Essay writing

Writing flawless essays is one of the most difficult concepts for young students to master. Students often ask for a specific set of rules to guide them in their writings instead of seeing writing as an art that is meant to inspire. This section will try to find a way to give students the rules that they want while not taking away from the creative side of writing that is a necessity for all great writers. It is our hope that this helps them on their way towards truly great writing.

The Good News

This is NOT an English class! You will not be graded on spelling or grammar UNLESS it hinders my ability to understand what the heck you are talking about. There is also never a length requirement for essays in my class. You need to answer the question thoroughly. How long that takes depends on your personal writing ability. If you can answer the question fully AND provide evidence to support it in a shorter essay than the other students in class, its fine with me. I would side on the more in depth side if you want a good grade though.

The Bad News

This is not an English class! My focus is VERY SPECIFICALLY about intelligent content. I could care less about your ability to whimsically write about the beauty of a butterfly. I expect each essay to be an example of organizational perfection supported with hard facts. This, in my opinion, is the best method of teaching essays to students your age due to the fact that most of you will go to college for programs other than creative writing. So each of you need to know how to write an essay the way non-English classes expect them.

Essay Rules

This section covers some important rules that students need to make sure they follow in an essay. I would highly recommend coming back to them before and after essays to double check.



Do not use 1st Person Pronouns or speak about yourself in an essay, EVER! Write as through your opinion is the ONLY option.

Abstract Nouns

Do not use abstract nouns (i.e. mankind, the world, man, or humanity). It takes away from a more specific case.


Write in past tense at all times. Moving back and forth in an essay can make reading your essay a laborious task.  

Good Historical writing

The following is a document called the ’10 Commandments of Good Historical Writing’ which is a list created by a professor of history at Goshen College named Theron F. Schlabach. It may be a little strange due to its religious wording, but is important for students to follow the rules. 

Specific Sections Of An Essay

Introduction & Thesis

These concepts are the nemesis of most students and can be daunting for adults also. The good news is once it clicks, you have got it forever. 


This is the 2nd most difficult concept for students at this age and it is huge key for great essays. Each idea has a logical place as well as a progression in essays.


This paragraph is often overlooked by even the best writers at this level. It is, however, a vital part of an essay that needs to be practiced at least at this age.