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Composition & Writing

How to Write a Five Paragraph Essay

Types of Essays

  • An analytical paper breaks down an issue or an idea into its component parts, evaluates the issue or idea, and presents this breakdown and evaluation to the audience.
  • An expository (explanatory) paper explains something to the audience.
  • An argumentative paper makes a claim about a topic and justifies this claim with specific evidence. The claim could be an opinion, a policy proposal, an evaluation, a cause-and-effect statement, or an interpretation. The goal of the argumentative paper is to convince the audience that the claim is true based on the evidence provided.

Some websites for essay writing help:

The Writing Center at UNC-Chapel Hill
Some great advice/handouts about writing from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Guide to Writing a Basic Essay
The author, Kathy Livingston, provides simple steps which will guide you through the essay writing process.

Persuasive Writing Tutorial
A brief tutorial from Cengage Learning to show you how to start your argumentative writing paper. The home page is here with more resources.