How would you format a comment analysis article on this topic:  Who is responsible for civility?There needs to be a lead, 3 paragraphs and a closing.

Expert Answers
litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that the standard 5 paragraph essay is what you are describing.  The first paragraph is an introduction, where you begin with a hook asking a question or listing a statistic about your topic.   You might start with: When did you learn the difference between right and wrong?  The idea is to set the tone for your reader and get your reader thinking about the topic.

Next comes a thesis, where you state in one simple clear sentence what your essay is about.  Decide who you will argue is responsible for civility.  You want to avoid statements of opinion like "I think" or "I believe" and instead say something like: Parents are responsible for their children's civility.  Then you want to list 3 clear, succinct reasons why.

Begin each of the next three paragraphs with a transition word, such as To begin with, First, Next, Also, In addition, and so on.  Then include a clear topic sentence with the reason for that paragraph.  For example, your first paragraph might begin with:

First of all, parents are responsible for setting their children's moral compass.

Then go on to explain, with concrete and specific examples.  Continue this format for all three paragraphs.  You'll want to include 2-3 examples and pieces of evidence for each.

End your essay with a clear conclusion.  In the first sentence, return to your hook statement by answering your question or adding to your statistic.  Then restate your thesis statement in mostly the same words.  List your three topic sentences from the middle paragraphs.  Finally, end with a call to action or concluding thought to lead your reader thinking about your essay.