An essay is an argument on a given topic, a statement of emotions and thoughts in a text. At school, essays have been written since primary school, first as descriptions of pictures or views from a window. In middle school teenagers are encouraged to analyse literary works and discuss timeless subjects: friendship and love, life and death, and career choices. Pupils write essays not only in literature, but also in history, social studies, and foreign languages. 

Why is essay writing important in middle school? Good writing is not only an academic skill that is indispensable for studies, it can also be a competitive advantage in later life and may become a major source of income (journalism, copywriting, blogging). In this article you will find a step-by-step guide to writing essays of various types, as well as versatile tricks and tips that will help your child create concise and interesting texts. 

Where to start writing an essay

Fear of a blank page is the first problem a child faces when writing. The introduction is a responsible and rather tricky part of the essay. Following the steps below will make it easier.

Step 1: Think about the topic

The first thing you need to do is to understand what the text is about. Invite your child to think orally about the essay topic. If it is too broadly phrased, help your child to concretise it and formulate ideas appropriate to the topic.

Step 2: Examine the context  

Often, an essay may require additional information. For example, if the essay is based on a literary work, make sure your child has not only read it, but also knows the identity of the author and the time period in which he wrote it. This information will provide food for thought, which can be reflected in the essay. 

Structure of the essay: How to write an argumentative essay middle school

An essay consists of an introduction, the main body of the essay, and a conclusion. The introduction introduces the reader to the topic. It usually occupies no more than 20% of the text. In the main body the topic is explained and elaborated on. The conclusion is a summary. It should not exceed the length of the introduction. However, depending on the type of the essay, its structure will differ. 

The best way to structure an essay-descriptive essay is according to the following model:

  • Introduction of the subject of the essay. If the essay is about a real person, the student has to write about who this person is, when he or she lived and what he or she became famous for, and if it is about a character, the student has to state his or her role in the story.
  • The main features of the subject of the essay. In the second part the child should describe the appearance and character of the person or character, or describe the characteristics of the object or phenomenon. It is important that the child not only lists the features, but also identifies the features which distinguish the object of description and how they are manifested and what affects them. 
  • Opinion of the pupil on the subject of the essay. The pupil can tell what feelings and associations the object evokes in him/her, state any thoughts on the given topic. He may draw parallels with literary works and life events.
  • At the end of this part the pupil should express his personal attitude towards the subject. If your child doesn’t like a character or event, he/she has the right to write about it. The main thing is to argue their position, i.e. explain why. 
  • Conclusion. The last part of the essay-description should contain a brief conclusion from the above. Help your child answer the question: what is the significance of the individual characteristics of the subject of the essay for the life or story. 

Structure of an essay-explanatory statement:

  • Introduction (thesis statement). When starting the discourse the pupil has to express his reaction to the problem stated in the topic. This is best done in two ways: start with a quote that corresponds to the topic and comment on it by agreeing or disagreeing with it; If the thesis is already stated in the topic, you can ask a counter-question.           
  • Arguments. In the main part of the exercise the pupil needs to persuade the reader to agree with their own point of view. They may use their own experience, quotations from literature, opinions of experts, statistics, and so on. The more convincing and diverse the arguments are, the better. 
  • If the topic of the essay is quite controversial, it is worth considering an alternative point of view and giving counterarguments.   
  • Conclusion. In the conclusion, write a clear and concise summary of what has been stated above: Describe what meaning the problem has for society and what can and should be done to solve it.  

If you find it difficult to write a good essay yourself, it makes sense to use specialised services, such as more on the website.