Usually, a literacy assessment comes in the form of standardized test that has a writing part. High school and college students taking such test are presented with a writing prompt and requested to produce a coherent response. It is a gross understatement that students are not fond of standardized literacy testing. In fact, they hate it. But it doesn’t have to be this way. If you know how to craft a five-paragraph essay, you will easily prove your writing skills while having fun in the process.
There are many types of standardized writing essays: narrative, expository, persuasive, argumentative, comparative, and literary among others. Your topic and thesis will depend on the essay’s type. More often than not, students are requested to write either a persuasive or literary essay.
When it comes to the essay structure, you are expected to produce a coherent, five-paragraph essay the length of which falls in the range from 500 to 800 words. The essay should have an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion.
The opening paragraph should introduce your topic and provide the readers with the clear idea of what is to follow. The first paragraph is, arguably, the most important one because it sets the tone of the narrative and gives it a direction. Try to hook the readers’ attention in this paragraph by being as interesting and clear as you can. The optimum way to introduce your essay is to:
That’s it. Your introductory paragraph is ready!
The Body Paragraphs: Supporting Details
The second, third, and fourth paragraphs form the body of your essay. They are needed to elaborate on the three sentences in your introductory paragraph. Here you should provide additional details, facts, quotes, and statistics, thereby giving more weight to your central argument.
To write the first body paragraph:
Thus, you have created the first body paragraph. Repeat the above steps for the following two paragraphs. Keep in mind that the opening paragraph should present your strongest point. Also, don’t forget to link the ideas in the body paragraphs with transition sentences.
The final paragraph of your essay is a conclusion. Here you have a chance to reiterate your key points and summarize the text. It is a difficult task because you need to condense the whole essay to fit a single paragraph. To this end, omit the unessential information and concentrate on the arguments directly connected to your thesis statement, which should also be repeated in the conclusion. Your closing paragraph must be clear, concise, and consistent with the main idea of the essay. It is also important not to include new arguments in the conclusion.
You will have an extremely limited time to write an essay for a standardized test, which calls for effective time allocation. If you cannot correctly estimate the time needed for crafting each paragraph, you will end-up with a half-finished essay and a low score. To avoid any disappointments, threat the essay as a rough draft. Thus, you will be able to quickly progress through the five paragraphs instead of focusing on making several of them perfect. The essay graders will reward you with more points for a slightly uncouth essay than for an unfinished one. Whatever you write, make sure that the essay has an introduction, body, and conclusion.
If after finishing the first draft, you realize that there is some time left, don’t hesitate to edit the essay. Make anything you can do to eradicate grammar errors and add the final polish to your writing. If you have spare time, use this formula: