Five-Paragraph Essay Format
The introductory paragraph, which includes a thesis or main idea. The job of the introductory paragraph is to create interest and to introduce the three main points that will be made and supported in the body of the essay.
The second, third, and fourth paragraphs support the main idea presented in the introductory paragraph. Each of these paragraphs deal with one of the specific points introduced in the first paragraph, in the same order. These paragraphs are constructed with a topic or transitional sentence first, followed by an illustration or example of that point, and finally an explanation or application of the specific example. This is the elaboration or development that the reader is looking for. This is called the PIE model: point, illustration, explanation.
The fifth or concluding paragraph, ties it all together and uses new language (to avoid redundancy) to summarize the point made.