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Research Basics for Junior and Senior High School Students: Getting Started - Essay Type & Topic

This guide will help Junior and Senior High School students understand the research process, identify scholarly sources, create a reference page, take notes, and more!

Types of Essays

Narrative Essays: Telling a Story 
In a narrative essay, the writer tells a story about a real-life experience. When writing a narrative essay, writers should try to involve the reader by making the story as vivid as possible.

Descriptive Essays: Painting a Picture 
descriptive essay paints a picture with words. A writer might describe a person, place, object, or even memory of special significance. The descriptive essay strives to communicate a deeper meaning through the description. 

Expository Essays: Just the Facts 
The expository essay is an informative piece of writing that presents a balanced analysis of a topic. In an expository essay, the writer explains or defines a topic, using facts, statistics, and examples. 

Persuasive Essays: Convince Me 
While like an expository essay in its presentation of facts, the goal of the persuasive essay is to convince the reader to accept the writer’s point of view or recommendation. The writer must build a case using facts and logic, as well as examples, expert opinion, and sound reasoning. 

Source:, Types of Essays: End the Confusion. 

Check it out!

The Research Process

Chosing your topic is research

Step One: Choose a topic 

1) Choose a topic of interest as you will be spending a lot of time with it

2) Test your topic against the research: is the topic to broad (overwhelming information) or to narrow (not enough information)

3) Tweek your topic (broaden or narrow as needed)

Before choosing a topic, watch - Picking your topic is research NCSU Libraries 

Slides from 7th-12th Grade Research Skills and Writing Workshop