The format for a five-paragraph essay includes an introductory paragraph; three body paragraphs, each of which details a specific point; and a concluding paragraph. The five-paragraph format is one of many ways to construct an essay, and this essay type teaches how to organize ideas around a thesis and supporting evidence.
The beginning of the introductory paragraph sets the topic of the essay and provides information to interest the reader. Information in the introduction acts as a funnel that narrows from general to specific points. The thesis sentence is the main argument of the essay, and it often provides a road map for the rest of the paper.
Writers typically order body paragraphs according to the strength of each paragraph's point. The best argument is in the first body paragraph, which also includes a transitional sentence from the introduction. Each body paragraph begins with a topic sentence that explains the main argument of the paragraph followed by evidence that supports it. Body paragraphs end with transitions into the next paragraph, including a transition sentence to the conclusion in the third body paragraph. The conclusion provides a summary of the thesis statement, points from the body paragraphs and an ending sentence.