The 5 Paragraph Outline friend or Foe?

As a first year college student you approach all your classes with your previous high school mindset. Throughout high school teachers give the run down on how college is going to be way more intense and how your work needs to be better but they never really prepare you for what is coming. I felt that way at least not speaking for everyone. As students in high school in our English and writing classes we’re taught to use the five-paragraph outline for all of our essays. We’re told to have a thesis and intro, 3 body paragraphs and a conclusion. That always seemed weird to me because even though it worked for simple papers I always wondered what am I to do when I get to college. In college I heard there would be longer essay requirements and possible dissertations and so I always wondered was the five paragraph essay guide really ordeal. Was if helpful or was it a hindrance? Friend or Foe to me?

Inquiry requires studying and researching a topic or question. You can also inquire using your own thoughts and experiences to further your knowledge on a topic. I believe writing without guidelines takes a lot of “inquiring”. When involving this in your personal writing it can help separate your work from others.

According to “Blaze’s Experience” that I read in a blog “We don’t need to be adapting our writing to fit a style or format, we need to create a style that is adapted to the ever changing subject we are writing about.  The five paragraph essay is hindering creativity and student exploration, and I think that is wrong.” I wasn’t completely convinced and so I had to do some more “inquiring” on the topic.

After reading “The Five-paragraph Essay and the Deficit Model of Education” I realized that inevitably at a young age when kids are just starting to write papers and essays and there are no guidelines, the paper would probably end up not being well put together. I realized the five-paragraph outline provides structure to papers and helps organize them. It dawned on me that without organization and structure in a paper it’s harder to understand or to simply embrace its content. I feel that to be a good writer it takes a lot of critiquing and practice. Teachers simply teach less time on teaching and allowing students to practice they just give you a guideline and you do what you take out of it yourself and hope for the best that your writing receives a good grade. When you just base your paper off of someone else’s idea of a good paper it means that your writing can lack the creativity you possess and can lack individuality if you aren’t a strong writer. Therefore I can see both sides of the argument surrounding “The Five-paragraph Essay and the Deficit Model of Education” and I can say that it is both a friend and a foe and therefore I look at it as a friendneme (friend/enemy).

After reading “The Elements of Literacy” I was able to understand “literacy” itself more. According to me if you could read and write, and then articulate back to me what you wrote or even what you understood from what you were reading then you were literate. I never used a few grammatical errors or even writing style to judge whether someone was literate or illiterate. I never did so simply because I know some people are better at expressing a point through talking rather then writing. I also know some people are good readers but they can’t explain what they may have just read about. Defining what it means to be literate before calling someone illiterate is very important.


3 thoughts on “The 5 Paragraph Outline friend or Foe?

  1. keegantysinger says:

    I like how you put this into words! To me, “friendneme” is a new way of looking at it. Like me, most people reading these articles would think of it as more of a foe because of our past experiences with it. But, I think its interesting how you kind of went outside of that thinking and saw how it could still be helpful in ways. It definitely gave me a new perspective!


  2. akarambe says:

    I really loved reading your blog post. I think that you made a lot of good points. When I was in high school I loved the five-paragraph essay because it was such an easy model to follow and always guaranteed a good grade, but like you, I had some doubts on how far it would take me. I definitely feared that in college the five-paragraph essay wouldn’t fly. It might have been a good model to use in high school and for beginner writers, but as we move on to college I think it’s important that we branch out and explore our writing more.


  3. stueremu says:

    Well first and foremost I wanna say that I really love the layout of your blog. I like how you entertained the idea of the fact that articulating and comprehending or reciprocating information back to you is the way that you think of literacy. I also like that you included the fact that writing style changes depending on the trends thus making writing more and more creative every single day because trends change daily. This is a different spin that I have yet to read about so thank you.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s