The problem with treating the five-paragraph essay form as a relatively benign aid to clarity is that like any habit it is very hard to break. Students who cannot break the habit remain handicapped because the five-paragraph form runs counter to virtually all of the values and attitudes that they need in order to grow as writers and thinkers – such as respect for complexity, tolerance of uncertainty, and the willingness to test and complicate rather than just assert ideas. The form actually discourages thinking by conditioning writers to be afraid of looking closely at evidence. If they look too closely, they might find something that does not fit, at which point the prefabricated organizational scheme falls apart. But it is precisely the something-that-doesn't-seem-to-fit, the thing writers call a "complication", that triggers good ideas.