How To Write A High School Essay?


How To Write A High School Essay
An academic essay is a focused piece of writing that develops an idea or argument using evidence, analysis, and interpretation. There are many types of essays you might write as a student. The content and length of an essay depends on your level, subject of study, and course requirements.

  1. Preparation: Decide on your topic, do your research, and create an essay outline.
  2. Writing : Set out your argument in the introduction, develop it with evidence in the main body, and wrap it up with a conclusion.
  3. Revision: Check the content, organization, grammar, spelling, and formatting of your essay.

In this guide, we walk you through what to include in the introduction, body, and conclusion of an academic essay, using paragraphs from our interactive essay example,
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What is the proper high school essay format?

Download Article Download Article 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!

  1. 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. Review what the assignment is asking you to complete so you know what sort of information you need to include.
    • Expository essays uses arguments to investigate and explain a topic.
    • Persuasive essays try to convince the readers to believe or accept your specific point of view
    • Narrative essays tell about a real-life personal experience.
    • Descriptive essays are used to communicate deeper meaning through the use of descriptive words and sensory details.
  2. 2 Do preliminary research on your essay’s topic. Start looking for general information and evidence on the topic you were assigned or chose. Try to find similarities or connections between the facts that you find. Organize and save the information so you can revisit it later.
    • Look through books or use search engines online to look at the broad topic before narrowing your ideas down into something more concise.


  3. 3 Create an arguable thesis statement if needed. The thesis statement is the point of view you present to the reader and the main focus of your entire essay. If you need to make an argument in your essay, write the argument in one clear and concise sentence. Make sure the point is arguable and not just a general thought or idea.
    • For example, the statement “Elephants are used to perform in circuses” does not offer an arguable point. Instead, you may try something like “Elephants should not be kept in the circus since they are mistreated.” This allows you to find supporting arguments or for others to argue against it.
    • Keep in mind that some essay writing will not require an argument, such as a narrative essay. Instead, you might focus on a pivotal point in the story as your main claim.
  4. 4 Find reliable sources that support your argument. Avoid using personal blogs or websites that are biased. Instead, look for scholarly articles, lab research, or general news sources for the most accurate information. Find books published by large publishers that support your arguments as well.
    • Talk to your school’s librarian for direction on specific books or databases you could use to find your information.
    • Many schools offer access to online databases like EBSCO or JSTOR where you can find reliable information.
    • Wikipedia is a great starting place for your research, but it can be edited by anyone in the world. Instead, look at the article’s references to find the sites where the information really came from.
    • Use Google Scholar if you want to find peer-reviewed scholarly articles for your sources.
    • Make sure to consider the author’s credibility when reviewing sources. If a source does not include the author’s name, then it might not be a good option.
  5. 5 Make an outline for the paragraphs in your essay. Many essays will follow a 5-paragraph structure: an introductory paragraph, 3 body paragraphs, and a conclusion. When you have the information for your argument, organize the paragraphs so they flow logically from one to the other.
    • Outlines will vary in size or length depending on how long your essay needs to be. Longer essays will have more body paragraphs to support your arguments.
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  1. 1 Hook the readers with a relevant fact, quote, or question for the first sentence. An attention getter draws readers into your essay. Use a shocking statistic or a hypothetical question to get the reader thinking on your subject. Make sure not to use an attention getter unrelated to the topic of your essay. Use your attention getter to help lead into your main argument.
    • Make sure your quotes or information are accurate and not an exaggeration of the truth, or else readers will question your validity throughout the rest of your essay.
  2. 2 Introduce your thesis in one sentence. After your attention getter, state the purpose of your essay so the reader knows the main topic. Keep your thesis statement in a clear and concise statement so they know exactly what stance you’re taking on the subject.
    • For example, “Because global warming is causing the polar ice caps to melt, we need to eliminate our reliance on fossil fuels within the next 5 years.” Or, “Since flavored tobacco appeals mainly to children and teens, it should be illegal for tobacco manufacturers to sell these products.”
    • The thesis is usually the last or second to last sentence in your introduction.
  3. 3 Provide a sentence that’s a mini-outline for the topics that your essay covers. Write a sentence that briefly introduces what information you’re providing to support your thesis. This helps your reader know exactly what you’re discussing and what they should expect from the rest of your essays.
    • Use the main topics of your body paragraphs as an idea of what to include in your mini-outline.
  4. 4 Keep the introduction between 4-5 sentences. Don’t summarize your entire essay in the introduction or provide too much background information. Save your important information for your body paragraphs. Think of your introductory paragraph as a simple lead-in for the rest of your paper.
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  1. 1 Start each paragraph with a topic sentence. The topic sentence states the main point of the paragraph and relates directly back to your thesis. When you write your other sentences, they need to support your topic sentence. Use your outline to help write your topic sentence for your body paragraphs.
    • Think of your topic sentences as mini-theses so your paragraphs only argue a specific point.
  2. 2 Include evidence and quotes from your research and cite your sources. Use your research to summarize or include direct quotes from your sources to give your essay validity. When you include information that isn’t common knowledge, cite your sources in-text based on the format required for your paper.
    • Many high school essays are written in MLA or APA style. Ask your teacher what format they want you to follow if it’s not specified.
  3. 3 Provide your own analysis of the evidence you find. Give relevance to the quotes of information you provide in your essay so your reader understands the point you are trying make. Don’t assume your reader will make the connection between your info and the thesis of your paper. Analysis also gives you a chance to include your own thoughts and interpretation of the facts you provide.
    • Unless you’re writing a personal essay, avoid the use of “I” statements since this could make your essay look less professional.
  4. 4 Use transitional phrases between each of your body paragraphs. To ensure that your readers can smoothly move between your body paragraphs, use words or phrases to relate the paragraphs to one another. This will make it so your essay doesn’t seem disjointed and will keep your points succinct.
    • For example, if your body paragraphs discuss similar points in a different way, you can use phrases like “in the same way,” “similarly,” and “just as” to start other body paragraphs.
    • If you are posing different points, try phrases like “in spite of,” “in contrast,” or “however” to transition.
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  1. 1 Restate your thesis and summarize your arguments briefly. Remind the readers of the main focus of your essay and the arguments you posed. Don’t repeat your thesis word for word, but instead rephrase it along with your topic sentences. This helps the reader remember what you’ve discussed and it will stick with them for longer.
    • For example, if your thesis was, “The cell phone is the most important invention in the past 30 years,” then you may restate the thesis in your conclusion like, “Due to the ability to communicate anywhere in the world and access information easily, the cell phone is a pivotal invention in human history.”
    • If you’re only writing a 1-page paper, restating your main ideas isn’t necessary.
  2. 2 Discuss why the subject of your paper is relevant moving forward. Take the point of your essay and relate it to the real world and what information a reader can incorporate into their lives. This helps give reason to why you’ve written the essay that goes deeper than the prompt you’ve been given by your teacher.
    • For example, if you write an essay discussing the themes of a book, think about how the themes are affecting people’s lives today.
  3. 3 End the paragraph with a lasting thought that ties into your introduction. Close out your essay with another sentence that’s either a fact, question, or quote. Relate it back to your introduction so your essay comes full circle and leaves a sense of closure on the topic you’ve discussed.
    • Try to pick the same type of closing sentence as you used as your attention getter.
  4. 4 Include a Works Cited page if you need one. Check with your teacher to see if they would like you to include a works cited and what format they prefer. Then, compile the sources you used on a separate page at the end of your essay. Organize your sources alphabetically by the authors’ last names. Make sure to follow the correct citation format depending on the style of essay you’ve written.
    • Including a Works Cited page shows that the information you provided isn’t all your own and allows the reader to visit the sources to see the raw information for themselves.
    • Avoid using online citation machines since they may be outdated.
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  1. 1 Determine if your point comes across clearly through your arguments. Your essay should clearly define your argument and provide supporting examples. When you read your essay again, make sure it doesn’t read as confusing or contradict what you’re trying to argue.
    • Have a peer or parent read through your essay to see if they understand what point you’re trying to make.
  2. 2 Check the flow of your essay between paragraphs. Look over your transitional statements and make sure your body paragraphs make sense leading into one another. On a sentence level, make sure your thoughts are cohesive and each sentence influences what you say in the next one. This helps a reader follow your train of thought better.
    • For example, if your essay discusses the history of an event, make sure your sentences flow in a chronological way in the order the events happened.
  3. 3 Rewrite or remove any sections that go off-topic. Make sure each of your sentences supports your thesis or your topic sentences. If you have any contradictions or information that doesn’t defend your argument, consider cutting it from your essay or finding a way to tie it into your main focus.
    • If you cut parts out of your essay, make sure to reread it to see if it affects the flow of how it reads.
  4. 4 Read through your essay for punctuation or spelling errors. Once you’ve edited your essay for content, look for sentence-level errors such as punctuation, word choice, and spelling. Read your essay out loud to hear any mistakes you may have glossed over.
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Add New Question

  • Question Approximately how long will it take to write a 1600 word essay using APA style? 4-5 days depending on how long you work on it each day. If you concentrate it might only take you 3 days.
  • Question How do I make a conclusion for my essay sound natural? Try adding a sentence that leaves the reader with a lingering thought.
  • Question If it’s a mandatory essay and I’m really not into it what should I do? Just force yourself to write the essay. Because it’s mandatory, it will be part of your mark. Give yourself plenty of time because it will likely take longer. But try to find something interesting about the topic to focus on.

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  • Allow ample time to layout your essay before you get started writing.
  • Check the rubric provided by your teacher and compare your essay to it. This helps you gauge what you need to include or change.


Avoid using plagiarism since this could result in academic consequences.

Advertisement Article Summary X 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? Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 549,357 times.
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What is the writing format for high school students?

General Guidelines – All papers in MLA are double-spaced and use a 12-point font size, mostly in readable fonts such as Times New Roman or Courier. Set all document margins – the top, bottom, right and left – at 1 inch and the header margin at 0.5 inch.
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How long should paragraphs for a high school essay be?

How long is an Essay? A Guide to Appropriate Essay Length – INK ? The length of your article is determined by several factors. These include level of education, course of study, departmental guidelines, and tutor’s requirements. Compared to a research paper or dissertation, an essay is a shorter piece of writing.

  1. This article provides general guidelines for the length of different types of essays.
  2. Since there are several essay types, it is crucial to understand the length required of your assignment.
  3. On average, an essay should be at least 700 to 1,200 words.
  4. It shouldn’t be too long or too short.
  5. Usually, when an instructor hands out a project, the number of pages to be written will be given alongside.

The instructor will often give the word count for the assignment, which will be more helpful than just telling the number of pages. This will mostly be a range (e.g., 500-800 words). Most important in writing an essay is to prioritize quality over quantity.

The focus should be on making a solid argument about the subject rather than hitting the specified word count. However, writing an essay according to the specified length is possible without compromising quality. The specified length of your essay gives you a sense of how much information and complexity you can fit into the given space.

This will determine how you outline your ideas and structure your argument. The time needed for editing and proofreading also varies by the length of the essay. A few tips to keep in mind when writing an essay include:

An essay should have a minimum of three paragraphs. The paragraphs should contain the introduction, body, and conclusion, respectively.For an introductory paper, a five-paragraph structure is typical.The conclusion and introduction paragraphs are generally shorter.Each central idea should occupy a separate body paragraph.

There is a for most high school, college, graduate, and professional schools. Although it is usually difficult to determine the length of an essay by words, working within the specified range is generally good. The following guidelines will help you determine how long your essay should be.

  • The recommended word count for a high school essay is 300 to 1000 words.
  • It may vary, but you’ll often need to write a 5-paragraph essay that contains an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion.
  • College admissions essays are much shorter than any other.
  • They range from 200 to 650 words and contain a few paragraphs that express your motivations and interests.

The length of undergraduate essays varies depending on the institution, course of study, and course levels. However, no matter the length, every undergraduate college essay must include the following:

IntroductionBody (containing the subject arguments)Conclusion

The word count of a typical undergraduate essay ranges from 1500 to 5000 words. A typical graduate admission essay contains about 500–1000 words detailing your statement of purpose and highlighting some of your academic achievements. Graduate school essays are usually more detailed and comprehensive, which means they tend to be longer.

  • A typical graduate school essay ranges from 2500 to 6000 words.
  • First, you need to decide how many words your essay requires.
  • Afterward, you can break it down into paragraphs.
  • A short piece of 600-800 words will require that each section contains 100-150 words.
  • The introduction is one of the essential parts of an essay.

The introduction is usually the same length as the conclusion and is shorter than the body. It should be just one paragraph and should match the length of the essay. For example, an essay with a length of 500 words would have an introduction of about 100 words. Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash Writing your essay according to the specified length is essential, especially when your instructor recommends it. However, the, Creativity and originality are crucial factors in writing a well-structured essay, but it’s also vital that your essay is well-written.
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What are the elements of a high school essay?

The main parts (or sections) to an essay are the intro, body, and conclusion. In a standard short essay, five paragraphs can provide the reader with enough information in a short amount of space.
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How do you start a paragraph in high school?

Step 1: Identify the paragraph’s purpose – First, you need to know the central idea that will organize this paragraph. If you have already made a plan or outline of your paper’s overall structure, you should already have a good idea of what each paragraph will aim to do.

You can start by drafting a sentence that sums up your main point and introduces the paragraph’s focus. This is often called a topic sentence, It should be specific enough to cover in a single paragraph, but general enough that you can develop it over several more sentences. Although the Braille system gained immediate popularity with the blind students at the Institute in Paris, it had to gain acceptance among the sighted before its adoption throughout France.

This topic sentence:

Transitions from the previous paragraph (which discussed the invention of Braille). Clearly identifies this paragraph’s focus (the acceptance of Braille by sighted people). Relates to the paper’s overall thesis. Leaves space for evidence and analysis.

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What makes a good essay?


FOCUS An essay should have a single clear central idea. Each paragraph should have a clear main point or topic sentence.
DEVELOPMENT Each paragraph should support or expand the central idea of the paper. The idea of each paragraph should be explained and illustrated through examples, details, and descriptions.
UNITY Every paragraph in an essay should be related to the main idea. Each paragraph should stick to its main point.
COHERENCE An essay or paper should be organized logically, flow smoothly, and “stick” together. In other words, everything in the writing should make sense to a reader.
CORRECTNESS A paper should be written in generally correct standard English, with complete sentences, and be relatively error-free.

One additional quality, not part of this list, but nevertheless, very important, is creativity. The best writing carries some of the personality and individuality of its author. Follow the above guidelines, but always work to make your writing uniquely your own.

Dr. Murray and Anna C. Rockowitz Writing Center website feedback: 7th Floor of the library in the Silverstein Student Success Center (212) 772-4212 | email us
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How many paragraphs is 500 words?

Frequently Asked Questions about how many paragraphs is 500 words – 🛏 How long is a 500 word essay? A 500-word essay is generally around 1-3 pages in length, depending on font size and spacing. 🎐 How many paragraphs should a 500 word essay have? Since most paragraphs contain around 75-200 words, a 500-word essay will have approximately 4-6 paragraphs.

  1. 🗑 Should a 500 word essay have paragraphs? Yes.
  2. A 500-word essay will likely include around 4-6 paragraphs.
  3. ️ Is a 500 word paragraph too long? In most cases, a 500-word paragraph is too long, but paragraph size differs based on essay type and required length.
  4. 🎡 Can a 500 word essay be 3 paragraphs? Yes.

A 500-word essay could have 3 substantial paragraphs, but most will have around 4-6 paragraphs.
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How long is an essay?

Essay length guidelines

Type of essay Average word count range
High school essay 300–1000 words
College admission essay 200–650 words
Undergraduate college essay 1500–5000 words
Graduate school admission essay 500–1000 words

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How many paragraphs is an essay?

The five-paragraph essay – Arguably the most common essay format is the standard five-paragraph essay. This essay devotes a paragraph each to the introduction, conclusion, and three different supporting details. Let’s break down what each of those sections includes.
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What is a good essay first sentence?

Frequently asked questions about the essay introduction – What is a hook? The “hook” is the first sentence of your essay introduction, It should lead the reader into your essay, giving a sense of why it’s interesting. To write a good hook, avoid overly broad statements or long, dense sentences. Try to start with something clear, concise and catchy that will spark your reader’s curiosity.
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What goes first in a essay?

Your essay introduction should include three main things, in this order: An opening hook to catch the reader’s attention. Relevant background information that the reader needs to know. A thesis statement that presents your main point or argument.
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How many pages is 2,000 words?

Answer: 2000 words is 4 pages single spaced or 8 pages double spaced.
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Is 2,000 words a long essay?

How long is 2000 Words: A Guide – INK You might be given an assignment of 2000 word count that you’ll need to assign to pages. The first question that’ll probably come to mind is, ” how long is 2000 words? ” Read this article if you’re looking for a guide to how long a is.

Writing an essay that is 2000 words in length can be challenging. How long is 2000 words in an essay? For a standard essay, 2000 words is about 8 pages. The type of font, font size, spacing elements, margins, and paragraph length determine the number of pages needed for a 2000-word essay. If an assignment specifies a 12-point font size, the page will contain more words than if it suggests a 13-point font.

With the standard text format of a Word processing software, (1-inch margins, 12-point fonts, and single-spaced settings), 500 words will fit in a page. Using double-spacing, an estimate of 250 words will. This is not to rule out the importance of font type and font size in determining the page number.

  1. A rule of thumb is to use the standard document settings of a typical Word Processing software – (12-point font, Times New Romans, 1-inch margin).
  2. However, don’t forget the specifications your professor gave you when you are writing an essay for school.
  3. A will require four pages for a single-spaced document, and eight pages for a double-spaced document following the specifications listed above.

As a result of the large variation in the number of words needed to fill a page, essays are assigned according to word count. The following tips will guide you in understanding the length of a 2000-word essay.

Page length – 4 pages (single-spaced document)Page length – 8 pages (double-spaced document)Paragraphs – 10-20 paragraphsSentences – 100-134 sentences.

Duration of writing : 50 minutes at a typing speed of 40 words per minute. Photo by Green Chameleon on Unsplash It is essential to prioritize quality over quantity when writing your essay. No matter the word count specified, it is vital to use a compelling structure. Focus on making a solid argument that’ll keep your readers hooked.
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Is 250 words in a paragraph too much?

LibGuides: Writing strong paragraphs: Paragraph Structure A paragraph develops ONE main idea through a series of related sentences. This main idea is usually introduced in the first sentence of the paragraph, called the topic sentence. The idea is then developed further through the sentences that follow.

A paragraph is usually around 250 words and consists of five or six sentences, although this can vary depending on the purpose of the paragraph, and the length of the piece you are writing. Paragraphs play an important role in writing because they provide a framework for organising your ideas in a logical order.

Using a clear structure for your paragraphs helps guide the reader through your written work.

Paragraph Structure A useful way of understanding paragraph structure is to think of it as a block that is divided into three sections: the beginning, the middle, and the end. A basic paragraph follows this structure:

Topic Sentence (TS) – the beginning

Needs to state ONE idea clearly Useful Tip: Always put the most important information first!

Supporting Sentences (SS) – the middle

Elaborates and explains the idea introduced in the topic sentence Provides evidence and examples Explains the evidence or example included – why is it relevant?

Concluding Sentence (CS) – the end

Makes links: back to the main idea of the paragraph; back to research question or topic of the assignment; to the next paragraph

When to start a new paragraph:

Start new main points or new ideas in a new paragraph. If you have an extended idea across multiple paragraphs, each new point within that idea should have its own paragraph. Use a new paragraph to introduce a contrasting or different position. Use a clear topic sentence to identify the main idea. If the paragraph becomes too long or the material is overly complex, you will need to create a break to make your writing more readable. Try splitting long paragraphs into two shorter paragraphs. This means you will need to write a new topic sentence at the start of the new paragraph. Introductions and conclusions are usually written as separate paragraphs.

: LibGuides: Writing strong paragraphs: Paragraph Structure
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What is the proper essay format structure?

What is the structure of an essay? The structure of an essay is divided into an introduction that presents your topic and thesis statement, a body containing your in-depth analysis and arguments, and a conclusion wrapping up your ideas.
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What is the format for a high school English body paragraph?

A good body paragraph contains three main sections: a topic sentence (or key sentence), relevant supporting sentences, and a closing (or transition) sentence. This structure keeps your paragraph focused on the main idea, providing clear, concise information.
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