduction of the essay itself. Forgoing an introduction is just about forbidden in academia and can result in a much less professional looking essay. If you feel the need to experiment with unconventional essay structures, save those feelings for when you are writing on your own time and no grades are at stake.
The middle of the essay is also known as the body. It contains the meat of your essay and will be the place where you explore all your points in detail. In a five paragraph essay, the body takes up three paragraphs and the the introduction and conclusion take up a paragraph each. In general, the paragraph lengths in the body should be somewhat similar. This would indicate that the points discussed are of equal strength and the writer found adequate support for each one. It is also a good idea to avoid very long sentences in the body as they make the writing harder to follow and can weaken stronger points.
The last paragraph is dedicated to the conclusion. This part of the essay gives the reader closure on whatever topic was discussed. A well concluded essay should leave no unanswered questions in the readers mind but it should also not include any new points. One good reason for this is that the conclusion should only be a paragraph long and having to fully explore a new pont would encroach on the space for the actual conclusion. Secondly, if the point were truly worthy of inclusion in the essay, it should have been given its own paragraph earlier on. The conclusion should be of a similar length to the introduction and as a result, the five part essay resembles a sandwich in wich the body is the filling and the introduction and conclusion are separate slices of bread.
Even beginners can easily accomplish a five paragraph essay once the instructions are followed. The rules are also simple enough to be understood and implemented in one sitting.