When I started my first job as a professional newspaper reporter (This job also served as an internship during my junior year in college — I just didn’t leave for about 6 years.), I quickly realized that all my experience, and all my years of journalism education had not been enough to help me write stories about drug busts, fatal car accidents and tornadoes. All the theoretical work I’d done, and all of the nifty little scholastic and collegiate stories I had done, did not prepare me for real world writing.
At that point, I had to find a solution quickly. After all, I had a deadline to meet, and it was only a few hours away.
One of my colleagues, who also served as a mentor, had the solution. She introduced me to the newspaper’s “morgue.” This was a room filled with filing cabinets in which we kept old — dead — stories arranged by reporter. Whenever I wasn’t’ sure how to write a story, all I had to do was check the morgue for similar stories. If I needed to write a story about a local drug bust, for example, I’d find another story on a similar incident, study its structure, and mentally create a formula in which to plugin the information I’d gathered.
Once I’d gained more experience, and had internalized the formula for that particular type of story, I felt free to branch out as the situation — and my training — warranted.
I do the same thing when I want to write a type of letter, brochure, or report that I’ve never written before.
This is what writing looks like in the real world.
Research by “Write Like This” author Kelly Gallagher indicates that if we want students to grow as writers, we need to provide them with good writing to read, study, and emulate. My personal experience backs this up, as does the old adage “all writing is rewriting,” oft quoted by everyone from LA screenwriters to New York Times bestselling authors.
Of course, if you’re a new teacher like me, there is one problem with providing mentor texts to my students: I have a dearth of middle school level writing sitting around in my file cabinets.
Fortunately, the Internet is full of sources, so I scoured the bowels of Google to find examples. I know how busy you are, so I’m sharing.
Expository writing examples for middle school
Below are several sources of expository writing samples for middle school students.
Finally, here is an article in the New York Times that will help you teach your students real-world expository writing skills.
Descriptive writing examples for middle school
Narrative writing examples for middle school
Argumentative/persuasive writing examples for middle school
Reflective writing examples for middle school
If you know of any other online writing example sources, please feel free to share them in the comments below.
I am a secondary English Language Arts teacher, a University of Oklahoma graduate student, and a NBPTS candidate. I am constantly seeking ways to amplify my students’ voices and choices.
Filed Under: PedagogyTagged With: writing examples, writing samples
High school essay examples include a variety of short essays such as the narrative essay, persuasive essay and analytical essay and more. Depending on the essay type, the high school essay format can be anywhere from one to five paragraphs in length.
When choosing a high school essay format, the first step is to identify the type of essay you need to write. Generally essays for school students are much focused and concern one topic or one narrative story. Check out some narrative essay examples. High school essays tend to be shorter and simpler than those for university, but an essay for school students should be clear and concise.
As a second step, “how to write a high school essay?” comes into play. The most common type of short essay format is the 5 paragraph essay. Like all essays, the 5 paragraph essay contains an introduction, a body and a conclusion. For this high school essay, the introduction is one paragraph, the body is three paragraphs and the conclusion is one paragraph. It’s simple and easy to work with.
The goal of an introduction is to capture your reader’s interest and explain what the essay is about. The introduction will also contain a thesis statement. A thesis statement is usually one sentence that shares the main point of the essay. Read any list of tips for writing essays and they’ll tell you that the intro is vital. It lets the reader know if they want to continue.
The main part of a short essay is the body. In the 5 paragraph essay, the body is three paragraphs long. Each paragraph should cover a particular point or claim that relates back to the thesis statement. There should be a main sentence that supports the claim in each paragraph. Transition smoothly from one paragraph to the next. The entire high school essay should flow easily and be simple to read.
The conclusion of a short essay is the most memorable part for a reader. In the conclusion, you can summarize your main idea. Rewrite the thesis statement from the first paragraph and leave the reader with something memorable. This is your final chance to tell them something.
After writing, proofread your essay. Proofreading a short essay involves checking spelling, grammar, sentence fluency and checking the overall flow and readability of your ideas.