Everything You Need to Know about High School Essay Format

When you advance to high school from middle school writing essays gets a lot tougher. You’ll eventually get the hang of it, but at first it seems like high school essays are a whole new world of composition. This short article should provide you with all you need to know on your next assignment.

Knowing the Basics

First of all, the general format you will be using for most high school academic writing assignments will be the same from this point forward. The five-paragraph format requires an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. You should always use an 8.5” x 11” good quality, white paper. Use a legible font, such as Times New Roman, Calibri, or Arial set to 12-pt. Set your margins to 1” all the way around, with text aligned left. Use a double line space throughout and indent half an inch at the start of each paragraph.

The Introduction

Your introduction should introduce the subject and topic to the reader. It should begin with an interesting sentence that immediately catches the reader’s attention, followed by three or four sentences providing some background context information. The last sentence should be a thesis statement that clearly presents the exact position you are taking on an issue. A lot of writers tend to leave the introduction till last, when they have a better idea of the direction their writing takes throughout the rest of the paper.

The Body Paragraphs

The body paragraphs make up the core of your writing assignment. Each paragraph should discuss a different argumentative point in support of your thesis statement. Start with a topic sentence, followed with some supporting evidence or example taken from a credible academic resource. Then in one or two sentences provide your original thoughts and ideas on the evidence or example and demonstrate how it supports your argument. End each paragraph with a transition sentence to indicate to the reader that you’ve reached the end of this idea.

The Conclusion

Your final paragraph should briefly restate your thesis statement and then go on to summarize and synthesize the information provided in each body paragraph. Don’t just cut and paste your words; rewrite your ideas in different terms without introducing new ideas. End with a memorable statement that leaves your reader thinking about your work well after setting your essay down.