How to Write an Essay about Your Neighborhood

Small neighborhood surrounded by trees
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When your teacher assigns a social studies or civics paper on your neighborhood, consider the role it played in your social development and awareness of community life. Gear your essay around physical attributes, historical factors and economic changes that influenced your community. Talk to neighbors, research statistical information and dive into your personal experiences to fill your paper with specific details and supportive examples.

1 Neighborhood Residents

Visit and interview neighbors about their experiences and involvement in the community. Ask elderly neighbors how the community has changed over the years and what they consider advantages and disadvantages of the community. Study demographics by examining the different ethnicities, age groups, family sizes and neighborhood activities that represent the various groups. Cite neighbors by name in your essay, to support your content with reliable, firsthand sources. Interview new residents to get their first impressions and compare their views with those from neighbors who've lived in the community for a long time.

2 Physical Attributes

Explore the neighborhood by visiting local attractions and examining architecture. Visit churches, parks, schools and commercial businesses to get a feel for what's important to the community. Discuss architectural features, house structures and buildings as they relate to climate or the age of your neighborhood. For example, you might talk about the use of stucco in a hot dry climate, or the use of brick and natural stone in older communities. Examine transportation options, infrastructure features and safety concerns. Include essay subtopics about socioeconomics in the neighborhood, such as apartments versus single-family residences or urban versus rural elements.

3 Community History

Include a section on neighborhood history. Research when and why the neighborhood was first developed. Did it evolve from a small town or fishing village into a large suburb? Did a particular industry or business cause your neighborhood to flourish? Was your neighborhood ever hit by a natural disaster, such as an earthquake, flood or tornado? Research house prices when the neighborhood was first developed and compare them to current prices to see how the price of real estate has risen or fallen over time.

4 Personal Experiences

You can include personal experiences in your neighborhood essays. Talk about your favorite part of the neighborhood, special memories or people who made a difference in your life. Discuss community events that brought the neighborhood closer together, such as picnics, barbecues, community swimming pool activities and neighborhood yard sales. Personal experiences, such as learning how to ride a bike, building a tree house, starting a garage band or helping with a neighborhood recycling project provide powerful illustrations to support your paper.

As curriculum developer and educator, Kristine Tucker has enjoyed the plethora of English assignments she's read (and graded!) over the years. Her experiences as vice-president of an energy consulting firm have given her the opportunity to explore business writing and HR. Tucker has a BA and holds Ohio teaching credentials.