Shortcut - Writing Course 3: Writing Clear, Logical Texts

The most important element in a long text is structure. A reader must be able to follow your discussion. A model for good structure is the 5-paragraph essay. The first paragraph is your introduction and the last paragraph is your conclusion. This leaves 3 paragraphs for your main body.

The paragraph
A paragraph is a group of sentences that are about one idea. One of the sentences tells what the paragraph is about. This is the topic sentence. The others explore and explain this idea.  A paragraph should be about 4 sentences long.

Recipe for a 5-paragraph essay
Introduction – paragraph 1: The introduction tells the reader the topic and purpose of the essay.

Main body – paragraphs 2,3,4: This breaks down the topic that has been introduced in the introduction. Each main point goes in its own paragraph.

Conclusion – paragraph 5: Write a conclusion based on what you have written in paragraph 2-4. The conclusion should also connect with the introduction. Try to make a general statement that sums up your discussion.

You can use the brainstorming techniques from Writing Course 2 to help you plan your 5-paragraph essay. Which words from your brainstorming map will go in which paragraph? Maybe you will need to do some more brainstorming to find enough things to write about.

mind map