Abcde Essay Format

Abcde Essay Format


Take notes. You will need these on your final at the end of the semester and year.

This is a format for writing a 5-paragraph persuasive or argumentative essay. It, however, is not a good tool for writing a summary, narrative, compare/contrast, or cause/effect essay. Other formats will be learned.


  • First sentence or two of essay
  • Interesting
  • May be a fact
  • A quotation
  • A clever observation
  • MAY NOT BE A QUESTION (For this first essay)


  • Provides introductory information for the topic
  • Must flow smoothly between A and C
  • Approximately 5-10 sentences long
  • Is in the first paragraph of the essay


  • Is the last sentence of the first paragraph
  • Has 2 parts
  • An opinion about your topic—not a fact
  • 3 reasons for the opinion

D—DIVIDERS (Fancy name for body paragraphs)

  • There are 3 dividers
  • They are often called the Body Paragraphs
  • Theirtopic sentences are made of the opinion of the thesis plus ONE reason
  • There are 3 examples to support each reason.
  • Each Divider and each example starts with a transition


  • Comments on the thesis using at least 4 sentences. (DOES NOT REPEAT THESIS)
  • One or 2 sentences commenting on the opinion of the thesis
  • Another sentence or 2comments on reason 1
  • Another sentence or 2 comments on reason 2
  • Another sentence or 2 comments on reason 3.
  • A Wrap-up. 1-3 sentences. Clever like the Attention Grabber.

The following is the INTRODUCTION from the “Miserable Matt” Essay.

Mommy wasn’t affectionate enough, Daddy was never home, the teacher was hateful, the spouse abusive, and the list continues ad nauseam. Humans seem to have an innate ability to find others at fault for their problems. Cussing out others seems to be the answer, but it is only the answer for holding tightly on to existing problems—not for curing current dilemmas. Such whining offers no power other than the self-satisfying delusion that one is a victim. Humans too often resist the idea that they are at fault for their own situations regardless of who might have put them there. To accept that one is in fact at fault is to embrace the power that leads to change. Matt Stein, a Sad Sack of a fellow in Phoenix, desperately needs to learn this lesson. He always tells himself, “Everyone is unfair,” “No one will give me a chance,” It’s all my parents’ fault.” He’s miserable before his feet hit the floor in the morning, and the rest of his day proves that he is right. He needs help to discover that all he can be is within his own control. He needs to come to the wonderful realization that it is all his fault. In order to realize this, Matt needs counseling because of the poor leisure activities he chooses, his dissatisfaction with his job, and the poor relationships he creates.