Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Five Paragraph Essay Format

Five Paragraph Essay Format
This is your new favourite thing. It can be used to answer nearly any exam essay question—just memorize and apply the following outline. Remember that we usually write with the simple structure of introduction, body, conclusion. Use the PEEL rule in the body paragraphs.
Paragraph 1: Introduction
                Hook (make the reader want to read your essay)
                Thesis: answers the question with three points
Paragraph 2 Body
                Point 1 (from your thesis)
                Example/evidence (to support the point)
                Explanation (of how your example or evidence proves your point)
                Link (to the next paragraph, or back to the question. Create flow.)
Paragraph 3 Body
                Point 2 (from your thesis)
                Example/evidence (to support the point)
                Explanation (of how your example or evidence proves your point)
                Link (to the next paragraph, or back to the question. Create flow.)
Paragraph 4 Body
               Point 3 (from your thesis)
                Example/evidence (to support the point)
                Explanation (of how your example or evidence proves your point)
                Link (to the next paragraph, or back to the question. Create flow.)
Paragraph 5: Conclusion
                Restate thesis in different words / summarize 3 main points
                Show that you have finished the essay in a sophisticated way

Example essay question...
Comment closely on the ways in which the following poem presents old age and childhood.

Frances Cornford
I used to think that grown-up people chose
To have stiff backs and wrinkles round their nose,
And veins like small fat snakes on either hand,
On purpose to be grand.
Till through the banister I watched one day
My great-aunt Etty’s friend who was going away,
And how her onyx beads had come unstrung.
I saw her grope to find them as they rolled;
And then I knew that she was helplessly old,
As I was helplessly young.

(from "Songs of Ourselves" -- Cambridge Anthology)

Paragraph 1: Introduction
                Hook – As a young person, I can’t drive or vote.
                Thesis:  “Childhood” by Patricia Cornford presents old age and childhood through the use of rhyme, simile, and repetition.
Paragraph 2 body
                Point 1--rhyme
                Example/evidence –lines 1/2: “hand”, “grand”
                Explanation—the rhyming structure reminds the reader of nursery rhymes; takes the reader back to childhood.
                Link – the “hand” in rhyme is also used in a simile
Paragraph 3 body
                Point 2-- simile
                Example/evidence “veins like small fat snakes on either hand,” line 3
                Explanation—small fat snakes are an unpleasant image, shows that old age is unpleasant
                Link—simile is a literary tool; another lit tool is repetition
Paragraph 4 body
                Point 3--repetition
                Example/evidence “hopelessly”
                Explanation –we are not able to change our age or its limitations
                Link –can also use linking words in the next paragraph such as furthermore, in addition, on the other hand, additionally, finally, conversely, however...
Paragraph 5: Conclusion
                Therefore, by looking at literary tools used like similes and repetition and aspects of form such as rhyme, we can see that Cornford presents age as a trap from which we are unable to escape. Both old age and youth can be unpleasant because of their limitations. This poem makes me want to get as much out of life as I can, when I am able to, before I am limited by the physical restrictions of age.


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