The Lessons

FiveParagraphEssayStructureHow to Write an Essay – The Lessons

The Printable Charts/Handouts

First things first… download and print the handouts.  These are the handouts I give my students, and the fill-in-the-blank format DOES help to visualize each sentence and each step.  I highly recommend keeping these handouts close, so feel free to print as many copies as you need.

The Overview

The overview of the 5 paragraph structure and sentence-by-sentence preview is only a 10 minute video lesson, but there’s a LOT of information in that 10 minutes. Don’t try to take detailed notes or to fully understand everything in the overview lesson.  Just listen and absorb the basic ideas in the overview.  Each paragraph and sentence will be covered in greater detail in the walk-through lessons.


IntroductionIntro Paragraph Walk-Through

Piece by piece, and line by line, this lesson uses a real-world example to walk-through writing the first in the 5 paragraph essay, the Introduction or Introductory Paragraph.

Brainstorming Attention Getters

This is a sub-lesson to the Intro Paragraph to help you brainstorm attention getters.  You can actually skip this lesson if you’d like and come back to it later when you’re ready to start writing your own 5 paragraph essay.


Body Paragraphs Walk-Through

This lesson has 2 parts (2 videos) walking through examples of each of the body paragraphs.



ConclusionConclusion Paragraph Walk-Through (pending production)




That’s it. With about an hour of instruction (above), and about an hour for each practice essay you write, you should have a pretty good understanding of the 5 paragraph essay structure and how to write an essay.

… now … how to PASS an essay may take a bit longer to understand, apply all the grammar rules, and meet the expectations of your grader.  For example, if you have a particularly academic topic or academic (i.e. strict) grader, you may want to replace words like “prep work” with “preparation” or “intro” with “introduction” or “introductory paragraph.”  Eliminating abbreviations, jargon, and slang, however are just the beginning.  For now, focus on WRITING the essay.  Once it’s written, you can edit to formalize language, double-check grammar, and make absolutely sure it meets the requirements of your specific assignment.