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What are the Components of a Five Paragraph Research Paper


Five paragraph research papers are a common essay assignment, especially in introductory level English courses. A short essay like this can help you master the essay form for later longer, more challenging essays, such as the four or five page essay. In fact, after writing a few five-paragraph essays, you will be ready to pursue a real academic research paper in virtually any course.

Sample Structure

Five paragraph essays are typically one and a half to two page essays. You can address virtually any topic that you can prove in virtually three evidence paragraphs. Five paragraph essays are typically persuasive essays, in which you present a little evidence of your thesis and back it up with two sources or more, but typically only two.

For example, let's say you were writing a five-paragraph essay on childhood obesity. Such an essay would have an introduction about the problem of childhood obesity, three paragraphs providing evidence that such a problem exists, and a conclusion. Or you could devote the essay to three suggestions on how to combat childhood obesity, and offer three suggestions on battling childhood obesity in each of your middle paragraphs.

Five Paragraph Essay Components

Five paragraph essays have a(n)


In the introduction, you get your reader's attention in a few sentences. Perhaps gather some startling statistics to impress your reader with the gravity of your topic. For example, with the childhood obesity essay, you could begin by researching how many children suffer from obesity in America today and, briefly, why this is such a problem in America.

Thesis Statement

At the end of your first paragraph, you need a firm, "I statement" type of thesis statement. The thesis tells your reader your exact, narrow focus in this paper. "In this essay I will discuss three solutions for childhood obesity in America," for example.

Body Paragraphs

Here, you'll need three evidence paragraphs, each introduced by a topic sentence. For example, "The first way I believe we can fight childhood obesity is through helping children make better food choices." Then turn to researchers to back up your assertions.

In paragraphs three and four, you could back up two other suggestions, such as encourage exercise, and enrolling your child in gym every year-- with both paragraphs addressing one of these suggestions, interwoven with researchers' opinions to back you up.


Here reemphasize the direness -- the major importance of your issue again and bring the essay to a close.