Five-paragraph essays are a fact of student life. If you’ve ever stared at a blank page while attempting to write one, you’ve probably wondered if there is an easier way. While there are several methods to achieve a well-written, compelling essay, one is tried and true. The Bing, Bang, Bongo! writing method will make writing your next five-paragraph essay simple. It’s easy as “1, 2, 3” or “bing, bang, bongo!” It may sound silly, but it really works.
The first step to this method is to write the outline. See below for an example:
A. Bing Bing
B. Bing Bang
C. Bing Bongo
A. Bang Bing
B. Bang Bang
C. Bang Bongo
A. Bongo Bing
B. Bongo Bang
C. Bongo Bongo
What does all this mean? Let’s drill down into the parts of the essay.
Paragraph 1 – I. Introduction
In a five-paragraph essay, the first paragraph is always the introduction. Here you will present your main ideas or topics to the reader. Every five-paragraph essay should have three thoughts behind your main argument. These three thoughts are represented as bing, bang, and bongo.
Paragraph 2 – II. Bing
Your bing is your first supporting thought or idea to your argument. This idea needs assistance from at least three details to back up your argument. Your five-paragraph essay should be succinct, so if you have more than three details, be sure they are critical to your thought.
Paragraph 3 – III. Bang
Bang is your second supporting thought to your argument. Again, you must include at least three supporting details. In your bang, you may want to also tie in the relation to the bing, if there is one.
Paragraph 4 – IV. Bongo
Your bongo is your final, and often most important, supporting concept to your argument. Remember to always include at least three details that support your bongo idea, and you may try to tie in relevance to the bing and the bang. But this is not the conclusion, so don’t finalize your argument here.
Paragraph 5 – V. Conclusion
The conclusion is where you weave together your three main points and come to a close with your argument.
Still confused? Let’s look at a real example:
Essay Question: Why is the Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring a great movie?
A. Bing – the story
B. Bang – the characters
C. Bongo – the special effects
II. Bing – the story
A. Bing Bing – a grand adventure
B. Bing Bang – compelling bad guys
C. Bing Bongo – interesting fantasy creatures
III. Bang – the characters
A. Bang Bing – detailed character backstories
B. Bang Bang – mysterious and intriguing characters
C. Bang Bongo – heartfelt hero
IV. Bongo – the special effects
A. Bongo Bing – believable monsters and creatures
B. Bongo Bang – the use of CG and camera angles to make the hobbits seem half-sized
C. Bongo Bongo – the grandiose scenery
In the above example, we see the question, three main points to the argument, and the details that support each talking point. This is the complete argument in outline form.
This method works by the numbers—the Rule of Five and the Rule of Three. You will have five paragraphs, and each paragraph will have a minimum of five sentences. This is the Rule of Five, which is your structure. The essay will have three points to the argument, each supported by three details. This is the Rule of Three, which is the presentation of your argument.
Each paragraph will have an introductory sentence, three talking points, and a concluding sentence. This follows the structure for the entire essay.
But how do you convert the outline to paragraphs?
The outline is a way to quickly get your argument onto paper and collect your thoughts. Expanding on the bullet points you have given for each paragraph will allow you to quickly flesh out your content into paragraphs. Then just provide an introductory and concluding sentence, and the paragraph is complete. Repeat this process for each paragraph, and the essay will come together quickly. Just as easy as saying “Bing, bang, bongo!”
Steps for using this method for homework:
- Start with your outline.
- While the content is still in outline form, convert your bullet points to full sentences.
- Add in transitions, paragraph introductions and conclusions, and opening and final thoughts.
- Remove the outline structure.
- Review your essay, and make any needed tweaks.
Tips for using this method during a test:
- Start with your outline—be sure to write your outline on a scrap of paper or in the margin.
- Follow the structure and argument rules to write each paragraph.
- Don’t write full sentences in outline form; instead, write them as you go. This will help you stay within your test time limits.