Catching the Reader’s Attention
A good essay begins with an invitation into a rich discussion. The writing is crafted in such a way that it sparks anticipation and excitement in the heart and mind of the reader. Simply stating your opinion or the topic of the essay will never accomplish this. Engaging writing requires thoughtful attention to creating a hook for the reader.
Hooks can be created in an infinite number of ways, but here is a list of approaches that often prove valuable. Note that this is a list that you have likely seen before (most schools provide such a list), but be sure to read on as it is in the implementation of these ideas that they either succeed or fail:
- Start with a thought-provoking quotation.
- Start with a thought-provoking question.
- Tell a thought-provoking story.
- Make a surprising statement.
- Present a simile or a metaphor to introduce your essay topic.
Each of these options presents an approach to opening an essay that can work if it is implemented effectively. Of course, implementing them effectively is where things get tricky.
A Thought-Provoking Quotation:
Depending on the topic of your essay and the resources you have available, it can be very effective to begin with a direct quotation from a relevant source on your topic that brings up key ideas or presents controversial opinions. You, as the author, can then respond to them and establish your position in relation to this statement. Be certain the quotation you choose directly relates to your chosen topic.
A Thought Provoking Question
Opening essays with questions is dangerous because they only work if the question causes your reader to genuinely wonder about something. Simplistic or obvious questions turn your reader off, so try another approach unless you are sure you have a question that really ties your essay topic to something personal for the reader or to some intriguing idea in the world.
A Thought-Provoking Story
As a fiction writer, this is my personal favorite. There are two options available here. One approach is to tell a true story in close-up intimate detail that directly relates to your topic. The other option is to craft a story around the factual details of your topic and helps to humanize it—taking your reader into the personal human experience of someone in a given situation related to your subject. Simply be sure to tell the story well and don’t forget to craft the story in such a way that it leads directly to the central point of your essay.
Make a Surprising Statement
This one is also a tricky way to go unless you have come across a very striking fact or are dealing with a controversial subject. In order for this approach to work, the statement must include something that will genuinely surprise the reader, which is difficult to do. In addition to shock value, the statement must also have direct relevance to your topic so that a strong transition can still be made into your central argument.
Present a Simile or Metaphor
Similes and metaphors are among the most powerful linguistic devices available. When used well, they can bring profound interest and insight to a given topic. Using them well is, of course, the hard part. The trick to using them well is be sure that the nature of the symbol you use shares a great deal in common with the subtleties of the topic you are discussing. The broader and more specific those connections are, the stronger its linguistic power.
The very best way to use a simile or metaphor in an essay is to introduce it with the opening paragraph and then continue to weave the connections between the symbol and the subject throughout the entire essay, eventually bringing the idea back together in the conclusion to create a circular structure to the writing. This requires insightful thinking and hard writing work, but makes for an exceptional essay.
Clearly Establishing Your Purpose
With your reader’s attention now in place, you must be certain that you also directly address the question or prompt to which you have been asked to respond. A colorful and engaging opening story is all well and good, but it is worthless if it does not lead into a straight and clear statement of your thesis (also known as “topic sentence” or “position statement”).
Keep in mind that, contrary to what is often taught in elementary school, the opening paragraph does not necessarily require a complete listing of the main points of your essay, though that can be helpful at times. The only non-negotiable requirement for an introduction is a direct and clear statement of purpose somewhere within that first paragraph. With more creative openings, it generally occurs near the close of the first paragraph, anticipating the deeper explanations that take place in the body paragraphs of the essay. Feel free to be creative, but do not forget to directly address the question you have been asked!
How to Write a High School Essay
What is the purpose of a high school essay?
A high school essay is a piece written by a student to tell of their high school experience.
High school gives people an opportunity of self-discovery which influences their future career life and helps them grow psychologically, emotionally and physically. It is the place where one knows who they are and what they want in life. This article serves to give students tips on how to write a high school essay.
The high school essay serves different purposes:
• Identifies who a person is- a high school essay tells the reader who the character is based on their experiences throughout high school;
• Acts as a journal- a high school essay being a collection of events and affairs might be used by a student as a journal where they fill in what goes on in their life;
• Enhance creativity- there are so many ways of writing a high school essay and the student develops creative high school essay writing skills to make their pieces stand out .
Tips to guide you in selecting the best topics for a high school essay include:
- Refer to course material to ensure your topic is covered in class and is not out of context
- When brainstorming, take a general concept and form a theory around it. Narrow down from there what aspects you would like to explore.
- Choose an interesting topic. This gives you motivation to do more research and makes it easier to relate to.
Below is a list of some interesting good high school essay topics that you might work on.
Top 10 argumentative topics for high school essay
In argumentative essays, the student can choose to from given list:
- High school does little to build self esteem. Discuss
- Games and sports are more fulfilling than chemistry lessons
- Teachers should not get cozy with students
- Should high school education be mandatory?
- Should sex education be taught in high school?
- Why is it important for high school students to wear uniform?
- Is guidance and counseling really helpful for teenagers?
- Should prom be abolished?
- Do you think some games are overrated than others?
- How often should teenagers be allowed TV time?
Top 10 persuasive topics for high school essay
In persuasive high school essay writing, the student is required to pick a side and defend it adequately to convince the reader that his opinions are right and correct. Some examples are:
- Should students in high school be allowed to have phones?
- Do you think juvenile shapes a teenager or makes them worse?
- Should schools regulate the internet for their students?
- Is working while schooling really appropriate?
- Should students get scholarships based on their grade or what they are good at?
- Do you think teachers should be allowed to use phones in class?
- Should students be allowed to have jobs?
- Should schools offer fast foods?
- Should students with disabilities be treated differently than the rest?
- Should student cases be tried at court or by the school board?
Top 10 narrative topics for high school essay
Narrative high school essay writing is written as an allegorical tale of how something was done. Some examples are:
- How was your first day in high school?
- Explain the day the drama team won the national trophy
- How has your journey through high school been?
- How did you spend your summer?
- Everyday practice as a football coach
- What is your favorite high school memory?
- What has high school taught you so far?
- What are your plans after graduation?
- What is unique about your school?
- How often do you go for academic trips?
Top 10 topics for a personal essay at high school
This is an essay that majors on your own life as a student and gets into intimate details about who you are. Examples of these high school essay topics are:
- How to deal with your first heartbreak
- How to battle low self esteem trying to fit in
- That feeling of Feeling unwanted
- The interpersonal conflict of career choice
- How relationships with family affect learning
- What regrets do you have after being in school all these years?
- How fears and insecurities keep you focused
- Why you hated math and the math teacher
- Why prefer summer camp to staying at home
- Making friends in high school
Top 10 topics for a reflective essay at high school
A reflective essay is one that focuses on a particular incident and what you learnt from it. It could be a personal essay for example:
- The day someone mum was so proud of you for an achievement
- How the death of a loved one affected your social life
- How your life choices created conflict
- A moment when you spoke in front of people for the first time
- A time when you were so afraid
- When you know that someone you loved was not perfect
- A moment you needed someone to be there for you
- When you realized that you were in love
- When you were humiliated or embarrassed
- A time when you felt sad
Top 10 teaching topics for high school essay
These are the areas that a teacher, motivational speaker or counselor may teach, for example:
- Leadership and problem solving
- Relationships love and sex
- The importance of career goal
- Drugs and drug abuse
- HIV and aids
- The importance of good financial management
- How to build and maintain friendships
- Peer pressure, cause and effects
- Self esteem, self worth and awareness
- Making an all round individual
Top 10 of good research topics for high school essay
These are questions that students can pick out when conducting research where they do field work and come up with recommendations. Some sample questions are:
- The impact of phones on academic performance of students
- To find out the effects of action movies on the behavior of teenagers
- To investigate the effects of parenting on self esteem
- To establish the impact of the internet on moral standing of students
- To find out the effects of interpersonal relationships in building teamwork
- To determine the relationship between co curricular and academic excellence
- To explore the impact of working on the academic performance
- To find out the relationship between self esteem and social interactions
- To investigate how censorship affects language
- To see the impact of social media on social interactions
Sample high school essay outline
The impact of social media on social interactions
The 21st century is overwhelmed with social media like Instagram, Whatsapp, Twitter and Snapchat. These have contributed to the youth being addicted to their phones and have neglected face to face communications time. They have forgotten the basic concepts of communication.
Social media is not suitable for the teenagers as it interferes with their communication skills:
- It interferes with face to face conversation- most people have 1000+ followers on social media while in real sense they do not have friends. This creates fake identities.
- Interferes with social interactions- social media has made the youth impermeable to the society. They do not go out or speak to their friends but are on the phone every other time.
- It breaks self esteem- watching their peers on social media makes them think they are not good enough ad this has promoted social ills like bleaching and prostitution.
Social media does more harm than good and therefore should be observed very keenly. Teenagers should be monitored on how they use social media to reduce dependency otherwise the next generation of adults will be like robots with no sense of direction.
Tips on introduction writing
Most people do not know how to start a high school essay and these tips will be of help when writing the introduction for a high school essay:
- Have a clear, simple topic that is catchy;
- Introduce your argument in short sentences;
- Make a good first impression through your writing style;
- Be creative e.g. introduce with a provocative question;
- Take advantage of the 2nd person ‘you’.
Tips on writing a high school essay thesis
A high school essay thesis should follow the tips:
- Think about the question(s) you are trying to answer;
- Decide on how general or broad your topic will be;
- Be realistic in choosing a thesis statement. It should be doable;
- Pick an issue that relates to everyday life;
- Keep it brief. High school thesis writing for essay could tempt you to write too much but it should be short and precise.
Tips on body (paragraphs, length and transition)
- Have clear sentences that are short. Ensure that the sentences are well constructed and punctuated for an easy read;
- Arrange your points into paragraphs. Each section should contain a single concept;
- Avoid using too many transitions as this becomes monotonous. Be creative in how you join paragraphs. They should not sound fixed;
- Ensure that you follow the correct high school essay outline;
- Do not veer off topic in your argument. Stick to your thesis as much as possible.
Tips on conclusion writing
Here we offer the best tips on how to conclude a high school essay.
The conclusion for a high school essay contains your general opinion on the topic of choice. It is a summary of the essay and therefore you should not introduce any new points in the conclusion.
- Make any necessary disclaimers to make sure your audience fully understands your point of view;
- Provide useful recommendations based on observations stated. You cannot recommend something you did not say in the body of your essay.
Sources for essays
The internet contains tons of information and it is one of the best places to source. There are guidelines provided on how to write high school essays. Besides, it is efficient and convenient. Students can source for more essays from their teachers, books in the libraries and through brainstorming. Brainstorming also gives high school essay writing guides to students.
You could ask your teacher for some high school essay writing help if stuck at a particular point.
Finalizing the essay
- The final step towards writing an essay is proofreading. It ensures that your work is error free and the correct high school essay outlining is done.
- Check on the grammar used, the sentence construction and punctuation.
- It is also crucial to check for plagiarism in your work.
- Ensure that the formats are well followed.
- Make citations and reference of quotes and information used from their relevant sources.
Tips on perfect high school essay writing
These tips for a high school essay writing give guidelines on how to write perfect high school essay:
- Prepare an outline of your ideas. Come up with a high school essay draft that outlines all your thoughts;
- Make your sentences short in your high school essay introduction;
- Choose a topic that you are interested in;
- Consider the length of your article to guide you into what to write;
- Build your case by giving real life examples. It will ensure that your high school essay prompts the reader to continue reading;
- Do not be objective in your writing but ensure you cover both sides of the argument;
- Take time to do research on the topic of your choice;
- Take time to write the essay. Do not write it in a hurry as it will sound rushed;
- Add finishing touches to your essay to your high school essay conclusion;
- Proofread and edit your work making sure you follow the outline for a high school essay.