I go to a CEGEP, which is basically pre-university in Montreal. In my Introduction to English class, I had a teacher who allowed us to go around the typical essay writing conventions. Conventions like outlining three points in your thesis and summing up those points in different words in your conclusion were thrown out. Instead, our essays consisted of logical points of progression; if I could prove point A, then I can prove point B, and then C, and therefore I've proven my thesis.
This sort of progressive method allowed me to write some of the best essays I've written so far, and my favourites too. But when I took my second English class in my second semester, I was forced to go back to these conventions, which weren't horrible, but I didn't see too much use in them, as I never felt as though I required them to prove my point in a literary essay.
I wanted to ask, are there strict rules about essay writing format in a university, other than the need for a thesis and 5 paragraphs? Or is the format irrelevant, so long as the essay does its job, which is proving the thesis?