Essays. Essays are no fun, unless….you’re really good at them. The word “essay” brings stress, anxiety, and panic to some students…and homeschool parents. The reality is that students should learn to write essays starting in elementary school. It’s a skill that will be demanded of them in college and potentially their careers. The first step to successful essay writing is determining the type of essay to write. Captured below are the most common essay types, what students cover in Time4Writing essay courses, and how they distinguish from one another.

1.Narrative Essays: Tell a Story

  • Personal narratives are naturally written in first person (“I”).
  • The purpose of the story should be stated in the opening sentence.
  • The story should be told in chronological order (1st , 2nd, 3rd).
  • You may add dialogue between characters.
  • Make sure to include vivid and descriptive details so your reader will feel as if they were there.

2. Descriptive Essays: Paint a picture

  • They are very similar to narrative essays.
  • The purpose of the story should be stated in the opening sentence.
  • The essay should be written in some logical narrative order.
  • When describing the topic, cover the five senses in order to be as descriptive as possible.
  • Get creative and try to describe every detail making it more descriptive leaving your reader with a lasting impression.

3. Expository Essays: State the Facts

  • Expository essays are written in third person – (stay away from “I” or “you”).
  • Make sure your thesis is included in your introductory paragraph.
  • It is important to just state the facts and keep your opinion out of the essay.
  • Each body paragraph should cover a separate point that ties back into the thesis.
  • In the conclusion, you need to restate your thesis, using different wording, as well as your points stated in the body paragraphs.

4. Persuasive Essays: Convince Me

  • The student should choose a side in which they will advocate.
  • The writer must understand the audience’s perspective on the topic.
  • Research! A persuasive essay is highly dependent on the resources you can provide to back up your reasonings.
  • Make sure to cite any resources used within your essay to avoid plagiarism.
  • Identify the most convincing evidence and key points for the opposing view.

Even with this clarity, writing assignments for homeschool teachers don’t come with answer keys. So as tough as writing them is for students, it’s equally tough on homeschool parents. For that reason, and a few others, Time4Writing was created. Certified writing teachers grade assignments and provide constructive, yet motivating, feedback. Courses are developed by grade level so students get just the right instruction for their age.

Our elementary school essay writing course introduces students to longer forms of writing and prepares them for various types of writing styles such as expository, persuasive, and narrative. The middle school essay writing course, designed for grades 6-8, will help your student write a well-structured, effective essay. High school students will benefit from the high school writing essay course which will take them from the pre-writing stages to the revision stage of their essay.

Not quite ready for essays? Time4Writing offers the “prerequisites” for good essay writing such as mechanics, sentence writing, and paragraph writing.