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What Is The Correct High School Essay Format?

The sooner you learn how to prepare and write a good essay, the better! You will be called upon countless times to write a variety of essays in your academic career. Now that you are in high school, there is a fairly standard essay format that most teachers will expect you to follow when they hand out assignments.

If in doubt however, consult with your instructor before you start writing your paper. You want to be certain that you understand exactly what your teacher is expecting to see in your completed essay.

As far as the presentation of your paper is concerned, there are a few tips to remember. You should use plain white paper for your essay. Use double spacing and indent your paragraphs unless otherwise instructed. Your pages should be numbered in the upper right hand corner.

You should have a title page (not numbered) which includes the title of your essay, your name, your teacher's name, the name of the course and the date. Times New Roman or Arial tend to be the fonts preferred by most instructors, usually in size 12. Titles should be in bold print and centered towards the top of the page. Again, check with your teacher if you are unsure exactly how she or he prefers to see a paper formatted, and referenced.

The 5 Paragraph Essay

Mastering the 5 paragraph essay is not terribly difficult, and you should familiarize yourself with its basic structure. It is probably the most commonly chosen standard for assessing a student's essay writing proficiency. It will come in handy in the future as well, as the 5 paragraph essay is commonly used in business writing, and composing professional reports.

Here is the basic structure that you should commit to memory:

  • The Introduction
  • This is the paragraph where the reader learns the topic of your essay, and where you present your thesis. Your thesis statement defines your position on the issue being examined in the paper, or the problem that your work seeks to address.

  • The Three Body/Supporting Paragraphs
  • The three body paragraphs will each deal with one piece of evidence, or a point that you wish to make. Be sure that you don't muddle up your supporting data. Each paragraph should stick to one specific piece of information only.

  • The Conclusion
  • This where you bring together your paper and sum up your conclusion. You should include a rephrasing or restatement of your original thesis statement. Closing with a strong and convincing last line will improve your paper. Leave them wanting to know more!


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