Improve Essay Writing Skills

Whether you have a learning disability in writing or just want to improve your writing grades, learning how to follow this basic essay writing method will improve your writing.

The Three Point Five Paragraph Essay:

  1. Tells readers what about the topic you intend to show or prove;
  2. Explains three main supporting ideas that prove your argument or support your position; and
  3. Summarizes the main point, supporting ideas, and reinforces your conclusions about the topic.

Understanding Your Assignment

What is a Three Point Five Paragraph Paper? A three point five paragraph paper, also called a 3.5 paper, is a type of essay that includes five paragraphs and three main ideas, or points:

  1. The first paragraph is an introduction.
  2. The second, third, and fourth paragraphs each include one main point or idea.
  3. The final paragraph is a conclusion.

Why Write a Three Point Five Paragraph Essay?

A 3.5 paper is a type of essay that organizes and presents your topic in a clear, well-supported, and complete way.

You can use this form of writing for many types of assignments such as:

  • Classroom homework assignments;
  • Essay tests and examinations;
  • Articles for the school or local newspaper;
  • Presentations using PowerPoint or other slideshow software;
  • Speeches and Oral Presentations;
  • Poster presentations for science fairs or other academic presentations; and
  • Workplace assignments for papers or presentations on the job.

Improve Essay Writing with Pre-writing Tasks

As with any type of writing project, performing pre-writing tasks is an important first step:

  • Get clear instructions from your teacher, and check your understanding with her.
  • Ask if there are handouts on the assignment or a rubric explaining how the assignment will be scored.
  • Ask for a sample 3.5 paper your teacher thinks is a good example. Teachers may not always do this, but if a sample is available, it can give you important information on what kind of writing your teacher considers good work. Use it as inspiration, but never copy anyone else's writing.

Thinking About and Research Your Topic Improves Your Essay Writing

List your thoughts about the topic in brief sentences. Write at least twelve sentences on separate index cards. To get started, use these questions to get your thoughts going:

  • What do you already know about the topic?
  • What does your teacher think is important about it?
  • What does your textbook or the media say about it?
  • What would most people want to know about the topic?

Read your sentences, and think about how they can be grouped. Combine your sentences into three main groups.

Improve Essay Writing by Organizing Your Ideas in Groups

Look for relationships between your ideas, and identify three main groups. Examples:

Separate your index cards into three piles, one for each main idea.

  • A time sequence such as first, second, and third events;
  • Three social studies themes such as political, social, and economic influences;
  • A shift in focus from how your topic affects one person, a community, and a nation;
  • Development of a piece of art from an idea to creation, to its impact on the art world; and
  • Background research on a science project, design of the project, and analysis of results.

Analyze and Organize for Better Writing

Now you're ready to begin writing the three paragraphs that will form the body of your paper.

Working with one stack of cards at a time, organize the cards into logical order within each pile.

Order the piles in the sequence you will use them in the paper. Examples of order:

  • Temporal order as in which came first, second, and third in time;
  • Order of importance, as in least important, more important, and most important idea;
  • Order of construction as in the foundation, main parts, and finishing touches; or
  • Other order that makes sense for your unique topic.

Write the First Draft of Each Paragraph

Working with one stack at a time, write each paragraph on a separate piece of paper:

  1. Write using the sentences you created in your first stack.
  2. As you write, feel free to make small edits, such as choosing more descriptive words or the correcting the wrong tense.
  3. Include any important new ideas you think of as you write.
  4. Exclude any sentences that no longer seem to fit.
  5. When you've finished with the first paragraph, write the second and third following the same steps.

Develop the Introduction Paragraph

Many students find that writing the essay's introduction after the main points are developed is much easier because it enables you to focus your writing. Your introduction should include at least two parts:

  1. A sentence stating the main purpose or idea your essay will address
  2. One to three sentences that briefly introduce the three main supporting points that will prove, support, or justify the main idea of the paper.

Develop the Closing Paragraph

The conclusion paragraph should be a brief restating of your introduction should include at least two parts:

  1. A sentence that reminds your reader of the main purpose or idea your essay addressed; and
  2. A sentence that briefly reminds readers that your three points prove your main idea or shows that your position is correct.

Final Editing

As you work toward the final version of your paper:

  • Ask your teacher if you can submit a draft for your teacher to make suggestions for improvement that you can use in your final version;
  • Ask a parent, another student, or a friend to read your paper and offer suggestions; and as always,
  • Check spelling, word use, and your teacher's input to make final revisions.


  1. You can adapt these steps using a computer or word processor if that is the way you prefer to write.
  2. Writing on paper with pencils, however, helps some students reflect more on the content of their essays.

By Julie Petersen
Online Learning Tips, Guest Contributor

Essay writing skills are important for successful careers in all professions. Whether you decide to be a marketing expert, manager, journalist, small business owner, teacher, or an engineer, you will always benefit from the ability to express yourself through well-structured content.

Communication in today’s business world is based on emails, reports, and other forms of written expression. If you don’t master the art of writing throughout your years as a student, you would be undermining your own chances of success.

In the following list you will find 15 awesome tools that will help you become a better essay writer:

  1. Statement of Purpose

This website’s goal is to help students with their admission papers. It is very important to understand what a statement of purpose is before you start completing your application documents. The guidelines provided at this site will teach you how to write a unique personal essay that will present you as a successful applicant.

  1. Guide to Writing a Basic Essay

At this website, you will not only get useful tips that will help you deal with the structure of a basic essay, but you’ll also find a great collection of links to other guides. Depending on the type of project you are working on, you can find resources that will help you understand it. In addition, you will find grammar and style resources that will turn you into a better writer.


The free membership at this website comes with great benefits. First of all, you will get a free online writing portfolio, as well as an effective way to share your own work. The features of this website may not be that important if you’re not planning on becoming a professional writer, but they will definitely help you get productive feedback on your papers.

The contests and activities will motivate you to write more and write better!

  1. How To Write An Essay

This is a very detailed guide written by someone who understands the troubles students go through when writing essays. Kimberly Chapman’s site has lessons on research, proposal, planning, compiling notes, writing, and finishing the essay. In addition, you can go through the examples of good and bad academic writing to see what your professors expect you to deliver.

  1. The Easy Essay

This is an automated tool that will help you organize the process of writing essays. Thanks to the translator, the program is effective in any language. Students at all levels can use The Easy Essay to organize their projects, since the concept can be expanded from the basic 5-paragraph paper to a format of 17 paragraphs.

  1. Essay Mama

This online writing agency has hired professional PhD writers and tutors, that is why you can get valuable assistance with essay writing, as well as advice that will help you discover and develop your inner talent. The blog section of the website is a real revelation; it features awesome infographics and writing tips that will inspire you to practice more.

The glossary of essay terms, citation generator, and wordcounter are great tools that will help you go through different stages of the writing process.

  1. Thesis Builder

The thesis statement, is an essential part of the overall paper and it can determine the success of the project. If you get stuck at this point, there is no way to come up with a good paper. Thesis Builder is an efficient tool that will help you create an acceptable thesis statement. You can see examples, but you can also generate your own thesis by inserting the needed determinants and allowing the tool to do its job.

  1. Essay Forum

Do you have specific questions about essay writing? At Essay Forum, you can get help throughout the various stages of research, writing and editing. Remember: you can gain the greatest benefits if you provide your own contributions, so don’t be shy to become part of the community.

  1. Today’s Best College Essays

When you need inspiration for your own papers, it’s best to take a look at great samples of academic writing. You can read hundreds of papers provided by students from different countries. The search tool at the website enables you to find samples of essays written on topics similar to the one you are currently elaborating on.

  1. Novelguide

This is one of the best literary analysis platforms on the web. Novelguide provides educational resources that enable students to understand contemporary and classic literature better. If you are having difficulties writing a book review, this is the website you should turn to. Analyses of new books are constantly being added, so make sure to check each week for new titles.

  1. Essay Map

There is one certain way to make the writing process easier: create an essay map. You need to enter the name and the topic of your essay, and you’ll start going through an interactive mapping process that will guide you through specific stages. Another way to benefit from this tool is to print out the blank map and write the main points of your essay.

  1. Daily Writing Tips

If you want to work on your writing skills, this website is an inevitable addition in your arsenal of tools. You can read daily articles focused on spelling, grammar, vocabulary, usage, and everything in between.

As you progress through the different aspects of the writing process, you will inevitably notice an improvement in your capacity to handle academic assignments.

  1. Hemingway App

This is arguably the most efficient automatic editing tool out there. Before you submit your essays, you should always make sure they are readable. Some students think they will get better grades if they write “eloquent” content with confusing, lengthy sentences. They are wrong. You should always aim for clarity, and Hemingway is the app that will help you achieve that goal.

  1. The Readability Test Tool

This is another tool that can help you make your content more readable. It tests your work according to five formulas: Flesch Kincaid Reading Ease, Flesch Kincaid Grade Level, ARI, Gunning Fog Score, and Coleman Liau Index.

  1. RefMe

Referencing has to be one of the most challenging aspects of academic writing. It’s not only boring, but detailed and nerve-wracking as well. You clearly want to make this part of your work simpler, so you’ll appreciate RefMe — a free, automatic tool that enables you to generate citations, bibliographies and reference lists in the appropriate format.

About the Author

Julie Petersen is a tutor and a blogger, who features the latest career and educational trends in her articles. At present time she is working on her first ebook dedicated to online learning. You may see Julie’s latest publications and contact her via Linkedin.



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