Title: To Teach or Not to Teach the Five-Paragraph Essay?
Author(s): Jimalee Sowell, PhD Candidate, Composition and Applied Linguistics, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, USA 

Publication Information
Journal Title: Palimpsest - East Delta University Journal of English Studies
Volume No: 02, Issue No: 01, Year: 2020, Pages: 22-31
Publisher: Department of English, East Delta University, Chattogram, Bangladesh
Type of Publication: Research Article
Received: 08 September 2020, Accepted: 31 December 2020, Published: 07 December 2021
DOI: https://doi.org/10.46603/pedujes.v2i1.3
While the field of composition might like to believe it has moved on from concern about the five-paragraph essay, the debate is far from over. The five-paragraph essay continues to be taught, and oppositionists continue to rail against it. As long as the five-paragraph essay continues as a common form of writing assessment on standardized exams and as a form commonly taught in schools, it is a form that will likely persist. Instead of calling for the retirement of the five-paragraph essay, practitioners and researchers need to rethink the potential of the five-paragraph essay as a foundational form and to reconsider approaches to teaching it. Some of the problems associated with the five-paragraph essay are likely due to pedagogical decisions, such as an exclusive focus on the five-paragraph essay and not advancing to other forms when students are ready rather the five-paragraph essay form itself. In this paper, I define the five-paragraph essay, outline some of the historical links to the five-paragraph essay, challenge common criticisms of it, and suggest that such essay might be a useful foundational form. 
five-paragraph essay, five-paragraph theme, composition, writing instruction, foundational form, first-year composition
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To teach or not to teach the five-paragraph essay_pedujes.v2i1.3.pdf