If you find that a paragraph contains more than one idea, you may need to reorganise your essay so that your ideas are developed more logically. Paragraphs should all be of roughly similar length.
If you find that you have one or two paragraphs that are much longer than all the others, read them carefully and try to find out why.
I had mixed feelings about the formula, and those mixed feelings remain now that I’ve graduated from college with my degree in English.
For those of you who are new to the five-paragraph essay, here’s a quick explanation.
If a paragraph is too short, it may be because the initial idea has not been developed sufficiently.
To some extent, the level of development is dependent on the writer's purpose and the overall length of the essay.
A paragraph should usually begin with an introductory sentence, which sets out the subject of that paragraph.
The remainder of the paragraph should go on to explain and 'unpack' that initial sentence.
The temptation to go off on tangents or develop points unevenly decreases because each main point is one paragraph long.
When there are few details or facts from research to include, using more than one paragraph per point is unnecessary.