The Five-Paragraph Essay Study Guide (page 3)

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Updated on Oct 1, 2011

Part 3: The Conclusion

The conclusion of an effective, high-quality five-paragraph essay does not simply restate the introduction's thesis statement. Instead, a good conclusion presents something more, with some originality, such as:

  • an explanation of the importance or significance of the topic to the reader
  • an explanation of the controversial nature of the issue (for example, perhaps some scientists claim the danger to polar bears is exaggerated)
  • an acknowledgment and refutation of the opposing argument by way of emphasizing your own point of view

The conclusion is the writer's big chance to sew up the reader's agreement. It is the place to make a big splash with a strong restatement of the thesis. This is the last chance you have to summarize your argument and convince the reader of its value—and of your value as a writer.


The five-paragraph essay is the format used in many scholarship and college application examinations. And it might be the model your parents are still using when they write memos in their jobs. (Ask them!) So, master this format and you'll find yourself using it again.

Practice: Designing a Five-Paragraph Essay

For this exercise, you can skip doing the research that would be necessary if you were actually writing an essay. Instead, design a thesis statement within the general topic of global warming and then write a rough outline of the five-paragraph essay you could write on your chosen thesis. (Review Lesson 14 if you aren't certain how to construct an informal outline.)

The Five-Paragraph Essay

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