An th 8 grade essay Step by step example of the five paragraph theme By Lara Cooper The Introduction • The word perfect has been used to describe many products. One can find “perfect” toilet paper, shampoo and floor cleaner, but can one find a truly perfect day? How precious and rare it would be to be given a single, mistakefree, perfect day. Would I ask for outrageous gifts like winning Lotto tickets, or overseas trips? No – my perfect day would be simple. The perfect day would be quiet, stress-free and filled with all the hobbies and events that I never have time for. • Notice how I used an attention getting device. I sucked readers in by giving them a weird way to introduce the idea of “perfect” then enticed them with the idea of having a prefect day – I mean who hasn’t wished for that? • I then go on to set my reader up for MY idea of a perfect day, so that they know what is to come. • I used a dash to show an abrupt change in thought. I really love dashes. I think readers get bored with regular punctuation and need something different once in a while. 1st Body Paragraph • I enjoy quiet moments at home. Being the mother of three kids, and having a multitude of pets at home, having time that is soundfree is nearly impossible. From 6a.m. to 11 p.m. the house has some form of noise – be it running kids, barking dogs or Mr. Cooper’s late night television habit. Having a house without the four other members of my family is a treat. I would turn off my phone, turn off the t.v. and put the dogs out of earshot. Having a few hours of silence allows me to quiet my mind and be calm and restful. Those stolen moments of relaxation are more valuable to me than money. • Notice how I did not use a transition word here. If you are writing for the Benchmark test, use one; if you are writing for yourself or another teacher and can make your writing sound grown-up without those transitions, then don’t use one. • I wrote this paragraph about having quiet. I referred to it in my introduction so I made a promise to my reader that I would discuss it in my essay. I started with a topic sentence right at the beginning and each sentence describes or builds on the one that came before it. • I gave my reader some background about why I don’t get the opportunity to have quiet time. Then I described why I enjoy the quiet so much and what it is that I get out of it. • I gave enough personal, and specific information for my readers to get involved with me as a writer. I want them to feel as if they know me, and that we have a lifestyle in common. That helps me build a relationship with the reader. It makes them want to read more! 2nd Body Paragraph • Another element of my perfect day, and perhaps the most important, would be to have a day that was free from stress. Stress is a very damaging reality for me. I have the stress of getting papers graded, test scores up, lesson plans completed, meetings to attend, and that’s just at work! Then I get to start my “second shift” at home. It would be so delectable to have a day where I could relax and have nothing on my to-do list. I could simply have fun finding ways to occupy my time with what I WANTED to do, instead of having to WORRY about things I had to get done. That really would be perfect. Here I decided to use a transition word to make sure that my reader knows I am changing ideas. I am sick of hearing first, second and last, so I opted to go with “another” instead. I wrote about a stress-free day since I had mentioned it in my introduction. Again, I explained to my reader what kind of stress I deal with (this makes them feel sorry for you – you can have a lot of power to make people feel emotions just by your writing). Then I explained how precious having that perfect day would really be. I mentioned the word “perfect” again to remind (nag) my reader as to what the topic of the essay is about. 3rd Body Paragraph • Now that I would have a quiet house, with nothing stressful to think about, I would have the time and peace of mind to spend on some of the little luxuries I enjoy. I would spend some time outside with my camera since I dabble in photography. Taking interesting pictures, especially black and white photography, is a wonderful way to creatively express myself. I love finding just the right angle, or lighting to make an ordinary object look special. I would also spend some time curled up on my sofa reading. I have so many books I want to read for myself, but I end reading books that have to do with my work. It would be great to read something just for the pleasure of it. • I used a typical transition (now) and reminded the reader of where we were in the journey. I promised to talk about my hobbies in the intro, so I made good on my promise by including that info in this paragraph. • I added lots of specific details about my interests, keeping my reader interested in me as a person. Writing doesn’t have to be boring. Everyone has opinions and experiences and essays are just one way of showing those off. • I showed the reader more of who I am, as an individual, instead of giving them so much background. I think they understand me better and I didn’t want to use the exact same format in every body paragraph. I wanted to keep it fresh. The Conclusion • It’s a common daydream to have a perfect day. I think everyone desires it. I often see teachers and kids who are stressed out and busy. Many people want to be able to own their own day, instead of it owning them. It gives people the sense of being in control and being able to “make it through” the week or weeks ahead. Others may think a day with a celebrity, or shopping with a no-limits Visa makes a day perfect, but I would just look for a quiet, relaxed comfortable day that I could spend doing my own thing. What more could I ask for? • I wanted to expand my relationship with my reader in my conclusion. I took my idea and applied it to the larger world. I showed my reader that I am not the only person who feels like they just want a day off. Since I think my reader wants a day off too, I am committing to understanding how THEY feel. This creates a two-way street relationship since they had the good manners to hang out with me during my essay. • I also managed to tie in my thesis statement all over again right at the end to remind them of what it was I wanted in MY perfect day.