Writing a Five Paragraph Workshop

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Revision, Aug 2, 2012.

  1. Writing workshops. It isn’t for everyone, and yet almost everyone has a skill they excel at that they are probably going to be asked to explain at some point in their life. This talent may be very in demand or not useful at all at the moment, but trust me: someday, someone will want to know how you do the things you do. When this happens, being able to provide a succinct, easy to read workshop is a good skill, indeed. In this workshop, I am going to show you how to write an easy to read and simple resource that will keep your readers on track. Adapted from a five paragraph essay, this five paragraph workshop format will help you present an idea, explain and illustrate it, and conclude it. You will learn how to format, what to brainstorm, and how to pull it all together.

    The first thing to understand is how to format the workshop. Now, chances are you aren’t presenting a theory (like in a five paragraph essay), but instead presenting a road map to utilizing a skill set. Still, the format is similar. Using anywhere from five to seven paragraphs, you will want to present an introduction that explains what is coming (first paragraph), a conclusion that recaps what happened and gives some final integration advice (last paragraph), and content that shows how to go about doing what you need to do (middle three to five paragraphs).

    Now that you understand format, think about what you wish to write about. Use whatever brainstorming method works best for you. Once you have that, work out three points or words that you wish to talk about. Each of these will be one of the middle paragraphs. Brainstorm more to figure out what you want to explain about each point. Turn these points into introductory sentences explaining what the paragraph will accomplish. Also, be sure to discuss each briefly in the intro and conclusion.

    You may want to write your introduction and conclusion first, so you know just what you wish to say in the middle. On the other hand, you may wish to progress in a linear fashion. Either way works, so don’t worry about your order. Your three initial points may spawn a couple others or they may need more than a paragraph a piece to detail. This is fine, just try not to write a novel. In general, a five paragraph workshop shouldn’t really exceed a thousand words. At that point, people get a bit bored. (Because of this, detailed workshops with long, explained lists are best left for a more freeform workshops instead of this exact format.) Feel free to write a bit more than necessary and tighten up when you revise. Be sure to cover what is relevant as concisely as possible.

    So there you have it, a nice five paragraph workshop all about five paragraph workshops. You’ve seen a bit of advice about format, outlining, and content. Utilizing the format explained and illustrated here, you should be able to write a short, clear explanation on any topic you might wish to add to the Iwaku wiki. Have fun and happy writing!