Lissa LeopandoInstructor Jennifer CruzEnglish 98, Section 111021 January 2018The 5-Paragraph Essay DilemmaThe 5-paragraph essay format is not a fun assignment. Essays are always required during the early stages of academic development. Each time the teacher assigns them most students will groan about how long it will take to finish. Many people struggle to express their thoughts on paper. It’s even more discouraging for struggling students when their papers return full of colored comments and they are asked to make corrections. Sometimes their crippling criticism can be disappointing and a bit embarrassing. For me it involves much procrastination, some mood swings, and at least one sleepless night to complete a paper. However, I respect the 5-paragraph essay format because it really is a short and effective way to get my points across.Despite the frustration, writing skills improve with each essay so that students will be presenting solid work by the time they complete their education. It’s pretty hard to wrap my head around why a five to six paragraph essay can be a confusing process in the beginning. I still dread the 5-paragraph essay. It’s a restricted formula to follow and sometimes I think, “I don’t know what to write” and “Is my writing making any sense?” However, the most rewarding and exciting part during the experience is finalizing the final draft. I realize after reading the final draft that using a structure guideline is usually useful. The structure guideline is a mandatory tool that can help a student write a brilliant and sophisticated piece.Teachers always preach that you need an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Stories, books, and movies have the same thing in common: a beginning, middle, and the end. The education institution uses this essay format as framework to organize ideas, and to write supporting statements for those ideas. The paper usually presents the three important points in the introduction, exposes those points in consecutive order in the body, and wraps up the essay with a conclusion stating the significance of the topic. Students are expected to use this method in grade school to high school and to college because it is believed to be the simplest form of writing.The traditional structure for writing a decent essay consists of five paragraphs. From experience in English class the direction in an essay must follow the necessary guidelines in each paragraph.The introductory paragraph is to get the readers aware of the essay topic. The thesis statement must engage readers to understand the attitude of the paper, propose its purpose in three main points, and link these points individually in the body. After the introductory paragraph the body is broken into three paragraphs. Body paragraph one shines the paper’s powerful argument, relate to the argument with an example, and must tie both to the intro and to the next body paragraph. Body paragraph two should give another dynamic argument, have an example to tie onto the intro, and hook onto the next paragraph. Body paragraph three typically includes minor arguments, follow up with the previous paragraph, and finally brief the key concepts made in the paper. The conclusion comes next.Conclusion states the consecutive pattern of the paper in an appealing way. Its thesis statement needs to be said again without making the essay sound repetitive. It definitely should sum up the three major points and provoke the readers for a call to action.”Kill the 5-Paragraph Essay” written by blogger John Warner, bashes out about why he wants to end the traditional five paragraph format. He argues that young writers can’t write well because the education system is not teaching students how to. Warner’s call to action is to redesign the curriculum and concentrate on how to transform the standard essay into something meaningful and actually readable. He highly recommends abandoning the format because it conforms students to write by the rules. I understand his point that it restricts freedom. Most students swear by the form usually for the sake of good grades, though the habit torments some of them when they try to learn other different writing styles. This excerpt justifies why John Warner wants to kill it dead: ” … opening them up to the world of “choice” that confronts them when tackling “writing related problems” that they face in college and beyond. They cannot hope to develop unless and until we first undo the damage done.” Warner explains it is a counterproductive approach and brainwashes students to write inflexible, over-developed works. My interpretation of the following quote is another one of Warner’s justifications, “More troublesome is what the 5-paragraph essay does to the writing process. The act of writing is primarily treated as a performance meant to impress a teacher or score well on a standardized exam” (Warner). Students are rewarded with A grades with the technique, but the process to him is essentially just only following the teacher’s judgement and avoid thinking outside the box.Out of all the things that was said in the article, there were two sentences that Warner did not elaborate on. “Even the old-fashioned “book report” is superior to the 5-paragraph essay as a tool for developing writers and writing, as it embraces audience and purpose, i.e., tell someone about the book you just read and whether or not they should read it too. A book report is the solution to a genuine writing related problem” (Warner), it is confusing what he is insinuating because it does not clarify about what the “book report” is about. Maybe its method is used to ignore the 5-paragraph essay arrangement? What exactly is the difference between book report and the essay? It is a little confusing knowing he thoroughly explained the peanut butter and jelly sandwich concept better than what a book report is about.Warner never seemed to say anything respectful to those who like the 5-paragraph essay format. Some students actually don’t mind. They actively use it because they find it supportive and easier to write essays. The format may be similar to training wheels (Warner), and it gives the advantage of making life simpler for those who struggle writing papers. If a teacher had a student who writes with training wheels, he would rather have one than who cannot write or make an argument at all.Through practice with the 5-paragraph format students can learn to write excellent papers. As they gain competence they may learn that writing can be fun. In all honesty I have to admit that I still hate writing academic essays with passion. These assignments are so time consuming and laborious. It puts us under pressure knowing that teachers expect high quality papers. It too can be very difficult to find something to write about when you hardly care about the subject. I can state more reasons why I hate it, however I know it is possible to overcome all the hatred with much more experience. Works CitedWarner, John. “Kill the 5-Paragraph Essay.”Inside Higher Ed, Inside Higher Ed Inc., 22 Feb. 2016, www.insidehighered.com/blogs/just-visiting/kill-5-paragraph-essay.