This podcast from Modern Learners talks about how writing instruction in school is totally wrong.
When was the last time you wrote a 5 paragraph essay?
Where did the 5 paragraph essay even come from?
This article proposes an origin story, but I'm not paying $42.50 to learn where something came from that is only applicable in academia!
When writing, we write for a purpose. The only time I have ever used a 5 paragraph essay was when I needed to write a 5 paragraph essay.
Every other time I write, I choose a format that meets my needs as the writer.
When I taught, I looked for current examples of the 5 paragraph essay, and I couldn't find them.
Believe me, I found examples of writers introducing a topic, giving 2-3 reasons why, and providing a conclusion on their topic, but I didn't ever find anything that actually fit with what I was teaching.
In fact, the way I was told to teach it was so formulaic that I just couldn't handle teaching it more than one time! That's when I decided to flip my classroom before it was called flipping your classroom!
Instead of teaching students to write an academic-only style of writing, we should teach them to communicate ideas, convince readers of their beliefs, and compel people to action.