How To Write The Perfect 5 Paragraph Essay Outline

Creating a structure for your essay can be one of the most challenging parts of the writing process. Composing a detailed outline before you begin writing is an excellent way to make sure your ideas come across in a clear and logical order.

A good outline will save you time in the revision process, reducing the possibility that your ideas will need to be rearranged once you’ve written them. Essay outlines provide structure and guidance for authors/writers as they begin the drafting process. A perfect outline should briefly summarize the intended content of your essay and organize that content in a sensible, coherent manner.

First of All, What Is An Essay Outline?

An outline is a plan created by authors in their academic and professional writing when it comes to writing academic papers, scholarly articles, informative guides, novels, and encyclopedias. An essay outline can be prepared by anyone, especially students, who are planning to write on a particular topic.

It is a sketch, a foundation of an entire writing piece, produced to structure main ideas into a list of contents. Understanding the general school/college/university essay outline can go a long way in getting your thoughts structured and with positive feedback from the experts.

The Perfect 5-Paragraph Essay Outline

Here we have a complete guide on how to prepare the perfect 5 paragraph essay outline and what to write in it;

1. Introduction
2. Background or History
3. Main idea explanation: introduction and statistics
4. Main idea explanation continues: reasoning with examples
5. Conclusion

When outlining your essay, keep these 5 points in mind, so you don’t miss any arguments, evidence, or examples while writing. Usually, when drafting an outline, you will need to have an idea of what your essay topic will be, how your body paragraphs will support your essay title, and how you are going to wrap everything up in conclusion at the end.

Still a little confused about what to write in the essay outline? Don’t worry. Let’s read down below and learn what to add in the outlining paragraphs to make it a complete package.

How to Start the Essay Introduction?

We all know it; the First Impression is the Last. And this is 100% true in the writing niche. Do not neglect the role of the first paragraph in your essay outline. Always remember that this is the first part your reader will see, and it defines the further impression of your essay body. It helps in setting the right mood and providing valuable information about the topic and a thesis of an essay.

In the beginning, you’ll mention the topic of your essay that best matches the purpose you have in mind. As you know, articles can’t live without an idea; so, a title in your outline will help you support each paragraph of your essay body.

What to Write in the History/Background Paragraph?

Begin with the main topic sentence, which tells in the main idea statement what the paragraph is about. Start with words like, ‘Historical facts and various researches gathered over the years proves that something must be done immediately about YOUR TOPIC.’

After mentioning any research from the past, be sure to mention the source for authenticity. Do not clutter the paragraph with the antecedent facts only. Briefly explain it in one line before moving forward to the next argument.

End the section with a sentence that ties it into the case studies or what people have said about that particular topic. Yes, this paragraph will belong. Yes, it will have a citation after every single fact used in an article.

How to Explain the Title in Body Paragraphs?

It is the crux of the whole essay outline and the essay itself. The most information-rich part of your writing is the body section, and you should provide your thoughts in all the details required. Use as many paragraphs as you need, but don’t be greedy. But remember! Do not add more than two-paragraphs in the essay outline to be precise about what you’ll explain in the essay.

Each body paragraph has to have a topic or idea which somehow supports your title. You’ll be presenting data, facts, figures, examples, or case-studies related to that topic. Your argument should be reinforced by credible opinion or another research piece. Grammatically, remember to include a transition sentence that will smoothly bring the reader to the next point.

How to Conclude the Perfect 5 Paragraph Essay Outline?

To create a sense of closure, you should conclude your essay outline by linking the last paragraph to the first. It can be quickly done either by reiterating a word or phrase you used at the beginning or by simply stating the title and expected results.

Try to conclude with a sentence composed mainly of one-syllable words. Use as simple language as you can. It can help create an effect of understated drama.

In the end, conclude with a sentence that’s compound or parallel in structure. These sentences can establish a sense of balance or order that may feel just right at the end of a complex discussion.


I. Introduction

1. Introduce the essay title
2. State the idea behind the title (mention key points)

II. Background

1. Mention historical facts
2. Talk about the idea with reference to the past

III. Body. Paragraph-1

1. Write a topic sentence (the argument for your idea)
2. Support this argument: data and stats
3. Explain how they relate to your essay title

IV. Body. Paragraph-2

1. Further explain the idea (another argument for your topic, or a counterargument)
2. Support this argument: facts and examples
3. Explain how they relate to your essay title

V. Conclusion

1. Summarize all main points
2. Restate your problem statement/idea statement
3. Add a call to action: what you want readers to do after reading your essay

Need Help with Your Essay Outline?

If, after thoroughly reading the above article, you’re still a little unsure about how to incorporate an outline into your particular essay, feel free to reach out to Their expert editors can help you to polish up your essay/essay outline, ensuring that all of your citations have been made according to the style guide. They’ll give you the right direction if the essay needs to be revised or rearranged.