Thesis Papers

At my school we typically teach the standard, 5-paragraph thesis paper. We use the inverted triangle to begin, include quotations in each supporting paragraph, and conclude with the opposite of the introduction–pedestrian, yes, but effective for beginning writers.

I have, as of late, experimented with other types of essay and am now curious what others do.

What do you teach in your school when teaching the thesis paper?


One thought on “Thesis Papers

  1. Seth

    As a junior high teacher, the 5 paragraph essay was very effective with “getting the job done”. The problem is that students got into the habit of trying to write every essay in just 5 paragraphs, whether it was a thesis essay or just a simple narrative.

    In my high school classrooms, I’m seeing much of the same things from students. So I tend to try and break them out of the 5 paragraph format from the beginning. I make them write a 4 paragraph summary essay (with a thesis) and then as we continue through the semester, I never mention 5 paragraphs again. Generally, my student essays range from 3-8 pages, and they quickly come to realize that 5 paragraphs is immensely inadequate for essays of those lengths.

    While I like the comfort that students have with the 5 paragraph essay, I hate the way it limits students. They get stuck in the 3 part thesis and then seem to be unable to ever expand beyond that.


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