How to Teach the Basics of the Five Paragraph Essay With a Sample Outline

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Sample Formal Outline for a Five Paragraph Essay

Image: iClipart

Last week I posted my thesis statement graphic organizer. Today I’m posting the next step to creating a basic five-paragraph essay with a persuasive three-point thesis.

It’s the outline. Here’s an Outline Sampler that I use to help the kids see how simple it is to put together a five-paragraph essay with three main points.

You can project this Outline Sampler on a board or screen, so all the students can follow it as a simple guide. You might want to print copies for them as well. What can you expect for bumps in the road?

  • A lot of kids don’t understand when to indent in an outline.
  • Some students may not know that there’s an order to follow–first one, then the next, then the final main point from the thesis should be consistently in the same order.
  • Other students will forget to capitalize the A, B, and C in their outline.
  • They may not know how to do an introduction paragraph and a conclusion paragraph. That’s fine. In the initial stages, have them leave that blank until they can think something up.
  • There’s usually one kid who understands the concept of the outline too well. He or she will sometimes try to write the actual essay without making the outline first. This student will pretty much have an outline with complete sentences instead of brief ideas. Try to discourage them from doing this, since it’s important for them to follow each step in the writing process (as that’s part of the curriculum).

Well that’s it for today. I hope you find this Outline Sampler helpful.

Side note for my faithful followers: just like everyone else, I get busy around the holidays. This will be my last post until after the New Year. Sorry! I’m just trying to keep my life as sane as it can be this time of year… 😉

Happy holidays from English Emporium!

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