Should the Five Paragraph Essay Still be a Thing?

Ever since I entered high school, I have been told by the teachers that the five paragraph essay is the format we should follow when we try to prove a point or answer a prompt. But the question is, do we really need to follow that format? The five paragraph essay format sometimes comes in handy for organizing your thoughts. However, it has some flaws compared with other formats like the three paragraph essay which is simpler.

The first advantage that the five paragraph essay has over the others formats is the organization. You gather your statement/thesis and your three pieces of evidence and explain it.

It is simple like that. “The five paragraph essay is good because it helps you to break down big chunks of information and organize it,” Joshua Velez ’20 said. The other advantage is that is provides an easy structure to work with.

On the other side of the spectrum, the five paragraph essay is not very intuitive for students. Sometimes the essay turns sloppy because the evidence is not strong enough to make a full paragraph. Even if you have a strong introduction, the body paragraphs lack in quality in a few instances. “I would recommend the five paragraph essay to freshman because it would help them pass the MCAS,” Ms. Martins, a 9th grade English teacher, said after being asked if she would recommend the the five paragraph essay format.