Does anybody else find the higschool taught five paragraph essay ridiculously constricting?

It goes like this. First paragraph is the introduction with a summary of the three main points, and the thesis statement (last sentence).Next paragraph is your 1st body paragraph. This starts with a topic sentence(the 1st point), supporting points/quotes, and a concluding sentence(restating the topic sentence).The 2nd and 3rd body paragraphs are the same as the 1st, but with different points.Then the last paragraph is the concluding paragraph. This contains your restated thesis, summary of your 3 points, and some insightful end sentences.Does anybody else think this is unnecessarily restricting. We are told that we can't stray at all from these guidelines. If we try to write something a bit more creative, we get marks deducted because it isn't proper format.I've gotten 90's on all my essays from gr9-12, because i can *shock* stay within this format. But for god's sakes, i'm starting to think i will be screwed for university. How can I start writing better essays?

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5 Responses to “Does anybody else find the higschool taught five paragraph essay ridiculously constricting?”

  1. lanhawk says:

    I am a university instructor, and I wish my students wrote papers like this, because they are never this well organized and just seem to ramble off into tangential directions. Although this format may seem constricting, it will get your point across appropriately and effectively.Your high school education has honestly prepared you properly for college, just make sure your points are interesting and on topic, and you should receive A’s all the way.The only caveat is a research paper which would involve more than 5 paragraphs. The concept would still be there there, though. Introduce your thoughts, and outline what you’ll talk about. Then make your points which should be backed up with research and data, and conclude with a synthesis of all your points.Good luck in university. I’m sure you’ll do very well!

  2. metagalactic says:

    The idea of the five paragraph essay is to get you used to a format. The idea is that, if neccessary, you could expand on that format to include more middle paragraphs, or use 1-2 paragraphs for your introduction and conclusion.Obviously, you feel you’ve outgrown the format, and your teachers are especially rigid on it. What I might suggest is that you write an essay or two on something you know a lot about. Or something you’re interested in. Or a persuasive essay. Then take it to your teacher and ask her politely if she’d take a look at it for you. Just as an exercise, not turning it in as a paper. You could also pass it around to your friends (if they’re also fed up with the format) and have them look it over. Essays don’t have to be about literature or social problems. Essays can be quite expressive, especially if you are passionate about what you write.

  3. cowhands says:

    No. It is not resticitng. It is good practice for the business world. It is also a vital selling tool. Many, in businesses, have no time or patience to read drawn out essays. It is also good practice for writing business plans to submit to financial institutions and others. They want the main points and a paragraph on each point. For many of them, if it is more than a page it is garbage. To write better essays, you need to organize your thoughts. Identify the main points and list them in order of importance. Come up with various supporting points for each point and pick three or four that you feel is best. The concluding sentence for each point must be the strongest supporting point.

  4. opiophagy says:

    As a high school English teacher I too find it needlessly restrictive, however, it is a good starting point for teaching the idea of thesis, support and conclusion. My freshmen start off writing within that framework, but I encourage them to move away from a strict 5 paragraph essay as soon as they can. Some essays need to be 5 paragraphs, some need to be 25, however the basic structure stays the same.

  5. shrillness says:

    I can safely say that I have NEVER written a five-paragraph essay. If you’re only writing three body paragraphs, you’re not going in-depth enough. Excluding intro/outro, my shortest essay (Year 7 English) had six paragraphs. My longest essay (Third-Year Uni) had twenty-seven paragraphs.The format that you described, however, is standard. All essays should be constructed like that.