Step-by-step instructions for planning, outlining, and writing a five-paragraph essay. The most important part of writing a five-paragraph — or any other style — essay has little to do with the actual essay writing: When it comes to a successful essay, the most crucial step is the planning. In fact, a properly planned essay will practically write itself. The first advice you should provide students about to embark on an essay-writing adventure, therefore, is to plan what you will write about — and plan to write about the assigned topic. Students need to be made aware that assigned topics for most writing assessments already are quite broad; they often need to be narrowed and focused; they rarely should be broadened. According to the College Board Web site, the only way to get a zero on the SAT’s new essay section is to fail to write about the assigned topic. A little planning can prevent that. After students have read and understood the assigned topic, they can go on to the next step of the essay-writing process.

This step does involve writing — but not yet essay writing. In step two, students write an outline of their proposed essay. Topic: The question or prompt rephrased in the student’s own words. Rephrasing the prompt will help students understand the assignment and narrow and focus the topic of their essay. Position: The student’s position or opinion about the question or prompt. Most writing assessments ask students to take a position. Students should be aware that, if the test directions ask them to take a position, they need to take one side of the issue and defend it, not consider and defend both sides of the issue. Reasons: Three reasons the student has taken his or her stated position. Reason 1: The most important reason. Reason 2: The second most important reason. Reason 3: The third most important reason. The outline now is complete, and the essay — as you can see by reading the italicized text in the outline — is practically written. Students have arrived at the easiest part of the essay-writing process — writing the essay.

All they have to do now is arrange their outline text into a five-paragraph-essay format and add a few transitions, and they’re done! Paragraph 1: This is the Introduction. Here, students restate the assigned topic, state their position on the topic, and list the three reasons for their position. They end the paragraph with a transition sentence. Paragraph 2: This is the first of three paragraphs in the body of the essay. Here, students name and explain the most important reason for their stated position. They end the paragraph with a transition sentence. Paragraph 3: This is the second of three paragraphs in the body of the essay. Here, students name and explain the second most important reason for their stated position. They end the paragraph with a transition sentence. Paragraph 4: This is the third of three paragraphs in the body of the essay. Here, students name and explain the third most important reason for their stated position. They end the paragraph with a transition sentence. Paragraph 5: This is the Conclusion. Here, students rephrase and recap their position on the issue and their reasons for it, and then write a concluding sentence. The conclusion might emphasizes their position, expand it, offer a solution, or express a hope or prediction for the future.

All of us would like to think of ourselves as possessing characteristics of a good role model for children. Unfortunately, role models are becoming scarce with today’s acceptable tolerance of misguided behaviors. For instance, one star athlete is arrested for rape, while another is charged with assault for a physical altercation against teammates. If you want to possess qualities of a good role model for children, you must first look past these misguided and often out of control athletes or superstars and look at the most important daily contacts of those influencing children. People directly affecting the lives of children who possess the good characteristics of being a positive role model are parents, teachers, and police officers. Because parents are at the very center of a child’s daily activities they are the starting point from which good role model characteristics such as respect, communication, and involvement are created. First, children learn at an early age how to act by simply watching their parents. Therefore, to seek respectful behaviors from a child a parent starts out displaying the same respectful behavior to the child first and then has the child model that behavior back to the parent.

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