How to Teach Writing a 5 Paragraph Essay

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Teaching students to write a five paragraph essay requires making sure the students are comfortable writing a paragraph, introducing the five paragraph model and having the students work with peers on editing and feedback. Use a writing workshop model to teach students paragraph writing with advice from a writing instructor in this free video on teaching writing.

Part of the Video Series: Writing Lessons
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Laura from, and I want to talk about how to teach writing a five paragraph essay. To begin this process, make sure that your students are really comfortable with writing a paragraph, and so you might want to begin with sort of reinforcement of what is a good paragraph, with opening sentence and supporting details, and a concluding sentence. Do some practice around writing good paragraphs and reading other students' work that you consider models of good paragraphs. Then you can begin by introducing the five paragraph model, which has a paragraph as an opening--or a thesis--paragraph, and a concluding paragraph, and then three paragraphs in the body. And those paragraphs will each contain a supporting detail that supports that topic sentence or thesis. So, use a writing workshop model where students will begin with an idea, build their idea with detail, and do peer conferences where they can either flush out their ideas or try out drafts on a peer who will give them feedback. Using this model, you're helping students to read their own work, and then giving feedback to their partners helps them to tune in to some of the things they're doing in their own writing, as well as getting feedback from someone else. So, using this writing workshop model you'll be able to teach students to read their own work, and focus in on whether their five paragraph essay is really working. So those are some ideas about how to teach the five paragraph essay.


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