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10 Great Essay Writing Tips
Knowing how to write a college essay is a useful skill for anyone who plans to go to college. Most colleges and universities ask you to submit a writing sample with your application. As a student, you’ll also write essays in your courses. Impress your professors with your knowledge and skill by using these great essay writing tips.
Prepare to Answer the Question
Most college essays ask you to answer a question or synthesize information you learned in class. Review notes you have from lectures, read the recommended texts and make sure you understand the topic. You should refer to these sources in your essay.
Plan Your Essay
Many students see planning as a waste of time, but it actually saves you time. Take a few minutes to think about the topic and what you want to say about it. You can write an outline, draw a chart or use a graphic organizer to arrange your ideas. This gives you a chance to spot problems in your ideas before you spend time writing out the paragraphs.
Choose a Writing Method That Feels Comfortable
You might have to type your essay before turning it in, but that doesn’t mean you have to write it that way. Some people find it easy to write out their ideas by hand. Others prefer typing in a word processor where they can erase and rewrite as needed. Find the one that works best for you and stick with it.
View It as a Conversation
Writing is a form of communication, so think of your essay as a conversation between you and the reader. Think about your response to the source material and the topic. Decide what you want to tell the reader about the topic. Then, stay focused on your response as you write.
Provide the Context in the Introduction
If you look at an example of an essay introduction, you’ll see that the best essays give the reader a context. Think of how you introduce two people to each other. You share the details you think they will find most interesting. Do this in your essay by stating what it’s about and then telling readers what the issue is.
Explain What Needs to be Explained
Sometimes you have to explain concepts or define words to help the reader understand your viewpoint. You also have to explain the reasoning behind your ideas. For example, it’s not enough to write that your greatest achievement is running an ultra marathon. You might need to define ultra marathon and explain why finishing the race is such an accomplishment.
Answer All the Questions
After you finish writing the first draft of your essay, make sure you’ve answered all the questions you were supposed to answer. For example, essays in compare and contrast format should show the similarities and differences between ideas, objects or events. If you’re writing about a significant achievement, describe what you did and how it affected you.
Stay Focused as You Write
Writing requires concentration. Find a place where you have few distractions and give yourself time to write without interruptions. Don’t wait until the night before the essay is due to start working on it.
Read the Essay Aloud to Proofread
When you finish writing your essay, read it aloud. You can do this by yourself or ask someone to listen to you read it. You’ll notice places where the ideas don’t make sense, and your listener can give you feedback about your ideas.
Avoid Filling the Page with Words
A great essay does more than follow an essay layout. It has something to say. Sometimes students panic and write everything they know about a topic or summarize everything in the source material. Your job as a writer is to show why this information is important.
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5 Common Types of High School Essays (With Examples)
- Last modified 2023-09-15
- Published on 2021-08-28
When it comes to high school essays, descriptive and narrative essays are very similar in the sense that they encourage writers to be creative in expressing their ideas. Expository and argumentative essays focus on providing clear information and making compelling points. Analytical essays require writers to present their arguments and are intended to enhance readers’ understanding of a topic, while persuasive writers try to persuade readers to accept a point of view.
In this article, we will go into details about each one to help you better define the type and the writing method when you start writing.
1. Descriptive high school essays
A descriptive essay asks writers to describe something vividly —object, person, place, experience, emotion, situation, etc., but more commonly you will be asked to describe something abstract —emotions, experiences, or something outside of your typical experience.
A descriptive essay allows writers to be creative and have the freedom to express, especially when the topic is personal about them and what they care about, for example, their favorite food or their culture. Even though this sounds easy, this type of essay tests the writer’s ability to make appropriate word choices and have a strong creativity to help readers visualize the overall picture of what they are writing about. A descriptive essay normally starts with introducing the subject or object of description, continuing with giving an overall picture, and then going into details.
Below is an example of a descriptive essay from Yourdictionary :
I watched a thunderstorm, far out over the sea. It began quietly, and with nothing visible except tall dark clouds and a rolling tide. There was just a soft murmur of thunder as I watched the horizon from my balcony. Over the next few minutes, the clouds closed and reflected lightning set the rippling ocean aglow. The thunderheads had covered up the sun, shadowing the vista. It was peaceful for a long time.
I was looking up when the first clear thunderbolt struck. It blazed against the sky and sea; I could see its shape in perfect reverse colors when I blinked. More followed. The thunder rumbled and stuttered as if it could hardly keep up. There were openings in the cloud now, as if the sky were torn, and spots of brilliant blue shone above the shadowed sea.
I looked down then, watching the waves. Every bolt was answered by a moment of spreading light on the surface. The waves were getting rough, rising high and crashing hard enough that I could hear them.
Then came the rain. It came all at once and in sheets, soaking the sand, filling the sea. It was so dense I could only see the lightning as flashes of light. It came down so hard the thunder was drowned. Everything was rhythmic light and shadow, noise and silence, blending into a single experience of all five senses.
In an instant it stopped. The storm broke. The clouds came apart like curtains. The rain still fell, but softly now. It was as if there had never been a storm at all, except for a single signature. A rainbow, almost violently bright, spread above and across the water. I could see the horizon again.
2. Narrative Essay
A narrative high school essay is similar to a descriptive essay but focuses more on the story description rather than object description. The story can be about a personal experience that the writer has had, an event, a story, an incident. Writers can even narrate a fictional experience that they haven’t had. Narrative essays are typically written in the first person. For example, the personal statement high school students have to write for college applications.
The purpose of a narrative essay is not only to tell a story, but also to highlight the importance of the experience. Therefore, to write a perfect narrative essay, writers must include the elements of settings, context, plot, ending, and climax.
We have an example from a student’s work, which was published on the blog: People’s Republic of Creativity
I sat watching the plunger slowly make its way down the tube and into Miriam’s body. Inside the tube was a clear unknown liquid that would soon be injected into my own body. This was the third time this week, the twelfth time this month, and who knows how many times since we have been trapped in this hell on earth. Each day, we have only been given the bare minimum of food, water, and sleep. I don’t know how much longer we can survive before deemed useless by him.
Miriam fell out of her chair and onto the cold concrete floor, screaming in pain. She scrambles for something she can grasp onto to prop her malnourished body up. Then the piercing sound just suddenly stopped. Her thin arms that look only of bones and skin drop to the ground and she lay still on the floor, as if she were…dead. Please don’t tell me she’s dead! No, she couldn’t be; we promised each other to live until the day of liberation.
She needs to live.
It was my turn. He walked over with a syringe full of what had just been injected into Miriam. I try to focus on the red, black, and white badge on his left arm instead of letting the fear crawl in and take over my brain. But the unsettling tension stirs my thoughts around and around.
“Twin A1387, let’s hope what happened to your sister doesn’t happen to you.” He smirked. The needle pierced through my skin and my body was suddenly aflame. The raging blaze spread through every one of my veins, until I was shrouded in darkness.
When I opened my eyes again, I found myself in an empty confinement. The space next to me, the space for Miriam, was empty too. Where was everyone? Most importantly, where was Miriam?
I got up and set my bare foot onto the dirty, wooden floor. Suddenly, my head started spinning and along with it, the world spun too. I fell to the ground, and when I could finally lift my head, what I saw above me terrified me. It was him, death in human form, and beside him were four of his helpers. They grabbed my arms and forced me to stand up.
“Good morning A1387. I am afraid your dear twin sister couldn’t handle the injections from yesterday. Let’s hope your fragile little limbs can endure those chemicals. I wonder how many more injections it will take for you to meet your pathetic sister,” he said, patting my head. His tone was playful, but deadly.
I froze. What? Miriam…dead? That one word, “twins”, has taken away everything of what feels like my past life, and now my last hope? I felt a surge of anger, hatred, sadness, fear, devastation swirling inside me like boiling lava in a volcano, ready to erupt. I wanted to scream, to shout, to kill him, but I couldn’t. My soft limbs felt as if they would collapse merely by trying to stand up. They would be harmless and defenceless against the Angel of Death. When he saw the hatred on my face, he started laughing hysterically and simply said, “What a shame; she was only 13. I cannot wait to see how long it will take for you to fall apart!”
3. Expository Essay
According to Purdue University , the expository essay is a genre of essay that requires the student to investigate an idea, evaluate evidence, expound on the idea, and set forth an argument concerning that idea in a clear and concise manner. To accomplish this, writers use the method of comparison and contrast, definition, example, cause, and effect, etc.
Writers are not required to argue or make a personal opinion, but to present balanced and well-organized facts and figures.
In an expository essay–as the name suggests–you need to expose the particular subject in question by providing enough information. It is an informative piece of writing that provides a balanced analysis of the topic. It does not contain any personal opinion; instead, it is based on real facts and figures. Therefore, this kind of high school essay is commonly assigned in high school or college in order to test students’ familiarity with a topic and ability to convey information.
This is an example from College Board’s SAT Writing Prompt.
In response to our world’s growing reliance on artificial light, writer Paul Bogard argues that natural darkness should be preserved in his article “Let There be dark”. He effectively builds his argument by using a personal anecdote, allusions to art and history, and rhetorical questions.
Bogard starts his article off by recounting a personal story – a summer spent on a Minnesota lake where there was “woods so dark that [his] hands disappeared before [his] eyes.” In telling this brief anecdote, Bogard challenges the audience to remember a time where they could fully amass themselves in natural darkness void of artificial light. By drawing in his readers with a personal encounter about night darkness, the author means to establish the potential for beauty, glamour, and awe-inspiring mystery that genuine darkness can possess. He builds his argument for the preservation of natural darkness by reminiscing for his readers a first-hand encounter that proves the “irreplaceable value of darkness.” This anecdote provides a baseline of sorts for readers to find credence with the author’s claims.
Bogard’s argument is also furthered by his use of allusion to art – Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” – and modern history – Paris’ reputation as “The City of Light”. By first referencing “Starry Night”, a painting generally considered to be undoubtedly beautiful, Bogard establishes that the natural magnificence of stars in a dark sky is definite. A world absent of excess artificial light could potentially hold the key to a grand, glorious night sky like Van Gogh’s according to the writer. This urges the readers to weigh the disadvantages of our world consumed by unnatural, vapid lighting. Furthermore, Bogard’s alludes to Paris as “the famed ‘city of light’”. He then goes on to state how Paris has taken steps to exercise more sustainable lighting practices. By doing this, Bogard creates a dichotomy between Paris’ traditionally alluded-to name and the reality of what Paris is becoming – no longer “the city of light”, but moreso “the city of light…before 2 AM”. This furthers his line of argumentation because it shows how steps can be and are being taken to preserve natural darkness. It shows that even a city that is literally famous for being constantly lit can practically address light pollution in a manner that preserves the beauty of both the city itself and the universe as a whole.
Finally, Bogard makes subtle yet efficient use of rhetorical questioning to persuade his audience that natural darkness preservation is essential. He asks the readers to consider “what the vision of the night sky might inspire in each of us, in our children or grandchildren?” in a way that brutally plays to each of our emotions. By asking this question, Bogard draws out heartfelt ponderance from his readers about the affecting power of an untainted night sky. This rhetorical question tugs at the readers’ heartstrings; while the reader may have seen an unobscured night skyline before, the possibility that their child or grandchild will never get the chance sways them to see as Bogard sees. This strategy is definitively an appeal to pathos, forcing the audience to directly face an emotionally-charged inquiry that will surely spur some kind of response. By doing this, Bogard develops his argument, adding gutthral power to the idea that the issue of maintaining natural darkness is relevant and multifaceted.
Writing as a reaction to his disappointment that artificial light has largely permeated the presence of natural darkness, Paul Bogard argues that we must preserve true, unaffected darkness. He builds this claim by making use of a personal anecdote, allusions, and rhetorical questioning.
4. Argumentative Essay
The argumentative high school essay is similar to the expository essay, because it requires writers to present their evidence-based arguments. Writers have to present a thesis statement, gather and evaluate evidence, and establish a position on the topic. Many people think argumentative and expository essays are the same. They belong to a similar genre, but an argumentative essay requires more research than an expository essay. An expository essay is normally used in the SAT test, because test takers are required to investigate and present points from the prompts given. An argumentative essay is generally used in a final project or a capstone, which requires length and detailed research. The essay is divided into 3 parts: introduction, body, and conclusion. The introduction has a topic and thesis statement, the body has evidence and arguments, and the conclusion summarizes the arguments and potential directions for future research.
Below is an example from a GRE writing answer from ETS :
Prompt : The best ideas arise from a passionate interest in commonplace things
Discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement above and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how those considerations shape your position.
Passion is clearly necessary for a truly great idea to take hold among a people—passion either
on the part of the original thinker, the audience, or ideally both. The claim that the most lucrative
subject matter for inspiring great ideas is “commonplace things” may seem initially to be counterintuitive. After all, aren’t great ideas usually marked by their extraordinary character? While this is true, their extraordinary character is as often as not directly derived from their insight into things that had theretofore gone unquestioned. While great ideas certainly can arise through seemingly pure innovation… say, for example, Big Bang cosmology, which developed nearly all of its own scientific and philosophical precepts through its own process of formation, it is nevertheless equally true that such groundbreaking thought was, and is, still largely
a reevaluation of previous assumptions to a radical degree… after all, the question of the ultimate nature of the universe, and man’s place in it, has been central to human thought since the dawn of time. Commonplace things are, additionally, necessary as material for the generation of “the best ideas” since certainly the success among an audience must be considered in evaluating the significance and quality of an idea.
The advent of Big Bang cosmology, which occurred in rudimentary form almost immediately upon Edwin Hubble’s first observations at the Hooker telescope in California during the early 20th century, was the most significant advance in mankind’s understanding of the universe in over 400 years. The seemingly simple fact that everything in the universe, on a very large scale, is moving away from everything else in fact betrays nearly all of our scientific knowledge of the origins and mechanics of the universe. This slight, one might even say commonplace, distortion of tint on a handful of photographic plates carried with it the greatest challenge to Man’s general, often religiously reinforced, conception of the nature of the world to an extent not seen since the days of Galileo. Not even Charles Darwin’s theory, though it created more of a stir than Big Bang cosmology, had such shattering implications for our conceptions of the nature of our reality. Yet it is not significant because it introduced the question of the nature of what lies beyond Man’s grasp. A tremendous number of megalithic ruins, including the Pyramids both of Mexico and Egypt, Stonehenge, and others, indicate that this question has been foremost on humankind’s collective mind since time immemorial. Big Bang cosmology is so incredibly significant in this line of reasoning exactly because of the degree to which it changed the direction of this generally held, constantly pondered, and very ancient train of thought.
Additionally, there is a diachronic significance to the advent of Big Bang cosmology, which is that, disregarding limitations such as the quality of optical devices available and the state of theoretical math, it could have happened at any point in time. That is to say, all evidence points to roughly the same raw intellectual capacity for homo sapiens throughout our history, our progress has merely depended upon the degree of it that a person happens to inherit, a pace that has been increasing rapidly since the industrial revolution. Yet this discovery had to happen at a certain point in time or another—it cannot have been happening constantly or have never happened yet still be present—and this point in time does have its own significance. That significance is precisely the fact that the aforementioned advent must have occurred at precisely the point in time at which it truly could have occurred—that is to say, it marks the point in our history when we had progressed sufficiently to begin examining, with remarkable substantiated acuity, the workings of the universe across distances that would take millions of human lifetimes to reach or to traverse. The point for the success of this advent must necessarily have been, additionally, the point at which the audience concerned was capable and prepared to accept such a radical line of reasoning.
Both factors, a radical, passionate interpretation of the commonplace and the preparedness to accept such an interpretation, are necessary for the formulation of a truly great idea. If the passion is absent from an inquiry by the thinker or by the bulk of an audience, the idea will die out if it comes to fruition at all. If the material is not sufficiently commonplace to be considered by an informed audience of sufficient size, the same two hazards exist. Given these two factors, the idea must still be found palatable and interesting by the audience if it is to hope to gain a foothold and eventually establish itself in a significant fashion.
5. Analytical Essay
An analytical essay is a writing genre that provides an in-depth analysis of a topic, ranging from art, music, literary text to politics, science and philosophy, etc. Analytical essays can boost a writer’s writing skills and overall comprehension of a topic, while helping readers become more educated about the subjects of importance. This type of essay is not to persuade readers to a certain point of view, but to provide a well-rounded and comprehensive analysis for the readers. The analytical essay is normally used in the GRE writing section.
A good analytical essay includes a thesis statement that states your main argument, followed by an analysis of your thesis and evidence to support it.
We will take an example from a student’s work about CRISPR, a genetic engineering method. The full essay can be accessed here , but below is the preview of the essay:
No matter how much money people are willing to pay for health care, they may still suffer terribly from incurable diseases such as AIDS and cancer because of the underdevelopment of medical technology. However, today, the advancement in human knowledge has led to the introduction of human gene-editing, turning impossibility to possibility. In particular, the recent technology for genome editing called CRISPR has been having a groundbreaking impact on research in genetic science. This is due to its remarkable potential to simply cure genetic diseases in an embryo before they have a serious effect on further developmental progression. Although currently, there have been numerous debates regarding its extension in research for widespread uses, CRISPR is a completely promising technology because of the benefits it brings to people.
CRISPR, or Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats, is the newest innovation in genetic engineering. The way CRISPR works is similar to “the scissor-like action of Cas 9 to target… any specific DNA sequence” (Baylis and Rossant). By making cuts in specific locations in DNA, CRISPR can cure diseases and make alterations in an embryo’s DNA, which prevent diseases from being passed down to following generations (Baylis and Rossant). Throughout the history, governments and researchers came up with different approaches politically and scientifically in attempt to control population. They hoped to encourage the “richest, wisest and healthiest to breed like rabbits” and the “sick, stupid, and poor to take one for the empire and remain childless” (Comfort 28). The second attempt happened during the 20th century, when the U.S government passed the law preventing marriage and immigration that would threaten a perceived core American “stock.” Another more extreme example was when Nazi sterilization law further advanced this population control approach. Later in the century, a biotechnological approach was established as a safer and more humane way to manage population health (qtd in Comfort 28). “Gene surgery,” which is similar to CRISPR technology, was established and followed by contentious debates regarding ethical issues between disease treatment and human trait enhancements. Currently, there has been a halt in the use of CRISPR because of the increase in concern from the public about the pros and cons of this technology.
Aralia Writing Courses
Students will learn the nuances of language, including figurative language, effective structuring, and specific forms to apply to their own piece(s). Students will work directly with both literary and media texts to plan and write their piece(s). This class will also help the students write with an aim for an audience as their submission for nation-wide and international writing competitions that are timely with the course schedule.
This course helps students develop and improve their writing skills to prepare students for higher education courses. The methodology emphasizes the ability to read critically, think critically, and write critically. Students will learn informative, narrative, descriptive, creative, and persuasive essay writing skills. Students will learn how to brainstorm, structure and outline, form an argument, defend it, incorporate academic sources, and develop a clear, articulate writing style. The focus will be on the writing process, intended audience, consistent tenses, point of view, correct grammar uses, building vocabulary, appropriate style, and proper research and citation protocols.
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10+ High School Essay Examples & Samples in PDF
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Sample Student Essay for Private High School Admissions
Student essays are an important part of the private high school admissions process for students in New York City. While information like grades and test scores can help an admissions committee evaluate a student’s raw performance, essays are a key way for students to demonstrate their unique voice and personality. Treat student essays like mini interviews: they’re a chance to let admissions committees really get to know the student.
We recommend starting student essay drafts as soon as possible (in the summer or early fall) to allow plenty of time for a thoughtful drafting process. One of the first steps to begin drafting essays is to identify the prompt(s) to write about. Students may have a variety of prompts to choose from, or they may be given a specific prompt. This depends on the student’s age (middle versus high school) and whether the school they’re applying to is an ISAAGNY member school or not.
Here are several example essay prompts from the past:
- Describe a family tradition and why it is meaningful or important to you.
- What is a topic/skill that you learned about within the past year that was not assigned to you in school?
- What brings you joy? What activities, pursuits, or interests have made you happiest over the past few months or years, and why?
- What activity/interest or accomplishment are you most proud of and why?
- Tell us about a time you were brave.
Regardless of prompt, we encourage students to write about a subject that genuinely interests them and feels rich and dynamic enough to write several paragraphs about. Essays are a way to show off creative writing skills, but make sure that essays present a consistent application narrative and a relatively consistent application of writing voice (across each essay, graded writing samples , etc.).
When approaching the student essay writing process, reading a sample essay is one of the most helpful ways to begin brainstorming. Here’s a sample student essay for private high school admissions that effectively provides a window into the student’s passions and way of thinking.
*Note that this is a fictional sample, not a real student essay.
Sample Private High School Admissions Essay
Prompt: What is your favorite work of art (visual, written, musical, etc.)? Why is it meaningful to you?
“If you could say it in words there would be no reason to paint,” is a famous quote by artist Edward Hopper that has always inspired me. I’m naturally drawn to Hopper’s distinctive style of concrete, representational scenes; he was a master at manipulating light to create striking contrast and focus. But I appreciate Hopper’s art for more than just aesthetic choices; I connect deeply to Hopper’s intent to communicate memories and feelings through art. As a budding artist myself, my goal is to inspire real nostalgia and emotion with my paintings, the same way that Hopper’s works do for me.
For example, Hopper’s “House By The Railroad,” completed in 1925, brings back many memories for me. The painting depicts a grand Victorian home with railroad tracks nearly underneath it. Like many of Hopper’s works, the scene is inspired by Hopper’s hometown of Nyack, New York, which happens to be the same town my grandparents live in. Even just a quick glance at the painting reminds me of walking up to my grandparents home in the summertime to greet them standing on the large front porch. Their home was situated not far from railroad tracks in Nyack, similar to the house in the painting. Whenever I see the piece, I’m reminded of the happy memories I’ve created at my grandparents’ home: eating grilled cheese and tomato soup on the front porch with my grandmother, hearing the train to Manhattan go by in the distance, and other everyday pleasures.
In fact, from an early age, my grandparents encouraged my interest in Hopper’s art. My grandfather brought me to Hopper’s childhood home, which has since been turned into a museum, for the first time when I was ten years old. I still remember feeling awed as a young girl just being in the home of such a renowned artist; we visited his childhood bedroom and the spaces that eventually became subjects of his artwork, and I was inspired to find artistic inspiration in my own immediate surroundings.
That’s clearly what Hopper aimed to do. I love that so much of Edward Hopper’s art captures standard American life. While many of Hopper’s paintings are of everyday scenes (homes, bedrooms, and more), his use of light and positioning of human figures adds nostalgic character to even the most mundane of scenes. Hopper’s art can teach us that even day-to-day moments can be striking and noteworthy.
I recently visited an exhibition on Edward Hopper at the Whitney Museum of American Art in Manhattan. Again, I found myself drawn to “House By The Railroad,” and other paintings that depict houses and restaurants and other run-of-the-mill spaces, made distinctive and beautiful with Hopper’s earnest, light-filled approach. Seeing Hopper’s art again in person brought back many memories and feelings for me, many of them from carefree days with my grandparents in Nyack. Someday, I hope to be able to evoke similar emotion through my own artwork.
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A Plethora Of Writing Examples For Middle School (& High School)
October 14, 2014 in Pedagogy
When I started my first job as a professional newspaper reporter (This job also served as an internship during my junior year in college — I just didn't leave for about 6 years.), I quickly realized that all my experience, and all my years of journalism education had not been enough to help me write stories about drug busts, fatal car accidents and tornadoes. All the theoretical work I'd done, and all of the nifty little scholastic and collegiate stories I had done, did not prepare me for real world writing.
At that point, I had to find a solution quickly. After all, I had a deadline to meet, and it was only a few hours away.
One of my colleagues, who also served as a mentor, had the solution. She introduced me to the newspaper's “morgue.” This was a room filled with filing cabinets in which we kept old — dead — stories arranged by reporter. Whenever I wasn't' sure how to write a story, all I had to do was check the morgue for similar stories. If I needed to write a story about a local drug bust, for example, I'd find another story on a similar incident, study its structure, and mentally create a formula in which to plugin the information I'd gathered.
Once I'd gained more experience, and had internalized the formula for that particular type of story, I felt free to branch out as the situation — and my training — warranted.
I do the same thing when I want to write a type of letter, brochure, or report that I've never written before.
This is what writing looks like in the real world.
Of course, if you're a new teacher like me, there is one problem with providing mentor texts to my students: I have a dearth of middle school level writing sitting around in my file cabinets.
Fortunately, the Internet is full of sources, so I scoured the bowels of Google to find examples. I know how busy you are, so I'm sharing.
Expository writing examples for middle school
Below are several sources of expository writing samples for middle school students.
- The Write Source Expository Writing Samples
- Holt, Rinehart, Winston Expository Essay Models
Finally, here is an article in the New York Times that will help you teach your students real-world expository writing skills .
Descriptive writing examples for middle school
- Descriptive Writing Samples from Novels
- Milwaukee Public Schools Descriptive Essay Samples (p. 137)
- Holt, Rinehart, Winston Descriptive Essay Models
Narrative writing examples for middle school
- Writing Samples by Steve Peha (PDF)
- The Write Source Narrative Writing Samples
- Oregon Department of Education Scored Writing Samples (Ideas and Organization)
- Oregon Department of Education Scored Writing Samples (Sentence Fluency and Conventions)
- Oregon Department of Education Scored Writing Samples (Voice and Word Choice)
- Oregon Department of Education High School Scored Narrative and Argumentative Writing Samples
- Holt, Rinehart, Winston Narrative Essay Models
Argumentative/persuasive writing examples for middle school
- The Write Source Persuasive Writing Samples
- Holt, Rinehart, Winston Persuasive Essay Models
Reflective writing examples for middle school
- Reflective essay examples from Lake Washington Girls Middle School
If you know of any other online writing example sources, please feel free to share them in the comments below.
Related topics: Argumentative Writing , Informative Writing , Mentor Texts , Narrative Writing
About the author
Michelle Boyd Waters, M.Ed.
I am a secondary English Language Arts teacher, a University of Oklahoma student working on my doctorate in Instructional Leadership and Academic Curriculum with an concentration in English Education and co-Editor of the Oklahoma English Journal. I am constantly seeking ways to amplify students' voices and choices.
This is very, very helpful. Thank you for sharing!
As a new middle school teacher (coming from elementary) this was very helpful and encouraging.
Thank you very much for letting me know. I’m glad that I was able to help you!
Thank you! I’m glad I can help.
This is super helpful. Thank you!
These links are a fantastic help. Thank you!
This helped me BUNCHES! Thanks so much!
thanks so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! XD
These links are now dead 🙁
Thank you for notifying me! I have updated the post to include new (live!) links. Some of them are geared towards high school, but I think we can still use them as exemplars of what we want our students to aim for.
Comments are closed.
High School - Essay Examples And Topic Ideas For Free
High school is a critical phase in an individual’s education and personal development. Essays on high school could explore the challenges and opportunities presented during this period, such as academic pressure, social dynamics, extracurricular activities, or career preparation. They might also delve into the impact of school policies, teacher-student relationships, or peer interactions on students’ well-being and achievement. Furthermore, essays might explore the broader issues facing high schools, such as educational inequality, school safety, or the integration of technology in the classroom. We’ve gathered an extensive assortment of free essay samples on the topic of High School you can find at PapersOwl Website. You can use our samples for inspiration to write your own essay, research paper, or just to explore a new topic for yourself.
The Tragedies of High School Shootings
It is heartbreaking and horrifying feeling when we watch young students on TV or in person running out of their schools, fearful for their lives to be taken away. School shootings are terrifying incidents that make us wonder what if we or our loved ones may face these types of situations. People have been calling for an action to address the increasing number of mass school shootings in the United States during the past decades. In one study that was […]
Stressed out how High School and Parental Pressure Push the Tolerance Level of Adolescent Stress
Imagine yourself in this situation: You are a high school student, and a typical day includes waking up at 6:00 AM. After spending a day in school, you have to get ready for volleyball practice. Afterward, you go home and receive chores along with the 3 hours of homework you already received that day. Finally, your parents yell at you for your grade on the most recent math test. By the time you get to bed, you have enough time […]
Tuition-free College is a Dream Held by Many College Students in the United States
Many students feel as if free college is extremely beneficial and could help them in their journey in life; While, some institutions believe that having financial obligations for college students is necessary. Tuition-free college can bring many benefits to students by providing opportunities that would not have been available because of financial obligations. However, some believe that Tuition free college has downfalls, such as tax increases. There are a wide variety of conflicts when it comes to paying for college; […]
Senior High School Students of Malate Catholic School
Spending Habits is the most common issue to students nowadays. As people grow older they learn and discover new things in life especially when it comes to money. It is needed for each students to be aware about their spending habits especially at a young age. Humans work to earn an income that would enable them to bring food to the table, clothe themselves as well as indulge in pleasures that can be obtained only through money. Spending a lot […]
Witnessing Violence in High School Predicts Student Impairment
The University of Montreal recently completed a longitudinal research study to determine if there is a correlation between witnessing school violence and future behavior impairment. They also looked at if the correlations depended on what kind of violence was observed. The researchers hypothesized that "witnessing violence will be associated with psychosocial impairment risk and will be proportional to the observed intensity." (Janosz et al., 2018) This study provided information about the outcomes of school violence which had not been looked […]
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Med School Personal Statement
The ability of physicians to examine their patients in intense environments with professionalism and not only nurture patients physically but also emotionally has always intrigued me from an early age itself. However, my love for science and the human body was initially sparked when in 2015 my younger sister slipped from a swing and heavily injured her head. The way doctors treated my sister by remaining calm even in the most profound situations truly intrigued and fascinated me. My continued […]
Adverse Childhood Experiences and their Effects on High School Graduation Rates
Introduction The startling effect adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) have on children and adults came to light in a groundbreaking study first published twenty years ago. Andra et al. reported a strong link between exposure to abuse, divorce, substance abuse, and more to several health risk factors in adults (1998). The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study opened our eyes to the long-term impact of direct and indirect abuse and how child did not have to be abused themselves to suffer serious […]
Fitness Testing in High School
Background To get an understanding of the problems we are facing in the schools today, we need to investigate the background of how and why we even created fitness testing in the first place. With respect to fitness in the United States we look to the Industrial Revolution. This period resulted in changes throughout the country. Labor-intensive jobs were replaced by industrial and mechanical technologies and advancement in replication processes also known as assembly line work. Rural life shifted to […]
The Covid-19 Outbreak: Issues for Students that Come with doing Online School
The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 outbreak, also known as COVID-19, has caused great distress in society as a whole but high schoolers are a group that has been impacted more now than ever. These students haven’t been able to participate in activities, sports, and events causing their social needs to be left unfulfilled. Not only is coronavirus affecting high school students throughout school but also throughout their daily lives. Having to social distance has caused the well-being of […]
The Affects of Legalized Abortion on High School Graduation Rates
The legalization of terminating a pregnancy in the United Sates has been one of the greatest and most controversial debates in history starting as early as the 1900s. Decriminalizing abortion was thought to affect many aspects of our society; one of the main aspects being our economy through the increase of high school graduates. High school drop out rates have proven to be directly connected to the legalization of abortion as many teens choose to drop out of school to […]
Columbine High School Shooting
On April 20, 1999 at Columbine High School in Colorado, Dylan Klebold, 17 and Eric Harris, 18 who were students at the school committed the worst school massacre in American History. They made the attack to show their emotion about how they felt from the disrespect that they received by their community and school. They injured more than twenty people and killed twelve students and one teacher. They ended up turning their guns to their heads, commiting suicide in the […]
Successful Observation in Secondary Schools
The school district I live and work in is diverse. It has a little over 30,000 students enrolled and almost 1,600 classroom teachers. The teachers in this district have an average of 14 years teaching experience. Our district has approximately 85 building principals and vice principals. Across the district, we are approximately at 40% of students meeting standard in math and approximately 51% in ELA. Our growth overall in math is up to 29% and 32% for growth in ELA. […]
The High School Macbeth
A witch is an individual who possesses supernatural powers; their unnatural abilities are usually in relation with the devil or evil spirits. This monster and its representation in culture have shifted over time. If we look at modern times, monsters are exciting and their narratives are changing frequently. We are not focusing on gender constraints nor are we focusing on rules as we used to. However, this wasn’t always the case; many people were racialized, marginalized, and dehumanized throughout the […]
Attend College after Four Years of High School or Not?
The question or not to attend college after four years of high school is one that some kids struggle with. For some, it is a no-brainer. College is the goal, and they will work hard until they get that degree. For others school just does not interest them. High school was enough, they feel like they have gotten enough education, and they are ready to go on to be in the army or navy. Whatever decision made should be the […]
Memories about my Past and High School
I have gone over my memories for the past several days; I am not sure how to explain my thoughts. I struggle on a day–to-day basis. I forget simple things and have for quite some time. I know a lot of it could be due to absent-mindedness or that I am trying to multi-task, but recently I have been getting nervous. My aunt and dad both suffer from Alzheimer’s. My aunt has been battling this disease for a few years, […]
John A. Ferguson Senior High School
As a young girl, I would anticipate coming home from school to watch my favorite show—Dora the Explorer. The show’s main character, Dora, spoke both Spanish and English which normalized a major part of Hispanic culture: being bilingual. Being a Cuban-American, I saw myself when I saw Dora the Explorer on my television screen and was encouraged to embrace my Hispanic heritage. Yet, as I grew older, I found it harder to see myself displayed in shows and movies outside […]
Mountain City School District
Case Analysis Mountain City is an over populated city with schools that are in need of a transformation. The city caters to five high schools, ten middle schools, forty elementary schools and a vocational program for post high school education. Problems have evolved in the school districts due to the decreasing funding from the government and students’ low performances on standardized test. These problems have created a lot of media attention and the administrators have showed concern as a result. […]
Today’s Real World Challenge: High School Shooting
My topic is school shootings. School shootings are when someone invades a school or university and shoots (injures or kills) a student or faculty member of that school. I chose this topic because I feel that this is a real problem in the real world today that needs to stop. Innocent people are dying and being sent to hospitals for problems that they didn’t even start, that they aren’t even involved in. I also know that I would hate […]
High School Students Problems
Teenagers should be able to live their best live without being tempted by illicit drugs and substances. Many teens think that the use of illegal drugs and substances is a way to make them cool, it is causing wreckage to their future and America's future. Underage consumption of illegal substances and drugs is becoming an epidemic. The consumption of illegal substances and drugs causes negative physical and mental effects to the youth, the people around them and the society, thus […]
High School After-School Program
In the town of Greenwood, Ms., according to residents, teachers, and parents (personal communication, March 6, 2019), 65% of the high school students at Amanda Elzy High has been trying to deal with the following: teen pregnancy, failure of grades, and bullying/cyberbullying. The high school students are ranging from 9th-12th grade. According to the residents within the community, all of these activities seems to be taking place in the afternoon or afterschool hours. Schools hours are from 8:00a.m.- 3:00 p.m., […]
Granada Hills Charter High School
Knowledge is power and as Malcolm X once said, “Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.” Today, in the United States everyone has been blessed with the opportunity and the privilege, of learning without the fear of losing it. This has ultimately led to many students -- adolescents and young adults -- to take this free education for granted. In 1954, a monumental year for the landmark Supreme Court […]
Internet Access Restrictions May Vary
Fantastic. In most instances, they are placed on search quarries and are most prominent at education centers. This is simply to keep minds safe from content unsuitable for most ages (Gonchar). Although this is an effective plan with good intentions, it can become more effective by being enforced on younger ages rather than those who have already been exposed to the negative side of the internet. As you enter high school you have nearly done and seen everything there […]
Funding High Schools to Achieve High Academic Standards
New Jersey’s school finance law, adopted in 2008, implements a school funding formula that attempts to ensure all students have the resources needed to achieve high academic standards and graduate as what the state deems as college and career ready. Prior to the SFRA, districts where labeled Abbott districts and were the districts determined as high risk. These Abbott districts would receive extra funding to support high risk per pupil costs. However, in 2007 when the legislation for the […]
Grease and High School Musical Movies Review
The movie industry being mainly patriarchal has done very little to change films in order to keep up and reflect what has transpired in women’s movement towards equality. The film Grease was released in 1978 while High School Musical was released approximately thirty years later in 2006. During the approximate thirty years between the release of the two films, women’s rights had supposedly gained a lot of momentum towards equality of the sexes. Although, after analyzing both films, it is […]
A Importance of Mentor Selection in High School
The transition from high school to college isn't always an easy one. Living away from home, the newfound freedom coupled with a whole new world of people can be anything from unnerving, to misleading. There are various obstacles that need to be overcome and important decisions and choices to make. However colleges, especially those like DePauw, are places of tremendous opportunity and learning for those who choose wisely and get a firm, focused grasp of the situation. The years spent […]
The Stoneman Douglas High School Shooting
The Stoneman Douglas High School shooting occurred on February, 14 2018. On the fateful day, nineteen-year-old Nikolas Cruz entered the school with a concealed gun and later opened fire indiscriminately, killing seventeen people and injuring seventeen others. The debate of mass shootings has been escalating over the recent years as it becomes evident that the number of people willing to execute innocent and unsuspecting individuals is increasing. Scholars and researchers in behavioral science blame social influence for this escalation in […]
Teaching Times for Secondary Schools
Kids and teens shouldn’t wake up for school at 5:30 to 6:30 and have to arrive and start their day by 7:30. Waking up early comes with a lot of different affects on adolescents: Sleep deprivation puts teenagers into a kind of perpetual cloud or haze. “According to the 2014 School Health Policies and Practices Study, 93% of high schools and 83% of middle schools in the U.S. started before 8:30 a.m. The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended that […]
Is Athletic Training Too Intense for High Schoolers
No, I don't believe that athletic training is too intense for high school. The reason is that the athlete signed up for this sport and committed himself/herself to train hard. The coach should arrange a workout that is at your speed or at the intensity level you are comfortable with. I also think that the athlete should work out to stay in shape to make it easier for the coach during the off-season. Take care of yourself, stretch, and tell […]
My Work as a Counselor in High School
Technology has become the "go-to" for endless entertainment, solving any conceivable problem, and even combatting boredom. With technology so readily available, individuals often resort to the internet for quick answers and solutions. For example, visiting the doctor is now optional due to websites like WebMD! While people may not have the answers themselves, endless solutions are just a click away. In this write-up, I assess and analyze a technology-based assessment tool that is easily accessible to a high school student […]
About my High School Experience
My name is Arizona Poole, and I am a junior at Cornerstone. I have attended Cornerstone since 5th grade. I've wanted to be a teacher all my life. Since I was a young child, I've known that teaching is what I want to do. The only thing that has changed is the grade I want to teach. I am an extremely responsible and hardworking student. I am a part of the Beta Club and Community Service Club. In 10th grade, […]
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