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Standard Outline Form For the Five-Paragraph Essay

Quick Review

The number of supporting points or ideas decides the number of paragraphs in an essay. This means, the more supporting points a writer provides, the more paragraphs he/she is to write.

A supporting detail is the evidence a writer uses to support a point in order to convince the audience or readers to agree with him/her. It can be an example, fact, quote, expert opinion, statistics, or an explanation.

The Three Parts of the Standard Five-Paragraph Essay:

  • Introduction
  • Body
  • Conclusion

 

  1. Introduction:
    1. General statement
    2. Thesis statement
    3. Lead in sentence
  2. Body:
    1. Topic sentence
      1. Supporting point:
        1. Supporting detail
        2. Supporting detail
      2. Supporting point:
        1. Supporting detail
        2. Supporting detail
        3. Supporting detail
    2. Topic sentence
      1. Supporting point:
        1. Supporting detail
        2. Supporting detail
      2. Supporting point:
        1. Supporting detail
        2. Supporting detail
  3. Conclusion:
    1. Summary of the main idea
    2. Summary of the main points
    3. Suggestion and/or final comments/thoughts

 

  1. Introduction:
    1. General statement
      1. Pit Bulls are not the dangerous, killer breed that people commonly believe they are; any dog can kill.
    2. Thesis statement
      1. Each and every dog breed has the ability to both bite and kill, but the appearance and size of some breeds makes that fact hard to believe.
    3. Lead in sentence
      1. People who believe that American Pit Bull Terriers—commonly called Pit Bulls—are dangerous killers are mistaken.
  2. Body:
    1. First Body Paragraph
      1. Topic sentence
        1. A large majority of the dog bites reported each year in the United States misidentify a Pit Bull as the attacking breed.
          1. Supporting point:
            1. Very few people, including law enforcement and animal control officers, can properly identify a Pit Bull when asked to in a line-up type of identification tactic; such individuals are not trained in identifying breed characteristics.
          2. Supporting detail:
            1. According to the National Canine Research Foundation, there are approximately 4.5 million registered Pit Bulls living in the United States.
          3. Supporting detail:
            1. According to the CDC and the Humane Society of the United States, 4.7 million dog bites occur each year in the U.S., and roughly 1.5 million of those bites occur from dogs that the victim or law enforcement identified as Pit Bulls.
          4. Supporting detail:
            1. However, half of the bites each year, 2.35 million, are attributed to canines the victim or law enforcement identified as Rottweiler.
    2. Second Body Paragraph
      1. Topic sentence
        1. Appearances can be deceiving, and that age old adage definitely applies to canines.
          1. Supporting point:
            1. Pomeranian kills infant: http://articles.latimes.com/2000/oct/09/local/me-34015
            2. Poodle attacks girl: http://www.wboc.com/global/story.asp?S=10769319
            3. Chihuahua attacks boy: http://www.2keller.com/news/chihuahua-attacks-boy-in-springfield-township-in-20081030.cfm
    3. Third Body Paragraph
      1. Why do dogs  bite?
        1. Supporting point:
          1. There are many reasons why any dog may bite.
            1. Aggression
            2. Protection
        2. Supporting point:
          1. There are things we can do to make sure we stay safe.
            1. What to do
            2. What not to do
  3. Conclusion:
    1. Summary of the main idea: APBTs are not the only breed that can bite or kill a person.
    2. Summary of the main points:
      • Questionable identification points finger at APBTs often.
      • Appearances can be deceiving: not every powerful dog will bite; not every diminutive dog will not.
      • Why do dogs bite?
      • What can we do to make sure we stay safe?
    3. Suggestion and/or final comments/thoughts: Dogs are animals and should be treated as such: with respect, with care, and with intelligence.
    4. Detailed Example and Explanation


 

Introductory Paragraph

People who believe that American Pit Bull Terriers—APBTs—are dangerous killers are mistaken. People who have never been around this breed of dog and experienced it firsthand would be more susceptible to the commonly held distortion that this breed is more dangerous than other breeds than someone who has lived and worked with, and trained the breed for numerous years. It is true that there have been tragic instances where an APBT attacked a person, but this breed is not the only breed that can and will harm people. Each and every dog breed has the ability to both bite and kill, but the appearance and size of some breeds makes that fact hard to believe. It is easy for people to believe that a large and powerful dog such as a Pit Bull would kill a person, and it is easy for people to believe that a small and diminutive dog such as a Pomeranian would not. This is simply not the truth.

  • General Statement: People who believe that APBT are dangerous killers are mistaken.
  • Thesis: Each and every dog breed has the ability to both bite and kill, but the appearance and size of some breeds makes that fact hard to believe.
  • Blueprint: It is easy for people to believe that a large and powerful dog such as an APBT would kill a person, and it is easy for people to believe that a small and diminutive dog such as a Pomeranian would not.

 

First Body Paragraph

A large majority of the dog bites reported each year in the United States misidentify an APBT as the attacking breed. Very few people, including law enforcement and animal control officers, can properly identify an APBT when asked to in a line-up type of identification tactic; such individuals are not trained in identifying breed characteristics. According to the National Canine Research Foundation (2009), there are approximately 4.5 million registered Pit Bulls living in the United States. According to the CDC and the Humane Society of the United States (2011), 4.7 million dog bites occur each year in the U.S., and roughly 1.5 million of those bites occur from dogs that the victim or law enforcement identified as “pitbulls.” However, half of the bites each year, 2.35 million, are attributed to canines the victim or law enforcement identified as Rottweiler (2011).

  • Topic Sentence: A large majority of the dog bites reported each year in the United States misidentify an APBT as the attacking breed.
  • Specific Support: According to the National Canine Research Foundation, there are approximately 4.5 million registered APBTs living in the United States.
  • Specific Support: According to the CDC and the Humane Society of the United States, 4.7 million dog bites occur each year in the U.S., and roughly 1.5 million of those bites occur from dogs that the victim or law enforcement identified as “pitbulls.”
  • Specific Support: However, half of the bites each year, 2.35 million, are attributed to canines the victim or law enforcement identified as Rottweiler.

 

Second Body Paragraph

Appearances can be deceiving, and that age old adage definitely applies to canines. Many people believe APBTs are dangerous because they are large, muscular, have large teeth, and are very powerful animals. This is judging simply by appearance. Alternately, many people believe Pomeranians, Poodles, and Chihuahuas are not dangerous because they are pint-sized and unpretentious, fragile and unable to do harm. Again, this is judging by appearance. Smaller, less stigmatized dogs are dangerous right alongside their strapping counterparts. A 6 week-old baby was left alone in her crib in Los Angeles while her uncle went and made her a bottle. When he returned to the room he found the family’s Pomeranian in the crib mauling the baby. The girl died at the hospital shortly after (Los Angeles Times, 2000). A 7-year old girl was walking in her Grasonville, MD neighborhood when she was attacked by a neighbor’s Poodle, suffering several bite wounds to her upper body (WBOC News, 2009). 6-year-old Owen Ott was attacked by a Chihuahua who bit him in the face, ripping off his lip in Springfield Township, Indiana (The News Dispatch, 2008). Small dogs are still dogs and are capable of the same violence as larger dogs.

  • Topic Sentence: Appearances can be deceiving, and that age old adage definitely applies to canines.
  • Specific Support: A 6 week-old baby was left alone in her crib in Los Angeles while her uncle went and made her a bottle. When he returned to the room he found the family’s Pomeranian in the crib mauling the baby. The girl died at the hospital shortly after.
  • Specific Support: A 7-year old girl was walking in her Grasonville, MD neighborhood when she was attacked by a neighbor’s Poodle, suffering several bite wounds to her upper body.
  • Specific Support: 6-year-old Owen Ott was attacked by a Chihuahua who bit him in the face, ripping off his lip in Springfield Township, Indiana.

 

Third Body Paragraph

Dogs are pets but they are still animals, and animals have instincts and do not always understand what is going on around them the way we do, and sometimes they act out in ways that are inappropriate to us. Biting is one of those acts. Dogs bite for many reasons, but those reasons usually fall into two large categories: aggression and protection. Aggression can be broken down further, into dominance, defense, fear, predatory, pain, punishment, or redirected. Dominance aggression occurs when the dog is confused as to who is the boss: this can happen when a person pets, pokes, or otherwise disturbs the dog when it is sleeping, eating, or otherwise engaged in an activity. Defense aggression can surface when a person startles the dog by approaching too quickly or too closely when the dog is already unsettled. Predatory is a natural reflex that kicks in when the dog sees something very small move very quickly in its peripheral vision, and is worse when more than one dog is present. Pain aggression is triggered when a person approaches or touches a dog when it is in pain—this can be problematic as people cannot always tell when a dog is not feeling well. Punishment aggression occurs when a person kicks, hits, pulls, yells at, or bites a dog and is another natural reflex. Redirected occurs when the dog is already on alert or is aggressive in another context (i.e. when it is not feeling well and it is being petted by a stranger). Protective aggression occurs when a dog feels like it is in a position where it has to protect its home, possessions, or family against something it perceives as a threat.

  • Topic Sentence: Dogs are pets but they are still animals, and animals have instincts and do not always understand what is going on around them the way we do, and sometimes they act out in ways that are inappropriate to us.
  • Specific Support: Dogs bite for many reasons, but those reasons usually fall into two large categories: aggression and protection.
  • Specific Support: Aggression can be broken down further, into dominance, defense, fear, predatory, pain, punishment, or redirected.
  • Specific Support: Protective aggression occurs when a dog feels like it is in a position where it has to protect its home, possessions, or family against something it perceives as a threat.

 

Concluding Paragraph

There are things people can do to reduce their likelihood of being bit by any dog. Owners can take their dog to the vet and have a checkup to make sure there are no medical reasons for aggression. Owners can work with professional trainers to learn techniques to help deal with their dog’s aggression. Owners must take precautions to keep their dog and others safe. For instance, kennel training a dog, keeping it in a fenced yard, hanging signs, and always keeping the dog on a leash when out in public are all great basic, common-sense tips. Spaying or neutering is also another must-do tip to help combat aggression, because intact animals are always more likely to be aggressive than those who have been “fixed.” People in the greater community should be aware of their surroundings; when out walking in the neighborhood, be aware of houses with dogs or dogs on the loose. If approached by a loose dog, do not attract its attention. Refrain from calling for it, making oneself small by bending down, turning away, or running, all of which can attract the dog. According to the Humane Society of the United States (2010), instead:

  • Resist the impulse to scream and run away.
  • Remain motionless, hands at your sides, and avoid eye contact with the dog.
  • Once the dog loses interest in you, slowly back away until he is out of sight.
  • If the dog does attack, "feed" him your jacket, purse, bicycle, or anything that you can put between yourself and the dog.
  • If you fall or are knocked to the ground, curl into a ball with your hands over your ears and remain motionless. Try not to scream or roll around (“How to Avoid a Dog Bite”).

APBTs are not the only breed that can bite a person. All dog breeds carry the potential of an unprovoked bite. APBTs are often misidentified by individuals involved in a bite because of the way the breed looks and the false reputation it carries. Dogs bite for a variety of reasons, some of which are naturally ingrained in their biological dispositions. People can stay safe if owners are responsible and take reasonable precautions, and if others are aware of their surroundings and know how to act in case they are approached by a loose dog they think could attack.

  • Reworded Thesis: All dogs have the propensity to bite, not just “pitbulls.”
  • Clincher: People can control a great deal of whether they get bitten or not.