That is a vintage essay introduction that is five-paragraph.
Category : Writing Essay
But Alex’s professor doesn’t like it. She underlines the very first two sentences, and she writes, “This is simply too general. Get to the true point.” She underlines the 3rd and sentences that are fourth and she writes, “You’re just restating the question I asked. What’s your point?” She underlines the final sentence, after which writes into the margin, “What’s your thesis?” because the very last sentence in the paragraph only lists topics. It does not make an argument.
Is Alex’s professor just a grouch? Well, no—she is wanting to show this student that college writing isn’t about following a formula (the five-paragraph model), it’s about making an argument. Her first sentence is general, just how she learned a five-paragraph essay should start. But from the professor’s perspective, it’s far too general—so general, in reality, she didn’t ask students to define civil war that it’s completely outside of the assignment. The third and fourth sentences say, in a lot of words, they just restate the prompt, without giving a single hint about where this student’s paper is going“ I am comparing and contrasting the reasons why the North and the South fought the Civil War”—as the professor says. The sentence that is final which will make an argument, only lists topics; it does not commence to explore how or why something happened.
You can guess what Alex will write next if you’ve seen a lot of five-paragraph essays. Her first body paragraph will begin, “We can easily see some of the different reasons why the North and South fought the Civil War by looking at the economy.” Exactly what will the professor say about this? She may ask, “What differences can we see? What area of the economy will you be dealing with? Why do the differences exist? What makes they important?” The student might write a conclusion that says much the same thing as her introduction, in slightly different words after three such body paragraphs. Alex’s professor might respond, “You’ve already said this!”
What could Alex do differently? Let’s start over. This time, Alex does not start out with a preconceived notion of how to prepare her essay. Rather than three “points,” she decides that she will brainstorm until she pops up with a principal argument, or thesis, that answers the question “Why did the North and South fight the Civil War?” Then she’s going to regulate how to organize her draft by taking into consideration the argument’s parts and just how they fit together.
After doing a bit of brainstorming and reading the Writing Center’s handout on thesis statements, Alex thinks about a main argument, or thesis statement:
- Both Northerners and Southerners believed they fought against tyranny and oppression, but Northerners dedicated to the oppression of slaves while Southerners defended their rights to property and self-government.
Then Alex writes her introduction. But instead of beginning with a statement that is general civil wars, she gives us the ideas we have to know in order to understand all the elements of her argument:
- The United States broke far from England in response to British tyranny and oppression, so opposition to tyranny and a belief in individual freedom and liberty were important values when you look at the republic that is young. However in the nineteenth century, slavery made Northerners and Southerners see these values in completely different ways. By 1860, the conflict of these values broke out into a war that is civil nearly tore the united states apart. For the reason that war, both Northerners and Southerners believed they fought against tyranny and oppression, but Northerners centered on the oppression of slaves while Southerners defended their rights to property and self-government.
Every sentence in Alex’s new introduction leads your reader along the way to her thesis statement in an unbroken chain of ideas.
Now Alex turns to organization. You’ll find more about the thinking process she passes through inside our handout on organization, but here are the basics: first, she decides, she’ll write a paragraph that gives background; she’ll explain how opposition to tyranny and a belief in individual liberty came into existence such important values in the usa. Then she’ll write another background paragraph by which she shows how the conflict over slavery developed as time passes. Then she’ll have separate paragraphs about Northerners and Southerners, explaining in detail—and evidence that is giving claims about each group’s reasons behind planning to war.
Observe that Alex now has four body paragraphs. She might have had three or two or seven; what’s important is that she allowed her argument to tell her what number of paragraphs she needs to have and exactly how to suit them together. Furthermore, her body paragraphs don’t all discuss “points,” like “the economy” and “politics”—two of them give background, together with other two explain Northerners’ and Southerners’ views at length.
Finally, having followed her sketch outline and written her paper, Alex turns to writing a conclusion. From our handout on conclusions, she knows that a “that’s my story and I’m adhering to it” conclusion does not forward move her ideas. Applying the strategies she finds into the handout, she decides that she can use her conclusion to describe why the paper she’s just written really matters—perhaps by pointing out that the fissures inside our society that the Civil War opened are, essay writing most of the time, still causing trouble today.
Will it be ever OK to write a five-paragraph essay?
Yes. Have you ever found yourself in a situation where somebody expects you to definitely sound right of a body that is large of on the spot and write a well-organized, persuasive essay—in fifty minutes or less? Sounds like an essay exam situation, right? When time is short additionally the pressure is on, falling back in the good old fashioned five-paragraph essay can help you save time and give you confidence. A five-paragraph essay may also work as the framework for a speech that is short. Try not to end up in the trap, however, of creating a “listing” thesis statement when your instructor expects a disagreement; when planning your body paragraphs, think of three components of a disagreement, as opposed to three “points” to discuss. On the other hand, most professors recognize the constraints of writing blue-book essays, and a “listing” thesis is probably a lot better than no thesis at all.
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