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UMGC Effective Writing Center Secrets of the Five-Paragraph Essay

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This form of writing goes by different names. Maybe you've heard some of them before: "The Basic Essay," "The Academic Response Essay," "The 1-3-1 Essay." Regardless of what you've heard, the name you should remember is "The Easy Essay."

Once you are shown how this works--and it only takes a few minutes--you will have in your hands the secret to writing well on almost any academic assignment. Here is how it goes.

Secret #1—The Magic of Three

Three has always been a magic number for humans, from fairy tales like "The Three Little Pigs" to sayings like “third time’s a charm.” Three seems to be an ideal number for us--including the academic essay. So whenever you are given a topic to write about, a good place to begin is with a list of three. Here are some examples (three of them, of course):

Topic : What are the essential characteristics of a good parent? Think in threes and you might come up with:

  • unconditional love 

Certainly, there are more characteristics of good parents you could name, but for our essay, we will work in threes.

Here's a topic that deals with a controversial issue:

Topic : Should women in the military be given frontline combat duties?

  • The first reason that women should be assigned to combat is equality. 
  • The second reason is their great teamwork. 
  • The third reason is their courage.

As you see, regardless of the topic, we can list three points about it. And if you wonder about the repetition of words and structure when stating the three points, in this case, repetition is a good thing. Words that seem redundant when close together in an outline will be separated by the actual paragraphs of your essay. So in the essay instead of seeming redundant they will be welcome as signals to the reader of your essay’s main parts.

Finally, when the topic is an academic one, your first goal is the same: create a list of three.

Topic: Why do so many students fail to complete their college degree?

  • First, students often...
  • Second, many students cannot...
  • Finally, students find that...

Regardless of the reasons you might come up with to finish these sentences, the formula is still the same.

Secret #2: The Thesis Formula

Now with your list of three, you can write the sentence that every essay must have—the thesis, sometimes called the "controlling idea," "overall point," or "position statement." In other words, it is the main idea of the essay that you will try to support, illustrate, or corroborate.

Here’s a simple formula for a thesis: The topic + your position on the topic = your thesis.

Let’s apply this formula to one of our examples:

Topic: Essential characteristics of a good parent Your Position: patience, respect, love Thesis: The essential characteristics of a good parent are patience, respect, and love.

As you see, all we did was combine the topic with our position/opinion on it into a single sentence to produce the thesis: The essential characteristics of a good parent are patience, respect, and love.

In this case, we chose to list three main points as part of our thesis. Sometimes that’s a good strategy. However, you can summarize them if you wish, as in this example:

Topic: Women in combat duty in the military Your Position: They deserve it Thesis: Women deserve to be assigned combat duty in the military.

This type of thesis is shorter and easier to write because it provides the overall position or opinion without forcing you to list the support for it in the thesis, which can get awkward and take away from your strong position statement. The three reasons women deserve to be assigned combat duties--equality, teamwork, courage--will be the subjects of your three body paragraphs and do not need to be mentioned until the body paragraph in which they appear.

Secret #3: The 1-3-1 Outline

With your thesis and list of three main points, you can quickly draw a basic outline of the paragraphs of your essay. You’ll then see why this is often called the 1-3-1 essay.

  • Supporting Evidence for Claim 1    
  • Supporting Evidence for Claim 2
  • Supporting Evidence for Claim 3

The five-paragraph essay consists of one introduction paragraph (with the thesis at its end), three body paragraphs (each beginning with one of three main points) and one last paragraph—the conclusion. 1-3-1.

Once you have this outline, you have the basic template for most academic writing. Most of all, you have an organized way to approach virtually any topic you are assigned.

Our helpful admissions advisors can help you choose an academic program to fit your career goals, estimate your transfer credits, and develop a plan for your education costs that fits your budget. If you’re a current UMGC student, please visit the Help Center .

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Paragraphs & topic sentences.

A paragraph is a series of sentences that are organized and coherent, and are all related to a single topic. Almost every piece of writing you do that is longer than a few sentences should be organized into paragraphs. This is because paragraphs show a reader where the subdivisions of an essay begin and end, and thus help the reader see the organization of the essay and grasp its main points.

Paragraphs can contain many different kinds of information. A paragraph could contain a series of brief examples or a single long illustration of a general point. It might describe a place, character, or process; narrate a series of events; compare or contrast two or more things; classify items into categories; or describe causes and effects. Regardless of the kind of information they contain, all paragraphs share certain characteristics. One of the most important of these is a topic sentence.

TOPIC SENTENCES

A well-organized paragraph supports or develops a single controlling idea, which is expressed in a sentence called the topic sentence. A topic sentence has several important functions: it substantiates or supports an essay’s thesis statement; it unifies the content of a paragraph and directs the order of the sentences; and it advises the reader of the subject to be discussed and how the paragraph will discuss it. Readers generally look to the first few sentences in a paragraph to determine the subject and perspective of the paragraph. That’s why it’s often best to put the topic sentence at the very beginning of the paragraph. In some cases, however, it’s more effective to place another sentence before the topic sentence—for example, a sentence linking the current paragraph to the previous one, or one providing background information.

Although most paragraphs should have a topic sentence, there are a few situations when a paragraph might not need a topic sentence. For example, you might be able to omit a topic sentence in a paragraph that narrates a series of events, if a paragraph continues developing an idea that you introduced (with a topic sentence) in the previous paragraph, or if all the sentences and details in a paragraph clearly refer—perhaps indirectly—to a main point. The vast majority of your paragraphs, however, should have a topic sentence.

PARAGRAPH STRUCTURE

Most paragraphs in an essay have a three-part structure—introduction, body, and conclusion. You can see this structure in paragraphs whether they are narrating, describing, comparing, contrasting, or analyzing information. Each part of the paragraph plays an important role in communicating your meaning to your reader.

Introduction : the first section of a paragraph; should include the topic sentence and any other sentences at the beginning of the paragraph that give background information or provide a transition.

Body : follows the introduction; discusses the controlling idea, using facts, arguments, analysis, examples, and other information.

Conclusion : the final section; summarizes the connections between the information discussed in the body of the paragraph and the paragraph’s controlling idea.

The following paragraph illustrates this pattern of organization. In this paragraph the topic sentence and concluding sentence (CAPITALIZED) both help the reader keep the paragraph’s main point in mind.

SCIENTISTS HAVE LEARNED TO SUPPLEMENT THE SENSE OF SIGHT IN NUMEROUS WAYS. In front of the tiny pupil of the eye they put , on Mount Palomar, a great monocle 200 inches in diameter, and with it see 2000 times farther into the depths of space. Or they look through a small pair of lenses arranged as a microscope into a drop of water or blood, and magnify by as much as 2000 diameters the living creatures there, many of which are among man’s most dangerous enemies. Or , if we want to see distant happenings on earth, they use some of the previously wasted electromagnetic waves to carry television images which they re-create as light by whipping tiny crystals on a screen with electrons in a vacuum. Or they can bring happenings of long ago and far away as colored motion pictures, by arranging silver atoms and color-absorbing molecules to force light waves into the patterns of original reality. Or if we want to see into the center of a steel casting or the chest of an injured child, they send the information on a beam of penetrating short-wave X rays, and then convert it back into images we can see on a screen or photograph. THUS ALMOST EVERY TYPE OF ELECTROMAGNETIC RADIATION YET DISCOVERED HAS BEEN USED TO EXTEND OUR SENSE OF SIGHT IN SOME WAY. George Harrison, “Faith and the Scientist”

In a coherent paragraph, each sentence relates clearly to the topic sentence or controlling idea, but there is more to coherence than this. If a paragraph is coherent, each sentence flows smoothly into the next without obvious shifts or jumps. A coherent paragraph also highlights the ties between old information and new information to make the structure of ideas or arguments clear to the reader.

Along with the smooth flow of sentences, a paragraph’s coherence may also be related to its length. If you have written a very long paragraph, one that fills a double-spaced typed page, for example, you should check it carefully to see if it should start a new paragraph where the original paragraph wanders from its controlling idea. On the other hand, if a paragraph is very short (only one or two sentences, perhaps), you may need to develop its controlling idea more thoroughly, or combine it with another paragraph.

A number of other techniques that you can use to establish coherence in paragraphs are described below.

Repeat key words or phrases. Particularly in paragraphs in which you define or identify an important idea or theory, be consistent in how you refer to it. This consistency and repetition will bind the paragraph together and help your reader understand your definition or description.

Create parallel structures. Parallel structures are created by constructing two or more phrases or sentences that have the same grammatical structure and use the same parts of speech. By creating parallel structures you make your sentences clearer and easier to read. In addition, repeating a pattern in a series of consecutive sentences helps your reader see the connections between ideas. In the paragraph above about scientists and the sense of sight, several sentences in the body of the paragraph have been constructed in a parallel way. The parallel structures (which have been emphasized ) help the reader see that the paragraph is organized as a set of examples of a general statement.

Be consistent in point of view, verb tense, and number. Consistency in point of view, verb tense, and number is a subtle but important aspect of coherence. If you shift from the more personal "you" to the impersonal “one,” from past to present tense, or from “a man” to “they,” for example, you make your paragraph less coherent. Such inconsistencies can also confuse your reader and make your argument more difficult to follow.

Use transition words or phrases between sentences and between paragraphs. Transitional expressions emphasize the relationships between ideas, so they help readers follow your train of thought or see connections that they might otherwise miss or misunderstand. The following paragraph shows how carefully chosen transitions (CAPITALIZED) lead the reader smoothly from the introduction to the conclusion of the paragraph.

I don’t wish to deny that the flattened, minuscule head of the large-bodied "stegosaurus" houses little brain from our subjective, top-heavy perspective, BUT I do wish to assert that we should not expect more of the beast. FIRST OF ALL, large animals have relatively smaller brains than related, small animals. The correlation of brain size with body size among kindred animals (all reptiles, all mammals, FOR EXAMPLE) is remarkably regular. AS we move from small to large animals, from mice to elephants or small lizards to Komodo dragons, brain size increases, BUT not so fast as body size. IN OTHER WORDS, bodies grow faster than brains, AND large animals have low ratios of brain weight to body weight. IN FACT, brains grow only about two-thirds as fast as bodies. SINCE we have no reason to believe that large animals are consistently stupider than their smaller relatives, we must conclude that large animals require relatively less brain to do as well as smaller animals. IF we do not recognize this relationship, we are likely to underestimate the mental power of very large animals, dinosaurs in particular. Stephen Jay Gould, “Were Dinosaurs Dumb?”

SOME USEFUL TRANSITIONS

(modified from Diana Hacker, A Writer’s Reference )

Produced by Writing Tutorial Services, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN

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9.2 Writing Body Paragraphs

Learning objectives.

  • Select primary support related to your thesis.
  • Support your topic sentences.

If your thesis gives the reader a roadmap to your essay, then body paragraphs should closely follow that map. The reader should be able to predict what follows your introductory paragraph by simply reading the thesis statement.

The body paragraphs present the evidence you have gathered to confirm your thesis. Before you begin to support your thesis in the body, you must find information from a variety of sources that support and give credit to what you are trying to prove.

Select Primary Support for Your Thesis

Without primary support, your argument is not likely to be convincing. Primary support can be described as the major points you choose to expand on your thesis. It is the most important information you select to argue for your point of view. Each point you choose will be incorporated into the topic sentence for each body paragraph you write. Your primary supporting points are further supported by supporting details within the paragraphs.

Remember that a worthy argument is backed by examples. In order to construct a valid argument, good writers conduct lots of background research and take careful notes. They also talk to people knowledgeable about a topic in order to understand its implications before writing about it.

Identify the Characteristics of Good Primary Support

In order to fulfill the requirements of good primary support, the information you choose must meet the following standards:

  • Be specific. The main points you make about your thesis and the examples you use to expand on those points need to be specific. Use specific examples to provide the evidence and to build upon your general ideas. These types of examples give your reader something narrow to focus on, and if used properly, they leave little doubt about your claim. General examples, while they convey the necessary information, are not nearly as compelling or useful in writing because they are too obvious and typical.
  • Be relevant to the thesis. Primary support is considered strong when it relates directly to the thesis. Primary support should show, explain, or prove your main argument without delving into irrelevant details. When faced with lots of information that could be used to prove your thesis, you may think you need to include it all in your body paragraphs. But effective writers resist the temptation to lose focus. Choose your examples wisely by making sure they directly connect to your thesis.
  • Be detailed. Remember that your thesis, while specific, should not be very detailed. The body paragraphs are where you develop the discussion that a thorough essay requires. Using detailed support shows readers that you have considered all the facts and chosen only the most precise details to enhance your point of view.

Prewrite to Identify Primary Supporting Points for a Thesis Statement

Recall that when you prewrite you essentially make a list of examples or reasons why you support your stance. Stemming from each point, you further provide details to support those reasons. After prewriting, you are then able to look back at the information and choose the most compelling pieces you will use in your body paragraphs.

Choose one of the following working thesis statements. On a separate sheet of paper, write for at least five minutes using one of the prewriting techniques you learned in Chapter 8 “The Writing Process: How Do I Begin?” .

  • Unleashed dogs on city streets are a dangerous nuisance.
  • Students cheat for many different reasons.
  • Drug use among teens and young adults is a problem.
  • The most important change that should occur at my college or university is ____________________________________________.

Select the Most Effective Primary Supporting Points for a Thesis Statement

After you have prewritten about your working thesis statement, you may have generated a lot of information, which may be edited out later. Remember that your primary support must be relevant to your thesis. Remind yourself of your main argument, and delete any ideas that do not directly relate to it. Omitting unrelated ideas ensures that you will use only the most convincing information in your body paragraphs. Choose at least three of only the most compelling points. These will serve as the topic sentences for your body paragraphs.

Refer to the previous exercise and select three of your most compelling reasons to support the thesis statement. Remember that the points you choose must be specific and relevant to the thesis. The statements you choose will be your primary support points, and you will later incorporate them into the topic sentences for the body paragraphs.

Collaboration

Please share with a classmate and compare your answers.

When you support your thesis, you are revealing evidence. Evidence includes anything that can help support your stance. The following are the kinds of evidence you will encounter as you conduct your research:

  • Facts. Facts are the best kind of evidence to use because they often cannot be disputed. They can support your stance by providing background information on or a solid foundation for your point of view. However, some facts may still need explanation. For example, the sentence “The most populated state in the United States is California” is a pure fact, but it may require some explanation to make it relevant to your specific argument.
  • Judgments. Judgments are conclusions drawn from the given facts. Judgments are more credible than opinions because they are founded upon careful reasoning and examination of a topic.
  • Testimony. Testimony consists of direct quotations from either an eyewitness or an expert witness. An eyewitness is someone who has direct experience with a subject; he adds authenticity to an argument based on facts. An expert witness is a person who has extensive experience with a topic. This person studies the facts and provides commentary based on either facts or judgments, or both. An expert witness adds authority and credibility to an argument.
  • Personal observation. Personal observation is similar to testimony, but personal observation consists of your testimony. It reflects what you know to be true because you have experiences and have formed either opinions or judgments about them. For instance, if you are one of five children and your thesis states that being part of a large family is beneficial to a child’s social development, you could use your own experience to support your thesis.

Writing at Work

In any job where you devise a plan, you will need to support the steps that you lay out. This is an area in which you would incorporate primary support into your writing. Choosing only the most specific and relevant information to expand upon the steps will ensure that your plan appears well-thought-out and precise.

You can consult a vast pool of resources to gather support for your stance. Citing relevant information from reliable sources ensures that your reader will take you seriously and consider your assertions. Use any of the following sources for your essay: newspapers or news organization websites, magazines, encyclopedias, and scholarly journals, which are periodicals that address topics in a specialized field.

Choose Supporting Topic Sentences

Each body paragraph contains a topic sentence that states one aspect of your thesis and then expands upon it. Like the thesis statement, each topic sentence should be specific and supported by concrete details, facts, or explanations.

Each body paragraph should comprise the following elements.

topic sentence + supporting details (examples, reasons, or arguments)

As you read in Chapter 8 “The Writing Process: How Do I Begin?” , topic sentences indicate the location and main points of the basic arguments of your essay. These sentences are vital to writing your body paragraphs because they always refer back to and support your thesis statement. Topic sentences are linked to the ideas you have introduced in your thesis, thus reminding readers what your essay is about. A paragraph without a clearly identified topic sentence may be unclear and scattered, just like an essay without a thesis statement.

Unless your teacher instructs otherwise, you should include at least three body paragraphs in your essay. A five-paragraph essay, including the introduction and conclusion, is commonly the standard for exams and essay assignments.

Consider the following the thesis statement:

Author J.D. Salinger relied primarily on his personal life and belief system as the foundation for the themes in the majority of his works.

The following topic sentence is a primary support point for the thesis. The topic sentence states exactly what the controlling idea of the paragraph is. Later, you will see the writer immediately provide support for the sentence.

Salinger, a World War II veteran, suffered from posttraumatic stress disorder, a disorder that influenced themes in many of his works.

In Note 9.19 “Exercise 2” , you chose three of your most convincing points to support the thesis statement you selected from the list. Take each point and incorporate it into a topic sentence for each body paragraph.

Supporting point 1: ____________________________________________

Topic sentence: ____________________________________________

Supporting point 2: ____________________________________________

Supporting point 3: ____________________________________________

Draft Supporting Detail Sentences for Each Primary Support Sentence

After deciding which primary support points you will use as your topic sentences, you must add details to clarify and demonstrate each of those points. These supporting details provide examples, facts, or evidence that support the topic sentence.

The writer drafts possible supporting detail sentences for each primary support sentence based on the thesis statement:

Thesis statement: Unleashed dogs on city streets are a dangerous nuisance.

Supporting point 1: Dogs can scare cyclists and pedestrians.

Supporting details:

  • Cyclists are forced to zigzag on the road.
  • School children panic and turn wildly on their bikes.
  • People who are walking at night freeze in fear.

Supporting point 2:

Loose dogs are traffic hazards.

  • Dogs in the street make people swerve their cars.
  • To avoid dogs, drivers run into other cars or pedestrians.
  • Children coaxing dogs across busy streets create danger.

Supporting point 3: Unleashed dogs damage gardens.

  • They step on flowers and vegetables.
  • They destroy hedges by urinating on them.
  • They mess up lawns by digging holes.

The following paragraph contains supporting detail sentences for the primary support sentence (the topic sentence), which is underlined.

Salinger, a World War II veteran, suffered from posttraumatic stress disorder, a disorder that influenced the themes in many of his works. He did not hide his mental anguish over the horrors of war and once told his daughter, “You never really get the smell of burning flesh out of your nose, no matter how long you live.” His short story “A Perfect Day for a Bananafish” details a day in the life of a WWII veteran who was recently released from an army hospital for psychiatric problems. The man acts questionably with a little girl he meets on the beach before he returns to his hotel room and commits suicide. Another short story, “For Esmé – with Love and Squalor,” is narrated by a traumatized soldier who sparks an unusual relationship with a young girl he meets before he departs to partake in D-Day. Finally, in Salinger’s only novel, The Catcher in the Rye , he continues with the theme of posttraumatic stress, though not directly related to war. From a rest home for the mentally ill, sixteen-year-old Holden Caulfield narrates the story of his nervous breakdown following the death of his younger brother.

Using the three topic sentences you composed for the thesis statement in Note 9.18 “Exercise 1” , draft at least three supporting details for each point.

Thesis statement: ____________________________________________

Primary supporting point 1: ____________________________________________

Supporting details: ____________________________________________

Primary supporting point 2: ____________________________________________

Primary supporting point 3: ____________________________________________

You have the option of writing your topic sentences in one of three ways. You can state it at the beginning of the body paragraph, or at the end of the paragraph, or you do not have to write it at all. This is called an implied topic sentence. An implied topic sentence lets readers form the main idea for themselves. For beginning writers, it is best to not use implied topic sentences because it makes it harder to focus your writing. Your instructor may also want to clearly identify the sentences that support your thesis. For more information on the placement of thesis statements and implied topic statements, see Chapter 8 “The Writing Process: How Do I Begin?” .

Print out the first draft of your essay and use a highlighter to mark your topic sentences in the body paragraphs. Make sure they are clearly stated and accurately present your paragraphs, as well as accurately reflect your thesis. If your topic sentence contains information that does not exist in the rest of the paragraph, rewrite it to more accurately match the rest of the paragraph.

Key Takeaways

  • Your body paragraphs should closely follow the path set forth by your thesis statement.
  • Strong body paragraphs contain evidence that supports your thesis.
  • Primary support comprises the most important points you use to support your thesis.
  • Strong primary support is specific, detailed, and relevant to the thesis.
  • Prewriting helps you determine your most compelling primary support.
  • Evidence includes facts, judgments, testimony, and personal observation.
  • Reliable sources may include newspapers, magazines, academic journals, books, encyclopedias, and firsthand testimony.
  • A topic sentence presents one point of your thesis statement while the information in the rest of the paragraph supports that point.
  • A body paragraph comprises a topic sentence plus supporting details.

Writing for Success Copyright © 2015 by University of Minnesota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

Literacy Ideas

How to write a perfect 5 Paragraph Essay

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  How to Write a 5 Paragraph Essay : A Complete Guide

Essay writing can be the bane of many a student’s life.

Gone are the days when many students tried writing in big letters to fill the allotted number of pages with minimal effort quickly.

Now, it’s all constant word count checks and taking a dozen words to say what could be said in three.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be like this. When students have a clear, set structure to follow, essay writing can be a much less painful experience. Indeed, it can even be enjoyable!

In this article, we’ll outline a clear template our students can follow to produce a well-organised essay on practically any topic effectively.

Let’s get started!

Visual Writing

THE HAMBURGER ESSAY – THE STUDENT’S FRIEND

5 paragraph essay | Orange Illustrated Hamburger Graphic Organizer | How to write a perfect 5 Paragraph Essay | literacyideas.com

The common 5 paragraph essay structure is often referred to as the hamburger essay . And this is a memorable way to communicate the concept to your students.

The hamburger essay structure consists of five paragraphs or layers as follows:

Layer 1 – The Top Bun: The Introduction

The uppermost layer is the introductory paragraph which communicates to the reader the purpose of the essay.

Layers 2,3, & 4 – The Meat Patties: The Body Paragraphs

These are the meat patties of the essay and each paragraph makes an argument in support of the essay’s central contention as expressed in the introduction.

Layer 5 – The Conclusion: The Bottom Bun

The bottommost layer is the conclusion, where the arguments are summed up and the central contention of the essay is restated forcefully one last time. We have a complete guide to writing a conclusion here .

Soon, we’ll take a closer look at each of these parts in turn. But, there is more to an essay than just the writing of it. There are also the prewriting and post writing stages to consider. We will look at all these aspects in this article, but first, let’s examine what our students need to be doing before they even begin to write their essays.

A COMPLETE UNIT ON TEACHING PARAGRAPH WRITING

5 paragraph essay | paragraph writing unit | How to write a perfect 5 Paragraph Essay | literacyideas.com

This complete PARAGRAPH WRITING UNIT takes students from zero to hero over FIVE STRATEGIC LESSONS to improve PARAGRAPH WRITING SKILLS through PROVEN TEACHING STRATEGIES.

THE PREWRITING STAGE – DEFINING THE THESIS STATEMENT, RESEARCH & PLANNING

The thesis statement.

Every essay needs a clear focus. This focus is usually defined in a thesis statement that presents the topic of the essay in a sentence or two. The thesis statement should also include the writer’s stance on that topic.

As this will help guide the direction of the essay, it is essential that our students define their thesis statement before they begin the writing process.

Sometimes during the process of writing, we find out what we think about a given topic. The writing process can act as a kind of reflection on the merits of the various arguments, before finally revealing to us our own opinion. This is writing as a method of discovery.

Usually, though, it is more efficient for students to decide on their opinions prior to beginning to write.

Defining their thesis statement early on not only helps guide the students writing, but helps ensure their research is focused and efficient at the crucial prewriting stage.

Research & Planning

As students begin their research and gather their evidence to support their thesis statement, they should also be encouraged to pay particular attention to the counterarguments they come across.

A well-written essay does not ignore opposing viewpoints, students should be taught to preempt counterarguments where possible so as to strengthen the power of their own arguments. Good research is essential for this.

Not so long ago, research meant hours in dusty libraries being constantly shushed, but with the advent of the internet, there is now a wealth of knowledge right at our fingertips (and the end of a good Wifi connection).

While this has made research a much more convenient process, students need to be reminded of the importance of seeking out reliable sources to support their opinions. In an era of ‘fake news’, this is more important now than ever.

As students gather the information and supporting evidence for their essay, they’ll need to organize it carefully. Graphic organizers are an effective way of doing this, either on a paper printout or by using a premade template on the computer.

It can also be helpful for students to sort their collected information according to where they intend to use it in the five-paragraph outline or layers mentioned above.

Finally, while good research, organization, and planning are essential for producing a well-written essay, it’s important that students are reminded that essay writing is also a creative act.

Students should maintain an open mind when it comes to the writing process. They should allow their thoughts and opinions the room to develop over the course of writing their essay. They should leave the door open for including new thoughts and ideas as the writing progresses.

The Writing Stage: Introduction, Body Paragraphs, & Conclusion 

The introduction.

A good introduction paragraph serves a number of important functions. It:

  • Grabs the reader’s attention and interest, known as the hook
  • Orientates the reader to the essays central argument, the thesis statement
  • Outlines briefly the arguments that will be explored in support of the thesis statement.

To become an effective writer, it is important that our students learn the importance of grabbing the reader’s attention, as well as keeping it. Opening with a ‘hook’ or a ‘grabber’ is a great way to achieve this.

There are a number of techniques students can use here. Let’s take a look at some of the more common ones.

  • The Surprising Fact – this can intrigue the reader to want to find out more, especially if it challenges some of their existing assumptions on a topic.
  • The Quotation – a carefully selected quotation can be a great way to secure the reader’s attention and there are many curated quotation collections freely available online to help get students started.
  • The Joke – this opening should be used judiciously as for some topics it may not be an appropriate way to open. In the right context however, humor can be a great way to engage the reader from the outset.
  • The Anecdote – anecdotes are a great way to personally connect with the essay’s topic. They are a helpful way of climbing down the ladder of abstraction when exploring more theoretical arguments. They assist the reader in relating universal themes to their own lives.

Practice Activity 1:

To encourage students to develop strong opening paragraphs in their essays, it can be helpful to isolate writing opening paragraphs.

In this activity, provide your students with a list of essay topics and challenge them to write four different opening paragraphs for their essay, one each for The Surprising Fact , The Quotation , The Joke , and The Anecdote as listed above.

When students have completed their four paragraphs, they can then share with each other in groups and discuss which worked best and why.

This activity will help students to remember the different types of opening and how they work. It will also give them a feel for which openings work best for different types of essays.

We’ve already discussed what a thesis statement is and what it is intended to achieve, but where does it fit into the overall shape of the introductory paragraph exactly?

While there are no hard and fast rules here, thesis statements work well towards the end of the introductory paragraph – especially as the paragraph’s final sentence.

Readers are often hardwired to look for the thesis statement there. It connects the arguments that follow in the body paragraphs to the preceding sentences and contextualizes the essay for the reader.

THE BODY PARAGRAPHS

Now we get to the ‘meat’ of our essay. Each of the body paragraphs will explore one of the arguments supporting the thesis statement as laid out in the introduction.

While we are focused on the 5 paragraph essay here, longer essays will usually be constructed in exactly the same manner, they’ll just include more body paragraphs to cover the extra level of detail.

Generally, each body paragraph will open by stating the argument, with subsequent sentences supporting that argument by providing evidence along with some further explanation. Finally, a statement or phrase will help transition to the next paragraph.

The PEEL Paragraph Writing Process

The acronym PEEL can be a very useful tool to help students to understand how to organize each of their body paragraphs.

P oint : start the paragraph by expressing the central argument

E vidence : support the central argument of the paragraph by providing evidence or reasons. Evidence may come in many forms including facts and statistics, quotations from a text or other authority, reference to historical events etc.

E xplanation : explain how the evidence provided supports the paragraph’s central argument.

L ink : provide a transition into the next paragraph by linking this argument and the central thesis to the next point to be made.

5 paragraph essay | 1 PEEL PARAGRAPHS | How to write a perfect 5 Paragraph Essay | literacyideas.com

Practice Activity 2:

Just as students isolated the opening to their introductory paragraph for practice purposes, in this activity they’ll isolate a single argument on a chosen essay topic.

When they have chosen a topic and selected a single argument related to that topic, they can begin to write one body paragraph using the PEEL structure outlined above.

This activity works well when several students write on the same argument. When each has completed their paragraphs, they can then compare the results with each other.

It can be a fascinating experiment that allows the students to see just how diverse different treatments of the same argument using the same PEEL formula can be – there is freedom within the discipline of the structure!

THE CONCLUSION

The purpose of the conclusion is to close the circle of the essay. It is a chance for the writer to restate the thesis statement, summarize the main arguments, and tie up any loose ends as the writer drives home their point one last time.

At this stage of the game, no new arguments should be introduced. However, students should revisit the previous arguments made in the body paragraphs and it is acceptable to offer up a new insight or two on these.

The student should take care here to make sure they leave no doubt in the reader’s mind that the essay question is fully answered. One useful way of doing this is by incorporating words and phrases from the essay question into the conclusion itself.

To help students grasp the underlying structure of a concluding paragraph, the following sequential structure is useful to keep in mind:

  • Starts with a closing phrase such as In conclusion , There is no doubt , Finally etc
  • Restates the main thesis statement
  • Summarizes the main point of each of the body paragraphs
  • Leaves the reader with something to think about.

Practice Activity 3:

Again, here we will isolate the concluding paragraph for focused practice.

Students select a topic they know well, decide what they think about that topic, write down a few key arguments, and then begin writing a concluding paragraph to an essay on that topic.

Students should use the template above to structure that material.

You could also include an element of peer assessment here by having students swap their paragraphs with each other, before offering each other feedback.

The Post Writing Stage: Editing & Proofreading YOUR 5 paragraph ESSAY

The final stage of writing a five-paragraph essay is perhaps the least glamorous of an unglamorous process, but no less essential for it – the editing and proofreading.

Often, our students overlook this stage. After completing the process of research, planning, and writing their five-paragraph essay, they let themselves down at this final, crucial stage.

Frequently, students fail to adequately edit and proofread their work not just because of laziness, but because they are unsure of exactly what this process entails.

To avoid this, ensure students understand that editing and proofreading involve reading through and correcting mistakes in the following areas one after the other:

  • Text Organisation: title, headings, layout etc
  • Sentence Structure: coherence, grammar , sentence variety etc
  • Word Choice: suitable word choices, avoid repetition etc
  • Spelling and Punctuation: accuracy in both areas.

Practice Activity 4:

Once students have completed their essays, appoint each a partner to work with and each then edits and proofreads the other person’s work.

Sometimes students struggle to gain the necessary distance from their own work to adequately edit and proofread it, this exercise overcomes that issue while giving them an opportunity to gain some valuable editing and proofreading experience that will benefit them in future.

CLOSING THE CIRCLE

So, there you have it – how to write a five-paragraph essay from start to finish. As with anything, the more practice students get, the quicker they will improve.

But, bear in mind too that writing essays is hard work and you don’t want to put students off.

The best way to provide opportunities for students to develop the various skills related to essay writing is to isolate them in the manner apparent in the activities described above.

This way, students can soon sharpen up their skills, without learning to dread the word ‘essay’ itself!

5 paragraph essay | LITERACY IDEAS FRONT PAGE 1 | How to write a perfect 5 Paragraph Essay | literacyideas.com

Teaching Resources

Use our resources and tools to improve your student’s writing skills through proven teaching strategies.

5 paragraph essay | 5 paragraph essay organizer | How to write a perfect 5 Paragraph Essay | literacyideas.com

Five Paragraph Essay exampleS (Student Writing Samples)

Below are a collection of student writing samples of 5 paragraph essays.  Click on the image to enlarge and explore them in greater detail.  Please take a moment to both read the 5 paragraph essay in detail but also the teacher and student guides which highlight some of the key elements of this structured model of essay writing here.

Please understand these student writing samples are not intended to be perfect examples for each age or grade level but a piece of writing for students and teachers to explore together to critically analyze to improve student writing skills and deepen their understanding of 5 paragraph essay writing.

We would recommend reading the example either a year above and below, as well as the grade you are currently working with to gain a broader appreciation of this text type.

5 paragraph essay | 5 paragraph essay example year 4 1 1 | How to write a perfect 5 Paragraph Essay | literacyideas.com

5 PARAGRAPH ESSAY VIDEO TUTORIALS

5 paragraph essay | 3 | How to write a perfect 5 Paragraph Essay | literacyideas.com

The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

What this handout is about

This handout will help you understand how paragraphs are formed, how to develop stronger paragraphs, and how to completely and clearly express your ideas.

What is a paragraph?

Paragraphs are the building blocks of papers. Many students define paragraphs in terms of length: a paragraph is a group of at least five sentences, a paragraph is half a page long, etc. In reality, though, the unity and coherence of ideas among sentences is what constitutes a paragraph. A paragraph is defined as “a group of sentences or a single sentence that forms a unit” (Lunsford and Connors 116). Length and appearance do not determine whether a section in a paper is a paragraph. For instance, in some styles of writing, particularly journalistic styles, a paragraph can be just one sentence long. Ultimately, a paragraph is a sentence or group of sentences that support one main idea. In this handout, we will refer to this as the “controlling idea,” because it controls what happens in the rest of the paragraph.

How do I decide what to put in a paragraph?

Before you can begin to determine what the composition of a particular paragraph will be, you must first decide on an argument and a working thesis statement for your paper. What is the most important idea that you are trying to convey to your reader? The information in each paragraph must be related to that idea. In other words, your paragraphs should remind your reader that there is a recurrent relationship between your thesis and the information in each paragraph. A working thesis functions like a seed from which your paper, and your ideas, will grow. The whole process is an organic one—a natural progression from a seed to a full-blown paper where there are direct, familial relationships between all of the ideas in the paper.

The decision about what to put into your paragraphs begins with the germination of a seed of ideas; this “germination process” is better known as brainstorming . There are many techniques for brainstorming; whichever one you choose, this stage of paragraph development cannot be skipped. Building paragraphs can be like building a skyscraper: there must be a well-planned foundation that supports what you are building. Any cracks, inconsistencies, or other corruptions of the foundation can cause your whole paper to crumble.

So, let’s suppose that you have done some brainstorming to develop your thesis. What else should you keep in mind as you begin to create paragraphs? Every paragraph in a paper should be :

  • Unified : All of the sentences in a single paragraph should be related to a single controlling idea (often expressed in the topic sentence of the paragraph).
  • Clearly related to the thesis : The sentences should all refer to the central idea, or thesis, of the paper (Rosen and Behrens 119).
  • Coherent : The sentences should be arranged in a logical manner and should follow a definite plan for development (Rosen and Behrens 119).
  • Well-developed : Every idea discussed in the paragraph should be adequately explained and supported through evidence and details that work together to explain the paragraph’s controlling idea (Rosen and Behrens 119).

How do I organize a paragraph?

There are many different ways to organize a paragraph. The organization you choose will depend on the controlling idea of the paragraph. Below are a few possibilities for organization, with links to brief examples:

  • Narration : Tell a story. Go chronologically, from start to finish. ( See an example. )
  • Description : Provide specific details about what something looks, smells, tastes, sounds, or feels like. Organize spatially, in order of appearance, or by topic. ( See an example. )
  • Process : Explain how something works, step by step. Perhaps follow a sequence—first, second, third. ( See an example. )
  • Classification : Separate into groups or explain the various parts of a topic. ( See an example. )
  • Illustration : Give examples and explain how those examples support your point. (See an example in the 5-step process below.)

Illustration paragraph: a 5-step example

From the list above, let’s choose “illustration” as our rhetorical purpose. We’ll walk through a 5-step process for building a paragraph that illustrates a point in an argument. For each step there is an explanation and example. Our example paragraph will be about human misconceptions of piranhas.

Step 1. Decide on a controlling idea and create a topic sentence

Paragraph development begins with the formulation of the controlling idea. This idea directs the paragraph’s development. Often, the controlling idea of a paragraph will appear in the form of a topic sentence. In some cases, you may need more than one sentence to express a paragraph’s controlling idea.

Controlling idea and topic sentence — Despite the fact that piranhas are relatively harmless, many people continue to believe the pervasive myth that piranhas are dangerous to humans.

Step 2. Elaborate on the controlling idea

Paragraph development continues with an elaboration on the controlling idea, perhaps with an explanation, implication, or statement about significance. Our example offers a possible explanation for the pervasiveness of the myth.

Elaboration — This impression of piranhas is exacerbated by their mischaracterization in popular media.

Step 3. Give an example (or multiple examples)

Paragraph development progresses with an example (or more) that illustrates the claims made in the previous sentences.

Example — For example, the promotional poster for the 1978 horror film Piranha features an oversized piranha poised to bite the leg of an unsuspecting woman.

Step 4. Explain the example(s)

The next movement in paragraph development is an explanation of each example and its relevance to the topic sentence. The explanation should demonstrate the value of the example as evidence to support the major claim, or focus, in your paragraph.

Continue the pattern of giving examples and explaining them until all points/examples that the writer deems necessary have been made and explained. NONE of your examples should be left unexplained. You might be able to explain the relationship between the example and the topic sentence in the same sentence which introduced the example. More often, however, you will need to explain that relationship in a separate sentence.

Explanation for example — Such a terrifying representation easily captures the imagination and promotes unnecessary fear.

Notice that the example and explanation steps of this 5-step process (steps 3 and 4) can be repeated as needed. The idea is that you continue to use this pattern until you have completely developed the main idea of the paragraph.

Step 5. Complete the paragraph’s idea or transition into the next paragraph

The final movement in paragraph development involves tying up the loose ends of the paragraph. At this point, you can remind your reader about the relevance of the information to the larger paper, or you can make a concluding point for this example. You might, however, simply transition to the next paragraph.

Sentences for completing a paragraph — While the trope of the man-eating piranhas lends excitement to the adventure stories, it bears little resemblance to the real-life piranha. By paying more attention to fact than fiction, humans may finally be able to let go of this inaccurate belief.

Finished paragraph

Despite the fact that piranhas are relatively harmless, many people continue to believe the pervasive myth that piranhas are dangerous to humans. This impression of piranhas is exacerbated by their mischaracterization in popular media. For example, the promotional poster for the 1978 horror film Piranha features an oversized piranha poised to bite the leg of an unsuspecting woman. Such a terrifying representation easily captures the imagination and promotes unnecessary fear. While the trope of the man-eating piranhas lends excitement to the adventure stories, it bears little resemblance to the real-life piranha. By paying more attention to fact than fiction, humans may finally be able to let go of this inaccurate belief.

Troubleshooting paragraphs

Problem: the paragraph has no topic sentence.

Imagine each paragraph as a sandwich. The real content of the sandwich—the meat or other filling—is in the middle. It includes all the evidence you need to make the point. But it gets kind of messy to eat a sandwich without any bread. Your readers don’t know what to do with all the evidence you’ve given them. So, the top slice of bread (the first sentence of the paragraph) explains the topic (or controlling idea) of the paragraph. And, the bottom slice (the last sentence of the paragraph) tells the reader how the paragraph relates to the broader argument. In the original and revised paragraphs below, notice how a topic sentence expressing the controlling idea tells the reader the point of all the evidence.

Original paragraph

Piranhas rarely feed on large animals; they eat smaller fish and aquatic plants. When confronted with humans, piranhas’ first instinct is to flee, not attack. Their fear of humans makes sense. Far more piranhas are eaten by people than people are eaten by piranhas. If the fish are well-fed, they won’t bite humans.

Revised paragraph

Although most people consider piranhas to be quite dangerous, they are, for the most part, entirely harmless. Piranhas rarely feed on large animals; they eat smaller fish and aquatic plants. When confronted with humans, piranhas’ first instinct is to flee, not attack. Their fear of humans makes sense. Far more piranhas are eaten by people than people are eaten by piranhas. If the fish are well-fed, they won’t bite humans.

Once you have mastered the use of topic sentences, you may decide that the topic sentence for a particular paragraph really shouldn’t be the first sentence of the paragraph. This is fine—the topic sentence can actually go at the beginning, middle, or end of a paragraph; what’s important is that it is in there somewhere so that readers know what the main idea of the paragraph is and how it relates back to the thesis of your paper. Suppose that we wanted to start the piranha paragraph with a transition sentence—something that reminds the reader of what happened in the previous paragraph—rather than with the topic sentence. Let’s suppose that the previous paragraph was about all kinds of animals that people are afraid of, like sharks, snakes, and spiders. Our paragraph might look like this (the topic sentence is bold):

Like sharks, snakes, and spiders, piranhas are widely feared. Although most people consider piranhas to be quite dangerous, they are, for the most part, entirely harmless . Piranhas rarely feed on large animals; they eat smaller fish and aquatic plants. When confronted with humans, piranhas’ first instinct is to flee, not attack. Their fear of humans makes sense. Far more piranhas are eaten by people than people are eaten by piranhas. If the fish are well-fed, they won’t bite humans.

Problem: the paragraph has more than one controlling idea

If a paragraph has more than one main idea, consider eliminating sentences that relate to the second idea, or split the paragraph into two or more paragraphs, each with only one main idea. Watch our short video on reverse outlining to learn a quick way to test whether your paragraphs are unified. In the following paragraph, the final two sentences branch off into a different topic; so, the revised paragraph eliminates them and concludes with a sentence that reminds the reader of the paragraph’s main idea.

Although most people consider piranhas to be quite dangerous, they are, for the most part, entirely harmless. Piranhas rarely feed on large animals; they eat smaller fish and aquatic plants. When confronted with humans, piranhas’ first instinct is to flee, not attack. Their fear of humans makes sense. Far more piranhas are eaten by people than people are eaten by piranhas. A number of South American groups eat piranhas. They fry or grill the fish and then serve them with coconut milk or tucupi, a sauce made from fermented manioc juices.

Problem: transitions are needed within the paragraph

You are probably familiar with the idea that transitions may be needed between paragraphs or sections in a paper (see our handout on transitions ). Sometimes they are also helpful within the body of a single paragraph. Within a paragraph, transitions are often single words or short phrases that help to establish relationships between ideas and to create a logical progression of those ideas in a paragraph. This is especially likely to be true within paragraphs that discuss multiple examples. Let’s take a look at a version of our piranha paragraph that uses transitions to orient the reader:

Although most people consider piranhas to be quite dangerous, they are, except in two main situations, entirely harmless. Piranhas rarely feed on large animals; they eat smaller fish and aquatic plants. When confronted with humans, piranhas’ instinct is to flee, not attack. But there are two situations in which a piranha bite is likely. The first is when a frightened piranha is lifted out of the water—for example, if it has been caught in a fishing net. The second is when the water level in pools where piranhas are living falls too low. A large number of fish may be trapped in a single pool, and if they are hungry, they may attack anything that enters the water.

In this example, you can see how the phrases “the first” and “the second” help the reader follow the organization of the ideas in the paragraph.

Works consulted

We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find additional publications. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.

Lunsford, Andrea. 2008. The St. Martin’s Handbook: Annotated Instructor’s Edition , 6th ed. New York: St. Martin’s.

Rosen, Leonard J., and Laurence Behrens. 2003. The Allyn & Bacon Handbook , 5th ed. New York: Longman.

You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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IELTS Reading lesson 4: Matching Paragraphs

In this lesson we'll learn how to answer Matching Paragraphs questions on IELTS Reading. In this type of questions you're given a text that contains from 5 to 8 paragraphs and a list of headings. Your goal is to match the paragraphs with the appropriate headings. Usually there can be up to 2 extra headings.

  • Headings do NOT follow the order of the text and are listed randomly.
  • You need to get the general idea of each paragraph, not the specific details.
  • Sometimes the first few lines of the paragraph can give you its main idea.
  • Look through the list of headings.
  • Read the first paragraph. Don't pay much attention to details, just get the general idea of it. You can ask yourself: "What does author want to tell me in this paragraph?" or "How would most likely this text be called if I saw it in the newspaper?". These questions will help you to think in the right direction.
  • Read the headings list attentively and choose the best match.
  • If you don't see a match, move on to the next paragraph.
  • If you are unsure about the right match (you think that paragraphs A and D are OK), write down all possible answers. Don't guess yet! Maybe some of your choices will be crossed out later.
  • Move on to next paragraph and repeat this strategy.
  • Don't waste too much time on one paragraph. You can skip it and come back later.
  • Try all the headings for each paragraph. Even if you already used some headings, it's always better to double-check!
  • If you see some unfamiliar words in the text, don't worry! In this section you should just get the main idea of each paragraph. And you can do it without knowing all the words.

Matching Paragraphs exercises with detailed explanations:

Now take a look at the following example:

The lost giants of Australian fauna

(A) Australia's wildlife is unique. The vast majority of the animals that live there are not found anywhere else – and things were no different 1 million years ago during the Pleistocene: the age of the super-sized mammal. Before humanity became Earth's undisputed superpower, giant beasts of all shapes and sizes dominated every continent, but the Pleistocene mammals of Australia were different. Some of them could grow to the size of small cars, or possessed teeth longer than knife blades.

(B) None of these animals survive today – although exactly why that's the case is a mystery. Humans, with their advanced hunting techniques and use of fire to modify the landscape, may have played a central role in the megafauna's disappearance, but this idea is still a matter of heated debate.

(C) Even if we cannot be sure that the arrival of Australian Aboriginals on the continent had catastrophic effects on its native animals, it seems that the animals had a rather spiritual effect on the humans. The Aboriginal mythological "Dreamtime" includes a cast of monstrous creatures, many of which bear a close resemblance to some of the real-life monsters that once stalked Australia's plains. Are the myths based in fact? Perhaps: after all, these creatures are far stranger than anything dreamed up by humans.

(D) For instance, the two-tonnes weighting Diprotodon comfortably holds the title of largest marsupial ever. In size and appearance it looked superficially like a modern rhinoceros, but the Diprotodon seems to have had a social lifestyle more like that of an elephant, another mammal with which it shares anatomical similarities. What the Diprotodon most resembles, however, is exactly what it is: an enormous wombat.

(E) Another record breaker, this time a world champion; Varanus priscus, commonly known by its antiquated genus name Megalania – was the largest terrestrial lizard the world has ever known. Megalania was a goanna lizard, a relative of today's infamous Komodo dragon, and conservative estimates have predicted that it was at least 5.5m long.

(F) These monster marsupials were not the only giants. Their numbers were swelled by half-tonne birds and dinosaur-like tortoises. Although this biological assemblage was truly nightmarish for humans, it greatly enriched the Australia’s fauna and contributed to the world’s biological diversity. Unfortunately, all of these species are extinct nowadays. This fact shows us that even strong, monstrous creatures can easily die out. So we need to care about animals that surround us today and don’t let them disappear as it happened to their distant ancestors.

Matching paragraphs questions:

Which paragraph contains the following information? Write the correct letter, A-F, in boxes 1-8 on your answer sheet

  • Extinction of monstrous creatures
  • The largest mammal
  • Myths and reality
  • Incredible creatures of Pleistocene Australia
  • Importance of animal protection
  • Giant lizards
  • Arrival of Australian Aboriginals
  • Mystery the giants' disappearance

Explanations

Paragraph A

After reading this paragraph we can clearly see that its main idea is to describe the wildlife in Australia during Pleistocene. This idea is briefly written in the first sentence: Australia's wildlife is unique.

  • Extinction of monstrous creatures (there is nothing written about animals' extinction in the first paragraph)
  • Myths and reality (the text just gives information about the animals, it says nothing about whether it is real)
  • Importance of animal protection (animal protection is not mentioned)
  • Giant lizards (nothing about lizards)
  • Arrival of Australian Aboriginals (nothing about Aboriginals)
  • Mystery the giants' disappearance (we're not given any information about animals' disappearance)

So we're left with two headings. But despite that super-sized mammal is mentioned in the text, the main focus of this paragraph is Australia's wildlife during Pleistocene. So the correct answer is Incredible creatures of Pleistocene Australia .

Paragraph B

This paragraph says that we don't know why these creatures disappeared. And again, the first sentence of this paragraph summarises its main idea: None of these animals survive today – although exactly why that's the case is a mystery.

Both headings that are left look good. But the first one doesn't give enough information, as it is highlighted in the paragraph that the case is a mystery . So the correct answer is Mystery the giants' disappearance .

Paragraph C

These sentences contain the paragraphs main idea: The Aboriginal mythological "Dreamtime" includes a cast of monstrous creatures, many of which bear a close resemblance to some of the real-life monsters that once stalked Australia's plains. Are the myths based in fact? Perhaps: after all, these creatures are far stranger than anything dreamed up by humans.

So the text tells us about myths and reality , which is the correct heading.

Note that arrival of Australian Aboriginals is also mentioned in this paragraph, but it doesn't play a key role.

Paragraph D

This paragraph is clearly about Diprotodon: the two-tonnes weighting Diprotodon comfortably holds the title of largest marsupial ever. In size and appearance it looked superficially like a modern rhinoceros, but the Diprotodon seems to have had a social lifestyle more like that of an elephant, another mammal with which it shares anatomical similarities.

So the main idea of paragraph D is The largest mammal .

Paragraph E

The whole paragraph is dedicated to the giant lizard Megalania: ... Megalania – was the largest terrestrial lizard ...

So, Giant lizards is a correct choice of heading.

Paragraph F

Paragraph F tells a bit more about other extinct species and ends with a conclusion: Unfortunately, all of these species are extinct nowadays. This fact shows us that even strong, monstrous creatures can easily die out. So we need to care about animals that surround us today and don't let them disappear as it happened to their distant ancestors.

This conclusion is the main idea of this paragraph - we need to protect animals. That's why the correct heading is Importance of animal protection .

You can also see that two paragraphs (1 and 7) were not used at all. This sometimes happens in IELTS Matching Paragraphs questions.

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Put the paragraphs into the correct order

To order paragraphs of a text, you have to work like a detective and look for clues to help you. These tips will show you how.

  • Read all the paragraphs before deciding on the correct order.

Look for linking words and discourse markers that express:

  • the same idea: too, also, furthermore, in addition, what’s more, etc.
  • a different idea: however, but, nevertheless, on the other hand, then again, while, whereas, etc.
  • reason and result: so, as a result, consequently, for this reason, since, as, because of this, due to, etc.
  • sequence or order: firstly, first of all, initially, then, secondly, finally, eventually, in the end, etc.

Look for connections between paragraphs. Reference words link backwards to things earlier in the text or forwards to things later in the text. Pronouns are typical reference words, for example:

  • personal pronouns (I, you, he, she, it, we, they)
  • possessive pronouns (my, mine, your, yours, his, her, hers, its, our, ours, their, theirs)
  • demonstrative pronouns (this, that, these, those)

Check your understanding: grouping - linking words

Check your understanding: grouping - pronouns.

How well did you do in the exercise?  Tell us what was new to you?

read the essay and match the paragraphs (1 5)

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Essay Writing: Paragraphs and Transitions

  • Essay Writing Basics
  • Purdue OWL Page on Writing Your Thesis This link opens in a new window
  • Paragraphs and Transitions
  • How to Tell if a Website is Legitimate This link opens in a new window
  • Formatting Your References Page
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  • Proofread Before You Submit Your Paper
  • Structuring the 5-Paragraph Essay

Paragraph Structure

I. INTRODUCTION

A. Begins with a sentence that captures the reader’s attention

1) You may want to use an interesting example, a surprising statistic, or a challenging question.

B. Gives background information on the topic.

C. Includes the THESIS STATEMENT which:

1) States the main ideas of the essay and includes:

b. Viewpoint (what you plan to say about the topic)

2) Is more general than supporting data

3) May mention the main point of each of the body paragraphs

II. BODY PARAGRAPH #1

A. Begins with a topic sentence that:

1) States the main point of the paragraph

2) Relates to the THESIS STATEMENT

B. After the topic sentence, you need to fill the paragraph with well-organized details, facts, and examples.

C. Paragraph may end with a transition.

III. BODY PARAGRAPH #2

IV. BODY PARAGRAPH #3

3) States the main point of the paragraph

4) Relates to the THESIS STATEMENT

V. CONCLUSION

A. Echoes the THESIS STATEMENT but does not repeat it.

B. Poses a question for the future, suggests some action to be taken, or warns of a consequence.

C. Includes a detail or example from the INTRODUCTION to “tie up” the essay.

D. Ends with a strong image – or a humorous or surprising statement.

Transition Words and Phrases

More transitions and linking expressions, a monroe college research guide.

                 THIS RESEARCH OR "LIBGUIDE" WAS PRODUCED BY THE LIBRARIANS OF MONROE COLLEGE                    

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5.2: 5 Paragraph Essay Discussion

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I want you to discuss the merits and downfalls of the Five Paragraph Essay, as you see them being, now that you have read the proceeding document.  Please consider all of the following in your response:

  • instances where you have used it before and whether it was useful or detrimental to your writing abilities.
  • the viability of such a structured style at the college/university level (for all assignments) versus high school.
  • the two terms I referenced at the close of the proceeding document: audience and purpose…what importance should they play in the formation of quality writing?
  • whether you believe you will use the Five Paragraph essay, or elements of it, in this course and where they would likely come into play.

Lastly, please post your response and reply to at least two other posts as well .

  • 5 Paragraph Essay Discussion. Authored by : Jason Brown. Provided by : Herkimer College. Project : AtD OER Course. License : CC BY: Attribution
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Matching Paragraph Headings

Objective:  to practice matching paragraph headings to paragraphs.

A common type of IELTS Reading question will ask you to select headings of paragraphs and match them to the paragraphs from a text.

On this page there is a full reading text and some practice questions.

At the end of the page, there is a discussion of the answers and how you should have identified the correct match.

Strategies to answer the questions

  • Quickly read through the paragraph headings so you can see what they say.
  • Then look at the first paragraph.
  • Often only the topic sentence needs to be read carefully because the main idea and answer are there - you may be able to just skim the rest.
  • Sometimes, however, the answer is not in the topic sentence and the whole paragraph needs to be read more carefully.
  • If a match is not immediately obvious, move on to the next one.
  • If you are unsure between two answers at first, put them both in. You may be able to eliminate one answer later if it fits another paragraph better.
  • If at the end you are still stuck between two answers for a question, pick which fits best.

Things to beware of

  • There are always more choices of paragraph headings on the list than paragraphs, so be careful when matching them.
  • Watch out for synonyms - often words in the paragraphs and paragraph headings will not be the same; they will be synonyms.
  • Having a noun from a heading that is in the paragraph does not guarantee they match - you still need to read it carefully to check.

One Paragraph Practice Exercise

Before you do a full reading, we'll have a practice with one paragraph.

This is the first paragraph from the full reading you will do. There are only five choices of paragraph headings for this first one (less than on the full reading).

Follow the procedure shown above, and click on what you think is the correct answer. The topic sentence is in red to remind you to focus on that.

Yoruba Towns

A.  The Yoruba people of Nigeria classify their towns in two ways.  Permanent towns with their own governments are called “ilu”, whereas temporary settlements, set up to support work in the country are “aba”. Although ilu tend to be larger than aba, the distinction is not one of size, some aba are large, while declining ilu can be small, but of purpose. There is no “typical” Yoruba town, but some features are common to most towns.

Now you know some strategies and have practiced with one paragraph, you can now practice matching paragraph headings with a full text.

Matching Paragraph Headings - Practice

Read and focus on the topic sentences in the text below and then match the paragraph headings to their paragraphs.

One has been done for you.

Questions 1-6

The reading passage has seven paragraphs:  A – G.

Choose the most suitable paragraph headings  B – G  from the list of headings on the right.

Write the appropriate numbers  (i –ix)  in the text boxes below the headings.

NB  There are more paragraph headings than paragraphs so you will not use them all.

Yoruba Town

A.  The Yoruba people of Nigeria classify their towns in two ways. Permanent towns with their own governments are called “ilu”, whereas temporary settlements, set up to support work in the country are “aba”. Although ilu tend to be larger than aba, the distinction is not one of size, some aba are large, while declining ilu can be small, but of purpose. There is no “typical” Yoruba town, but some features are common to most towns.

B.  In the 19th century most towns were heavily fortified and the foundations of these walls are sometimes visible. Collecting tolls to enter and exit through the walls was a major source of revenue for the old town rulers, as were market fees. The markets were generally located centrally and in small towns, while in large towns there were permanent stands made of corrugated iron or concrete. The market was usually next to the local ruler’s palace.

C.  The palaces were often very large. In the 1930’s, the area of Oyo’s palace covered 17 acres, and consisted of a series of courtyards surrounded by private and public rooms. After colonisation, many of the palaces were completely or partially demolished. Often the rulers built two storey houses for themselves using some of the palace grounds for government buildings.

D.  The town is divided into different sections. In some towns these are regular, extending out from the center of the town like spokes on a wheel, while in others, where space is limited, they are more random. The different areas are further divided into compounds called “ile”. These vary in size considerably from single dwellings to up to thirty houses. They tend to be larger in the North. Large areas are devoted to government administrative buildings. Newer developments such as industrial or commercial areas or apartment housing for civil servants tends to be build on the edge of the town.

E.  Houses are rectangular and either have a courtyard in the center or the rooms come off a central corridor. Most social life occurs in the courtyard. They are usually built of hardened mud and have roofs of corrugated iron or, in the countryside, thatch. Buildings of this material are easy to alter, either by knocking down rooms or adding new ones. And can be improved by coating the walls with cement. Richer people often build their houses of concrete blocks and, if they can afford to, build two storey houses. Within compounds there can be quite a mixture of building types. Younger well-educated people may have well furnished houses while their older relatives live in mud walled buildings and sleep on mats on the floor.

F.  The builder or the most senior man gets a room either near the entrance or, in a two storied house, next to the balcony. He usually has more than one room. Junior men get a room each and there are separate rooms for teenage boys and girls to sleep in. Younger children sleep with their mothers. Any empty room are used as storage, let out or, if they face the street, used as shops.

G.  Amenities vary. In some towns most of the population uses communal water taps and only the rich have piped water, in others piped water is more normal. Some areas have toilets, but bucket toilets are common with waste being collected by a “night soil man”. Access to water and electricity are key political issues.

List of Paragraph Headings

i.   Town facilities

ii.  Colonisation

iii.  Urban divisions

iv.  Architectural home styles

v.  Types of settlements

vi. Historical foundations

vii. Domestic arrangements

viii. City defenses

ix.  The residences of the rulers

x.  Government buildings

Match the heading with the paragraph

1. Paragraph B

Paragraph Headings Answer Discussion

Paragraph B

(vi) - Historical foundations

B. In the 19th century most towns were heavily fortified and the foundations of these walls are sometimes visible. Collecting tolls to enter and exit through the walls was a major source of revenue for the old town rulers, as were market fees. The markets were generally located centrally and in small towns, while in large towns there were permanent stands made of corrugated iron or concrete. The market was usually next to the local ruler’s palace.

In this first question, the word 'foundation' is in the topic sentence. This does not automatically make 'vi' the correct answer. However, it is a good reason to flag this up as a possibility. The heading also refers to 'history', so the reference to '19th century' in the topic sentence tells us the paragraph is about the history. A quick skim of the paragraph confirms this.

Paragraph C

(ix) - The residences of the rulers

C. The palaces were often very large. In the 1930’s, the area of Oyo’s palace covered 17 acres, and consisted of a series of courtyards surrounded by private and public rooms. After colonization, many of the palaces were completely or partially demolished. Often the rulers built two storey houses for themselves using some of the palace grounds for government buildings.

The topic setence mentions the palaces, which is where the rulers of Yaruba would likely live, and the heading mentioned the homes (residences) of the rulers, so it is likely to be ix. Reading the rest of the paragraph confirms that the whole paragraph talks generally about the palaces in Yoruna. Don't be tricked by the 'colonisation' heading. This only refers to one sentence in the paragraph, not the whole paragraph. It is therefore a supporting point rather than the main idea.

Paragraph D

(iii) - Urban divisions

D. The town is divided into different sections. In some towns these are regular, extending out from the center of the town like spokes on a wheel, while in others, where space is limited, they are more random. The different areas are further divided into compounds called “ile”. These vary in size considerably from single dwellings to up to thirty houses. They tend to be larger in the North. Large areas are devoted to government administrative buildings. Newer developments such as industrial or commercial areas or apartment housing for civil servants tends to be build on the edge of the town.

The answer is first seen in the topic sentence. The word 'divided' should have flagged this up to you as a possibility. Notice the use of the synonym 'urban' to replace 'town'. It is common to see synonyms in paragraph headings questions and other IELTS reading questions.

Paragraph E

(iv) - Architectural home styles

E. Houses are rectangular and either have a courtyard in the center or the rooms come off a central corridor. Most social life occurs in the courtyard. They are usually built of hardened mud and have roofs of corrugated iron or, in the countryside, thatch. Buildings of this material are easy to alter, either by knocking down rooms or adding new ones. And can be improved by coating the walls with cement. Richer people often build their houses of concrete blocks and, if they can afford to, build two storey houses. Within compounds there can be quite a mixture of building types. Younger well-educated people may have well furnished houses while their older relatives live in mud walled buildings and sleep on mats on the floor.

The topic sentence starts to give you a clue that 'iv' is the correct choice of the paragraph headings as it discusses houses and their styles. This is then discussed further in the supporting sentences that follow.

Paragraph F

(vii) - Domestic arrangements

F. The builder or the most senior man gets a room either near the entrance or, in a two storied house, next to the balcony. He usually has more than one room. Junior men get a room each and there are separate rooms for teenage boys and girls to sleep in. Younger children sleep with their mothers. Any empty room are used as storage, let out or, if they face the street, used as shops.

In this context, 'domestic' means of or relating to the home, so the heading is referring to the arrangements within the home. Again, just by reading the topic sentence you can see that this paragraph is discussing home arrangements and skimming through the rest of the paragraph confirms this.

Paragraph G

(i) - Town facilities

G. Amenities vary. In some towns most of the population uses communal water taps and only the rich have piped water, in others piped water is more normal. Some areas have toilets, but bucket toilets are common with waste being collected by a “night soil man”. Access to water and electricity are key political issues.

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Home » IELTS Reading: Matching Headings to Paragraphs

IELTS Reading: Matching Headings to Paragraphs

IELTS Reading: Matching headings to paragraphs

The IELTS Reading test includes unusual and difficult task types that are not typically found in other reading exams. These include True/False/Not Given , Sentence Completion and Matching Headings to Paragraphs, amongst others. Are you familiar with these question types? If not, you need to get to know them well before your IELTS test day. In this post, we’ll look at Matching Headings to Paragraphs.

Learning points

To do well in this type of question, you need to be sure you understand the focus of the heading and the point(s) of the entire paragraph. Here are three lessons.

  • The heading is really a summary. Some paragraphs will cover a few separate, but related, points. The heading needs to summarise the whole paragraph, not just a part of it.
  • Look at every word in the heading. If even one of them does not accurately reflect the meaning of the paragraph, then this heading is probably wrong.
  • Watch out for distractors. This question type is a good example of how the examiner can try and mislead you by including words or phrases from the passage in the wrong heading; and missing them out entirely from the correct option.

Read this paragraph from an IELTS Reading passage, then choose the most suitable heading below.

Note down your answer (a, b or c), and look at the three options below, one by one.

Option a: How convective turbulence could be identified

At first sight, this option is attractive. The words ‘convective turbulence’ appear in the paragraph, as does the word ‘could’. Moreover, the paragraph does identify a new method for identifying convective turbulence. However, this is only in the second half of the paragraph, and you need to make sure that the heading summarises the whole paragraph. So this option is not correct.

Option b: A potentially dangerous phenomenon

The key word in this heading is ‘potentially’, which means that the danger does not exist now. But convective turbulence is not a potential danger — it is a current danger. This option is therefore not correct either.

Option c: Current methods and new research

You will not find any of the words in this heading in the paragraph, but this does not mean it is incorrect. Examine the two topics in the heading. Does the paragraph cover ‘current methods’? Yes, it talks about how pilots report turbulence to each other. Does the paragraph cover ‘new research’? Yes, it talks about ‘a series of experiments in Colorado’. Note that ‘a series of experiments’ means the same as ‘research’. Option c is therefore the correct answer because it summarises the whole paragraph accurately.

What’s next?

I hope this example has shown you just how tricky some of these unfamiliar IELTS question types can be. The most important thing you can do in preparing for IELTS is to make sure you thoroughly understand the task types.

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Matching Paragraph Headings

On this page, we will learn about: What is Matching Paragraph Headings?, Examples of Matching Paragraph Headings, Strategies to Answer the Questions, Things to Beware of, and Yoruba Towns IELTS Reading Solution with Discussion.

What is Matching Paragraph Headings in IELTS?

This question type needs you to match the heading in the question to the appropriate paragraph or reading section in the text. There will always be more headings than paragraphs or sections, so those will not be used. This task type is utilized with texts that contain paragraphs that have clearly defined themes. It assesses your ability to understand the main idea in the paragraph and to identify supporting ideas.

Matching Paragraph Headings

Example of Matching Paragraph Headings:

IELTS Matching Paragraph Headings

In this lesson, you will learn about:

  • Strategies of matching paragraph heading
  • Some special tips of matching paragraph heading
  • A complete reading text and some practice questions
  • There is an explanation of how to find out which match it is at the bottom of the page.

Strategies to answer the questions:

  • Read the paragraph headings quickly to understand what they have to say.
  • Read the questions carefully. Think about the synonyms and paraphrase of the keyword.
  • Then take a look at the introduction.
  • Often, only the topic sentence needs to be carefully read because it contains the essential idea and the solution; you may simply need to skim the remainder.
  • If you understand the answer to the question and think about how it can be paraphrased, it will be easy to get the answer.
  • Read the paragraph quickly and try to understand the general meaning. Then read the question again and try to answer by understanding which option corresponds to that paragraph.
  • However, occasionally the solution is not contained in the topic sentence, necessitating a closer reading of the entire paragraph.
  • Proceed to the next match if the first one is not evident.
  • If you are unsure between two answers, enter them both. You might be able to eliminate one answer later if it better fits another paragraph.
  • If you are still stuck between two answers to a question, choose the one that best fits.

Things to beware of:

  • When matching them, be careful because there are almost always more options for paragraph heads than there are paragraphs.
  • Watch out for synonyms; frequently, the words used in paragraph headings and body text will not be the same.
  • It's still important to carefully read the paragraph to make sure the nouns match, even if one of them is from a header.

One Paragraph Practice Exercise:

We'll practice reading one paragraph before you complete a full reading. The first paragraph of the lengthy reading you will complete is this one. There are only five possible headings for the first paragraph (less than on the full reading). Follow the steps outlined above, and then select what you believe to be the right response. The topic sentence is highlighted to draw your attention to it.

Yoruba Towns

Nigeria's Yoruba people divide their towns into two categories. Permanent towns with their own governments are referred to as "ilu," whilst transient communities built to assist labor in the nation are referred to as "aba." Despite the fact that ilu are often larger than aba, the difference is not one of size some aba is large, while decreasing ilu may be little. Although there isn't a "typical" Yoruba town, most towns share a few characteristics.

1. Decide which heading goes with which paragraph.

  • Town facilities
  • Colonization
  • Urban divisions
  • Architectural home styles
  • Types of settlements

You can practice matching paragraph heads with a full text now that you are familiar with some tactics and have practiced with one paragraph.

Matching Paragraph Headings - Practice

Match the paragraph heads to their corresponding paragraphs after reading the content below and paying close attention to the main lines. One was completed for you.

Questions 1-6

Seven paragraphs, from A to G , make up the reading passage. From the list of headings on the right, pick the B-G paragraph headers that work best for your paragraph. In the text fields beneath the titles, enter the pertinent numbers (i-ix) . NB You won't utilize every paragraph header because there are more than there are paragraphs.

A. Nigeria's Yoruba people divide their towns into two categories.Permanent towns with their own governments are referred to as "ilu," whilst transient communities built to assist labor in the nation are referred to as "aba." Despite the fact that ilu are often larger than aba, the difference is not one of size some aba is large, while decreasing ilu may be little. Although there isn't a "typical" Yoruba town, most towns share a few characteristics. B. Nigeria's Yoruba people divide their towns into two categories. Permanent towns with their own governments are referred to as "ilu," while transient communities built to assist labor in the nation are referred to as "aba." Despite the fact that “ilu” are often larger than aba, the difference is not one of size—some aba are large, while decreasing “ilu” may be little. Although there isn't a "typical" Yoruba town, most towns share a few characteristics. C. The palaces were frequently enormous. The territory of Oyo's palace, which was 17 acres in size in the 1930s, was made up of a number of courtyards that were encircled by both private and public rooms. Many of the palaces were totally or partially destroyed after colonization. The emperors frequently used some of the palace grounds for governmental structures while also erecting two-story homes for themselves. D. There are various sections of the town. These are more haphazard in some places with limited space than others. In some, they are regular, radiating out from the town center like spokes on a wheel. The various regions are further split into "ile" compounds. These range greatly in size from single homes to as many as thirty houses. In the North, they frequently become larger. Administrative buildings for the government occupy vast regions. The periphery of the town is typically where newer projects, such as industrial or commercial zones or apartment housing for government employees, are constructed. E. There are various sections of the town. These are more haphazard in some places with limited space than others. In some, they are regular, radiating out from the town center like spokes on a wheel. The various regions are further split into "ile" compounds. These range greatly in size from single homes to as many as thirty houses. In the North, they frequently become larger. Administrative buildings for the government occupy vast regions. The periphery of the town is typically where newer projects, such as industrial or commercial zones or apartment housing for government employees, are constructed. F. The rooms of the rectangular houses either open off a central corridor or feature a courtyard in the middle. In the courtyard, social interaction predominates. They are often made of hardened mud and have thatched or corrugated iron roofs in rural areas. Buildings made of this material are simple to modify, whether it is by removing rooms or by adding additional ones. And can be enhanced by applying cement to the walls. Richer individuals frequently construct their homes out of concrete blocks and, if they can, construct two-story homes. Within compounds there can be quite a range of building kinds. When compared to their elderly relatives, who may live in mud-walled structures and sleep on mats on the floor, younger, educated people may have homes that are comfortably equipped. G. The room closest to the door or, in a two-story house, adjacent to the balcony is reserved for the builder or the most senior man. Usually, he has multiple rooms. Each junior man is given a room, while teenage boys and females have their own bedrooms. Younger kids usually snooze with their mothers. Any unoccupied space is used for storage, rental purposes, or, if it faces the street, for retail purposes. H. There are different amenities. In certain towns, the majority of people utilize public water faucets, and the wealthy are the only ones with piped water; in other towns, piped water is more prevalent. While there are restrooms in some places, most people use bucket toilets, and a "night soil guy" collects their excrement. Water and electricity access are crucial political issues.

List of Paragraph Headings

  • Colonisation
  • Historical foundations
  • Domestic arrangements
  • City defenses
  • The residences of the rulers
  • Government buildings

Example: Paragraph A Answer: v

Paragraph Headings Answer Discussion:

Paragraph B (vi) - Historical foundations The majority of towns were severely fortified in the 19th century, and the walls' foundations are occasionally still visible. old town's rulers relied heavily on market fees as well as tolls for people to enter and leave through the walls.While there were permanent stands built of concrete or corrugated iron in large towns, marketplaces were typically located in the center of small towns. The local ruler's palace and the market were frequently adjacent. The term "foundation" appears in the topic sentence of the first query. This does not necessarily imply that the response "vi" is the right one. It is an excellent reason to include this as a possibility, though. The main sentence's use of the word "19th century" in conjunction with the heading's mention of "history" informs us that the paragraph is about history. A cursory glance at the passage demonstrates this. Paragraph C (ix) - The residences of the rulers The palaces were frequently enormous. The territory of Oyo's palace, which was 17 acres in size in the 1930s, was made up of a number of courtyards that were encircled by both private and public rooms. Many of the palaces were entirely or partially destroyed after colonization. The emperors frequently used some of the palace grounds for governmental structures while also erecting two-story homes for themselves. It is likely to be ix since both the topic sentence and the title refer to the palaces, which are where the Yaruba rulers would most likely stay. The rest of the sentence reveals that the entire paragraph is a generic discussion of Yoruna's palaces. Don't be duped by the word "colonization" in the header. Only one sentence in the paragraph is being discussed here, not the entire paragraph. Therefore, rather than being the major notion, it is a supporting point. Paragraph D (iii) - Urban divisions There are various sections of the town. These are more haphazard in some places with limited space than others. In some, they are regular, radiating out from the town center like spokes on a wheel. The various regions are further split into "ile" compounds. These range greatly in size from single homes to as many as thirty houses. In the North, they frequently become larger. Administrative buildings for the government occupy vast regions. The periphery of the town is typically where newer projects, such as industrial or commercial zones or apartment housing for government employees, are constructed. The topic sentence serves as a clue to the solution. This should have been made clear to you by the word "split." Take note of the substitution of the word "urban" for "town." Synonyms are frequently used in IELTS reading questions about paragraph headings and other topics. Paragraph E (iv) - Architectural home styles The rooms of the rectangular houses either open off a central corridor or feature a courtyard in the middle. In the courtyard, social interaction predominates. They are often made of hardened mud and have thatched or corrugated iron roofs in rural areas. Buildings made of this material are simple to modify, whether it is by removing rooms or by adding additional ones. And can be enhanced by applying cement to the walls. Richer individuals frequently construct their homes out of concrete blocks and, if they can, construct two-story homes. There can be a wide variety of building styles within complexes. When compared to their elderly relatives, who may live in mud-walled structures and sleep on mats on the floor, younger, educated people may have homes that are comfortably equipped. As it analyzes houses and their styles, the main phrase begins to hint that 'iv' is the proper option of the paragraph headings. The next supporting sentences elaborate on this more. Paragraph F (vii) - Domestic arrangements The room closest to the door or, in a two-story house, adjacent to the balcony is reserved for the builder or the most senior man. Usually, he has multiple rooms. Each junior man is given a room, while teenage boys and females have their own bedrooms. Younger kids usually snooze with their mothers. Any unoccupied space is used for storage, rental purposes, or, if it faces the street, for retail purposes. Domestic in this case refers to or denotes the home; hence the header is referring to the interior design of the home. Once more, reading the topic sentence alone makes it clear that this paragraph is about living arrangements, and skimming the rest of it only serves to reinforce this. Paragraph G (i) - Town facilities There are different amenities. In certain towns, the majority of people utilize public water faucets, and the wealthy are the only ones with piped water; in other towns, piped water is more prevalent. While there are restrooms in some places, most people use bucket toilets, and a "night soil guy" collects their excrement. The political challenges of access to electricity and water are crucial. The word "facilities" is a synonym for "amenities," so this is the first indication that this could apply to this paragraph. However, you must continue on to find out whether this paragraph is actually describing the town's amenities, which it is.

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    Key Takeaways. Your body paragraphs should closely follow the path set forth by your thesis statement. Strong body paragraphs contain evidence that supports your thesis. Primary support comprises the most important points you use to support your thesis. Strong primary support is specific, detailed, and relevant to the thesis.

  6. How to write a perfect 5 Paragraph Essay

    The hamburger essay structure consists of five paragraphs or layers as follows: Layer 1 - The Top Bun: The Introduction. The uppermost layer is the introductory paragraph which communicates to the reader the purpose of the essay. Layers 2,3, & 4 - The Meat Patties: The Body Paragraphs.

  7. Paragraphs

    Paragraphs are the building blocks of papers. Many students define paragraphs in terms of length: a paragraph is a group of at least five sentences, a paragraph is half a page long, etc. In reality, though, the unity and coherence of ideas among sentences is what constitutes a paragraph. A paragraph is defined as "a group of sentences or a ...

  8. IELTS Reading lesson: Matching Paragraphs

    IELTS Reading lesson 4: Matching Paragraphs. In this lesson we'll learn how to answer Matching Paragraphs questions on IELTS Reading. In this type of questions you're given a text that contains from 5 to 8 paragraphs and a list of headings. Your goal is to match the paragraphs with the appropriate headings. Usually there can be up to 2 extra ...

  9. 5: The Five Paragraph Essay (5¶E)

    5.1: 5¶E - What is the 5 Paragraph Essay? 5.2: 5 Paragraph Essay Discussion; 5.3: The 5¶E in College - Will You Use It or Not? 5: The Five Paragraph Essay (5¶E) is shared under a not declared license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts. Back to top;

  10. Put the paragraphs into the correct order

    reason and result: so, as a result, consequently, for this reason, since, as, because of this, due to, etc. sequence or order: firstly, first of all, initially, then, secondly, finally, eventually, in the end, etc. Look for connections between paragraphs. Reference words link backwards to things earlier in the text or forwards to things later ...

  11. Paragraphs and Transitions

    BODY PARAGRAPH #1. A. Begins with a topic sentence that: 1) States the main point of the paragraph. 2) Relates to the THESIS STATEMENT. B. After the topic sentence, you need to fill the paragraph with well-organized details, facts, and examples. C. Paragraph may end with a transition. III.

  12. Chapter 5: Main Idea & Supporting Details Flashcards

    1) think about the title 2) read the first paragraph or second paragraph to find a statement of the topic or thesis 3) read the subheadings 4) look for clues that indicate how the material is organized 5) as you read, organize the paragraphs into subsections 6) determine how the overall organization & subsections relate to the whole

  13. PDF Parts of an essay worksheet

    Next, students match essay writing terms to their correct definitions. Exercise B - Answer key 1. a 2. i 3. b 4. h 5. d 6. g 7.j 8. f 9. e 10. c After that, students read an example essay to identify the key parts defined in Exercise B. Exercise C - Answer key 1. Thesis statement 6. Body paragraph 1 2. Topic sentence 7. Transitions 3.

  14. PDF PERSONAL INFORMATION Words, Sentences, and Paragraphs

    2 Correct the sentences and paragraphs. 1 goodessaysareinteresting 2 doctor Goodrich teaches at harvard university 3 My sister read my essay 4 I got a good grade today. The teacher liked my essay. I wrote it very carefully. 5 I want to be a doctor I am taking science and math courses I hope to get good grades. 6 My English teacher helped me a ...

  15. 5.2: Writing Body Paragraphs

    Each body paragraph should comprise of the following elements: Topic sentence + supporting details (examples, reasons, or arguments) (5.2.1) (5.2.1) Topic sentence + supporting details (examples, reasons, or arguments) Topic sentences indicate the location and main points of the basic arguments of your essay.

  16. 5.2: 5 Paragraph Essay Discussion

    CC licensed content, Original. 5 Paragraph Essay Discussion. Authored by: Jason Brown. Provided by: Herkimer College. Project: AtD OER Course. License: CC BY: Attribution. 5.2: 5 Paragraph Essay Discussion is shared under a not declared license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

  17. Matching Paragraph Headings for IELTS Reading

    Matching Paragraph Headings - Practice. Read and focus on the topic sentences in the text below and then match the paragraph headings to their paragraphs. One has been done for you. ***** Questions 1-6. The reading passage has seven paragraphs: A - G. Choose the most suitable paragraph headings B - G from the list of headings on the right.

  18. IELTS Reading: Matching Headings to Paragraphs

    The heading is really a summary. Some paragraphs will cover a few separate, but related, points. The heading needs to summarise the whole paragraph, not just a part of it. Look at every word in the heading. If even one of them does not accurately reflect the meaning of the paragraph, then this heading is probably wrong. Watch out for distractors.

  19. They Say/ I Say Chapter 5 "And Yet" Flashcards

    Voice markers distinguish different perspectives by demonstrating that an idea belongs to the writer, to a specific person the writer is responding to in an essay, or to a general or "standard" point of view. Read the passages from Blanda's essay below, each of which contains a bolded voice marker.

  20. Matching Paragraph Heading

    Matching Paragraph Headings - Practice. Match the paragraph heads to their corresponding paragraphs after reading the content below and paying close attention to the main lines. One was completed for you. Questions 1-6. Seven paragraphs, from A to G, make up the reading passage.