Writing a five-paragraph essay is one of the most important skills you need to succeed on the independent writing section of the TOEFL (and many other tests including the GRE and GMAT) and in order to write papers for American college classes.
Americans love hamburgers more than you thought!
One easy way to remember how to do this is to think of your essay like it’s a hamburger. You can find a million examples like this online (just type “essay hamburger” into Google Images). College papers usually must be at least several pages long (and often can be 10-20 pages long) but they can still follow the “hamburger model.”
The basic idea:
TOP BUN = Paragraph 1 = Introduce the topic and present the argument you are trying to make (thesis)
TOMATO = Paragraph 2 = First type of support for your argument, with at least one specific example
LETTUCE = Paragraph 3 = Second type of support for your argument, with at least one specific example
MEAT PATTY = Paragraph 4 = Third type of support for your argument, with at least one specific example
BOTTOM BUN = Paragraph 5 = Conclusion; repeat your main argument and find a good way to end. For example, make a prediction about the future.
Some essay hamburger examples:
This model can also be use for writing a single paragraph: