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Sample Essays From High School Students

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

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Analysis Essay

Total pages: 4Total number of pages includes free title and bibliography pages

Paper title:Advantages and Disadvantages of Lowering the Voting Age to Thirteen

Academic level:College

Discipline:Political sciences

Paper Format:APA

Sources:1

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Argumentative Essay

Total pages: 6Total number of pages includes free title and bibliography pages

Paper title:Keeping Animals in Zoos Is not Justifiable

Academic level:College

Discipline:Ethics

Paper Format:APA

Sources:5

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Book Review

Total pages: 2Total number of pages includes free title and bibliography pages

Paper title:Book Review on "Measuring Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty" by Bob E. Hayes

Academic level:Master's

Discipline:Management

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Sources:4

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Cause & Effect Essay

Total pages: 4Total number of pages includes free title and bibliography pages

Paper title:Placing Taxes on Junk Food and Fatty Snacks: Can we tax people healthy?

Academic level:High School

Discipline:Nutrition/Dietary

Paper Format:APA

Sources:3

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Compare & Contract Essay

Total pages: 5Total number of pages includes free title and bibliography pages

Paper title:School Uniforms versus No School Uniforms

Academic level:College

Discipline:Education

Paper Format:Harvard

Sources:3

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Critical Essay

Total pages: 5Total number of pages includes free title and bibliography pages

Paper title:Having Cell Phones in Elementary School

Academic level:College

Discipline:Education

Paper Format:MLA

Sources:3

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Definition Essay

Total pages: 4Total number of pages includes free title and bibliography pages

Paper title:What is Fashion for Modern Teenagers?

Academic level:College

Discipline:Urban studies

Paper Format:MLA

Sources:2

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Descriptive Essay

Total pages: 4Total number of pages includes free title and bibliography pages

Paper title:Hollywood to Bollywood: What makes a movie good?

Academic level:College

Discipline:Film & Theater studies

Paper Format:MLA

Sources:2

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Dissertation Chapter/Literature Review

Total pages: 10Total number of pages includes free title and bibliography pages

Paper title:Videoconferencing as a Teaching Tool

Academic level:Master's

Discipline:Education

Paper Format:APA

Sources:30

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Evaluation Essay

Total pages: 4Total number of pages includes free title and bibliography pages

Paper title:The Impact of Violent Games on Children

Academic level:University

Discipline:Psychology

Paper Format:Chicago

Sources:2

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Expository Essay

Total pages: 5Total number of pages includes free title and bibliography pages

Paper title:Giving Children Chores at Home

Academic level:University

Discipline:Family and consumer science

Paper Format:Chicago

Sources:5

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Narrative Essay

Total pages: 3Total number of pages includes free title and bibliography pages

Paper title:Animals I Have Loved: What’s wrong with another shaggy dog story?

Academic level:High School

Discipline:Composition

Paper Format:Harvard

Sources:-

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Research Paper

Total pages: 4Total number of pages includes free title and bibliography pages

Paper title:Video Conferencing in the Workplace

Academic level:Master's

Discipline:Business Studies

Paper Format:APA

Sources:5

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Research Proposal

Total pages: 3Total number of pages includes free title and bibliography pages

Paper title:US Foreign Policy Regarding North Korea's Nuclear Program

Academic level:University

Discipline:Political Science

Paper Format:MLA

Sources:3

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Term Paper

Total pages: 4Total number of pages includes free title and bibliography pages

Paper title:Natural Resources Policy

Academic level:Master's

Discipline:Environmental Studies

Paper Format:APA

Sources:6

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