“In other words, the first five pages are the introduction with a thesis near the end, and you have two to five points, and it just expands out.” The five-paragraph essay is a topic long debated by educators, and strong opinions abound.
Regardless of the career path your child follows, writing will play an essential role.
For now, let's take a quick look at tips and tricks for helping your child learn to create a five paragraph essay.
Hayes says college writing instructors need to get students to understand that the reason their K-12 teachers kept assigning five-paragraph essays was because they were working with “100, 120, 150 students,” and a standardized writing assignment “that works the same way every time” is easier to read, assess and grade.
In regards to students who leave K-12 with a “strong ability to write the five-paragraph essay,” he says, ““I don’t want to snap them out of it because I don’t want to dismiss that knowledge.” Take Mc Kenzie Spehar, a Writing and Rhetoric Studies major at the University of Utah.
The last paragraph then provides a short summary of the intro and body paragraphs.
Check out this simple-to-understand outline you can show to your child.But once students get into sixth, seventh and eighth grade, teachers need to break away from that five-paragraph essay format and say “‘this is where we started, and this is where we need to head.’” Hogan Hayes, who teaches first year composition at Sacramento State, is the second author of an upcoming book chapter about the “myth” that the five-paragraph essay will help students in the future.” There’s a perception that if students get good at the five-paragraph essay format, they’ll hone those skills and will be good writers in other classes and writing situations, he says.But there’s “overwhelming evidence to suggest that’s not the case.” He doesn’t think that first first year composition teachers should be spending time “hating the five-paragraph essay.” Instead, they should recognize it as knowledge students are bringing with them to the classroom, and then “reconfigure it to new contexts” and use it ways that are more college-appropriate.When your child is writing their five paragraph essays make sure they are creating outlines of their own whenever they have the chance.This will give them a clear picture of what they want to talk about and how they want their essay to flow.This clearly explains each paragraph of the five-paragraph essay.It makes it incredibly easy to construct each paragraph independently and then combine them together to create the entire five-paragraph essay.“It cheapens a student’s thesis, essay flow and structure, and voice.” A year later, her stance hasn’t budged.“When I see five-paragraph essays come into the stack of papers, they invariably have this structural problem where the ceiling is so low, they don’t have time to develop a real thesis and a truly satisfying or convincing argument,” she says.But because the five-paragraph essay structure dictates that there be three body paragraphs, students might try to “push everything” to those body paragraphs.Olin does think, however, that the five-paragraph essay format is useful for elementary students, adding that fourth grade is when the state of Texas starts assessing students’ writing in standardized tests.