For beginners inquiring how to write a high school essay


High school period is a springboard for students to switch over to a new life. It is worth noting that a successful transition directly depends on how they have prepared themselves for this journey. Whether they continue education or take on a job they need to be emotionally, physically and physiologically ready for new challenges. At a high school, they are on the stage of realizing who they are and what they want to be. An effective tool that may help students to sort themselves out is a college essay.

Actually, in this case, a high school essay is not simply the research on a particular subject but is a chance of self-discovery and reflection of their experiences.

So what is the purpose of a high school paper? A high school essay serves several purposes:

  • Shows the readers who a writer is – his or her skills, achievements, experiences and aspirations being a high school student
  • Develops student’s creative writing through a variety of goals, styles and language techniques
  • Acts as a miscellany of student’s events, studies and trials of life that can be used to track how the life goes on and changes with the time

This type of essay is perhaps the most favoured by students as it deals much with their personal feelings and viewpoints. What can be more exciting than sharing your own impressions and filling the readers in on what has happened in your life? Still, students have to possess some basic writing skills and master a range of writing methods that help to express themselves vividly and agreeably to requirements.

Below you will find all-embracive instructions and useful tips on how to write a high school essay. On acquiring this knowledge, you will considerably improve your academic performance plus learn how to express your ideas clearly. Moreover, essays on your college studies will prepare you for producing one of the most important papers in your life - an admission essay.

You probably know how the writing process goes on; however, we feel that one more mentioning of the essay planning will be helpful.

This is a unified scheme to write consistently:

  • Identify a topic
  • Research
  • Develop a thesis statement
  • Think of arguments
  • Provide evidence
  • Outline
  • Draft
  • Review

What essay type to choose

The range of essay types to talk about your high school life is quite big.

Most frequently both students and teachers enjoy reading papers of that kind:

  • Argumentative
  • Narrative
  • Personal
  • Persuasive
  • Reflective
  • Research
  • Explanatory

This is because these essays serve best to the purposes mentioned above. They give you plenty of rope to describe multiple things, express your emotions, share your preferences with the reading audience and at the same time enable you to reflect upon your acts and achievements. The choice primarily depends on your aims.

If you want people to learn more about who you are, decide on a personal essay. Reflective stories will work best if you’d like to share your experiences after a particular event. Research is perfect for students assigned to carry out the studies on a recommended issue. If you wish to depict how you completed a course, won an academic competition, went on a school trip, participated in a concert, etc., you’d better go with a narrative essay. Explanatory or teaching writing will fully fit your decision to educate a reader, in other words, to explain a certain situation or point of view.

A bunch of inspiring ideas for your essay topic


This section of our writing guide presents vivid examples of topics split by essay categories.

Argumentative essays

  • Should religion be taught at school?
  • Are music and art lessons important in high school?
  • Should there be more extra-curriculum activities for senior students?
  • Should beauty contests in high school be banned?

Narrative essays

  • What was your first volunteering experience?
  • How I coached my school cheerleading team
  • How was my first three-day hiking tour?
  • Surviving in a hurricane
  • How my mum reached out to me

Personal essays

  • How I learned to gain higher self-esteem
  • The feeling of being neglected by classmates
  • Why I have joined a judo club
  • Why I feel grateful for my teachers

Persuasive essays

  • Should schools offer free WI-FI?
  • Should high school sportsmen be tested for drugs?
  • Should schools have a bigger vegan menu?
  • Should there be sex education lessons for high students?

Reflective essays

  • A moment when you were in urgent need of a friend’s support
  • How I first was in serious conflict
  • How I delivered my first speech
  • How I started blogging

Research essays

  • To investigate how social media impact teenager’s self-esteem
  • To explore the impact of part-time jobs on academic excellence
  • To identify the most frequent types of bullying
  • To find out how strong is the citizenship of contemporary students

Teaching essays

  • Why learn time-management
  • How to improve endurance
  • How to build friendship
  • What are the most common reasons for immigration?

Tips on essay parts

As a high school essay can be of various types, its format can vary from one to five paragraphs. Compared to university papers, high school essays are shorter but also have to be written in a concise way.

When it comes to the question “How to write a high school essay?” we would recommend choosing a five-paragraph format, which is a classic. In addition, this structure is easy to follow:

  • Introductory part
  • Three body paragraphs
  • Conclusion

With this format, a student will be able to produce almost all essay types. Moreover, there is definitely pretty much space to develop a topic.

Like every introduction, your high school essay opening paragraph should headline the topic, show the main point of writing - a thesis statement - and hook the reading audience. These are three indispensable conditions for every essay. The better they are composed, the bigger chances that readers will continue reading your story.

For those who still do not know - three body paragraphs of the essay are the intertwined components that echo the thesis statement, have a topic sentence, a claim and a logical transition of one idea to another.

The conclusion serves as a summary of the arguments and the last opportunity to highlight your message. Readers are expected to finish reading with something new, important and perhaps calling to action in their minds. Your final part has to touch their hearts so that they will remember what you wanted to say.

How to finalize the paper

Awesome papers are not just the ones that are well-structured and extensively researched. Sophisticated readers will unlikely enjoy reading your essay if their eyes catch the smallest grammar error or lapse.

So we strongly advise you never to hand in your paper before it is proofread because a watchful eye of the instructor will immediately notice your careless writing and your paper will get a low score.

To polish your essay, start like this:

  • Revise the entire paper several times
  • Read the text out loud
  • Evaluate if all paragraphs have enough supporting evidence
  • Make sure that each source is cited appropriately
  • Ask yourself whether your essay is readable, i.e. has clear and free from vagueness
  • Check if it does not contain slag words, colloquialisms and boffinated words
  • Eliminate grammar, punctuation and spelling mistakes

A winning strategy for every student is to employ a reader-centred approach. That means pretending that you are a reader or a teacher, not a writer. We can tell you this is a one hundred percent effective method.

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