How to Use the 5-Paragraph Formula — an Easy Writing Example

How to Use the 5-Paragraph Formula — an Easy Writing Example

June 16, 2022 | By William Rogers | No Comments

In my previous article, I shared a formula I teach my writing students, and use myself, to beat writer’s block and get to work quickly. Today, I’d like to share an easy writing example with you.

Simply start with a hard, impact-driven lead with all the critical detail up front. Then engage the reader with expert opinion and quotes from highly credible sources, followed by the rest of the information gathered in descending order of importance.

The inverted pyramid

My early training in journalism taught me the usefulness of the “Inverted Pyramid” style of writing.

It was designed to simplify the editing process by starting at the end of the article. Cut the conclusion, then chop off everything necessary to fit the story onto a page with ads already in place. Paste the conclusion back to the end and “voila!” — ready to print.

In a play on words from the ancient New York Times motto, “All the news that’s fit to print,” we used to joke that the new motto was “All the news that fits, we print.”

Such were the days of profit-driven newspapers with limited space. Now that digital pages allow whatever space is required to make a point followed by a call-to-action, that model doesn’t apply very well.

Long-form writing now is used all too often to repeat over and over the same message with slightly different words. This method takes advantage of the “If you repeat it enough it becomes true” mantra. And the repetition of the message sticks in the reader’s mind.

What’s different in our digital format

But as digital writers, we too need to be aware of the length of the article. You’ll be lucky to hang on to your reader if you go on and on and on before reaching your call-to-action. That’s why you see highlighted links throughout many articles that will take you to the landing or sales page.

No matter how long or short your article needs to be, The Five Paragraph Essay Format will get you there. Present all your information and keep the reader engaged all the way through.

If you’ve already read my previous article, A Formula to Make Writing Content Become Easy Writing, you may have questions about how to apply this method. Speaking in generalized language about writing can be difficult to translate to your specific need.

As a writing coach, my students have asked many times for specific examples of what I mean by each of the five paragraphs.

My Easy Writing Example

Here is a more specific easy writing example of how The Five Paragraph Essay Format could be used. I’ve included the most important information in the introduction and the conclusion and named each point. More research would yield the necessary information to fill in detail for each point, of course. But I believe this will make the format a bit easier to grasp.

Introduction           

The critical importance of independent energy production by any nation state has lately been underscored by the political tensions impacting the distribution of energy in Europe. Perhaps it is time to re-evaluate sovereign production, distribution, and utilization of energy.

1st Point                  The vulnerability of supply

2nd Point                The stability of prices

3rd Point                The impact on world economy

Argument and conclusion                     

Global energy supply and distribution may indeed have a mitigating effect on any region’s individual problems. However, the ideological transitions of power will always see energy supply and demand as a tool of influence. When each nation state maintains the energy production required for their own growth, they can be free to make the best possible choices without interference of market dominating forces.

This easy writing example just popped out of my head, but the roadmap of where it needed to go was clear. And that is how we can all better succeed at our persuasive communication.

Whether we’re talking about case studies, white papers or direct-response email, The Five Paragraph Essay Format helps you stay on track. You more easily persuade your reader to take action. The goal is always to achieve clarity, persuasion, and action.

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William Rogers

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