12.29.2009

The Five Paragraph Leading Sentence Style (5P)

This definition has been provided to properly define the 5P form so that it may be built upon in the future. It supports a 2K10 Initiative goal of publishing 12 creative essays by end of year. Published examples of this style include:'The Creation Imperative' and 'Of Diamonds and Men'


The Five Paragraph Leading Sentence Style, or 5P, is a written technique for drawing a conclusion. It provides the framework and structure for generating perspective in the fewest words possible. Adjectives that apply to the technique would include: scalable, focused, and conclusive.

Leading sentences tell the story. Every paragraph starts with a leading summary sentence that is supported or explained within the context of the paragraph. This provides a ready summary of the essay's content so that the reader can immediately understand its direction. When read at a glance, the succession of leading sentences should completely outline the essay.

There are always five paragraphs. The first frames the perspective, the next three expand upon it, and the fifth concludes. This is an intentional act of simplification that is chosen, in turn, for three specific reasons: 1.) three is a commonly reductive number that provides ample perspective; 2.) the format is considerate of the limited span of attention offered by the reader, i.e., it is short; and 3.) the paragraph form of 1 + 3 + 1 is visually and conceptually symmetrical.

It ends with a conclusion about the start. To restate fully, you start with an open statement, pontificate from three perspectives, and draw a conclusion. The rhythmic structure produces a deliverable that is densely compacted to increase the force of its message. Not all perspectives may be expressed in this mode, but many can and some are best suited; especially those views understood, but never fully defined.

The 5P technique, when mastered, is conducive to publication. Its short, simple format grants the reader quick access to a forethought conclusion with room for explanation. When utilized as a means of creation, or a reason to create, the five paragraph leading sentence style provides a vehicle for outlining perspectives that both author and reader can follow unto conclusion.


~Dedicated to unrestrained creative energy