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How to Write a Three-Paragraph Essay


Show me the Parts of a Three-Paragraph Essay

the introduction paragraph

one supporting paragraph

the conclusion paragraph

Show an example for a three-paragraph essay

Show me the steps to write a three-paragraph essay


The essay example below is shortened from a four-paragraph essay. See the differences.

The Introduction Paragraph:

I am a professional single mother, very busy and hard working with two daughters and demanding work, but I feel fulfilled. My profession and the motherhood for my beloved daughters gratify me fully. I begin my day with a good breakfast with my children. By 9:30 I am in my office where I work as a consumer advocate in the state governor's office for children products. All day my telephone rings, voice mails and emails swamp in, and I meet several people in the office and online conferences. In the meantime I write reports, media releases, letters and emails. After an exhausting work day, I do a lot of things to relax. But at the end of the day, I go to sleep happy.

The Supporting Paragraph:

My busy day begins at 6 a.m. in the morning with a big breakfast I prepare for my two daughters (eleven and fourteen years old) and for myself. I spend one good hour with them in the kitchen, eating breakfast and talking with them, and preparing their lunch boxes. This time in the kitchen is very important for me to insure that my children and I have a family conversation to begin our day, counsel my children for their safety in school and after-school activities. I see them off to the school bus that picks them up before our home. Then, my house-keeper shows up. I give my housekeeper the day's instructions for household chores. At 8:30 I leave home and arrive office by 9:30 where I meet with my secretary who greets me at the door with a pile of letters and messages waiting for me. She briefs me on the day's agenda for about fifteen minutes while telephone calls already begin to buzz in one after another. After I am done with my secretary, I write emails, letters and media releases as well as jiggle with incoming calls from associates, clientele and others until 1:30 in the afternoon. In the afternoon hours, I deal with consumer groups, media representatives, and government enforcement agencies on the phone or in the office or through text-messages. Around 5 p.m. I shut down my computer, clean up my desk and dictate my secretary the next day's agenda before I live office for the gym. At the gym, I feel exhausted and force my aching body to move, and after some fifteen minutes into it. Finally I get home. I eat dinner with my children for about an hour in the dining room and exchange the day's news on school and my work. Then I help them with their homework and they go to bed at 10 o'clock after an unavoidable fight with me for more TV time. Having done with my children for the evening, I go to my study, tune to my favorite radio station, pay bills or make telephone calls. At midnight, I finally call it a day, go to bed for a good night sleep.

The Conclusion Paragraph:

My life, as a single-mother and professional woman, is hectic from early morning till midnight. With my two daughters and highly demanding profession, I feel that the twenty-four-hour day is not enough, and I am overworked. At the end of the day, after having so much to do, working out at the gym helps me relax. What's more relaxing is that the time I spend with my daughters when dining and talking with them in the evening, and helping them with their homework. Then, I listen to the music. After a rewarding time with my children and listening to the music, I am relaxed already. My life at work and outside work are busy, but I feel the joy of fulfillment in my life.

Parts of a Three-Paragraph Essay:

A three-paragraph essay contains:

1. An introduction topic paragraph that introduces the main topic of the essay.

2. A supporting paragraph that backs up the main topic with supporting ideas, details and examples.

3. A conclusion paragraph that sums up the main topic and bring the essay to a close.

The Introduction Paragraph:

The Introduction Paragraph states the main idea in the first one or two sentences, proceeds to supporting sentences, and then reinstates the main idea with a conclusion sentence. (See how to write a paragraph.) The introduction paragraph builds the reader's interest for the topic you will explain next in the supporting paragraph.

Question: Which sentences in the introduction paragraph give the main topic idea?

The Supporting Paragraph:

The supporting paragraph gives details for the topic stated in the introduction paragraph. Each supporting statement provides a new piece of information. Supporting sentences can also provide specific examples. The supporting paragraph in the above essay is longer than the introduction and conclusion paragraph. One supporting paragraph is preferable if you don't have sufficient details to explain the topic. Also, the time factor is important, and if you are short of time, wrap up all details in one supporting paragraph.

Question: Find two sentences giving details in the supporting paragraph above. Do these sentences give new information? Remember that each supporting sentence should give new information.

Question: Because this is a three-paragraph essay, this essay has only one supporting paragraph as compared to the four-paragraph essay with two supporting paragraphs. How does this essay with a single supporting paragraph affect your understanding of the topic? To answer this question, read the four-paragraph essay.

The Conclusion Paragraph:

The conclusion paragraph sumps up the essay. It reinforces the ideas given in the introduction and supporting paragraphs in a more general and concise language than supporting paragraphs. A well-written conclusion paragraph provides the essence of the essay.

Question: What are the ideas that wrap up the conclusion paragraph in the above example essay?


Using the Internet, find three articles of your interest.

  1. Read the first few sentences in the articles. Those sentences introduce the main topic.
  2. Write three different paragraphs based on the ideas of the main topic.
  3. Complete each paragraph by adding two or more sentences. It doesn't matter if you stray from the facts. Remember, each sentence you add must give new information about the topic.

You can repeat this exercise over and over again in your spare time. For grammar and sentence construction, see Grammar Lessons.

Related Links: Guide to Writing a Basic Essay





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How to Write a Good Sentence

An Example of Four-Paragraph Essay

A Three-Paragraph Essay

How to Write a Good Paragraph

How to Write a Business Letter

Illustrations of a Well- Written Paragraph

Steps to Write a Three-Paragraph Essay

How to Write a Good Main Topic Sentence

How to Write Good Supporting Sentences

Recommendations for Writing a Good Paragraph

Writing Resources

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Adjectives and Adverbs

Appositives in Complete Sentence

Complete Sentence

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Present Perfect Tense

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