Common Core Essay Writing

Education is evolving and throughout your educational career you may have noticed a shift in focus for the standards of writing. Not sure how to write an “A” worthy essay anymore? Confused about all this talk about Common Core Standards? Have no fear! Keep reading to gain strategies and tips to help you get an A on your next essay and know how to meet all the standards. Whether you’re writing an argumentative essay, an informative essay, or a narrative this article has the key points to help you meet those standards with ease.

Argumentative Essay

The Common Core Standards outlines five direct standards that should be included in a great, “A” worthy argumentative essay. Before you get intimidated, just relax and keep reading. They aren’t that different from the way you’ve been writing all along.

  1. Simply put, you need to start an argumentative essay with a claim. What is the issue and what is your stance? Remember, an argumentative essay means there are multiple sides or viewpoints. Where do you stand? How is it different from other opinions or stances on the argument? Then organize your thoughts, ideas and evidence into a logical order. Easy enough, right?
  2. Next, you need to know your audience. How much do they know on the topic? How, in general, do they feel about the topic? Knowing these will help you to present your argument in the most clear and precise way. You also need to have evidence or sources to support both your argument and to negate the opposing arguments. This can easily be done by completing a little bit of research on the topic and presenting the facts clearly.
  3. You need to make sure the article flows. Connect your thesis statement and topic sentences to your supports fluently. Vary the language used to help connect your ideas together. Keep things simple and to the point.
  4. Although this essay is argumentative, you want to keep your personal opinions out of it. Why? Opinions are not evidence. Having evidence to back up your claim is much stronger than simply stating your opinion due to an experience or idea you had. The essay should be written in a formal voice and address your audience using the best evidence you have found through credible research.
  5. Finally, make sure your conclusion supports the argument you are writing about. Wrap up your evidence in a way that ties your whole argument together.

Still unsure how to proceed with your argumentative essay? EssayHelp can offer more great tips on getting started, whether you’re looking for topics or help organizing your ideas.

Informative Essay

Obviously the purpose of this essay is to inform. When writing an informative essay you need to analyze the ideas and information by organizing and examining the content of the topic in order to give your audience the best and most organized information. The Common Core Standards break informative essays down into six steps:

  1. Introduce your topic. Then, create the outline of the essay by coming up with topic sentences for subsequent paragraphs that continue to build on each idea. However, it’s not just about the writing. A good essay should include visual effects such as graphics, multimedia aids, and proper formatting in order to reach the audience.
  2. Develop your topic by using the best resources possible. This includes examples, quotes and other concrete details found in your research (from credible sources, of course) that are relevant to your audience. Throwing a quote in your essay may mean something to you because you have become familiar with the topic. However, stop and think to make sure the quotes or graphics you are using can reach your audience at their level of understanding as well.
  3. Make sure your essay is fluid. Use proper transition phrases to move from one idea to another. Be sure you are following a logical sequence that your readers can easily understand and follow. The relationships between information or paragraphs should be obvious to the readers and they should not be left guessing.
  4. If the topic of your essay is complex and may go over your audience’s head, bring it down to their level. By including comparisons, similes, metaphors, etc. you can help your audience to better understand or relate to your topic.
  5. Similar to the argumentative essay, keep a formal tone throughout the informative essay. You are not writing an email to your buddy, you’re still writing a formal essay. Keep that in mind when choosing your vocabulary, metaphors, etc. Also be sure to stay objective. Since you are writing to inform, your personal opinion and experiences do not belong anywhere in the essay.
  6. Finally, your trusty conclusion should support the information presented. Go over the significance of the topic and make sure your finale wraps up your essay clearly and positively.

Still looking for help with topics and more clarification? Head on over to to get more information on writing an interesting informative essay.

Narrative Essay

The purpose of a narrative essay is to write about an experience using key details and a solid structure of events to help your reader feel like they are there. This can be a true story or imagined, but the reader shouldn’t necessarily be able to tell. Want to write a great narrative essay? Follow these five simple standards:

  1. Get the reader excited by setting up the story with a problem or situation, setting up the point of view, and introducing the characters. Set yourself up to create a smooth progression of events.
  2. Use techniques specific to narrative essays such as dialogue, reflection, descriptions and plot lines to help develop both your story and characters. This will help to keep your audience interested.
  3. Obviously you will have a sequence of events but make sure you’re using a variety of techniques. You don’t want the story to become stagnant. Create suspense, character and plot growth and eventually resolution to connect the events in an exciting progression that will engage your readers.
  4. Use words that connect the reader’s senses, or sensory language. You want the reader to be able to see, hear, smell, touch and imagine as much of your narrative as possible.
  5. Once again, conclude your narrative essay with a reflection on the experiences, observations, and resolutions occurring throughout the narrative essay.

If you feel like you’re still needing more clarification, Wiki How breaks down narrative writing into 14 simple steps to help you achieve a great essay. Go on, you can do it!

Hopefully, by breaking down these standards you will realize that many of them have been a part of your essay writing all along. If you’ve ever used an essay writing service and wondered why they are so successful, it’s because they follow these standards in every essay they produce. Whether you’re writing an argumentative essay, an informative essay, or a narrative essay, these simple tips will help you meet those Common Core Standards and ensure an A on your next essay. And remember, essay writing services are also a great resource to help you with any essay whether you’re in a bind or just need some help getting started. Happy writing!


Standards in this strand:

The CCR anchor standards and high school grade-specific standards work in tandem to define college and career readiness expectations—the former providing broad standards, the latter providing additional specificity.

Text Types and Purposes:

Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.

Introduce precise claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and create an organization that establishes clear relationships among claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.

Develop claim(s) and counterclaims fairly, supplying evidence for each while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both in a manner that anticipates the audience's knowledge level and concerns.

Use words, phrases, and clauses to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships between claim(s) and reasons, between reasons and evidence, and between claim(s) and counterclaims.

Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms and conventions of the discipline in which they are writing.

Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented.

Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.

Introduce a topic; organize complex ideas, concepts, and information to make important connections and distinctions; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., figures, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.

Develop the topic with well-chosen, relevant, and sufficient facts, extended definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples appropriate to the audience's knowledge of the topic.

Use appropriate and varied transitions to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships among complex ideas and concepts.

Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to manage the complexity of the topic.

Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms and conventions of the discipline in which they are writing.

Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented (e.g., articulating implications or the significance of the topic).

Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.

Engage and orient the reader by setting out a problem, situation, or observation, establishing one or multiple point(s) of view, and introducing a narrator and/or characters; create a smooth progression of experiences or events.

Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, description, reflection, and multiple plot lines, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters.

Use a variety of techniques to sequence events so that they build on one another to create a coherent whole.

Use precise words and phrases, telling details, and sensory language to convey a vivid picture of the experiences, events, setting, and/or characters.

Provide a conclusion that follows from and reflects on what is experienced, observed, or resolved over the course of the narrative.

Production and Distribution of Writing:

Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1-3 above.)

Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of Language standards 1-3 up to and including grades 9-10 here.)

Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology's capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically.

Research to Build and Present Knowledge:

Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

Gather relevant information from multiple authoritative print and digital sources, using advanced searches effectively; assess the usefulness of each source in answering the research question; integrate information into the text selectively to maintain the flow of ideas, avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.

Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

Apply grades 9-10 Reading standards to literature (e.g., "Analyze how an author draws on and transforms source material in a specific work [e.g., how Shakespeare treats a theme or topic from Ovid or the Bible or how a later author draws on a play by Shakespeare]").

Apply grades 9-10 Reading standards to literary nonfiction (e.g., "Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is valid and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; identify false statements and fallacious reasoning").

Range of Writing:

Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences.

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