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This empirical research study examined the use and effectiveness of the Hamburger Method, a writing strategy to teach organization and development similar to the famous, or perhaps infamous, Five-Paragraph Theme. This method of writing teaches students to write an introduction that includes their thesis (the top bun); three body paragraphs containing evidence (the meat and condiments); and then a conclusion that reverses the introduction and ends the essay (the bottom bun). Notably, the approach is generally introduced during elementary school as it has obvious appeal to children. The research reveals, though, in more advanced settings, secondary school English classrooms and even at times, college courses. The main goal of the study was to gain a picture of how this method is introduced and used, and how it may affect students’ writing long-term. Methods used for this study were a combination of textual analysis and ethnography by surveying current college students and interviewing secondary writing educators. What are the advantages of a convenient easy-to-follow structural guide for students to follow? Are there issues with rigid rules as students advance their education? In short, is the Hamburger Method overdone or even underdone?

Publication Date



Logan, UT


writing, education strategies, Hamburger Method


English Language and Literature

Insights on the Effectiveness of the Hamburger Method