How Many Paragraphs Does An Essay Have?

How Many Paragraphs does an Essay have?

Usually it has five paragraphs.

Writing essays at college and high school levels is a very important exercise that should be carried out with uttermost care and attention owing to the fact that these essays are usually examinable. They greatly contribute to a student’s final mark which equally translates to your G.P.A. Essays are usually written in paragraphs.

What is a paragraph? A paragraph is a set of written sentences containing an idea in a concise and comprehensive manner.

The common format for an essay is the “introduction-body-conclusion”. This ensures that all ideas that are intended to be written in your essay are done so in a systematic manner starting with some background information contained in the introduction. This is followed by your body paragraphs which contain the content for your essay. Finally, the conclusion gives a summary for what you have been talking about.

As well-written essay in most cases has five well-illustrated paragraphs. The introduction usually has one paragraph, the body has three paragraphs, and the conclusion to has one paragraph. This, therefore, is the recommended number of paragraphs for an essay. However, depending on the scope of the content one is writing on, you are not restricted to adhering to the five-paragraph format at all times.

There are several types of essays that high school and college students write in the course of their study. These essays greatly vary depending on the content and context from which they are written. It is of great importance that one understands the topic they have been assigned to write on prior to engaging themselves in the entire essay writing process. This is important in order to avoid falling short of what is expected of you and to stick within the scope of the content.

The following are some of the commonly written essays at college and high school levels.

  • Argumentative essay: This essay is meant to put across a particular argument to the reader. The writer uses supportive facts and figures in line of portraying the argument.
  • Descriptive essay: This essay is meant to describe feelings of the reader to the writer.
  • Expository essay: This is a research-based essay. The writer makes a conclusive research on a given topic and comes up with facts and figures to support his findings.
  • Persuasive essay: This essay, just as the name suggests, serves a function that is meant to persuade the reader to get along the writer’s line of thoughts towards a given subject of discussion.

Common Structure for an Essay

As stated earlier, the most common structure for an essay is the “introduction-body-conclusion” format. These three segments are usually written in paragraphs that are conclusive and comprehensive. First and foremost, the introduction paragraph invites your reader to the essay you are writing. A well-written introduction gives the reader an urge to continue reading your essay to the end. The introduction must have a thesis statement that serves the purpose of portraying the ideas that you will talk about in your essay. Normally, the introduction part is simply one paragraph. However, in some cases, your introduction may be more than one paragraph. This may vary as a result of differences in the scope of your content. It is important to note that your introduction should not get into much details of what the essay is about. This is a common mistake done by students writing essays.

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Essay Writing
This leaves your reader with no option but to stop reading your essay since everything has already been explained in the introduction. Following your introduction are the body paragraphs. This is a very important part of your essay, owing to the fact that it entails what you are writing about. It is within your body paragraphs that you present your ideas and arguments to the readers. In the five-paragraph essay format, the body usually has three paragraphs. The manner in which these paragraphs are arranged is very important to facilitate easy understanding by your reader. The stronger points for your argument are in the first paragraph, which is followed by less strong points and arguments. Each paragraph should start with a topic sentence. The topic sentence acts as an introduction to what that paragraph will talk about. A well-written paragraph is usually concise and straight to the point. Following the topic sentence are supportive sentences that now put weight on the topic sentence. The last sentence of your paragraph summarizes what you have been talking about in a manner that leaves the reader satisfied that in deed they have understood your argument. Finally, the conclusion of your essay comes at the end. The conclusion acts as a summary and reminder of what you have been writing. Be sure not to simply state your thesis statement in the summary. Avoid cliché phrases such as “In conclusion…” or “Finally…”

Outline for a Five-paragraph Essay

Illustrated below is an outline for a five-paragraph essay that should be adhered to in essay writing.

Introduction: The importance of education

Thesis: Education is important to develop skilled career people

  • Skills of educated people
  • Jobs done by these people.

Body Paragraphs:

  1. Education is important in order to kill poverty and ignorance
  2. Education changes our perspective and builds on reasoning and understanding
  3. Summary info on education


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