A Guide to 3 Paragraph Essay Writing: How to Conclude Your Paper
When writing a 3 paragraph essay you are basically getting straight to the point. With only 3 paragraphs you now have an introduction, a short body, and a conclusion. The fact that there are only 3 paragraphs within which to express your entire point, makes it is all that more important that each paragraph is well written and made to really count towards the whole paper. Conclusions for a 3 paragraph essay are sometimes harder than a 5 paragraph essay and also sometimes much easier. But what do you need to make for a quality conclusion?
- Rephrase your point
- Restate facts to back it up
- End your paper
Rephrase your point
The first part of the conclusion will be the part where you remind the reader what the point of your paper was. This will be where you say what you point is in different words as used before in order to refresh the memory and restate the point. This makes for a good conclusion starter.
Now you simply do the same thing with the facts or ideas used within the body of the paper to prove your point. This is going to be something like, “so in conclusion, this is what I think or know, and why”. Why is important to the point. You cannot make a point and not back it up at all. It must be supported.
End your paper
The conclusion should conclude the paper. It should end with a clear and decisive ending. A lot of people actually forget to do this part. There has to be an end to the paper that clearly shows that it is over. It makes the point that you are done talking about this subject by concluding the paper in a recognizable way. Everyone should know that it is the end.
So in conclusion, make sure that when writing a 3 paragraph essay you always put effort into the conclusion. Just because it is last does not mean it gets the least amount of effort. You have to go over everything you said in your paper and then end the paper with a proper concluding sentence. It should be something that sounds final. All of these things are important when dealing with the conclusion. If you truly want a good essay you will need a good conclusion. It is, in fact, the very last thing that they read and first thing they remember.
Essay Writing for Standardized Tests: Tips for Writing a Five Paragraph Essay
Most, if not all, high school and college standardized tests include a writing portion. Students are provided a writing prompt and must then write an essay on the topic. Writing for standardized tests can strike fear in the hearts and minds of students of all ages, but it doesn’t have to. If you know what to expect and understand how to write a five paragraph essay, you will be prepared to tackle any essay writing prompt.
Types of Essays on Standardized Tests
When you begin to write your essay for a standardized test, you must first decide what type of essay you are being asked to write. There are many different types of essays, including narrative, expository, argumentative, persuasive, comparative, literary, and so on. The type of essay will determine your topic and thesis. Essays for standardized tests are typically either persuasive, in which you will answer a question, or literary, in which you will write about something you read.
For standardized tests, students usually have to write a five paragraph essay, which should be 500 to 800 words long and include an introductory paragraph, three supporting paragraphs and a concluding paragraph.
The First Paragraph: The Introduction
The first paragraph will introduce your topic. The introduction is the most important paragraph because it provides direction for the entire essay. It also sets the tone, and you want to grab the reader’s attention with interest and clarity. The best way to tackle the introduction is to:
- Describe your main idea, or what the essay is about, in one sentence. You can usually use the essay writing prompt or question to form this sentence.
- Develop a thesis statement, or what you want to say about the main idea. When the writing prompt is a question, your thesis is typically the answer to the question.
- List three points or arguments that support your thesis in order of importance (one sentence for each).
Voila! You’ve just written your introductory paragraph.
The Second, Third and Fourth Paragraphs: Supporting Details
These three paragraphs form the body of the essay. They provide details, such as facts, quotes, examples and concrete statistics, for the three points in your introductory paragraph that support your thesis. Take the points you listed in your introduction and discuss each in one body paragraph. Here’s how:
- First, write a topic sentence that summarizes your point. This is the first sentence of your paragraph.
- Next, write your argument, or why you feel the topic sentence is true.
- Finally, present your evidence (facts, quotes, examples, and statistics) to support your argument.
Now you have a body paragraph. Repeat for points two and three. The best part about introducing your main points in the first paragraph is that it provides an outline for your body paragraphs and eliminates the need to write in transitions between paragraphs.
The Fifth Paragraph: The Conclusion
The concluding paragraph must summarize the essay. This is often the most difficult paragraph to write. In your conclusion, you should restate the thesis and connect it with the body of the essay in a sentence that explains how each point supports the thesis. Your final sentence should uphold your main idea in a clear and compelling manner. Be sure you do not present any new information in the conclusion.
When writing an essay for a standardized test, outline your essay and get through each paragraph as quickly as possible. Think of it as a rough draft. When your time is up, a complete essay will score more points than an incomplete essay because the evaluator is expecting a beginning, middle and an end.
If you have time to review your essay before your time is up, by all means do so! Make any revisions that you think will enhance your “rough draft” and be sure to check for any grammatical errors or misspellings.
Online instruction like the Time4Writing essay writing courses for elementary, middle and high school students can help children prepare for state and college-entrance standardized writing tests. These interactive writing classes build basic writing skills, explain essay types and structure, and teach students how to organize their ideas.
For general tips on test preparation and details about each state’s standardized tests, please visit our standardized test overview page.