How to #Teach the Basics of the #5ParagraphEssay With a Sample #Outline

Template showing how to do an outline for a five paragraph essay, using six quotations within the body paragraphs.

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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.


Like last week’s post, this is a re-post. If you like my free printable worksheets, game ideas, and educational videos, please show your appreciation by liking, tweeting, and pinning! Thanks!


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