A five-paragraph essay consists of an introduction, three body paragraphs and a concluding paragraph. The introductory paragraph introduces the topic and the author's thesis. The body paragraphs make claims to support the thesis. The conclusion reiterates the thesis and includes any final thoughts.
A successful introduction draws in the reader and briefly explains the topic. The introduction's most important component is the thesis, or the paper's main argument. Your thesis should be clear and concise but complex enough to warrant a paper.
Then transition into the body paragraphs. The body paragraphs each need a topic sentence, or a kind of mini-thesis or claim, to support the main thesis. The rest of the paragraph should consist of solid evidence backing the claim. Cite any outside sources using the format given by the professor. Teachers often assign MLA format for humanities essays, while science essays are usually in APA format.
A good conclusion synthesizes all the paper's arguments and emphasizes the thesis, without simply rewriting it. A conclusion generally should not include new evidence or topics.
Once you've written the first draft, revise the paper to ensure that each sentence propels the argument and is instrumental in making your point. Proofread for grammar, spelling and surface errors.