A five-paragraph paper is your typical short essay you get assigned in school. How you can guess from its name, it only has 5 paragraphs, which are: intro, 3 paragraphs or main body and conclusion. Though writing this type of paper seems extremely easy, you shall not celebrate just yet. Most of such essays have pretty specific instructions about what to write about, what structure to use and how to format your paper. If you are new to all this, you can make your life easier by finding a template, which will suit all the requirements, for instance, for a 5-paragraph essay in MLA format.
Format of your essay can be a great issue to some professors. That is why you need to carefully compare your paper to the templates you can find online. There is a number of official websites, which offer academically approved templates, but if you find a good example on a website that you cannot fully trust, check if the format of the essay corresponds the following requirements:
MLA has much more requirements than these and it seems impossible to know them all by heart, but these are the ones that are easy to notice and will have all the attention of your professor.
MLA or not, you still need to be careful not only about the format, but also about structuring your paper. For a short essay like this you cannot switch paragraphs with each other, as this is far too easily noticed and you may get penalized for that. Here is how your typical essay of this type looks: