- Mar 24, 2021
Essays in 6th Grade: A Basic Format that Elevates the Standard 5-Paragraph Structure
6th grade is such a funny year. Funny haha and funny weird. Student writing levels are all over the map. You will have students coming to you writing on a very elementary level, still needing loads of help with grammar and paragraph formation. Then, you will have students ready to write critique pieces and analyses. How do you navigate this? Read to find out more!
Give Them a Format...to Start
I've learned that 6th graders still need format . They still need structure. They still need checklists. As much as I loathe limiting them in this way, I think it is very reassuring to them. That's not to say you can't tweak for the strong writers, but I do still feel they need it.
For my students in particular, I like to let them dabble in looser formats of non-fiction writing in other ways. They do book reviews , a debate , podcasting , etc. They are offered choices in reading responses to non-fiction reading and analysis, too. My classes actually write digital eBooks, too. But on the whole, they are expected to write two essays with a very similar format twice a year.
Bye-Bye 5-Paragraph Essay
Alright, so this is kind of not totally true. My students do end up writing 5 paragraphs, but that typical structure we all commonly know, I navigate away from. I think it's a fine format, but as they get into middle school they are expected to compare a LOT more and not focus on one specific topic . They are expected to follow through on a thread, a claim, a theme, an idea and how it is shown in various sources. And this is super new for them, analyzing various sources on the same concept. They really need a structure for this.
So, the typical essay, before they get to me, goes like this, and it is a good precursor:
Introduction that states your thesis and 3 major reasons to support your claim.
Conclusion that looks a whole lot like the introduction.
This format does not allow analysis of multiple sources and if you throw in other sources, it gets messy. Instead, I gear my students to focus on each source separately, then comparing them all.
The Format that Works (Research and Literary Analysis)
First of all, it's important to know what essays I actually do with my kiddos. I do a research unit. This changes almost every year, but typically they choose some kind of topic, I group them based on their topic choice. First, they do research (non-fiction skills) using a book, article, and video. They then use those sources to write an essay on a claim they make based on their topic. Later, they make eBooks in groups based on their topic.
The other essay I do is Literary Analysis . This follows a dystopian unit . They read a dystopian book in book clubs. Then, I have them choose from a short list of short stories that are dystopian. Lastly, we watch the movie The Truman Show . (This year I had them watch "The Scarecrow" on YouTube since we were hybrid due to the pandemic). They then determine a theme that is true for all three sources and write an essay based on that theme.
This essay format works for both of these essays. So here it goes!
Introductory and Conclusion Statements
In a traditional essay, students have to write a hook, their claim/thesis, and essentially ANOTHER three sentences that state what their essays will be about. In my opinion, all of this is completely unnecessary. How many times do you read introductions in books? Okay, real avid readers do, but in reality many people don't. So for these, I tell my students to get right to the point .
Here's what should be in their introductory and conclusion statements:
A statement that introduces the topic. (This is a hook of some kind. I sometimes tell them to start it with "in our world..." or "in our lives..." and something that relates to their topic. Or just starting it with their topic and explaining what it is.)
A statement that references there are differences and similarities in the sources. (For example: "[Title of sources] support this claim in different and similar ways." That's it.)
This all ends up being 2-3 sentences.
I have my students start their essay prep with topic sentences. This helps them get a sense of where their essays will go.
The big thing to understand here is how the paragraphs are set up .
Body #1: Focus on source #1 and how it shows claim/thesis.
Body #2: Focus on source #2 and how it shows claim/thesis.
Body #3: Focus on source #3 and how it shows claim/thesis.
Body #4: Focus on how ALL SOURCES show the claim/thesis in the same way.
So they start with creating topic sentences for those paragraphs. Each topic sentence is set up like this. The last topic sentence would start with "all sources..." instead of "source title".:
Body Paragraph Format
In the picture you see below, I have specific colors for specific aspects of body paragraphs. ALL body paragraphs follow this format in that exact sequence/order. I will be completely honest, I don't give them a ton of wiggle room since this is pretty new to them. However, my stronger writers dabble in mixing evidence stems and elaboration stems around.
Their paragraph starts with the topic sentence they already prepared. From there, the next sentence begins with an evidence stem . Here are a few examples of evidence stems:
According to the text,
The author states,
Right after the evidence stem, in the same sentence, they add their text detail to support their topic sentence. I encourage them to quote exactly from the text for most text details. They can paraphrase, too, but should really try to get exact lines.
In regards to quoting, I also mention to them not to quote plop . I made this up. I plan on making a product for this at some point. A quote plop is bad . It's when students take a line from the text and just plop it in their essay. I show them how to break up the quote from the text with their own words.
So, a first sentence may look like this: According to the text [evidence stem, highlighted green] , when Luke was hiding due to being a third child, "they took the woods away" , [text detail with context, a.k.a. not just plopping the quote in the sentence, highlighted yellow].
Directly after that sentence should be an elaboration stem with an elaboration explaining how the text detail shows their claim/thesis. Students highlight this entire sentence in blue and their claim within it dark blue. Here are some elaboration stems:
This proves [claim] because...
This shows [claim] because ...
After that they do the same process two more times; two more text details with elaborations. Lastly they do a closing sentence .
Comparison Paragraph: This is set up almost exactly the same, except the focus is on how ALL the sources show the claim in the same way. They then provide a NEW text detail from each source to prove how the claim is being shown similarly in each.
Once all their body paragraphs are written, I have them go review their introductory and conclusion statements, put everything into a final draft and leave the highlights in the essay . This helps them visualize all the components and helps me grade!
For revision, the focus is on not quote plopping, being sure their details support their thesis, changing up the wording of claims/theses, and rearranging for strong writers.
While this is very limiting for some, it is super helpful for struggling writers. Having that checklist and having the highlights helps students visualize what they need to compare sources in an essay format.
I'd say it'd be great to introduce this in 6th and by 8th, they can certainly make these more interpretive, creative, and unique.
You can find a lot more detail about this in the product below . What you see here is only a taste. This contains a full sample essay, checklists, tips, and more. You can also edit it to meet your needs.
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6th grade writing
by: Hank Pellissier | Updated: August 4, 2022
This year, your sixth grader should learn to use precise language, the right pronouns, and high-quality sources for research. Public presentations are also a nerve-wracking but important skill highlighted this year. Read on to learn the key sixth grade writing skills your child should learn this year.
Introducing argument writing
Developmentally, sixth graders are entering a rebellious phase. Luckily, all this attitude has an academic outlet: argument writing . Your tween will write persuasive essays that promote their bold opinions with organized logic, backed by evidence from carefully researched, respectable sources. ( Wikipedia , The Onion , and National Enquirer won’t qualify, but Wikipedia does often link to sources at the bottom of their entries that may be acceptable.)
Your 11- or 12-year-old will also write formal essays that explain complicated topics with precise information. They’ll start with intriguing introductions, and then present their research in a clear, organized way. They will use quotes, facts, definitions, compare-and-contrast statements, cause-and-effect statements, graphics (e.g., charts, graphs), subject-specific vocabulary, and multimedia. It will all be formatted (e.g., using headings, subheadings, and bullet points), to make their points clear. They’ll end with concluding paragraphs that recap their main points.
“ To put it another way, Mommy, there is compelling evidence that I need another scoop of ice cream. ” This grown-up language sounds amusingly hoity-toity in squeaky voices, but don’t laugh when your child attempts it in daily conversation. Indeed, it is good practice for their writing.
Incredibly, what happened next was..
Storytelling is a fun part of sixth grade writing. This year, kids practice narrative writing in fiction and nonfiction papers. They learn effective ways to select their narrator, characters, setting, dialogue, descriptions, and conclusion. They work to make plot sequences seem natural. To really make their stories sing, kids should use specific details, precise language, and transition vocabulary (think: After nightfall or When she awoke ) that guides readers from one setting or plot point to another. Don’t be surprised if your shy bookworm starts writing a trilogy.
If at first you don’t succeed
Grit. Determination. Perseverance. Ernest Hemingway rewrote the last page of one of his novels 39 times. Rewriting and editing both teach kids discipline and determination. They are required to plan before they write, and then plan some more as their draft develops. They’re encouraged to outline before they start writing. They draft and redraft. They will revise certain parts and maybe restructure their entire paper. Then they will edit, possibly rewrite, and re-edit. At every turn, they’re encouraged to try new approaches. This isn’t obsessive redundancy; it helps students practice thinking about what they’re really, truly trying to say and then use their writing skills to convey their thoughts clearly and exactly.
Command of the keyboard
Writing nowadays often means typing . Sixth graders accelerate their hand-eye coordination as they evolve from hunt-and-peck slowness to rat-tat-tat-tat-tatting at a furious pace. The goal is for sixth graders to be able to sit and type three pages in a single sitting. Additionally, kids are taught online interaction and collaboration (e.g., emailing their work to each other, sharing Google docs, and adding suggestions and comments to each other’s work).
My research reveals…
Sixth graders get writing assignments that require research. To answer questions like What famous historical character do you admire? What’s your favorite invention? What endangered species do you worry about the most? , your young detective will read thick reference books and print periodicals at the library and digital data online (yes, often via Google). Students learn to evaluate the credibility of sources . Is National Lampoon as legitimate as Encyclopedia Britannica ? No. Using evidence, they compile information to write reports. They’ll learn to paraphrase what they’ve read, synthesize new thoughts, and use quotations to share information without plagiarizing.
Is Harry Potter more emotionally conflicted than Katniss Everdeen? Sixth graders sharpen their critical thinking skills by doing literary analysis. They’ll analyze poems, stories, historical novels, and nonfiction books. Kids learn to compare and contrast topics and themes. They’ll do this, for example, by discussing the consequences of prejudice in Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry and in Harriet Tubman: Conductor on the Underground Railroad or by explaining how nature directs the plots of The Secret Garden and The Island of the Blue Dolphin . In nonfiction, sixth graders learn to divide an author’s statements into facts supported by evidence versus opinions. For example, was the Great Houdini truly “the world’s greatest magician” or is this an opinion? After all, David Copperfield walked through the Great Wall of China.
Pronouns: not just me-me-me all the time
Grammar isn’t easy, especially for 11- and 12-year-olds. Pronoun usage can be particularly tough. Kids learn about proper pronoun case . What’s that? Subjective case refers to pronouns used as subjects (I, you, he, she, it, we, they). Objective case indicates pronouns used as objects (me, you, him, her, it, us, they). Possessive case conveys ownership (my, mine, your, yours, his, her, hers, its, our, ours, their, theirs). Using pronouns incorrectly can leave the writer (or speaker) looking unintelligent. For example, Us and her carried apples over to yous big barn is neither proper nor pretty.
Mistakes in pronoun person are common among this age group. To correct this, your child needs to loyally stick with the “person” they started with. No switching from first person (I or me) to second person (you), or vice-versa: When I go to school, you should have your homework done, or When you go to school, a person should have his homework done . (Hint, that second example goes from second person to third person.) Both switches are incorrect and can create confusion.
Pronoun number is also crucial. If the subject indicates a plural quantity, the related possessive pronoun needs the identical number. Here’s an example of this common error: All of the school girls took her umbrella. (It should be their umbrellas) . Vague pronouns are also a no-no. Take the sentence: Alice put a vase with a red rose on the desk, and sold it. What was sold: the vase, the rose, or the desk? We don’t know because it, used here, is too vague.
Sentences, spelling, punctuation
Sixth grade writing raises the bar when it comes to sentence structure. Kids are expected to vary their sentences by alternating the length and structure to keep their writing interesting.
When it comes to spelling, many sixth graders know that spelling rules in English are finicky and have many exceptions. Kids learn to spell odd English words correctly, with silent letters ( island, crumb ) and bizarre combo consonants ( cough, pheasant ). As such, spelling is best learned through practice and, eventually, by memorizing. If your child gets frustrated spelling words like climb or plumbing , let them know that Theodore Roosevelt, Andrew Carnegie, and a committee of concerned citizens tried to simplify English spelling more than a century ago — sadly, to no avail.
Finally, as their writing becomes more advanced, sixth graders tend to use commas, parentheses, and dashes to set apart phrases and clauses. You can help by reviewing these sentences and making sure the punctuation is placed correctly.
It’s all about presentations
In sixth grade, kids will read their writing aloud to classmates. As they read, they’ll be expected to make eye contact, pronounce their words clearly, and speak loudly enough to be heard by the entire class. They’ll share their arguments, research papers, projects, and literary efforts, which will often be accompanied by visual displays, music, audio, charts, and slides. Your child may be nervous before these presentations, but hopefully your child will be empowered by the experience.
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How to Write a Sixth-Grade Essay
How to Write a Fifth-Grade Essay
Completing an essay for a sixth-grade writing assignment can be accomplished within only a few hours of your time. The five-paragraph format is commonly used in sixth grade. This format contains the introduction, three body paragraphs and a conclusion. By writing an essay correctly during sixth grade, you will be preparing for more in-depth writing in years to come, as you continue your education through high school and even college.
Write an introductory paragraph for your essay, which will include a thesis statement and three to five sentences that support it. A thesis statement will describe the basic point that you are trying to get across in your paper. The remaining sentences should act as an outline for the rest of your paper.
Write out the next three paragraphs, which are the body of the essay paper. Make your strongest claim to support your thesis statement in the first body paragraph. The second should be the next strongest, and the third should be the final part of your argument. Be sure to use strong verbs in the supportive sentences to reinforce the thesis statement, for this is one of the capabilities you will be expected to exhibit in your sixth-grade writing development. Keeping a consistent voice within the body paragraphs, as well as the rest of the essay, is also another ability that sixth-grade teachers are going to be looking for when grading. Correct transitions between the paragraphs will also show your writing skills to your teacher as well. These paragraphs should also be three to five sentences each.
Finish your sixth-grade essay by writing the final paragraph, which is its conclusion. Summarize the statements made in the body paragraphs to reiterate the thesis statement made in the first one. Persuade the reader to see your view on the topic, based on the points made throughout the piece, and indicate that the essay is reaching its succession by making a closing statement.
- Revise a draft of the essay to evaluate the word choices, substituting with vocabulary you have learned during your spelling exercises, before making a final copy that will be turned in to your teacher.
- Comparing and editing drafts before writing the official version is a commonly taught part of the sixth-grade curriculum and will help make for a better final essay overall.
- Sixth-grade students will also have to actively partake in peer reviews, so have another student read your drafts to ensure the essay has a natural flow. Another perspective may bring certain things to your attention that you may not notice on your own.
How to Introduce a Research Paper Sample
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Based in Florida, Robert Ceville has been writing electronics-based articles since 2009. He has experience as a professional electronic instrument technician and writes primarily online, focusing on topics in electronics, sound design and herbal alternatives to modern medicine. He is pursuing an Associate of Science in information technology from Florida State College of Jacksonville.
How to write a perfect essay
Need to write an essay? Does the assignment feel as big as climbing Mount Everest? Fear not. You’re up to the challenge! The following step-by step tips from the Nat Geo Kids Almanac will help you with this monumental task.
Sometimes the subject matter of your essay is assigned to you, sometimes it’s not. Either way, you have to decide what you want to say. Start by brainstorming some ideas, writing down any thoughts you have about the subject. Then read over everything you’ve come up with and consider which idea you think is the strongest. Ask yourself what you want to write about the most. Keep in mind the goal of your essay. Can you achieve the goal of the assignment with this topic? If so, you’re good to go.
WRITE A TOPIC SENTENCE
This is the main idea of your essay, a statement of your thoughts on the subject. Again, consider the goal of your essay. Think of the topic sentence as an introduction that tells your reader what the rest of your essay will be about.
OUTLINE YOUR IDEAS
Once you have a good topic sentence, you then need to support that main idea with more detailed information, facts, thoughts, and examples. These supporting points answer one question about your topic sentence—“Why?” This is where research and perhaps more brainstorming come in. Then organize these points in the way you think makes the most sense, probably in order of importance. Now you have an outline for your essay.
ON YOUR MARK, GET SET, WRITE!
Follow your outline, using each of your supporting points as the topic sentence of its own paragraph. Use descriptive words to get your ideas across to the reader. Go into detail, using specific information to tell your story or make your point. Stay on track, making sure that everything you include is somehow related to the main idea of your essay. Use transitions to make your writing flow.
Finish your essay with a conclusion that summarizes your entire essay and 5 restates your main idea.
PROOFREAD AND REVISE
Check for errors in spelling, capitalization, punctuation, and grammar. Look for ways to make your writing clear, understandable, and interesting. Use descriptive verbs, adjectives, or adverbs when possible. It also helps to have someone else read your work to point out things you might have missed. Then make the necessary corrections and changes in a second draft. Repeat this revision process once more to make your final draft as good as you can.
Download the pdf .
Science lab, (ad) national geographic kids almanac.
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Essay Writing: A complete guide for students and teachers
P LANNING, PARAGRAPHING AND POLISHING: FINE-TUNING THE PERFECT ESSAY
Essay writing is an essential skill for every student. Whether writing a particular academic essay (such as persuasive, narrative, descriptive, or expository) or a timed exam essay, the key to getting good at writing is to write. Creating opportunities for our students to engage in extended writing activities will go a long way to helping them improve their skills as scribes.
But, putting the hours in alone will not be enough to attain the highest levels in essay writing. Practice must be meaningful. Once students have a broad overview of how to structure the various types of essays, they are ready to narrow in on the minor details that will enable them to fine-tune their work as a lean vehicle of their thoughts and ideas.
In this article, we will drill down to some aspects that will assist students in taking their essay writing skills up a notch. Many ideas and activities can be integrated into broader lesson plans based on essay writing. Often, though, they will work effectively in isolation – just as athletes isolate physical movements to drill that are relevant to their sport. When these movements become second nature, they can be repeated naturally in the context of the game or in our case, the writing of the essay.
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Planning an essay
The Boys Scouts’ motto is famously ‘Be Prepared’. It’s a solid motto that can be applied to most aspects of life; essay writing is no different. Given the purpose of an essay is generally to present a logical and reasoned argument, investing time in organising arguments, ideas, and structure would seem to be time well spent.
Given that essays can take a wide range of forms and that we all have our own individual approaches to writing, it stands to reason that there will be no single best approach to the planning stage of essay writing. That said, there are several helpful hints and techniques we can share with our students to help them wrestle their ideas into a writable form. Let’s take a look at a few of the best of these:
BREAK THE QUESTION DOWN: UNDERSTAND YOUR ESSAY TOPIC.
Whether students are tackling an assignment that you have set for them in class or responding to an essay prompt in an exam situation, they should get into the habit of analyzing the nature of the task. To do this, they should unravel the question’s meaning or prompt. Students can practice this in class by responding to various essay titles, questions, and prompts, thereby gaining valuable experience breaking these down.
Have students work in groups to underline and dissect the keywords and phrases and discuss what exactly is being asked of them in the task. Are they being asked to discuss, describe, persuade, or explain? Understanding the exact nature of the task is crucial before going any further in the planning process, never mind the writing process .
BRAINSTORM AND MIND MAP WHAT YOU KNOW:
Once students have understood what the essay task asks them, they should consider what they know about the topic and, often, how they feel about it. When teaching essay writing, we so often emphasize that it is about expressing our opinions on things, but for our younger students what they think about something isn’t always obvious, even to themselves.
Brainstorming and mind-mapping what they know about a topic offers them an opportunity to uncover not just what they already know about a topic, but also gives them a chance to reveal to themselves what they think about the topic. This will help guide them in structuring their research and, later, the essay they will write . When writing an essay in an exam context, this may be the only ‘research’ the student can undertake before the writing, so practicing this will be even more important.
RESEARCH YOUR ESSAY
The previous step above should reveal to students the general direction their research will take. With the ubiquitousness of the internet, gone are the days of students relying on a single well-thumbed encyclopaedia from the school library as their sole authoritative source in their essay. If anything, the real problem for our students today is narrowing down their sources to a manageable number. Students should use the information from the previous step to help here. At this stage, it is important that they:
● Ensure the research material is directly relevant to the essay task
● Record in detail the sources of the information that they will use in their essay
● Engage with the material personally by asking questions and challenging their own biases
● Identify the key points that will be made in their essay
● Group ideas, counterarguments, and opinions together
● Identify the overarching argument they will make in their own essay.
Once these stages have been completed the student is ready to organise their points into a logical order.
WRITING YOUR ESSAY
There are a number of ways for students to organize their points in preparation for writing. They can use graphic organizers , post-it notes, or any number of available writing apps. The important thing for them to consider here is that their points should follow a logical progression. This progression of their argument will be expressed in the form of body paragraphs that will inform the structure of their finished essay.
The number of paragraphs contained in an essay will depend on a number of factors such as word limits, time limits, the complexity of the question etc. Regardless of the essay’s length, students should ensure their essay follows the Rule of Three in that every essay they write contains an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.
Generally speaking, essay paragraphs will focus on one main idea that is usually expressed in a topic sentence that is followed by a series of supporting sentences that bolster that main idea. The first and final sentences are of the most significance here with the first sentence of a paragraph making the point to the reader and the final sentence of the paragraph making the overall relevance to the essay’s argument crystal clear.
Though students will most likely be familiar with the broad generic structure of essays, it is worth investing time to ensure they have a clear conception of how each part of the essay works, that is, of the exact nature of the task it performs. Let’s review:
Common Essay Structure
Introduction: Provides the reader with context for the essay. It states the broad argument that the essay will make and informs the reader of the writer’s general perspective and approach to the question.
Body Paragraphs: These are the ‘meat’ of the essay and lay out the argument stated in the introduction point by point with supporting evidence.
Conclusion: Usually, the conclusion will restate the central argument while summarising the essay’s main supporting reasons before linking everything back to the original question.
ESSAY WRITING PARAGRAPH WRITING TIPS
● Each paragraph should focus on a single main idea
● Paragraphs should follow a logical sequence; students should group similar ideas together to avoid incoherence
● Paragraphs should be denoted consistently; students should choose either to indent or skip a line
● Transition words and phrases such as alternatively , consequently , in contrast should be used to give flow and provide a bridge between paragraphs.
HOW TO EDIT AN ESSAY
Students shouldn’t expect their essays to emerge from the writing process perfectly formed. Except in exam situations and the like, thorough editing is an essential aspect in the writing process.
Often, students struggle with this aspect of the process the most. After spending hours of effort on planning, research, and writing the first draft, students can be reluctant to go back over the same terrain they have so recently travelled. It is important at this point to give them some helpful guidelines to help them to know what to look out for. The following tips will provide just such help:
One Piece at a Time: There is a lot to look out for in the editing process and often students overlook aspects as they try to juggle too many balls during the process. One effective strategy to combat this is for students to perform a number of rounds of editing with each focusing on a different aspect. For example, the first round could focus on content, the second round on looking out for word repetition (use a thesaurus to help here), with the third attending to spelling and grammar.
Sum It Up: When reviewing the paragraphs they have written, a good starting point is for students to read each paragraph and attempt to sum up its main point in a single line. If this is not possible, their readers will most likely have difficulty following their train of thought too and the paragraph needs to be overhauled.
Let It Breathe: When possible, encourage students to allow some time for their essay to ‘breathe’ before returning to it for editing purposes. This may require some skilful time management on the part of the student, for example, a student rush-writing the night before the deadline does not lend itself to effective editing. Fresh eyes are one of the sharpest tools in the writer’s toolbox.
Read It Aloud: This time-tested editing method is a great way for students to identify mistakes and typos in their work. We tend to read things more slowly when reading aloud giving us the time to spot errors. Also, when we read silently our minds can often fill in the gaps or gloss over the mistakes that will become apparent when we read out loud.
Phone a Friend: Peer editing is another great way to identify errors that our brains may miss when reading our own work. Encourage students to partner up for a little ‘you scratch my back, I scratch yours’.
Use Tech Tools: We need to ensure our students have the mental tools to edit their own work and for this they will need a good grasp of English grammar and punctuation. However, there are also a wealth of tech tools such as spellcheck and grammar checks that can offer a great once-over option to catch anything students may have missed in earlier editing rounds.
Putting the Jewels on Display: While some struggle to edit, others struggle to let go. There comes a point when it is time for students to release their work to the reader. They must learn to relinquish control after the creation is complete. This will be much easier to achieve if the student feels that they have done everything in their control to ensure their essay is representative of the best of their abilities and if they have followed the advice here, they should be confident they have done so.
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The content for this page has been written by Shane Mac Donnchaidh. A former principal of an international school and English university lecturer with 15 years of teaching and administration experience. Shane’s latest Book, The Complete Guide to Nonfiction Writing , can be found here. Editing and support for this article have been provided by the literacyideas team.
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How to Write A 6th Grade Level Essay
Your child has started sixth grade, which may be the start of middle school for them. This is an exciting time for a lot of reasons, but they are also learning how to write much more sophisticated and interesting essays. This is also true for the writing prompts they are seeing. The prompts can be creative, informative, expository, persuasive, or a combination of the categories they’ve seen up until now. They will have to understand what kind of essay to write based on the prompt itself and how to answer it.
Here are examples of writing prompts they may see:
- Write a short story about your favorite fictional character. This prompt can have a narrative or creative response, or both at the same time. The response should make sense for that character, for example, if they are writing about their favorite character that is a regular cat, having that cat fly to the moon wouldn’t be a good response.
- What is the strangest thing that’s ever happened to you? This would be a good prompt for a narrative essay. Your child will have to give a lot of detail relating to what they saw, felt, heard, and did in a logical order. It doesn’t have to be a chronological story; by this point, they may be able to creatively tweak the timing of things to make it more interesting. For example, they may start their story with, “Waking up that morning, I had no idea that my day would end up so strange.” They are writing from the perspective of already experiencing the events, so this is appropriate.
- Write a poem about your grandparents. This is a creative prompt that can be a lot of fun for your child. They should have been introduced to similes, metaphors, and other literary devices and they should use those when they can in their creative responses. Writing a poem gives them a chance to exercise these new skills and allows them to explore more emotions without having to worry about narrative structures.
If your child is struggling with their writing, it may be helpful to enroll them in Reading Genie. The program at Reading Genie is designed to help students not only catch up, but get ahead in their writing skills. They are given fun and engaging prompts that the teachers can help them with, and they get the practice they need.
It can also be helpful for you to do the writing prompts with your child. Even if you both don’t write anything, talking about these kinds of ideas or questions is a great way to help your child get their creative juices flowing, and they can apply those ideas to writing prompts later. It can be a lot of fun, too!
Topics: Essay , Writing Skills , paragraph writing , Sixth Grade , Writing Prompt
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The Guide to 6th Grade: Reading and Writing
Review reading and writing curricula for 6th grade, including what to expect and resources to support learning..
In their first year of middle school, 6th graders embark on a new journey in their schooling, and with that comes new challenges and changes. In many ways, 6th grade is a year of significant transition for students as they use the skills they have previously learned and apply them to more complex and independent learning in deeper and more rigorous ways.
While collaboration may still be an important part of the curriculum, students are often required to produce more extensive independent work, specifically in writing. This calls for greater independence and organizational skills, and it may certainly require some adjustment and practice in the beginning of the school year.
Read on to find out what to expect this year! You can shop all sixth grade books and activities at The Scholastic Store .
Sixth Grade Reading
The ultimate goal of the 6th grade reading curriculum is for students to read increasingly complex texts over the course of the year, preparing them for high school, college, and careers beyond. Students read a variety of texts and different genres, including fiction, drama, poetry, and non-fiction.
There is a specific emphasis on and increase in the reading of nonfiction texts in order to prepare students to read, write, and research across subjects. As students read more complex texts, analyzing and understanding them in deeper ways, they strengthen their knowledge of all subjects.
In order to build reading skills, your 6th grader :
- Uses evidence from the text in order to summarize the plot, make inferences about and analyze the text, and determine the central theme or themes in a text.
- Understands and explains the point of view in a text; understands the significance of certain words and passages in a text.
- Understands and relays the main thesis or claims of a non-fiction text and its supporting evidence.
- Reads and compares different texts and genres that address the same topics.
- Uses a variety of media and formats, including video and audio, to further enhance understanding of a topic or text.
- Participates in class-wide and group discussions expressing the ideas and skills learned.
- Practices a variety of vocabulary skills, including using the context in which a word is found to determine the meaning of words, recognizing roots of words, and using digital and physical reference materials (dictionaries, thesauruses, and glossaries).
- Gains an understanding of and the ability to explain figurative language in a text.
6th Grade Writing
In middle school, 6th graders are encouraged to push themselves further in their writing and write with increased complexity in terms of length, subject matter, vocabulary, and general writing techniques. At the same time, 6th graders practice and refine many of the skills previously taught to them while enhancing them with the new skills and techniques they learn.
In order to build writing skills, your 6th grader :
- Writes using more complex vocabulary and about more complex content.
- Writes over extended periods of time, such as when writing long-term research or expressive pieces that may take a week.
- Writes for short amounts of times, such as in one sitting.
- Writes a variety of genres for a variety of audiences.
- Use supporting claims and evidence based on credible texts and resources.
- Include an introduction, a conclusion, and transitions.
- Integrate other forms of media and formats, such as graphs, charts, headings, audio, or video when appropriate.
- Descriptive detail of characters, settings, and experiences.
- A clear structure, with a logical order and flow, thought-out word choice, and a conclusion.
- Plans, revises, and edits writing, with guidance from teachers and peers.
- Writes pieces that display the reading skills achieved, including analysis of text, making comparisons and claims, and developing arguments using specific evidence.
- Uses technology and the Internet to produce and publish writing, work with others, and type a minimum of three pages in one sitting.
Shop the best resources for sixth grade below! You can find all books and activities at The Scholastic Store .
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How to Write an Essay, Grades 6-8 Paperback – October 1, 1999
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How to Write an Essay, Grades 6-8
Inspiring activities help students learn the "how to's" of language arts skills. Busy teachers appreciate the variety of activities, hands-on experiences, and independent learning opportunities presented in the book.
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Home > English Language Arts Worksheets > 6th Grade Writing
At the 6th grade level, we are encouraging students to use evidence to back up any argument that you are trying to propose. Students will start analyzing text and be able to infer about the text and understand central themes. Students will begin to understand how to write using the correct point of view for their intended audience. This is designed to help engage readers more. We encourage students to use figurative language and bright language to open up a new world to their readers. At this point students are ready to write for a wide range of audiences and purposes. We often find that writing for purpose is highly motivating for students at this level. At the education crossroads in 6th grade, your students are ready to tackle more in depth writing assignments. Before they say good bye to grade school, get students hammering away in the classroom and at home to enhance creative writing skills. How about this for a dive deep into the imagination of a 6th grader: "Write a letter to your younger self, telling yourself what you wished you had known then." You will be amazed how far your kids have progressed as writers by downloading the lessons from this series.
These writing worksheets were created specifically for 6th grade students that are putting a great deal of effort into their written expressive language. Students will find some deep thinking prompts and situations that they must assess and adjust to. Many teachers tell us that students find this work engaging and enjoyable. It is all about keeping them motivated and actively thinking at the 6th grade level. Reach deep into the vivid imaginations of your students by presenting creative writing lessons from the task of a simple writing prompt.
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Printable 6th grade writing worksheets, click the buttons to print each worksheet and answer key., how's life.
Imagine you are an elderly person looking back on your life. Write about how your life turned out. What did you do? What are you most proud of?
8 Quick Prompts
Do you think it is a good idea for teachers to specialize in one subject, or do you think that you should always only have one teacher per grade, even as your get older?
What Did You Learn?
What is one thing you have learned this year about how you do and don't want to treat other people? Explain.
What are the values most important to your family? How do you know? How does your family exhibit these values in daily life?
What advice have you been given by parents or other adults about how to choose your career when you grow up? How do you feel about that advice?
What Do You Wish You Knew?
Write a letter to your younger self, telling yourself what you wish you had known then.
What do you think makes up a healthy diet? Do you eat a healthy diet? Why or why not?
The Most Dangerous Animal
What do you think is the most dangerous animal on earth? Why do you think that? How is it dangerous? What do you think would happen if you encountered one?
Do you think that every student should be required to participate in a sport? Why or why not?
Imagine your favorite fictional character was a new student in your school. What do you think might happen?
What do you think if the most important school subject? Why?
Staying In Town
When you grow up, do you want to stay in this town or move somewhere else? Explain.
A Quality Teacher
What quality do you most appreciate in a teacher? Why?
Eight More Prompts
Have you ever been told by an adult that it is bad to do something, and then seen that same adult doing it? How did that make you feel? What did you do?
What is the most disappointing thing that someone that you care about has done? Why were you disappointed? What happened?
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How to Write a Literary Essay in 6th Grade
Writing a literary essay in the sixth grade is a fairly straightforward process that should take only a few hours to complete. In middle school, students traditionally use the five-paragraph essay format, which is organized as follows: an introduction paragraph, three body paragraphs and a conclusion. The essay should normally be between one and two pages in length.
Write the introduction paragraph. The introduction should include a thesis statement of the main idea of the essay and should give a few details supporting the thesis. The last sentence of the introduction should provide a transition into the body paragraphs.
Write the body paragraphs of the essay. The first paragraph should contain the most important point that you plan to make about the literary work and should give details to support the claim. The second paragraph should contain the second strongest argument and the third paragraph should contain the third strongest argument, each followed by supporting details. The first sentence of each paragraph should play off the last sentence of the previous paragraph to give a smooth transition.
Write the conclusion paragraph. The conclusion should be written in a similar style to the introduction to give the reader the sense that the argument is concluding. It should include the thesis restated in a different way and a brief summary of the three main points made in the body paragraphs. The last sentence should be persuasive to the main point and should indicate that the essay is coming to an end.
- Beginning a compare&contrast paper
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- Response to literature essay samples
- Finding an essay topic on Israel
Composing An Excellent 6th Grade Narrative Essay
The best way to describe a narrative is that it tells a story. They can be made up of anecdotes, personal experience or someone else’s experience. Usually for students of the 6th grade level, the narrative essay is meant to be a personal narrative. The purpose is two-fold: to get the student thinking and to give the student experience in writing papers.
Characteristics of a Narrative Essay
- Tells all parts of a story, giving enough detail for the reader to come to an understanding of the purpose
- Should be written clearly from an obvious point of view
- Should be an expression and creative display of the student’s writing
- The use of first person is accepted
Where to Begin Writing
A 6th grader may need a detailed step-by-step plan to follow in order to accomplish this essay. This will help them stay on track and not forget any of the essential parts. Here is a plan to follow in writing a personal narrative:
- Choose a good topic. This would be based on something from the student’s life. The essay will not only tell the story of what happened, it will also include the student’s analysis of the story.
- Should highlight the writer’s creative skills in story-telling.
- Should be able to help the reader connect in some way, to their own life experiences.
- If given a prompt, the topic must fit the prompt. For example, it may be about a hardship that had to be overcome, or a way your life was changed, or something that made you view life on a different level.
- Make sure the plot is manageable. It shouldn’t be something too long with many separate events involved. It should be narrowed down sufficiently.
- Limit the number of characters or people who are introduced into the paper, so it doesn’t get bogged down with too many people.
- The paper should exhibit vibrant details and yet give just enough room for the reader to use their imagination to fill in some of the gaps.
- Stay as true to the original story as possible. Most personal narrative papers are meant to be non-fiction.
- Make an outline of your school work and then use details and description to fill in each paragraph.
- Briefly describe important characters. Identify antagonists and protagonists if necessary.
- Describe the setting using vivid details.
- Proofread and revise your essay.
“ Every writer, no matter how good he is with his first attempt should proofread his paper. ” – Donna Brians
This resource changes all old-fashioned cliches and boring techniques into new and original ways of writing. Like to come here for fresh ideas!
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Sixth Grade (Grade 6) Writing Essays Questions
You can create printable tests and worksheets from these Grade 6 Writing Essays questions! Select one or more questions using the checkboxes above each question. Then click the add selected questions to a test button before moving to another page.
- be well organized.
- have a topic sentence with supporting details.
- To improve your writing
- To shorten your paragraphs
- To test your memory
- To create an outline
- shocking statement
- mystery statement
- rhetorical question
- All at once
- In a series of stages
- The students will rewrite their story and correct their mistakes.
- The students will make a small book out of their story and read it to the class.
- personal opinion
- strong persuasive statement
- on the left of
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Free Printable Essay Writing Worksheets for 6th Grade
Essay Writing just got more exciting! Discover our collection of free printable Reading & Writing worksheets for Grade 6 students, crafted by Quizizz to enhance their skills and creativity.
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Explore printable Essay Writing worksheets for 6th Grade
Essay Writing worksheets for Grade 6 are an essential tool for teachers looking to enhance their students' reading and writing skills. These worksheets focus on various aspects of writing, including nonfiction writing, and are designed to help students develop a strong foundation in the art of crafting well-structured essays. By incorporating these worksheets into their lesson plans, teachers can ensure that their students are exposed to a wide range of writing styles and techniques, ultimately improving their overall writing abilities. Moreover, these Grade 6 worksheets also cover essential grammar and punctuation rules, enabling students to write with clarity and precision. In summary, Essay Writing worksheets for Grade 6 are an invaluable resource for teachers who want to foster a love for reading and writing in their students.
Quizizz, a popular online platform for creating and sharing educational content, offers a variety of resources for teachers, including Essay Writing worksheets for Grade 6. In addition to these worksheets, Quizizz provides teachers with access to a vast library of quizzes, games, and other interactive learning materials that can be easily integrated into their lesson plans. By using Quizizz, teachers can create a more engaging and dynamic learning environment for their students, encouraging them to develop their reading and writing skills further. Furthermore, Quizizz allows teachers to track their students' progress and identify areas where they may need additional support or practice. Overall, Quizizz is an excellent resource for teachers looking to supplement their Grade 6 Essay Writing worksheets with additional engaging and interactive content.
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6th Grade Essay Written at the Highest Possible Level of Middle School
3 Peculiarities of the 6th-Grade Essay
- Structure. As well as a classic essay, a 6th-grade essay has an introduction, three body paragraphs, and conclusion. The introduction of each written work should have a clear thesis statement or argument. Likewise, it must be logically complete and express a specific idea.
- Topic. Before dealing with specific issues like the global market and economics or changes in climate, middle-school students are required to know how to speak on the broad topics of any chosen school discipline. Usually, students practice English writing skills speaking about books read in summer or expressing their opinions on various issues without extra in-depth research. It is crucial for 6th-grade students to become all-around so that they could state something valuable in high-school and college research papers.
- Style. Nobody cancels the rules for writing and editing an essay at the 6th-grade of school. Conversely, they are introduced and checked all the time so that students will have fewer difficulties with academic writing later. Don’t get in a snit with your teachers as they are trying to be helpful for you in the future when you will need to write tons of assignments.
3 Ways to Write the 6th-Grade Essay
- You should consider some essay ideas you want or need to develop on your own. Hopefully, the following list of the 6th-grade essay topics will come in handy: – What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up? How Will You Achieve It? – When Do You Feel as the Happiest Person on the Planet and Why? – What Are You Afraid of Most and Why Does It Make You Feel Such Fear? – Who Is the Best Friend for You and Why? – Who Is the Most Inspirational Person in Your Life and What Inspires You in This Person? – What Famous Person Would You Like to Meet Today and Why? – What Is the Life of Adults for You? Is It Fun or Challenging?
- You should stick to a basic essay structure while writing the 6th-grade essay. You have already known that the basic structure of any essay is as follows: an introduction, body, and conclusion. – Introduce the main idea of your essay with a bit of context (e.g., “Most people find inspiration in people around – parents, friends or reputable people from the TV screens. And I am no different. My elder brother inspires me to take up the sport.” ), which functions as a good opening sentence for your essay on the topic, “Who Inspires You?” – Support the main idea with clear reasons and relevant evidence. Going on speaking about the most inspirational people in your life, you can use some real-life examples that are sources of inspiration for you. For example, your brother/sister/dad/mom wakes up early to take some physical exercises in the morning or something of this kind that makes you get inspired. – Provide the concluding statement that follows from the content presented before. First or last, you’ll need to end your essay, at least because of a word/page count. Conclude your essay logically for the reader. Don’t mention any new fact and don’t write, “That is all” (remember that no contraction is allowed in academic writing?) Just sum up all the mentioned points of your essay briefly with a concluding sentence, “I am sure many of us can find inspiration people around. You fully realize that my brother is a direct inspiration for me. Look around to find such an inspirational person as well.”
- You should adhere to a particular style of writing and formatting. As for writing, the style depends on the purpose of writing. Whether you describe, persuade or narrate, you should use appropriate words and phrases. For example, descriptive language appeals to all our senses: taste, touch, sight, smell, and sound. In descriptive essays, modify all nouns and verbs with adjectives and adverbs accordingly. Be as specific as possible. As for the formatting style, consult your instructor which one you need to use to format a page header, margins, line spaces. All that play a great role in the readability of your text. Don’t neglect an essay format so that it will be easy for the reader to follow the content of your essay.
All 3 Details of the 6th-Grade Essay Applied in Practice
Now, it’s time to see how all 3 details mentioned above are applied in practice. Read the following essay on the topic “My School” to get the grasp of writing the 6th-grade essay as required and expected by your educators.
“I study in one of the best schools in Princeton. I enjoy my time spent in school because of my friends, teachers, and different interesting activities. Like every pupil, sometimes, I do not have time to prepare all the needed homework, but still, I try to do everything possible to make my parents proud of me. In addition, I understand that the received knowledge and practical skills will come useful for me in the future.
My school is located on the outskirts of the city, and it is possible to see a small but very beautiful park from the class windows. There are a lot of big old trees around the school. Every time when the autumn comes, the road to school is covered with bright fallen leaves. Our school is large and bright. Teachers are doing everything to make rooms nice and cozy, and we are happy to help them in this. All the students do their best to maintain the cleanliness and order in the rooms. In addition, there is a library at our school, a cozy canteen, and a beautiful auditorium. Of course, a favorite place for many students is the sports hall with different sports equipment. It has a lot of free space to play our favorite games during the physical education classes.
Also, I want to talk about our teachers. Sometimes, it seems that they are very strict with us, but in spite of this, we have great respect for them. They are fair and wise, and we can totally rely on them if we need some advice or help. Our teachers do their best in order to give us the necessary knowledge in an interesting way. When I was younger, our lessons in primary school were mostly about games and interactive activities. Now, we are engaged in more serious things like math, history, and linguistics.
I have a lot of friends at school and all of them are very positive and kind. When I had my birthday party two months ago, I asked my parents to invite my classmates. I was so happy to celebrate my eleventh birthday with my close friends. Moreover, my friends usually invite me to celebrate their birthdays with them, and I like picking special presents. My best school friend is Kate. Even if we have a row, the next day we usually make it up. This is because we are true friends and we are bound by common interests.
To sum up, at the current moment school is an important stage of my life. It is known that every great thing starts with small steps. Little sprout becomes a big tree, brook flows into the river, the words turn into sentences and big novels. Children begin to experience adult life in the school. That is why I appreciate my school, and even after many years, I will remember it with warmth and gratitude.”
Hopefully, this article is useful for you to write the 6th-grade essay – all the essay peculiarities are described and applied. Have a look at it again or consider the following list of 5 extra resources to write a good essay at the 6th grade.
5 Extra References to Write a Good 6th-Grade Essay
- Aczel, R. (1998). How to write an essay. Stuttgart: Klett.
- Harms, M. (2003). How to Write a Thesis. Physiotherapy, 89(9), 563. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s0031-9406(05)60184-8
- Macceca, S. (2007). Traits of good writing grade 6. S.l.: Shell Education.
- Minden, C. & Roth, K. (2013). How to write an essay. Ann Arbor, Mich.: Cherry Lake Pub.
- Scanlon, L. (2015). My school: Listening to parents, teachers, and students from a disadvantaged educational setting. Abingdon: Routledge.
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Essay for Class 6 Children | Essay Topics for Grade 6 Students in English
Not Everyone can frame their thoughts into sentences and write an Essay. Essay Writing is an art and is a great activity for Kids to enhance their overall personality. Check out Essay for Class 6 Students in English and have an idea on various topics that are commonly asked. Read and Practice Essay Writing Topics and bring out the imagination in you and write Essays on your own. 6th Grade Essays provided here are given by subject experts to make you familiar with essays from different categories.
List of English Essays for Students of 6th Std
If you are looking for a one-stop destination where you can find the Most Common Essay Topics for Grade 6 Students then this is the place. Check out the Essay Writing Ideas from different categories and choose as per your requirement. All you need to do is simply click on the respective topic link and avail the Short or Long Essay in it. You can surely improve your vocabulary and writing skills after referring to the Essays for 6th Class Students.
- Tree our Best Friend Essay for Class 6
- How I Spent Winter Vacation for Class 6
- Christmas Essay for Class 6
- Essay on Republic Day for Class 6
- My Self Essay for Class 6
- My School Essay for Class 6
- My Favourite Book Essay for Class 6
- Essay on Health is Wealth for Class 6
- Essay on Importance of Computer for Class 6
- My Family Essay for Class 6
- Essay on Most Memorable Day of My Life for Class 6
- Essay on Punctuality for Class 6
- Essay on Global Warming for Class 6
- Essay on Importance of Reading for Class 6
- Essay on Child Labour for Class 6
- Unity in Diversity Essay for Class 6
- Essay on Indian Festivals for Class 6
- Essay on Save Electricity for Class 6
- Essay on Library for Class 6
FAQs on Essay for Class 6
1. Where do I get Good Essay Topics for Class 6?
You can get Good Essay Topics for Class 6 on our page through the quick links.
2. How to Improve Essay Writing?
All you have to do is read to plenty of essay topics out there and bring out the uniqueness in you and frame your thoughts into words and write essays.
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Essay Writing Topics For Class 6 Format, Examples, Topics, Exercises
Essay writing topics for class 6 in english.
Writing essays is a crucial part of the academic curriculum for students of all ages. As students progress through their academic journey, the complexity and length of essays increase. Class 6 students are typically expected to write essays that are between 500 and 1000 words long. The essays are usually written in a five-paragraph format and include an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. In this article, we will discuss some essay writing topics for class 6 students, along with the English Grammar , format, and examples.
Also Read: Essay Writing For Class 8
Format Of Class 6 Essays:
Before we start discussing the essay topics, let’s take a look at the format of class 6 essays.
The introduction should be a brief paragraph that provides an overview of the topic. It should include a thesis statement that tells the reader what the essay is about.
The body paragraphs should be three in number, and each paragraph should focus on a specific idea related to the topic. Each paragraph should have a topic sentence that introduces the idea and supporting details that explain and support the topic sentence.
The conclusion should be a summary of the main points discussed in the essay. It should restate the thesis statement and provide a final thought on the topic.
Essay Writing Topics For Class 6:
1. My Favorite Season 2. My Favorite Animal 3. My Best Friend 4. My Favorite Sport 5. My Favorite Food 6. My School Life 7. My Family 8. The Importance of Reading 9. My Favorite Movie 10. My Favorite Book 11. My Hobby 12. My Role Model 13. The Importance of Discipline 14. My Dreams and Aspirations 15. The Importance of Education 16. My Favorite Holiday 17. My Favorite Teacher 18. My Favorite Place 19. My Favorite Subject 20. My Favorite Color
Examples Of Essay Writing Topics For Class 6:
1. My Favorite Season:
My favorite season is winter. I love the cold weather, and I get excited when the first snowfall arrives. I enjoy making snowmen and having snowball fights with my friends. I also love the holidays that come during winter, such as Christmas and New Year’s. During winter break, my family and I like to go skiing, and we have a lot of fun together.
2. My Best Friend:
My best friend’s name is Sarah. We have been friends since kindergarten, and we have a lot in common. We both love animals and enjoy playing video games together. We also enjoy playing soccer and often compete against each other. Sarah is always there for me when I need her, and I feel lucky to have her as my best friend.
3. The Importance of Reading:
Reading is very important because it helps improve our vocabulary and comprehension skills. It also stimulates our imagination and creativity. By reading, we can learn about different cultures and explore new ideas. Reading is also a great way to relax and escape from our daily stresses.
Recommended Reading: Essay Writing Topics For Class 6
Conclusion On Essay Writing Topics For Class 6:
Writing essays is an essential skill for students to develop, and by practicing writing on different topics, students can become better writers. The above essay topics can be a starting point for class 6 students, and by following the essay format, they can write well-structured essays that effectively communicate their ideas.
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- How to write an essay introduction | 4 steps & examples
How to Write an Essay Introduction | 4 Steps & Examples
Published on February 4, 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on July 23, 2023.
A good introduction paragraph is an essential part of any academic essay . It sets up your argument and tells the reader what to expect.
The main goals of an introduction are to:
- Catch your reader’s attention.
- Give background on your topic.
- Present your thesis statement —the central point of your essay.
This introduction example is taken from our interactive essay example on the history of Braille.
The invention of Braille was a major turning point in the history of disability. The writing system of raised dots used by visually impaired people was developed by Louis Braille in nineteenth-century France. In a society that did not value disabled people in general, blindness was particularly stigmatized, and lack of access to reading and writing was a significant barrier to social participation. The idea of tactile reading was not entirely new, but existing methods based on sighted systems were difficult to learn and use. As the first writing system designed for blind people’s needs, Braille was a groundbreaking new accessibility tool. It not only provided practical benefits, but also helped change the cultural status of blindness. This essay begins by discussing the situation of blind people in nineteenth-century Europe. It then describes the invention of Braille and the gradual process of its acceptance within blind education. Subsequently, it explores the wide-ranging effects of this invention on blind people’s social and cultural lives.
Table of contents
Step 1: hook your reader, step 2: give background information, step 3: present your thesis statement, step 4: map your essay’s structure, step 5: check and revise, more examples of essay introductions, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about the essay introduction.
Your first sentence sets the tone for the whole essay, so spend some time on writing an effective hook.
Avoid long, dense sentences—start with something clear, concise and catchy that will spark your reader’s curiosity.
The hook should lead the reader into your essay, giving a sense of the topic you’re writing about and why it’s interesting. Avoid overly broad claims or plain statements of fact.
Examples: Writing a good hook
Take a look at these examples of weak hooks and learn how to improve them.
- Braille was an extremely important invention.
- The invention of Braille was a major turning point in the history of disability.
The first sentence is a dry fact; the second sentence is more interesting, making a bold claim about exactly why the topic is important.
- The internet is defined as “a global computer network providing a variety of information and communication facilities.”
- The spread of the internet has had a world-changing effect, not least on the world of education.
Avoid using a dictionary definition as your hook, especially if it’s an obvious term that everyone knows. The improved example here is still broad, but it gives us a much clearer sense of what the essay will be about.
- Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is a famous book from the nineteenth century.
- Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is often read as a crude cautionary tale about the dangers of scientific advancement.
Instead of just stating a fact that the reader already knows, the improved hook here tells us about the mainstream interpretation of the book, implying that this essay will offer a different interpretation.
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Next, give your reader the context they need to understand your topic and argument. Depending on the subject of your essay, this might include:
- Historical, geographical, or social context
- An outline of the debate you’re addressing
- A summary of relevant theories or research about the topic
- Definitions of key terms
The information here should be broad but clearly focused and relevant to your argument. Don’t give too much detail—you can mention points that you will return to later, but save your evidence and interpretation for the main body of the essay.
How much space you need for background depends on your topic and the scope of your essay. In our Braille example, we take a few sentences to introduce the topic and sketch the social context that the essay will address:
Now it’s time to narrow your focus and show exactly what you want to say about the topic. This is your thesis statement —a sentence or two that sums up your overall argument.
This is the most important part of your introduction. A good thesis isn’t just a statement of fact, but a claim that requires evidence and explanation.
The goal is to clearly convey your own position in a debate or your central point about a topic.
Particularly in longer essays, it’s helpful to end the introduction by signposting what will be covered in each part. Keep it concise and give your reader a clear sense of the direction your argument will take.
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As you research and write, your argument might change focus or direction as you learn more.
For this reason, it’s often a good idea to wait until later in the writing process before you write the introduction paragraph—it can even be the very last thing you write.
When you’ve finished writing the essay body and conclusion , you should return to the introduction and check that it matches the content of the essay.
It’s especially important to make sure your thesis statement accurately represents what you do in the essay. If your argument has gone in a different direction than planned, tweak your thesis statement to match what you actually say.
To polish your writing, you can use something like a paraphrasing tool .
You can use the checklist below to make sure your introduction does everything it’s supposed to.
Checklist: Essay introduction
My first sentence is engaging and relevant.
I have introduced the topic with necessary background information.
I have defined any important terms.
My thesis statement clearly presents my main point or argument.
Everything in the introduction is relevant to the main body of the essay.
You have a strong introduction - now make sure the rest of your essay is just as good.
- Literary analysis
This introduction to an argumentative essay sets up the debate about the internet and education, and then clearly states the position the essay will argue for.
The spread of the internet has had a world-changing effect, not least on the world of education. The use of the internet in academic contexts is on the rise, and its role in learning is hotly debated. For many teachers who did not grow up with this technology, its effects seem alarming and potentially harmful. This concern, while understandable, is misguided. The negatives of internet use are outweighed by its critical benefits for students and educators—as a uniquely comprehensive and accessible information source; a means of exposure to and engagement with different perspectives; and a highly flexible learning environment.
This introduction to a short expository essay leads into the topic (the invention of the printing press) and states the main point the essay will explain (the effect of this invention on European society).
In many ways, the invention of the printing press marked the end of the Middle Ages. The medieval period in Europe is often remembered as a time of intellectual and political stagnation. Prior to the Renaissance, the average person had very limited access to books and was unlikely to be literate. The invention of the printing press in the 15th century allowed for much less restricted circulation of information in Europe, paving the way for the Reformation.
This introduction to a literary analysis essay , about Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein , starts by describing a simplistic popular view of the story, and then states how the author will give a more complex analysis of the text’s literary devices.
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is often read as a crude cautionary tale. Arguably the first science fiction novel, its plot can be read as a warning about the dangers of scientific advancement unrestrained by ethical considerations. In this reading, and in popular culture representations of the character as a “mad scientist”, Victor Frankenstein represents the callous, arrogant ambition of modern science. However, far from providing a stable image of the character, Shelley uses shifting narrative perspectives to gradually transform our impression of Frankenstein, portraying him in an increasingly negative light as the novel goes on. While he initially appears to be a naive but sympathetic idealist, after the creature’s narrative Frankenstein begins to resemble—even in his own telling—the thoughtlessly cruel figure the creature represents him as.
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Your essay introduction should include three main things, in this order:
- An opening hook to catch the reader’s attention.
- Relevant background information that the reader needs to know.
- A thesis statement that presents your main point or argument.
The length of each part depends on the length and complexity of your essay .
The “hook” is the first sentence of your essay introduction . It should lead the reader into your essay, giving a sense of why it’s interesting.
To write a good hook, avoid overly broad statements or long, dense sentences. Try to start with something clear, concise and catchy that will spark your reader’s curiosity.
A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay . Everything else you write should relate to this key idea.
The thesis statement is essential in any academic essay or research paper for two main reasons:
- It gives your writing direction and focus.
- It gives the reader a concise summary of your main point.
Without a clear thesis statement, an essay can end up rambling and unfocused, leaving your reader unsure of exactly what you want to say.
The structure of an essay is divided into an introduction that presents your topic and thesis statement , a body containing your in-depth analysis and arguments, and a conclusion wrapping up your ideas.
The structure of the body is flexible, but you should always spend some time thinking about how you can organize your essay to best serve your ideas.
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