Doris Hall, Seattle, WA
At least 130 million college students worldwide must learn to write college-level English compositions. These normally consist of five paragraphs, have strong introductions that captures the reader's attention followed by three supporting paragraphs and a concluding paragraph. When students learn to write this type my essay effectively, then they can learn to write other types of college English compositions as well.
Study the Prompt To write a five paragraph essay, examine your prompt closely. Ask yourself a series of questions about the prompt and brainstorm your answers. Understand what type of essay is required, who your audience is and what your argument will be on the topic. In addition, make sure you look at the prompt for any specific information that you need to include. Many college students find it helpful to make a copy of the prompt and mark the important information they need to include in the paper.
Pre-Write Your Paper Once you know what your topic is and what additional information you need to include, start pre-writing your paper. There are several techniques to do this and you will need to find the one that works best for you. You may choose to brainstorm ideas by simply writing down every idea that comes to your mind. You can use the clustering technique by putting your main topic in the middle and then drawing a spider's web of supporting ideas around it. You can free write the essay in sentences by writing what comes to your mind as fast as you can write, without worrying about spelling, grammar or any other issues. You can even choose to draw your ideas instead of using words. After you have pre-written your topic, start narrowing down which topics you are most interested in writing about and pick the idea for which you can create the strongest five paragraph essay.
Pick Your Supporting Points After you have picked your general topic, pick your three strongest arguments that will support your general topic. If you find you are having trouble developing your general topic or have trouble thinking of points under your general topic, then return to step two and repeat until you are comfortable with your list.