The Five-paragraph Essay Made Easy

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[Music] hi everybody welcome to English 101 with David Hancock and I am David Hancock in today’s video we’re going to talk about the five paragraph essay for those of you who are taking a high school English class or who are learning to write the five paragraph essay is one of the more basic essay structures is just designed to show that you can convey an argument in a logical and structured manner and it follows basically the same formula wherever you’re at it is not a type of writing that’s going to carry you through college or after college basically the five paragraph essay is something you learn so that you can build on that and learn more complex things in the future so this video is going to show you how to write a good five paragraph essay and once you’ve learned that you’ll be in a good position to learn more complex writing structures now before we get started just make sure you’re familiar with how to structure a basic paragraph the first thing we need to do is understand the purpose of each of the five different paragraphs in the five paragraph essay they all have a different purpose if they all did the same thing it would be called a one paragraph essay so these are the five paragraphs that are common to the five paragraph essay structure and we have the intro or introduction argument one sometimes called concept one argument two sometimes called concept to the concept paragraph sometimes called concept three and then the conclusion which some people like to call the outro introduction out traduction conclusions the more common term for it though the introduction paragraph outlines the introduction to your overall essay it’s going to outline your argument here’s a good idea here’s a good structure for your introduction paragraph a good solid structure for an introduction paragraph is to itself have five sentences and in a way each of these paragraphs could have five sentences and then you have a 21 five centons five centons si it’s a pretty quick writing process right so let’s take a look at the five different types of sentences that go into an intro paragraph the introductory paragraph this this five sentence structure is a pretty solid way to write it your thesis or your claim those are interchangeable terms for this type of writing up at the front second sentence outlines the objective of your essay the third sentence outlines the argument you’re going to make in your essay the fourth sentence outlines the approach you will take to make your point and then the fifth sentence is going to conclude the introduction and integrate into introduced paragraph two basically the introductory paragraph is a shortened version of your entire five paragraph essay and it’s going to outline exactly what you’re going to do essays are not about surprises they’re about structure so it’s okay and in fact it’s advisable when you’re writing an essay not to surprise your audience tell them hey here’s what’s coming get ready for it I’m going to tell you what I’m about to do and how I’m going to do it and then we’re just going to go into it and then as you close your paragraph you want to conclude it and introduce paragraph 2 paragraph 2 is your first argument one thing about your introduction and your conclusion you have to write five paragraphs right the introduction should be your fourth paragraph that you write your conclusion should be your fifth you want to start by writing paragraph two then three then four then after you know exactly what’s going to be in here go back and write your introduction because this will write itself once you know what the content here is you’ve written this so you know what your thesis is you know how your objective you know your argument you know your approach to proving your argument and then you can introduce what you’re about to say because you’ve already written it then after you’ve written your introduction you go to your conclusion and you write that because the conclusion is exactly the same as the introduction but where the introduction says here’s what’s coming the conclusion says well here’s what I just did so to that end we can use this structure for the introduction and the conclusion two of your paragraphs write themselves after these three are written meaning that your five paragraph essay actually only needs three paragraphs of writing I just saved you 40% of shaved 40% off your homework like that so paragraph two is your first body paragraph this is where you’re going to start to outline your argument argument one concept one pair this doesn’t mean you have three different concepts or arguments it means this is the first of three paragraphs that detail your argument or your concept so I’m gonna erase this here and then we’re gonna do this same thing for paragraph 2 paragraph 2 topic sentence this is how you’re going to start every one of your three body paragraphs is with a topic sentence you’re making a claim here the next three sentences are going to detail your argument and provide proof topic sentence could be something along the lines of YouTube allows students to learn through easy repetition your three sentences could be something along the lines of by pause and repeat seeing captions where they’re available whatever it happens to be here are the ways that pause and repeat and repetition help students to learn better through YouTube than in class participation however pause and repeat repetition is only one of many ways that YouTube helps students another way is interacting with experts who don’t live near them so whatever it could be it could be the opposite in class participation is a better way for students to learn than through YouTube with in class participation students can ask a teacher in real-time for clarification of concepts they’re struggling with this allows students to learn in a different way and other students in the classroom with them to hear a different explanation so that may be the concept becomes even more swell solidified for everyone in the classroom creating a unified learning environment but it’s not the only benefit that in class participation has for over YouTube because teachers are usually well vetted any nut job can make a YouTube video I mean that’s true don’t get me wrong so this is paragraph two basically you’re going to have a topic sentence it introduces what you’re going to say in the paragraph you’re going to outline your argument and then you’re going to transition into the next paragraph I’m going to blow your mind here I’m gonna make your five paragraph essay instead of being three paragraphs of writing and then two that are based on it I’m going to turn your five paragraph essay into one paragraph because two three and four all have the exact same structure topic sentence detailing your argument providing proof transitioning to the next paragraph because you’re structuring these in the same way once you get one paragraph structured properly then you can just write the next one in the next one based on that structure following this pattern YouTube allows students to interact with experts from around the world who don’t live near them for instance David Hancock lives in America he speaks English as a native English speaker from America and he has this YouTube channel that has helped me to understand more about English and some youtubers also interact with their subscribers and viewers that would be another way to structure that argument you could also say because the because teachers and professors are vetted they know their material there is a group of people usually the administration in a school who looks at the work or the body of work of somebody who would like to teach at that school and gives them the approval to teach there they make sure that they have us the certifications in the education in the degrees and the credentials to provide a quality education to the students at that institution this benefits students because they know that the content they’re hearing is accurate and complete that would be a good second paragraph in the body then your fourth paragraph would build on that it would be the benefit to students of having access to experts from around the world the benefits to students of having somebody in person who has passed a series of hurdles that means that you can trust that the person in front of you actually knows what they’re talking about so you can see here when you’re when you’re making an argument it doesn’t matter what argument you make motorcycles are better than cars cars are better than motorcycles pickups are better than cars pickups are better than motorcycles nothing is better than helicopters it doesn’t matter what argument you want to make it matters how you structure it the point of this type of writing is to demonstrate that you can organize your thoughts in a way that then conveys those thoughts to someone else regardless of whether or not they are convinced or believe you or see eye-to-eye with you so the fifth paragraph is your conclusion or your outro and actually typically I call this Extro or exit to reduction I like I don’t like the term conclusion even though it’s the one that most people use because conclusion it’s tempting to say well in conclusion you don’t need to say in conclusion with a paragraph you know the phrase in conclusion should never appear in writing unless you’re actually I can’t think of a time no I can think of no time in which the phrase in conclusion should appear and it’s something that will be read if you’re speaking in front of a group of people and you say in conclusion that’s okay because you need to signal to them that the thing is about to end but in writing we know the things about to end because there’s nothing after it it’s blank pages or no pages we don’t have to say in conclusion so when you’re writing your five paragraph essays don’t say in conclusion at the start of the concluding paragraph the conclusion basically just reiterates what you’ve said it reiterates your point how you’ve made your point and why you are right that’s what the conclusion does therefore the last sentence of the are pair of your essay and the last sentence of your concluding paragraph could be therefore youtube is better than in-person education for the reasons outlined above therefore in-person education is more reliable than watching some crackpot on YouTube whichever case you want to make and you can see by the example that I’ve just ripped off the top of my head throughout the course of this video that any example fits as long as you structure it properly okay so now that we’ve seen some specific strategies for how to write and structure your essay let’s look at some strategies for putting the whole thing together that will help you before you put pen to paper to write it have a shorter time writing that is more productive and in the end better suited to having a stronger essay the new otherwise would so the first one is one I mentioned already write your essay in this order paragraph 2 paragraph 3 paragraph 4 paragraph one paragraph 5 and the reason that you want to do it that way is because two three and four flow logically two is the first body paragraph three builds on to four builds on three so four also therefore builds on two so if you write it two three four then what you saying to will inform what you say in three and what you say in two and three will inform what you say in four if you write one or five first if you write the introduction first like many people do you don’t know what you’re going to say yet right could you haven’t said it so write your body paragraphs then write your introduction paragraph now you know what you’ve said so it becomes really easy to write a paragraph that says hey reader here’s what I’m going to tell you and once you’ve written your introduction it’s really easy just to take your introduction and rewrite it as hey reader here is what I just told you so two three and four have a very similar structure they’re very easy to write once you get the first one written one in five are just reiterating what you are going to do and what you have done and write themselves after you get these ones written so that’s a really good way to write a strong five paragraph essay that’s reader friendly and well-structured and that will be written fairly quickly before writing a single paragraph don’t start writing a paragraph until you have outlined your argument and your points okay so let’s take a look at how this outlining could be done so here’s here’s the argument we’re going to do for a fictional essay that we’re not actually going to write to completion but to show you how to structure an outline to organize your thoughts mopeds are better than cars we’re going to use this greater than symbol this mathematical greater than symbol to mean better than in this sense okay so mopeds are better than cars this is your statement let’s come up with three ways that this is correct so here are three ways in which mopeds are better than cars they’re more gas efficient they’re cheaper and they’re slower which means there are fewer accidents there’s three reasons here that mopeds are better than cars there’s three body paragraphs in the five paragraph essay is this a coincidence no there are no coincidences on this channel three reasons mopeds are better than cars three body paragraphs oh three body paragraphs just like that here’s the statement you want to make in your five paragraph essay here are three pieces of proof here are the outlines for your three body paragraphs you’ve already written your the content you need to come up with a topic sentence a claim an argument and a proof for each of your three body paragraphs and then all you need is a concluding sentence that says in addition to that however as well as that here is this next thing just like that you have given yourself enough content to write three well-formed paragraphs fairly quickly now let’s go a little bit deeper I’m going to show you how to take this and write a body paragraph with one of these proofs here are questions you can ask yourself about your statement to help give you the sentences you need to write each paragraph so do this exercise for each of the three statement you come up with that’s proving the point you want to make here so here are four questions you can ask yourself about mopeds are better than cars because they are more gas efficient to give you enough content to write a body paragraph how does this relate to my claim ask yourself this question for each of the three points that you just made about your claim they’re more gas efficient it relates to my claim because it costs less money to drive them they pollute the environment less because there’s less exhaust how does this support my claim it supports my claim because having a moped makes it cheaper for somebody to live means that they can spend their money on things like better food or education so on and so forth better access to the Internet whatever it is that they need to spend their money on that’s a better use of their money than a more expensive car and more expensive gasoline how is my claim proved by this my claim is proved by this because it gives someone more free cash every month what does this point add to my claim or another way of asking it how does this point enhance my claim this adds to or enhances my claim because it provides a good reason why a moped is a more important more of a better option than a car for most people you’ll notice that this answer right here was kind of weak when we went through it and this one was only okay so when you ask yourself these four questions they’re not all going to result in good answers that will translate into a good paragraph but one or two of them might and you can structure an entire paragraph with one or two sentences that make a good argument as to why this one point is correct in supporting your thesis or your claim the overall conceit of your five paragraph essay you can add to that a couple of other questions why does this point prove your conceit why does more gas efficient prove that mopeds are better than cars that’s not a question every one of these points will be able to answer well but it’s another question you can ask to get more information another question would be where else can this claim be found in my thesis and in this case that question can’t really be answered by this but in for some of the other points that we had up here underneath more gas efficient that we erased that question could be useful so basically what you’re doing in this outlining exercise is taking your conceit your point answering the same questions about each point and then using those answers to write sentences that are structured into your five paragraph essay each of your three body paragraphs which are then turned each of your paragraphs into one sentence that you use to create your introduction in your conclusion so really when you finish this exercise for your for your paragraphs for your essays conceit you’re pretty close to being ready to write effectively so if you so like I said if you notice then the answers to these sound very much like paragraph sentences and congratulations you’ve already written the content of your body paragraphs by answering these questions so we’ve we’ve covered the body paragraphs how we come up with them now that you’ve done that you can write your three body paragraphs and then when you go to when you finish them you now have three points mopeds are more gas efficient and I forget what the other two were off the top of my head but these three points you made now are the three central pair of sentences of your first and fifth paragraph meaning that 60% of your intro and extra paragraphs have been written just by outlining the way that you’re structuring your conceit and asking yourself some logical questions about them meaning that after you write your body paragraphs all you have to do are write four sentences an intro for your intro and a concluding sentence an intro a topic sentence for your introductory paragraph a concluding sentence for your introductory paragraph a topic sentence for your concluding paragraph and concluding sentence for your concluding paragraph and of those for the topic sentences can basically be the same here’s what I’m going to do here’s what I did do and the concluding sentences can basically be the same here’s what I’m going to do here’s what I didn’t do so really once you get your paragraphs through your body written you’re almost done with your five paragraph essay it’s a pretty quick process once you have the foundation in place to do all of this writing because once you have the answers to some basic questions the content has been written and it’s just a matter of structuring it into sentences so using this formula that we’ve outlined in this video for your five paragraph essays is a good way to write a a successful although formulaic five paragraph essay and like I said the five paragraph essay is a formulaic structure inherent to itself it’s really good for learning how to structure an argument so that you can build off of it to learn how to do better argument structures in the future five paragraph essay is not the be-all and end-all it’ll work for high school it’ll work for getting into English language education once you get into something like a university setting English 101 at a college for instance or 121 whatever they call them now is this structure is going to be obsolete very quickly in a college setting so use this structure to learn how to create a paragraph to learn how to create an argument that works together as a cohesive set of paragraphs and to learn how to structure an argument through multiple paragraphs because once you learn that skill then you can take that skill and do a whole lot more with it when you have to write slightly more complex things than just a standard five paragraph essay so that is my tips and tricks I know this is a long video with a lot of content on how to write a five paragraph essay once you have this down there’ll be a lot easier to write as you do the more and more and more and you’ll find that this structure gives you quality results and just remember as long as you take care of the sentence and as long as you take care of the paragraph and the paragraph will take care of you

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