How to Write an Essay on Encouraging Students to Volunteer

Image of a volunteer visiting a woman in the hospital.
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Volunteering is an important cultural activity both for those who are doing the volunteering and gaining the benefits of giving back to their community, and for those whose needs are met when others serve them. An essay is a good way to convince students to volunteer because you are able to share clear arguments for why volunteering is a positive activity and can preemptively address common concerns students have when they are considering volunteering in their communities.

Contact volunteer services and organizations to gather data about the kinds of volunteers they are looking for, including age or special handling requirements. Get direct quotes about the positive contributions volunteers have made through their organizations. Contact city or county officials to see if there is a youth volunteer organization managed through a government office. These sometimes have statistics on the number or percentage of youth who do volunteer work.

Develop your thesis. Think about why you want students to volunteer, and how it will be beneficial to them and their communities. Put those thoughts into a strong, one-sentence thesis that will go in the introduction of your essay.

Support the thesis with at least two ideas in the body of the essay. Each idea gets its own paragraph. Flesh out the "why" and "how" you thought about as you developed the thesis. Provide examples, facts and quotes to support your thesis.

Add personal experiences to the essay.

Conclude your essay by restating your thesis and summarizing your supporting ideas. Provide a list of resources the students can use to get in touch with volunteering organizations.

Nadia Nygaard has been writing and editing since 2005. She is published in "Farm and Ranch Living" and has edited projects as diverse as grant proposals, medical dissertations and tenant law handbooks. She is a graduate of the University of Washington with a Bachelor of Arts in English and women's studies.