Rabu, 30 November 2011

Techniques for Writing a Formal Paper in Middle School

Learning how to write a formal paper is essential for middle schoolers.

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Middle school students are often first introduced to formal essay writing. Formal essays typically must include an introduction with a thesis statement, a few paragraphs discussing the ideas touched upon in the introduction and a conclusion. However, depending upon the assignment requirements, students might need to include more than a few paragraphs in the body of the essay. There are usually additional requirements as well, including a title, double-spacing, indentations and style techniques to make the essay flow, such as transitional sentences.

Related Searches: Brainstorming and Outlines

Before writing anything, students should first brainstorm and organize thoughts in an outline. Outlines are great organizational tools for formal paper writing. When students begin with a well-organized outline, the final draft will be much better organized. The outline should address the key elements of the paper, including the substance of the introduction, the main points of each succeeding paragraph and the thrust of the conclusion.


The majority of formal papers require a thesis statement, which should be placed in the introduction. Each teacher has different preferences, but most good introductions have a few lead sentences, a thesis statement and a final, transitional sentence. Transitional sentences are important, helping set up the next paragraph. This avoids choppiness and helps make the paper flow.

Body and Conclusion

The body is generally comprised of several paragraphs that support the thesis statement in the introduction. Each paragraph gives the student another opportunity to introduce facts in support of the thesis statement. The conclusion is the final paragraph in which the thesis statement is reiterated and a few key facts from the body are included to support the conclusion. A good stylistic technique is to set forth a sentence that reiterates the thesis statement without quoting it verbatim.

Other Elements

Many middle school teachers require certain formal elements as well. For example, the assignment might call for a certain font — such as Times New Roman — 1-inch margins, double-spacing and indentation. It is important for students to follow these guidelines, since getting in the habit of following essay instructions is crucial to academic success. Lastly, if the formal paper is a research paper, reputable sources are a must and following the instructions regarding how to cite those sources is also important.

ReferencesPatrick Henry High School: Formal Essay FormatAscension Episcopal School: Writing Rubric for Formal Writing: 5th, 6th, and 7th GradesResearchPaperStar: Middle School Research Paper FormatPhoto Credit Comstock/Comstock/Getty ImagesRead Next:

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