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How to Write Any High School Essay

Last Updated: December 12, 2022 References

This article was co-authored by Emily Listmann, MA and by wikiHow staff writer, Hunter Rising . Emily Listmann is a private tutor in San Carlos, California. She has worked as a Social Studies Teacher, Curriculum Coordinator, and an SAT Prep Teacher. She received her MA in Education from the Stanford Graduate School of Education in 2014. There are 14 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 545,972 times.

Writing an essay is an important basic skill that you will need to succeed in high school and college. While essays will vary depending on your teacher and the assignment, most essays will follow the same basic structure. By supporting your thesis with information in your body paragraphs, you can successfully write an essay for any course!

Writing Help

how to write high school application essay

Planning Your Essay

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Starting an Essay

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Writing the Body Paragraphs

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Concluding Your Essay

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Revising the Paper

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how to write high school application essay

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About This Article

Emily Listmann, MA

Writing good essays is an important skill to have in high school, and you can write a good one by planning it out and organizing it well. Before you start, do some research on your topic so you can come up with a strong, specific thesis statement, which is essentially the main argument of your essay. For instance, your thesis might be something like, “Elephants should not be kept in the circus because they are mistreated.” Once you have your thesis, outline the paragraphs for your essay. You should have an introduction that includes your thesis, at least 3 body paragraphs that explain your main points, and a conclusion paragraph. Start each body paragraph with a topic sentence that states the main point of the paragraph. As you write your main points, make sure to include evidence and quotes from your research to back it up. To learn how to revise your paper, read more from our Writing co-author! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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Unit 4: lesson 3.

Sample essay 2 with admissions feedback


Sample essay 2, feedback from admissions.

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3+ High School Application Essay Examples [ Admission, Central, Private ]

High school application essay, 3+ high school application essay examples, 1. high school application essay template, 2. high school academy application essay, 3. sample high school application essay, 4. high school admission application essay, define essay, define admission, importance of admissions, tips on writing a good high school essay, how many sentences do i need to write to let it be considered an essay, what are the usual topics to write for a high school essay application, is there a limit to how many words needed to write, do i need to reach the word count for it to be considered a good essay, what other types of essays are there.

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3 Tips for Writing Your Child's Private School Application Essay

How to harness the power of storytelling.


By Soojung Smith

Published on: october 30, 2017.


It’s that time of year again: the busy admissions season for private and independent K–12 schools. Keeping track of each school's open houses, campus tours, parent and student interview dates and test requirements can feel like a full-time job. 

Each year, more families are considering private schools for their children and competition for top private schools in the greater Seattle area has become increasingly fierce. Some elite private schools admit fewer than 10 percent of their applicants from a highly qualified candidate pool. High standardized test (SSAT and ISEE) scores and GPAs alone, unfortunately, don’t guarantee a spot at these coveted schools. They're interested in forming a diverse and well-rounded student body that delves beyond students’ test scores and grades.

Some elite private schools admit fewer than 10 percent of their applicants.

One of the biggest mistakes I've seen families make in preparing their child’s applications for admission is to treat the information they submit as separate data points. Rather than painting a complete picture of their student, parent and student essays often read like a student activity form.

To give your child the best chance of success, it's important to be intentional and thoughtful about your child’s application. Remember that admission committees are interested in learning about your child and what your family can offer, and how you will contribute to their schools and school communities.

Here are a few tips to help you make the most of your child's private school application.

Know what it is you want to say about your child and your family: What are the key messages you want to convey?  

Start working on essays and other application elements

Use essays and other application elements for effective storytelling

Effective storytelling alone won’t necessarily put your child over the top if they aren't already a competitive candidate. But it goes hand-in-hand with solid standardized test scores and GPAs for robust applications. Let schools know how unique your child and your family are. Let them know how your child and family will contribute to a diverse student body. Good luck!

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About the author.


Soojung Smith is a family education coach, author, CEO and board advisor, and former Microsoft marketing executive. Her children attend two private schools on the Eastside. Soojung supports parents with challenging issues such as private school vs. public school, private school admissions, and students’ executive functioning skills and their public speaking competencies. Email Soojung at  [email protected] .

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How to Write an Awesome Private School Admission Essay

Sitting down to write the all-important private school admission essay — is there anything more stress-inducing than a blank document and a blinking cursor? 

Writing anything from scratch requires intensive energy, focus, and inspiration — and that pressure is heightened when the writing topic is turned inward. No wonder students (and parents) get overwhelmed when it’s time to complete the essay portion of a private school application!

Helping your child write their private school admission essay can be pretty nerve-wracking. However, it doesn’t have to be. 

The short essay questions included as part of most private school applications are meant to provide admissions professionals with a well-rounded picture of your child as a person and as a student. If written thoughtfully, this component of your child’s application can make them truly stand out. 

Below are our top tips for beating back writer’s block and crafting a private school admission essay that gets noticed. 

Remember the essay audience.

Although the essay is about your student, it’s FOR the private school admissions team. What will stand out to them? What will interest them? What will help them best understand your child and how they learn? Help your child craft an essay with these professionals in mind.

Answer the essay question asked.

This may seem obvious; however, it’s very easy to steer off course when you get into a writing groove. Help your child refer back to the question and any associated instructions while they write. Remind them to try to stick to the word count, and make sure to answer all parts of the question. 

Portray personality.

Private schools are admitting people, not numbers. Their goal is to create a diverse, copasetic community in which students grow and are challenged. Your child’s answers shouldn’t be cookie-cutter. The best essay question answers will showcase a student’s personality, quirks and all. 

Demonstrate passions. 

Private schools are seeking students with different interests and passions. If your child has a unique interest or personal pursuit, the essay can be a great place to explain what it means to them and why it drives their creativity. 

Provide a unique perspective. 

Opinions are important. If your child believes in a cause or has a strong point-of-view on a topic, talk about why. By standing behind their convictions, your child will demonstrate their critical thinking and leadership capabilities. 

Paint a complete portrait. 

Regardless of the essay question, you want your child’s essay to work seamlessly with the rest of their application and showcase them as a full, well-rounded student. If the application itself doesn’t allow you to bring your student’s true self to life, take that opportunity in the essay component.  

Maintain proper essay structure.

Remember, the essay isn't solely an exercise to get to know your child; it's also an evaluation of their writing ability. Maintaining the proper essay structure with an introduction, body, and conclusion is essential.

Admission officers read a LOT of essays, so really work on hooking them with the intro. Have your child read feature magazine and news articles, as well as the opening paragraphs of books to see how professional authors engage their readers.

Cut the clutter.

After your child writes their essay's first draft, make sure they spend time editing their ideas into a clear, concise answer. Help them proofread, check their grammar, and cut out any extra words or phrases that don’t support their answers. 

Get/offer feedback.

Once your child’s essay is complete, it’s perfectly acceptable for them to ask someone else to read it. As a parent, point out areas where they have opportunities to strengthen an idea or fix a mistake. However, resist the urge to rewrite the essay in your own words. Again, your child’s own perspective is what matters! 

While the questions asked on private school applications may change, these essay-writing tips will help ensure that whatever story your child tells resonates with your dream school’s admissions team. For more essay tips, read Encouraging Your Child to Write a Self-Revealing Application Essay .

Want more tips and resources?

Join Admission Academy , our yearlong event program that supports families step-by-step through the private school admissions process .

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Read the most up-to-date advice on finding and applying to your best-fit school. 

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High school application essay examples

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Overall, the greatest idea is to think of how you could contribute to that school. Maybe you are good at sports or Maths? Even though, whatever is the discipline that drives you and that is easy for you to perform, what matters even more is your so-called soft skills. Meaning, how you communicate, how you are used to handle difficult situations and conflicts at school. Maybe you have shown leadership in some situation and helped your classmate to tackle a challenging assignment? You are encouraged to express that in your essay! If you open any good high school application essay example, you will immediately notice that they are focused entirely on the personal qualities of the person who writes it. It is natural since the school needs to know more about who you are and what you can do to keep up and improve the reputation of that educational institution. But watch carefully - even though the example essay for high school application might serve you well with structuring, formatting, and language for the essay, in your own essay you should only write the truth about yourself.

Example essay for high school application

It is strongly recommended to not describe the person that you think admissions officers would like. The most important factor to a successful high school application essay is just to stay yourself. However, of course, it means checking spelling and grammar before you submit this essay, even if what you usually do is full of those kinds of mistakes. Anyway, if you read an example of a high school application essay way before you start writing your own, it might set the good tone for your own writing.

Lots of students want to know the ultimate secret to writing an admissions essay that will be accepted whatever happens and no matter how many other talented candidates are there in the row. However, we afraid to tell you that there is no ultimate secret to a successful essay. Although, there is a lot of freedom of self-expression. So just be yourself, and if you have still got some questions or doubts, just check the latest examples of a high school application essay to stay on track and to get rid of the anxiety that your application won’t be accepted.

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  1. How to Write Any High School Essay (with Pictures ...

    Planning Your Essay 1 Determine the type of essay you need to write. Check the specific requirements for your essay provided by your teacher to see what type of essay you need to write. While the essays will differ in subject matter, they tend to follow the same 5 paragraph structure.

  2. Sample essay 2 with admissions feedback

    Please write an essay on a topic of your choice (no word limit). I'm one of those kids who can never read enough. I sit here, pen in hand, at my friendly, comfortable, oak desk and survey the books piled high on the shelves, the dresser, the bed, the chair, even the window ledge.

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  4. 3 Tips for Writing Your Child's Private School Application Essay

    Start working on essays and other application elements Typically, families apply for three to five schools and, depending upon schools under consideration, you may end up with writing not only a common set of essays but also other unique ones they require from applicants and their families.

  5. How to Write an Awesome Private School Admission Essay

    Have your child read feature magazine and news articles, as well as the opening paragraphs of books to see how professional authors engage their readers. Cut the clutter. After your child writes their essay's first draft, make sure they spend time editing their ideas into a clear, concise answer.

  6. High school application essay examples

    When students apply for high school, they are often asked to write an application essay explaining why they have chosen this particular school to study. You might be wondering about what you should and should not write while, in most cases, teachers and friends just advise you to “be yourself”. But it is easier said than done!