12 Essential Paragraph and Essay Writing Skills Exercises and Worksheets

Elementary paragraph  and essay writing skills include brainstorming  and outlining, as well as the ability to write attention getters, topic and support sentences.

1 Elementary academic paragraph writing lesson

 This is a bare bones elementary paragraph writing lesson for English language learners that aims to help them understand paragraph types and the components of a paragraph. It is particularly aimed at students who have vocabulary skills but almost no writing skills.  

Elementary paragraph writing lesson for English language learners.

 Elementary paragraph writing lesson (PDF)


2 Brainstorm worksheet cluster diagram

    This is a  brainstorming and academic essay planning worksheet for students writing essays. The best way to get ideas for  a paragraph or essay is to brainstorm with the  aid of  a graphic organizer. Students can freely associate ideas to a topic. This  allows them to be more creative and explore any path their minds might take.

Brainstorming cluster template and worksheet for any topic in the classroom.

Brainstorming worksheet cluster diagram (PDF)

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3 Outlining a basic paragraph

This is a paragraph outline worksheet to help students learn how to write a basic paragraph.

Paragraph writing outline template and worksheet for academic writing students.

Paragraph outline worksheet (PDF)

4 Outlining an essay

This is an essay outline worksheet to help students focus on organization and planning when preparing to write essays.

Essay outline planning template or worksheet for writing students to help them organize their ideas before writing an essay.

Essay outline worksheet (PDF)

6 exercises for writing topic sentences

10 opinion and argument writing worksheets

8 comparison/contrast templates and exercises

10 cause/effect writing activities

3 kinds of exercises for teaching transitions

6 memorable narrative essay writing practice exercises (PDF)

6 delightful descriptive paragraph and essay writing exercises  (PDF)

5 Writing main idea sentences for essays or paragraphs (with possible answers)

In this worksheet students practice writing main idea sentences by looking at the pictures, and writing an appropriate main idea sentence. They should try to express themselves freely.

Writing main ideas practice worksheet for elementary academic writing students.

Main idea writing practice worksheet (PDF)

6 Attention getters (with pictures) for essays

Attention getters are essential at the beginning of a paragraph or an essay when you want to attract the reader’s attention. There are many kinds of attention getters but a few of the most common are anecdotes, quotation, provocative questions and surprising facts or statistics. Students can practice attention getters by looking at the pictures and trying to write an attention getter for each one.

Attention getters academic writing exercise using pictures for elementary writing students.

Writing attention getters  (PDF)

7 Attention getters comprehension exercise

This worksheet is a good way to challenge students’ knowledge of different types of attention getters.

Challenging essay writing attention getter comprehension exercise for writing students.

Writing attention getters  (PDF)

8 Kinds of attention getters writing exercise

This is another worksheet that tries to impress upon students the importance of good openings or attention getters.

Attention getter writing exercise for essay writing students to help them understand the benefits of the attention getter.

Writing attention getters  (PDF)

9 Understanding support sentences

This support sentence writing worksheet can be used to test students’ understanding of both topic and support sentences.

Support sentence writing worksheet and exercise for academic writing beginners.

Writing support sentences (PDF)

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