What Are the Best Tips for Writing a High School Essay?

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  • Written By: Kelly Ferguson
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 30 August 2019
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Writing a high school essay can be a fairly simple procedure as long as some basic principles are followed. The structure of the essay will likely depend on the topic and the type of the essay, but most of the time a standard format is acceptable. Using proper grammar, spelling, and vocabulary is also very important when writing a high school essay for a grade.

Determine from the assignment what kind of essay is most appropriate, such as a book review, a summary essay, a fictional piece, or other kinds of writing. Keep in mind the required length of the essay. Finally, remember the audience to which the essay will be directed. In a high school essay, this audience will most likely be a teacher or group of peers, but sometimes an assignment requires that a different angle be taken.

When writing a high school essay, especially a lengthy one, it is a good idea to write down an outline to follow. The outline should be the baseline structure for the rest of the essay, and be mostly composed of the main ideas that will be explained in the full piece. An outline does not have to be exact; it can simply be a list of topics that will be explored further.


Most of the time, a standard high school essay will use the format of an introductory paragraph, body paragraphs, and the closing paragraph. Shorter essays may not require multiple paragraphs, but the structure should be largely the same. For instance, the first sentence of the paragraph should introduce the topic, the body sentences should fully explain the topic, and the closing sentence should bring the whole idea together.

When the essay is finished, make sure to proofread and edit the piece before turning it in. It might also be a good idea to have a friend or parent proofread and edit the work to get a fresh perspective and make sure that the essay makes sense to other readers. Additionally, double-check formatting issues, and make sure the essay conforms to the guidelines the assignment requires. For example, a high school essay might need to be written in MLA (Modern Language Association) format. Use the resources available to you both in textbooks and the Internet to ensure that minimal points will be taken from the essay's grade due to formatting and style errors.


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