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10 Great Essay Writing Tips

example of grade 4 essay

Knowing how to write a college essay is a useful skill for anyone who plans to go to college. Most colleges and universities ask you to submit a writing sample with your application. As a student, you’ll also write essays in your courses. Impress your professors with your knowledge and skill by using these great essay writing tips.

Prepare to Answer the Question

Most college essays ask you to answer a question or synthesize information you learned in class. Review notes you have from lectures, read the recommended texts and make sure you understand the topic. You should refer to these sources in your essay.

example of grade 4 essay

Plan Your Essay

Many students see planning as a waste of time, but it actually saves you time. Take a few minutes to think about the topic and what you want to say about it. You can write an outline, draw a chart or use a graphic organizer to arrange your ideas. This gives you a chance to spot problems in your ideas before you spend time writing out the paragraphs.

Choose a Writing Method That Feels Comfortable

You might have to type your essay before turning it in, but that doesn’t mean you have to write it that way. Some people find it easy to write out their ideas by hand. Others prefer typing in a word processor where they can erase and rewrite as needed. Find the one that works best for you and stick with it.

example of grade 4 essay

View It as a Conversation

Writing is a form of communication, so think of your essay as a conversation between you and the reader. Think about your response to the source material and the topic. Decide what you want to tell the reader about the topic. Then, stay focused on your response as you write.

example of grade 4 essay

Provide the Context in the Introduction

If you look at an example of an essay introduction, you’ll see that the best essays give the reader a context. Think of how you introduce two people to each other. You share the details you think they will find most interesting. Do this in your essay by stating what it’s about and then telling readers what the issue is.

example of grade 4 essay

Explain What Needs to be Explained

Sometimes you have to explain concepts or define words to help the reader understand your viewpoint. You also have to explain the reasoning behind your ideas. For example, it’s not enough to write that your greatest achievement is running an ultra marathon. You might need to define ultra marathon and explain why finishing the race is such an accomplishment.

example of grade 4 essay

Answer All the Questions

After you finish writing the first draft of your essay, make sure you’ve answered all the questions you were supposed to answer. For example, essays in compare and contrast format should show the similarities and differences between ideas, objects or events. If you’re writing about a significant achievement, describe what you did and how it affected you.

example of grade 4 essay

Stay Focused as You Write

Writing requires concentration. Find a place where you have few distractions and give yourself time to write without interruptions. Don’t wait until the night before the essay is due to start working on it.

example of grade 4 essay

Read the Essay Aloud to Proofread

When you finish writing your essay, read it aloud. You can do this by yourself or ask someone to listen to you read it. You’ll notice places where the ideas don’t make sense, and your listener can give you feedback about your ideas.

example of grade 4 essay

Avoid Filling the Page with Words

A great essay does more than follow an essay layout. It has something to say. Sometimes students panic and write everything they know about a topic or summarize everything in the source material. Your job as a writer is to show why this information is important.


example of grade 4 essay

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4th Grade Writing Samples

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Fourth Grade Opinion Writing Prompt

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example of grade 4 essay

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4th grade nonfiction writing samples

by: Jessica Kelmon | Updated: June 21, 2018

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In fourth grade, students are starting to prepare for middle school, when nonfiction writing is practiced in all subjects. What’s more, under the Common Core Standards, nonfiction writing is more and more essential to the curriculum. Learn more about your fourth grader’s writing under Common Core . According to the standards, students should be learning three types of writing:

Informative/explanatory writing

Like a report, the purpose of this type of writing is to convey information accurately with facts, details, and supportive information.

These can be stories or screenplays or other fiction written in the first, second, or third person.

Opinion pieces

In opinion writing, students encourage readers to accept their opinion about something by writing what they and why.

Fourth grade writing sample #1

John Cabot and the Rediscovery of North America

In this child’s report on John Cabot, you’ll see a few important features. First, there are five sections, each with a bolded header announcing what sort of information follows. Note that the fifth section is the bibliography, where everyone can see the two sources this student relied on for her information.

Type of writing: Informative/explanatory writing

Fourth grade writing sample #2

Big Book of Evolution

Dylan’s report on evolution is also divided into sections. Note that Dylan uses visuals throughout this report. What’s more, the report has a table of contents at the beginning, and at the end, Dylan cites his sources for the written information and the visuals.

Fourth grade writing sample #3

A Tale of Despereaux

This is a classic fourth grade book report. Note that the student uses headers to announce what type of information follows: the summary, the characters, and the writer’s recommendation about the book.

Fourth grade writing sample #4

Zoos Should Close

This student writes an opinion piece about why she thinks zoos should close. Note that she cites multiple reasons with examples of why zoos aren’t good for animals. She also addresses a counterargument and refutes it, which isn’t actually required until seventh and eighth grade.

Type of writing: Opinion writing

See more examples of real kids’ writing in different grades: Kindergarten , first grade , second grade , third grade , fifth grade .

example of grade 4 essay

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5 Best Lessons on Constructed Response

Informational/Expository Student Writing Sample- Grade 4


7-Day Process Piece Student Sample Grade 4

One way that I found to ease the tremendous stress of a research project was to break it into manageable chunks for my students. Upon introducing the topic or subject of writing we began by creating a list of everything we knew about the topic and then sorting and categorizing that list.  

Process Writing Lesson Procedure.P

Our journey into the research then became much easier to manage. Students focused on one aspect of the big topic and then began to notice severa l smaller main ideas that matched each focused area. Students found information about the main ideas and then it was time to write. The following piece of exposition is a result of   breaking the writing process down into small chunks   and wr iting one section of the piece each day for a total of seven days ( see the Expository/Informative Writing Summarizing Framework . ) In the real world, authors do not just write in one big blur, or what some might call flash drafts.  They in fact write a section, reflect on that section, and revise it as they go. That is exactly what my students were able to do quite successfully.

What really works in this piece:


Note the use of informative verbs and the way the author states each main idea in this introduction paragraph.


Note the use of “word referents” instead of “the horseshoe crab…the horseshoe crab…the horseshoe crab…”  The author uses the productive questions  “What does it look like, why is it important?”  to add meaningful detail to support the main idea – appearance.


The student states the main idea of this paragraph as a question.  This is one strategy taught for revising boring main idea sentences.  Note the use of an anecdote to provide interesting detail to support the main idea – habitat.


In the conclusion paragraph, the author uses a hypothetical anecdote, informative verbs, a definitive phrase, word referents, and a general restatement of the topic sentence.  All of these are strategies taught in EW instruction.

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