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How to Write a Five-sentence Paragraph in Elementary School


A paragraph is the basic structure of a composition. Effective paragraphs provide information to the reader in clear, concise ways that aid comprehension. As you progress in school, you will be expected to compose various types of paragraphs when writing essays and research papers. In third grade, you will probably begin writing five-sentence paragraphs which are designed to provide an outline for your main idea, including the topic, detail and concluding sentences. Organization and clear language are the keys to writing a good paragraph.

Write a topic sentence which states the main idea. This sentence should simply state what your paragraph is about while creating interest in the topic. Your goal with the first sentence is to make your audience want to continue reading. Remember to indent the first word of the topic sentence. You indent by beginning your first sentence a few spaces to the right of the margin on the paper. Indention tells your audience that you are stating a new idea.

Write three detail sentences about the topic. Whether these sentences are supportive statements and examples to defend your topic or descriptive ones that give the reader additional information, be sure your sentences do not stray from the main idea.

Write a concluding sentence that summarizes the topic of the paragraph. A good closing sentence restates but does not repeat the first sentence. It should further inform the reader or possibly strengthen or change his opinion about the topic. For example, a topic sentence that states, "There are three main reasons why our P.E. classes should be longer every day" would be supported by three detail sentences and the concluding sentence would tie the main idea and details together. It might read, "There is more than enough evidence in these three benefits to justify extending Physical Education classes at our school."

Proofread your paragraph. Read each sentence twice. The first time, check usage and mechanics like subject and verb agreement, spelling and punctuation. Then reread your sentences to make sure each one clearly explains and supports the topic.

About the Author

Karen Hollowell has been teaching since 1994. She has taught English/literature and social studies in grades 7-12 and taught kindergarten for nine years. She currently teaches fourth grade reading/language and social studies. Hollowell earned her Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Mississippi and her Master of Arts in elementary education from Alcorn State University.

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