How Many Paragraphs Should a Standard Essay Have?

There are a number of different types of essays that require different things from students. Argumentative essays, term papers, article reviews, personal essay and more can be made much easier when they are structured within one of the standard organizational forms. It’s recommended that a standard essay have five paragraphs: an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Here is how to properly structure a five-paragraph essay for a standard essay:


A great introduction is key for setting up the content of your standard essay. Before your reader even gets to your thesis statement, he or she expects to have an idea of what you will be discussing – your topic. Use your intro to provide a sneak peak of your major points as well as any questions you have and will attempt to answer. You will end your essay with a concise and well-written thesis statement that succinctly states the argument you will be making throughout. This is the most important part of your intro and entire paper, so be sure you re-write it until you say exactly what you intend.

Three Body Paragraphs:

Your three body paragraphs make up the core of your standard essay. Each body paragraph should be structured the same: a topic sentence, 2 – 3 sentences of supporting evidence, and a final transition sentence to move you on to the next paragraph.

Your topic sentence should concisely state what it is you will be talking about in each paragraph and should be related to your thesis statement. The following sentences should introduce your best pieces of evidence supporting your thesis and be related to the overall topic of the paragraph. Finally, wrap up the entire paragraph with a single transition sentence that lets the reader know you have concluded and are guiding them to your next topic.


Many people believe that conclusions can make or break an entire essay. This is because it is the last thing your reader will remember. It should restate your main points as well as show how they are related to one another and how they work to prove your thesis statement.

Most importantly, a conclusion should leave your reader with a sense of closure. He or she shouldn’t have any questions about what was just read. In order to leave a lasting impression you should consider asking a compelling question, a statement that brings the reader back to the beginning of your essay, or even a challenge for your reader to act on something. Whatever you choose make sure you end with a bang.

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