5 Paragraph Essay Outline Template

5 Paragraph Essay Outline Template

Creating a 5 paragraph essay outline template is the best place to start writing an essay paper consisting of five paragraphs. It is the easiest way through which you can be able to properly organize your ideas for the paper. In fact, it will also ensure easy reference and save you quite a lot of time when writing the essay. Herein, you will find guidelines and procedures on how to write a 5 paragraph essay outline. Besides, there are also sample outline templates for more insights on how a good outline template for a five-paragraph essay paper should be crafted.

Although there are various kinds of essays, the writing format always takes the same approach. This implies knowing how to write a 5 paragraph essay outline template can always assist you in crafting almost all academic papers. In fact, it is also another ideal ways of improving your writing and general communication skills.

Guidelines on how to write a 5 paragraph essay outline template

In a five paragraph essay paper, every paragraph serves a specific purpose that you must clearly highlight in the outline template. The following are guidelines on some of the main points to be considered when writing a 5 paragraph essay outline template.

Determine the type of essay

There are different types of essays that you can be asked to write including analytical, argumentative among others. Thus, it is advisable that you know the particular type that you will be writing in order to get a clear picture of the approach to pursue in crafting the outline template.

Analyze your points

An outline template should only be a structural representation of how the actual paper will be written.  Thus, it is recommended that you take time to sieve the ideas to be discussed in order to remain with the necessary ones for the paper.

Depending on how you intend to address the paper, always make sure that you have refined your points quite well to avoid confusion when writing the outline and essay. In case there is a point or idea about the subject of the essay that you do not understand, do proper research on it in advance.

At the time of writing an outline, you should have come up with an overview of the essay, illustrating how each section will be discussed.

How to organize 5 paragraphs in an essay outline template

An outline template can be described as a ‘blueprint’ of the actual paper. A five-paragraph essay paper should be made up one introductory paragraph, three body paragraphs and one for the conclusion. Therefore, the outline template must also show clearly how the paragraphs will be presented in the outline.

In order to effectively write an outline template for an essay, you should know how the key sections of the paper.  A five paragraph essay is made up of three main parts, just like other essay papers. However, it is important that you know the various aspects to be addressed in each of them for an easy time when writing the outline.


This is the first paragraph that should highlight the hook, background information about the subject and your thesis statement.

Body paragraphs

The body of the essay should be made up of three paragraphs, each with a new point in support of your thesis. In fact, it is always advisable that you highlight a new idea for every paragraph in the outline.

The body paragraphs will also be place to relay your evidence or examples for backing the thesis as well as arguments discussed in the paper.


This is the final paragraph of the essay whereby you will be required to restate the thesis, mention key points or ideas and give an opinion or suggestion about the topic.

Steps on how to write a 5 paragraph essay outline template

A 5 paragraph essay outline template should not only show the sections of the paper but also vividly indicate how every paragraph will be handled in the paper. The following are steps on how to go about writing an essay outline template for a five paragraph essay paper.

Paragraph 1

This is the first point or section of the paper that your audience will read in the essay. Therefore, the paragraph should not only be captivating but also informative enough so readers can quickly get the concept of the paper.

In the outline template, you should highlight a few key points that will be used to write the following:

  • Hook or lead
  • Background information
  • Thesis statement

In most occasions, the thesis should be written in full just like it will appear in the final essay. You can also write a short statement to show how the introduction will be linked to the other parts of the essay.

Paragraphs 2, 3 and 4

The second, third and fourth paragraphs should each state and discuss one key point and evidence to support the thesis statement. In essay writing, the main point in a paragraph is called a topic sentence. You can simply list the points or write a short statements to refer to when writing the paper.

For clarity, it is advisable that you segment the paragraphs into sub-topics, under which every topic sentence will be indicated. The paragraphs can be listed using bullets, letters or numbers. Despite how you choose to highlight the topic sentences, always make sure that they are relevant and well inclined to the thesis since that is the basis of entire discussion.

Your outline template should also indicate the examples or evidences that will be used to elaborate the topic sentence. These should be clearly listed in the outline so you do not have to keep making references to various sources while writing.

Always be very keen while listing the examples to avoid confusion.  The examples should be listed under every topic sentence in the way or order that they will be discussed in the essay. In order to deliver compelling paragraphs, it is recommended that you give about two or three examples in the outline template. However, the number of evidences may vary depending on the topic sentences and how each will be addressed.

Paragraph 5

This represents the conclusion of the essay and should clearly outline how you plan to wrap up the discussion. As outlined above, the last paragraph should briefly talk about the thesis statement, main points of the paper and give recommendations or your judgment on the subject among other necessary elements.

You do not have to write the whole paragraph in the outline template, instead, make a list of a few points representing the key elements. Alternatively, you can also write a sentence that captures all of the aspects that will be addressed.

In your template outline, indicate a few points to illustrate the following aspects for the final paragraph:

  • A restatement of the thesis, using a different approach and language but not a duplication of the original one.
  • Short summary of the main arguments or topic sentences discussed in the body paragraphs.
  • Last statement indicating the end of the paper, and highlighting any future developments.

Examples of 5 Paragraph Essay Outline Templates

Reading samples of five paragraph essay outline templates can also offer you more elaborate ideas on how to write a 5 paragraph essay outline template. The following are well written examples that you can read for motivation on crafting essay outline templates.

Example 1

Sample outline template for a five-paragraph essay

Title: …………………………………….


  • Introductory statement
  • Thesis Statement


  • First supporting Idea (Topic Sentence)
  • Example 1
  • Example 2
  • Example 3
  • Second Supporting Idea (Topic Sentence)
  • Example 1
  • Example 2
  • Example 3
  • Third Supporting Idea (Topic Sentence)
  • Example 1
  • Example 2
  • Example 3
  • Conclusion
  • Closing statement
  • Restate thesis

Get this sample outline template and more on this link.

Example 2

Sample Outline Template for 5 paragraph essay

Introductory Paragraph

General Topic Sentence: memorable present

  • Subtopic One: the reason it was given
  • Subtopic Two: a description of it
  • Subtopic Three: how you felt when you got it
  • Transition

First Supporting Paragraph

  • Restate subtopic one
  • Supporting Details or Examples
  • Transition

Second Supporting Paragraph

  • Restate subtopic two
  • Supporting Details or Examples
  • Transition

Third Supporting Paragraph

  • Restate subtopic three
  • Supporting Details or Examples
  • Transition

Closing or Summary Paragraph

  • Synthesis and conclusion of the thesis
  • Rephrasing main topic and subtopics

Click here to find the sample outline template.

Example 3

Basic Five Paragraph Outline Frame

  1. Introduction (should include the thesis statement )
  2. Main Idea (write a topic sentence supporting the thesis statement)
  • Supporting detail A
  • Supporting detail B
  • Supporting detail C
  • Main Idea (write a topic sentence supporting the thesis statement )
  • Supporting detail A
  • Supporting detail B
  • Supporting detail C
  1. Main Idea (write a topic sentence supporting the thesis statement….

Continue reading the sample outline template here.

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How to Write a 5-Paragraph Essay Outline