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Master the Five-Paragraph Essay

middle school honor society essay

The five-paragraph essay is one of the most common composition assignments out there, whether for high school or college students. It is a classic assignment because it presents an arena in which writers can demonstrate their command of language and punctuation, as well as their logic and rhetorical skills. These skills are useful not only for classroom assignments and college application essays, but even in the business world, as employees have to write memorandums and reports, which draw on the same skills.

Mastering the five-paragraph essay is doable, and here are some tips.

Components of a Good Essay

The five-paragraph essay lives up to its name, because is has five paragraphs, as follows: an introductory paragraph that includes a thesis, three body paragraphs, each which includes support and development, and one concluding paragraph.

Its structure sometimes generates other names for the same essay, including three-tier essay, one-three-one, or a hamburger essay. Whether you are writing a cause-and-effect essay, a persuasive essay, an argumentative essay or a compare-and-contrast essay, you should use this same structure and the following specifics.

Keys to Introductory Paragraphs

Any introductory paragraph contains from three to five sentences and sets up the tone and structure for the whole essay. The first sentence should be a so-called hook sentence and grabs the reader. Examples of hook sentences include a quote, a joke, a rhetorical question or a shocking fact. This is the sentence that will keep your readers reading. Draw them in.

What Makes a Thesis Statement

The last sentence should be your thesis statement, which is the argument you are going to make in the essay. It is the sentence that contains the main point of the essay, or what you are trying to prove. It should be your strongest claim in the whole essay, telling the reader what the paper is about. You should be able to look back at it to keep your argument focused. The other sentences in this paragraph should be general information that links the first sentence and the thesis.

Content of Supporting Paragraphs

Each of the next three paragraphs follows the same general structure of the introductory paragraph. That is, they have one introduction sentence, evidence and arguments in three to five sentences, and a conclusion. Each one of them should define and defend your thesis sentence in the introduction.

The first body paragraph should be dedicated to proving your most powerful point. The second body paragraph can contain your weakest point, because the third body paragraph can, and should, support another strong argument.

Concluding Paragraph Tips

Your concluding paragraph is important, and can be difficult. Ideally, you can begin by restating your thesis. Then you can recall or restate all three to five of your supporting arguments. You should summarize each main point. If you have made similar arguments multiple times, join those together in one sentence.

Essentially, in the concluding or fifth paragraph, you should restate what your preceding paragraphs were about and draw a conclusion. It should answer the question: So what? Even if the answer seems obvious to you, write it down so that your reader can continue to easily follow your thinking process, and hopefully, agree with you.

A Note on Compare and Contrast

Let’s look a little more closely at the compare-and-contrast essay, which is a very common assignment. It can be a confusing one due to the terms used. Comparing two items is to show how they are alike. Contrasting two items is to show how they are different. One way to approach this essay is to make a grid for yourself that compares or contrasts two items before you start writing. Then, write about those characteristics. Do not try to write about both. The name of the essay is actually misleading.

Keep these pointers in mind when you need to write a five-paragraph essay, and your end result will be clear in its argument, leading your reader to the right conclusion. Often, that conclusion is to agree with you, and who doesn’t like to be right?


middle school honor society essay

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middle school honor society essay

How to Write the National Honor Society Essay + Example

middle school honor society essay

What’s Covered:

National honor society: four pillars and essay, five tips for writing your nhs essay, nhs essay example, time well spent.

What do former first lady Michelle Obama, actor Chadwick Boseman, singer-songwriters Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood, and baseball legend Cal Ripken Jr. have in common?  They were all members of the National Honor Society (NHS).

As you apply for membership in this national organization, remember NHS membership is based on meeting criteria in four areas that the NHS calls its four pillars: Scholarship, Service, Leadership, and Character .  


The first pillar, scholarship , requires that a student earns a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale or equivalent. Many high schools set a higher GPA bar for their school’s chapter. If you meet your school’s academic requirement, congratulations, you’ve passed the first hurdle. 

Now it’s important that you carefully complete the application and write a compelling essay.  Most high schools require students to write a 300-500 word essay that showcases their commitment and accomplishments in the other three pillars.

Service refers to the contributions you make to your school and or community on a volunteer basis, without receiving any compensation. For your most significant service activities, be sure to explain why you choose to support certain organizations and why you chose specific roles. 

Showcase your leadership in your school and or community while working with or for others. Remember, stating that you are the captain of a team, president of a club, or supervisor of a shift does not prove that you are a leader. A leader makes things happen, sets a good example, and inspires others to give their personal best. Clearly state why you were selected to hold a leadership position and how you effectively lead. There are many successful leadership styles. Communicate your unique brand of leadership. 

Character is how you conduct yourself with high standards of honesty, reliability, and respect for others. Many attributes define good character, and they all reflect a personal commitment to ethical and compassionate interactions with others as well as how you treat yourself. Results are only part of the story.  How you achieved them is critically important to communicate.

Think about how many NHS applications your school counselor reviews each year. Not every student who completes an application is selected for the honor. So how do you make your essay stand out?  Here are five strategies:

1. Make it Personal and Individual  

Your application form provides the facts about the scope and range of your involvement and contributions to your communities. Be sure that you write your essay in a way that brings this data to life. A compelling essay enables the reader to feel a strong connection to you. Express your unique values, aspirations, and priorities. State the motivation behind your choices and the trade-offs you’ve made. Be honest about challenges and what you have learned through your mistakes. And be sure the tone of the essay sounds like you and nobody else. 

2. Share Your Stories

People love to hear and remember stories, not simply facts and figures. Express themes and points that you want to share by relaying stories that bring these concepts to life. Stories can be poignant, funny, suspenseful, or surprising. Any approach that makes a reader want to continue reading is a great one.

3. Be Humble and Bold

Many students find it hard to express their hard-earned accomplishments without sounding boastful. Proudly stating your achievements without sounding brash is possible and important. Clearly state your motivations, your challenges, your vulnerabilities, and your mistakes to mitigate any concerns.  

4. Follow Tried and True Essay Guidelines

Channel all the advice you’ve received over the years about how to write a great essay. Do you have a clear thesis around which you have organized your thoughts? Compelling topic sentences to hook your reader? Strong supporting sentences to back up your reasoning? Have you avoided clichés? Do you vary your sentence structure and word choice? Does the text flow and keep the reader engaged? Last, but not least, have you checked and double-checked your grammar, punctuation, and spelling?

5. Draft, Edit, Edit, Edit, Polish

Writing is an iterative process so give yourself the time necessary to land on the best approach for explaining why you are deserving of the NHS honor. There are many ways to tackle an essay. Try a few to determine which is the most effective. Then, when you determine the best approach and are satisfied with your latest draft, share it with someone whose opinion you value. 

Looking for someone to read over your essay? Check out Collegevine’s free essay help ! Our peer review system will help you get feedback from other students so that you can improve your NHS essay and college essays.

While there is not a single template for a strong essay, here is an example of an NHS essay written by an 11th-grade student who was accepted into NHS.

Success is not only about improving yourself, but also about improving life for others. While my GPA shows my commitment to academics, how I spend my time and conduct myself outside of school reveal my commitment to making the world a better place, consistent with the values of the National Honor Society. 

For the two years my grandfather lived in a nursing home, each weekend I took my dog EJ to visit him. I witnessed first-hand the healing power of animals as EJ lifted his and the other residents’ spirits. Because of this experience and because monkeys are my favorite animal, when I heard about Helping Hands (HH), the only organization in the world that raises capuchin monkeys to be live-in assistants to people with spinal cord injuries, I reached out to volunteer. 

Both in the summer and during the school year, I assist the trainers. Monkeys begin training when they are teenagers. It typically takes three to five years until they are ready to be placed with a person. My first job is to clean the cages of 60 monkeys. (Not my favorite responsibility.) I also prepare meals and construct and distribute dexterity “toys.” 

While not glamorous, my work is critical to the success of the initiative. The physical support the monkeys provide is unbelievable. They turn pages of books, scratch itches, pour water, and retrieve dropped items… Most importantly, I have seen the life-changing impact a monkey’s companionship has on a partner, including a college-age student confined to a wheelchair after a spinal cord injury from hockey. 

In the spring, summer, and fall I also volunteer at Gaining Ground (GG), a non-profit that grows organic produce to donate to food pantries, shelters, and meal programs. When I volunteered at a local food pantry, it struck me that recipients receive mostly canned and packaged food. I think it is important that people in need receive fresh fruits and vegetables, and I enjoy the physical work of weeding, harvesting, cleaning, and packing produce.

Soon after I began volunteering at GG, my rabbi gave a sermon about the working conditions of tomato farmers in Florida. (It reminded me of Grapes of Wrath, and I couldn’t believe inhumane practices continue.) Her sermon motivated me to support the Coalition of Immokalee Workers by distributing postcards urging Trader Joe’s and Stop & Shop to only buy tomatoes from farms that agree to fair wages and human rights. Both chains have now agreed, showing that a little effort by many people makes a difference.

Last, I believe a story is the best way to explain my “behind-the-scenes” leadership. At the annual nighttime football game, one of my soccer teammates (not someone I hang with) was drunk. When our principal came over to the bleachers, my teammate’s friends fled. Concerned that my teammate would fall and hurt herself, I brought her outside the stadium, called her parents, and waited with her until they came — without worrying about social retribution. Despite getting grounded, she thanked me for my help.

I would be honored to be recognized by NHS for my service, leadership, and character. Thank you for your consideration.

The time you invest in composing an effective NHS essay will help you when you’re ready to write your college essays! Essays are important components of applications to selective colleges. Getting into NHS is also an honor that may boost your application at some schools. Remember, you can estimate your chance for acceptance using Collegevine’s free chancing calculator . This tool will factor in your GPA, test scores, extracurriculars, and more to calculate your odds of admission at hundreds of schools across the country.

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middle school honor society essay


National Junior Honor Society Essay Examples and Guidelines 2022

– National Junior Honor Society –

National Junior Honor: The National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) recognizes students that excel academically. In this article, I will show you some of the National Junior Honor Society essay examples , which should help you when writing yours.

National Junior Honor Society Essay Examples and Guidelines

The following text will serve as a national honour society essay example and will show one of the ways to write it correctly.

The primary purpose of a national honour society essay sample is to show how to present a candidate and prove that he or she is eligible to join this prestigious organization.

National Junior Honor Society

Thus, the applicant should address the requirements of the membership, which include personal qualities or academic achievements, such as grade point average and service as well as one’s character or leadership experience.

The essay has to be well structured and written with clarity, like in the national honour society essay paper example, given below. A story, which shows the leadership qualities and character of the applicant, will be a brilliant addition.

This national honour society essay examples service may be useful as an additional help for applicants to see what kind of information is crucial for a successful essay

However, it is also essential to keep an article personal and unique. The following text can be used as a national junior honour society application essay example as well.

Guide for the NJHS Essay

Below are some points which will guide you in creating your National Junior Honor Society;

1. Plan Your Essay

Start by brainstorming the fundamental ideas of your essay. For this step, think about what accomplishments show you meet the criteria for the NJHS. Then, sketch out the structure of your essay before drafting it so that it is organized and efficient. This way, you will have an easier time writing a balanced composition that substantially treats each of your valuable topics.

2. Highlight Your Academic Achievements

First, discuss your scholarly achievements. NJHS membership is offered only to students that have demonstrated academic excellence. List your grade point average, class rank, and any awards, such as Honor Roll, that recognize your scholarly achievements. Also, list honours, college prep, or advanced placement courses that you have taken or in which you are enrolled. It is essential to prove not only that you have succeeded academically but also that you have challenged yourself academically .

3. Discuss Your Leadership

middle school honor society essay

4. Show How You Have Been Of Service

To evaluate service, the NJHS looks for students who have given back to their communities without being paid, so this is an excellent place to highlight your volunteer experience. List all service organizations in which you are actively involved and detail your participation in community service, including church-related service projects.

5. Highlight Your Character

When evaluating character, the NJHS is looking for students who are cooperative, honest, reliable, courteous, concerned for others, and respectful. Think of ways that you have shown these characteristics. Consider sharing a story that bespeaks your strong character and ethical integrity, but keep stories brief. Stay focused on the essay.

6. Show, You Are A Good Citizen

The NJHS looks for students that understand the importance of civic engagement, shown through involvement in groups both inside and outside school. Detail your participation in extracurricular activities such as Scouts or community-focused groups. Demonstrate that you care about being involved in efforts that advance society.

7. Edit Your Essay

Before you submit your essay, reread it to make sure that it is your best work, accurately describe you, and is free from typos or errors. Ask a teacher or parent to read your essay for grammar and content before submitting it with your application.

National Junior Honor Society Essay Example

middle school honor society essay

Being chosen by my teachers and other leaders to be a candidate for membership in the National Honor Society is a great honor for me. It means that I have achieved my goal of demonstrating my determination and willingness to help people and serve the community. I believe that I can become a valuable member of the NHS because I am hardworking, reliable and I possess all the qualities required by this prestigious organization, such as scholarship, leadership, character, and service abilities. My academic achievements result from my hard work and assurance that my membership in NHS is another step that will enable me to achieve success and cherish the chances of becoming a leader and thus a worthy role-model for other people. By having a GPA of 3.91 and 3.92 in the 9th and 10th grades, respectively, I have proven to my teachers and myself that I can make my dreams come true. One of these dreams is to have the honor of being a part of NHS society. Also, while in high school, I have been taking all honors courses. Moreover, as an elementary student, I have participated in many academic competitions such as the Academic Challenge in 6th and 7th grade, where my team and I scored the second and first places, respectively. continue reading… Apart from studying with dedication and participating in competitions, I also play an active role in the school. Since childhood, I developed my leadership and organizational skills through sports and had my school team win many competitions. My school is one of the places where my leadership qualities are valued, as I often become the head of many activities, such as staging plays, organizing shows, and school trips with my teachers. Being a leader allows me to work in a team and consider my peers’ ideas to make our plans creative and enjoyable for everyone. My traits help me to gain the trust and respect of my peers as they believe me to be a positive, open-minded, and reliable person. I have learned to solve problems and conflicts thanks to this great experience of leadership, and I am always ready to assist my peers when it is needed.

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