I realize, quite well thank you, that the five-paragraph essay is not always good. Sometimes it is rote, formulaic, and poorly applied. Despite that, in my freshman composition courses, I teach the five-paragraph essay because my students don’t know how to write an essay at all.
Am I doing the wrong thing?
Community College Spotlight had a post that brought this question up for me again.
I particularly liked the response the author had to the article “Why Can’t Tiffany Write?”
When I was in high school, we did nothing but expository writing for four years. Our model was the 3-3-3 paragraph: One thesis sentence with a subject and an attitude supported by three topic sentences, each with a subject and attitude and each supported by three subtopic sentences, each with a subject and attitude and each supported by three â€œconcrete and specificâ€ details. It drove us nuts, but we learned to support our assertions. College writing was a snap.
I really like that idea. Even though it is even more formulaic. I think it could work for my students.