Essays For Primary School

Teachers talk about essay structure and how parents can help, even if they're not familiar with the topic of the essay.

At a glance

  • Determine 'what is the question asking?'
  • Essays follow a specific formula.
  • Introduction – state your response to the question and mention the points to be made in the body of the essay.
  • Body – expand on the points introduced in the  introduction. Don't introduce new thoughts at this stage.
  • Conclusion – summarise the points discussed in the body.
  • One idea per paragraph.
  • Proofreading your child's essays helps them and  lets you stay in touch with what they're doing at school.


Writing essays is a skill many of us have forgotten. Here are some reminders to help you and your child.

Jane Goddard
There are some really practical ways which a parent can help their child – it doesn't matter if they don't know the content themselves.

Alix Johnson
If they are writing essays, essays can be very overwhelming for students.

Parents can help children with their essay writing by organising their thoughts. To start with they need to discuss with their child, "What is the question and what is the question really asking?"

Lisa Tonkin
They need to carefully look at the questions they're being asked. The question should always have a key term – it's usually the first word of the question, it may be later, and they are things like explain, discuss, outline, analyze, identify.

Alix Johnson
Have a conversation around that and really nut out the key points and jot those key points down.

Ian James
In each examination the verbs actually ask a really specific thing.

For example, if they're asking you to evaluate, what they're really doing is asking you to make a judgement about something.

If on the other hand they're asking you to just name and define something, they're asking you to name it and explain what that thing is about.

But they are different things, so a student really needs to understand what the verb of the question is asking for them to do it and be successful at responding to that.

Lisa Tonkin
Circle the important words in the question and make sure you focus on what they're asking you to do, not what you want to do.

Alix Johnson
Essays follow a very specific formula.

Lisa Tonkin
Practise your essay structure, so that you're following the introduction, body and conclusion.

Alix Johnson
They start with an introduction that introduces everything that's going to be discussed in the essay that will follow.

Really make sure you're addressing "What is the question asking?" and put forward your response to it.

And just in very key, short sentences, the points that you're going to be discussing in your essay to support your answer.

Those key points form your introduction and each point starts a paragraph.

Lisa Tonkin
Topic sentences which introduce what each paragraph is going to be about.

Alix Johnson
In each paragraph you need to expand on that point, to elaborate and explain – and draw upon the text or the sources – why it is that you are putting forward this point of view or this argument.

Lisa Tonkin
Knowing your language features – so metaphor, simile, personification.

You have an example from your text, and then you explain the effect of using that language feature because authors don't use language features just to pad, they use it to have an effect on the audience, so it's important that the students understand that and it's got to relate back to that question.

Every idea is a new paragraph so that they don't end up with gi-normous paragraphs. One idea one paragraph. Students should be learning that from primary school.

Then your conclusion needs to sum it all up, but you never include any new information because that shows you haven't planned.

Alix Johnson
So the introduction introduces all the points of an essay, and then each point is expanded on in the subsequent paragraphs and then all of those points are rounded up and brought together in the conclusion.

We say, essay writing:

  1. Introduction – say what you're going to say.
  2. Body – say it.
  3. Conclusion – say what you've said.

Alix Johnson
One thing that parents can do to help their children in high school is to proofread their homework.

By proofreading you'll not only help your child, and offer a sense of support, that can help them feel more confident with the work that they're then submitting, but it can really help inform the parent about where their child is at.

You get to learn more about their life in high school, as well as where they're at academically and ways that you can help them.

There are more videos, articles and glossaries to help your child with writing at

A List Of Strong Narrative Essay Topics For Primary School

There are several reasons why essays are written. However, there are 3 basic characteristics of the most successful ones. These should be clearly organized, should have a central point and should contain specific details that are relevant to the point. When you are writing a narrative, you are suppose to share a story about yourself, your ideas, opinion or even response to a circumstance.

The aim is to encourage you to use your observation power and creativity to develop stories that capture the imaginations of the reader. It should recount your fictional or personal experience. You can also tell a story based on a real or fictitious experience. There are several ways that you can come up with a good one. Here are ideas on some of the best topics:

  • When I got lost
  • How I won the charity
  • My favorite hobby
  • The day that I will never forget
  • How I saved a road accident victim
  • What I would like to change about myself
  • How I expect to change the world
  • What no one knows apart from me
  • If I could be the president for one day
  • How I improved my grades
  • Why my dad is my hero
  • My most traumatizing experience
  • An encounter with a wild animal
  • My special day in life
  • An animal that I would love to be
  • The job that I hate doing most
  • If I could go back in time
  • A lesson that I will never forget
  • The camping experience that I will never forget
  • The best news that I have ever heard
  • The most difficult decision that I had to make
  • How I won the admiration of my whole school
  • How I stopped robbers
  • My favorite weather story
  • The toy that I love most
  • If I could visit the moon
  • My favorite holiday experience
  • Why my parents were right
  • The year 2030
  • The greatest person I have ever met
  • The greatest invention I have ever seen
  • My most embarrassing moment
  • The hardest thing that I never did
  • If I would be a cat
  • 5 things I would like to change about myself
  • When I was a child

The number of topics for narrative pieces that you can write is almost unlimited.

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