Instructions and Worksheet for Writing a 5-Paragraph Essay
Step 1: Determine a Purpose for your Essay
The following are the most common purposes for essay-writing:
Narrative ~ an essay can narrate a sequence of events (i.e. the events surrounding the fall of man in the Garden of Eden; the events surrounding Daniel being thrown in the lion’s den).
Descriptive ~ an essay can describe “something.” (“Something” can include people, places, animals, things, ideas, periods of time, events, etc. Specific examples are George Washington, Yellowstone National Park, kangaroos, a camera, peace, Roman Empire, Civil War, etc.)
Comparative/Contrasting ~ an essay can compare and/or contrast two topics (i.e. Christianity vs. Islam).
Explanatory or Interpretive ~ an essay can explain or interpret an issue (i.e. an explanation of what it means to be a follower of Jesus; an interpretation of what Jesus meant when He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man comes to the Father except through me” [John 14:6]).
Persuasive ~ an essay can persuade the reader to take the same side as the writer on a specific issue or persuade the reader to take action on an issue (i.e. lying is never good; help conserve energy).
Step 2: Determine your General then Specific Essay Topic
You need to choose a general topic for your essay, and then work it down to a very specific essay topic (i.e. Jesus ( miracles of Jesus ( Jesus walked on water ( Jesus’ faith lesson to Peter when Jesus and Peter walked on water).
(Note: You may prefer to choose your topic and narrow it down BEFORE you determine the purpose for your essay. In that case, complete step 2 before you do step 1.)
Step 3: Write your Introductory Paragraph
The first paragraph of your 5-paragraph essay will be your introductory paragraph. Your introductory paragraph will introduce your topic to the reader (usually in a general way), and will share three main points about your narrowed-down topic (which...