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Where To Go Looking For Proper Examples Of 3 Paragraph Essays


The three-paragraph essay is a form of writing that absolutely has to have a laser-like focus. There simply is not enough space in these to waste by not getting to the heart of the matter, and making your argument as quickly and effectively as you can. (Which is not to say that it can’t be at least a little lyrical, or indulge in some potent imagery judiciously.)

Examples are very useful to get a good feel for the build of these writings. Unfortunately, you’re far more likely to chance across poor examples that technically are correct in that they comprise three paragraphs, but otherwise leave readers unmoved, uninspired, unenlightened, and having wasted a good few minutes of their time. So to find the really great examples that will teach you well, you need to look in the right places for the right things.


Stay away from simpletons

It has become a common trope to trot out: Essays must have a “beginning, a middle, and an end”. Of course they do… It’s somewhat impossible that they can exist otherwise! What you’re really looking for is a gripping introduction, a succinct body, and powerful conclusion. So, as your exemplars present their thoughts on the form, steer clear of those that haven’t thought beyond this cliché.


But keep it simple

The three-paragraph essay is not the correct form to unpack ideas from every possible angle, and to carefully and thoroughly construct perfect logical arguments for or against those ideas. Keep it simple. Discard examples that cram too many ideas in to the first paragraph, or present the core idea in a way that is unclear or confusing. Also, keep an eye on the style of the writing. Again, this is not the form to be playing with excessively complex sentences or contorted grammar. Short is good. Punchy is powerful.


Look for the passion

To better your chances of finding the powerful ideas simply packaged without pretensions, look to writers who are passionate about the form. On writing community sites and social networks, there are frequently forums and sub-communities dedicated to specific styles like these. Engage with those. Ask for examples. Ask questions, and examples often will follow too. Alternatively, you can focus in more specifically to the writing labs where there is less of a community, but a more explicit focus on teaching the ins and outs of the these essays.

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