High school essay examples include a variety of short essays such as the narrative essay, persuasive essay and analytical essay and more. Depending on the essay type, the high school essay format can be anywhere from one to five paragraphs in length.
When choosing a high school essay format, the first step is to identify the type of essay you need to write. Generally essays for school students are much focused and concern one topic or one narrative story. Check out some narrative essay examples. High school essays tend to be shorter and simpler than those for university, but an essay for school students should be clear and concise.
As a second step, “how to write a high school essay?” comes into play. The most common type of short essay format is the 5 paragraph essay. Like all essays, the 5 paragraph essay contains an introduction, a body and a conclusion. For this high school essay, the introduction is one paragraph, the body is three paragraphs and the conclusion is one paragraph. It’s simple and easy to work with.
The goal of an introduction is to capture your reader’s interest and explain what the essay is about. The introduction will also contain a thesis statement. A thesis statement is usually one sentence that shares the main point of the essay. Read any list of tips for writing essays and they’ll tell you that the intro is vital. It lets the reader know if they want to continue.
The main part of a short essay is the body. In the 5 paragraph essay, the body is three paragraphs long. Each paragraph should cover a particular point or claim that relates back to the thesis statement. There should be a main sentence that supports the claim in each paragraph. Transition smoothly from one paragraph to the next. The entire high school essay should flow easily and be simple to read.
The conclusion of a short essay is the most memorable part for a reader. In the conclusion, you can summarize your main idea. Rewrite the thesis statement from the first paragraph and leave the reader with something memorable. This is your final chance to tell them something.
After writing, proofread your essay. Proofreading a short essay involves checking spelling, grammar, sentence fluency and checking the overall flow and readability of your ideas.
- Describe and then refute the key points of the opposing view.
- Restate and reinforce the thesis and supporting evidence.
2. Drafting the Persuasive Essay
When writing the initial draft of a persuasive essay, consider the following suggestions:
- The introductory paragraph should have a strong “hook” that grabs the reader’s attention. Open with an unusual fact or statistic, a question or quotation, or an emphatic statement. For example: “Driving while talking on a cell phone, even hands-free, is the equivalent of driving drunk.”
- The thesis statement should leave no doubts about the writer’s position.
- Each body paragraph should cover a separate point, and the sentences of each paragraph should offer strong evidence in the form of facts, statistics, quotes from experts, and real-life examples.
The Secret to Good Paragraph Writing
- Consider various ways to make the argument, including using an analogy, drawing comparisons, or illustrating with hypothetical situation (e.g., what if, suppose that…).
- Don’t assume the audience has in-depth knowledge of the issue. Define terms and give background information.
- The concluding paragraph should summarize the most important evidence and encourage the reader to adopt the position or take action. The closing sentence can be a dramatic plea, a prediction that implies urgent action is needed, a question that provokes readers to think seriously about the issue, or a recommendation that gives readers specific ideas on what they can do.
3. Revising the Persuasive Essay
In the revision phase, students review, modify, and reorganize their work with the goal of making it the best it can be. Keep these considerations in mind:
- Does the essay present a firm position on the issue, supported by relevant facts, statistics, quotes, and examples?
- Does the essay open with an effective “hook” that intrigues readers and keeps them reading?
- Does each paragraph offer compelling evidence focused on a single supporting point?
- Is the opposing point of view presented and convincingly refuted?
- Is the sentence structure varied? Is the word choice precise? Do the transitions between sentences and paragraphs help the reader’s understanding?
- Does the concluding paragraph convey the value of the writer’s position and urge the reader to think and act?
If the essay is still missing the mark, take another look the thesis. Does it present the strongest argument? Test it by writing a thesis statement for the opposing viewpoint. In comparison, does the original thesis need strengthening? Once the thesis presents a well-built argument with a clear adversarial viewpoint, the rest of the essay should fall into place more easily.
4. Editing the Persuasive Essay
Next, proofread and correct errors in grammar and mechanics, and edit to improve style and clarity. Having a friend read the essay helps writers edit with a fresh perspective.
5. Publishing the Persuasive Essay
Sharing a persuasive essay with the rest of the class or with family and friends can be both exciting and intimidating. Learn from the experience and use the feedback to make the next essay even better.
Time4Writing Teaches Persuasive Essay Writing
Time4Writing essay writing courses offer a highly effective way to learn how to write the types of essays required for school, standardized tests, and college applications. These online writing classes for elementary, middle school, and high school students, break down the writing process into manageable chunks, easily digested by young writers. Students steadily build writing skills and confidence with each online writing course, guided by one-on-one instruction with a dedicated, certified teacher. We first introduce essay writing to students at the elementary level, with our Beginning Essay Writing course, where they will have an opportunity to write their first five-paragraph essay. Our middle school online writing courses, Welcome to the Essay and Advanced Essay, teach students the fundamentals of writing essays, including the persuasive essay. The high school online writing class, Exciting Essay Writing, focuses in depth on the essay writing process with preparation for college as the goal. Time4Writing’s online writing classes for kids also cover how to interpret writing prompts in testing situations. Read what parents are saying about their children’s progress with Time4Writing’s online writing courses.