Articles and Essays to Read in High School

Reading varied kinds of literature is important for high school students. Reading for comprehension, for interpretation, for inference, for evaluation and more provide life skills as well as academic achievement. (For more on effectively teaching literature to teens – even those who don’t naturally love books – see my post series here.)

essays to read in high school

Articles and Essays to Read in High School

An oft-neglected source of good reading material centers around two shorter types of writing: articles and essays. Here are suggestions to help you get started compiling a good list of articles and essays to read in high school with your homeschoolers.

Many of these can be found in their entirety on the internet.

John Milton’s “Areopagitica”

Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal”

Thomas DeQuincey’s “On the Knocking at the Gate in Macbeth”

Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Self-Reliance”

Henry David Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience”

William Hazlitt’s “On Going a Journey”

George Orwell’s “Shooting an Elephant”

E.B. White’s “A Weekend With the Angels”

James Baldwin’s “The Fire Next Time”

Joan Didion’s “Goodbye To All That”

There are many essays to consider from these authors:

G.K. Chesterton (here’s a cool reading plan from the American Chesterton Society)

Michel de Montaigne

Francis Bacon

Thomas Babington Macaulay (find some of Macaulay’s works on Project Gutenberg here)

Mark Twain

Virginia Woolf

Robert Louis Stevenson (Stevenson’s works here on Project Gutenberg)

James Thurber

I have enjoyed looking to acclaimed collections of articles on various subjects for another reading resource in homeschool. Here are a couple that help engage even reluctant readers (if you pick a subject that interests them) when it’s time to choose articles to read in high school.

The Best of American Science Writing – Ten Years of the Series (Jesse Cohen, Senior Editor) from Harper Collins publishers.

The Best American Sports Writing 2000 (Dick Schaap) from Houghton Mifflin.

Sites like these provide a wealth of articles from which to choose:

Don’t overlook shorter pieces of writing. Including a good selection of essays and articles in your high school reading is smart!

How about introducing your students to Hymns and Creeds as literature. Check out our study guide.

Do you have favorites to recommend? Leave a comment!

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Reading Articles and Essays in High School

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Articles and Essays to Read in High School


Sabrina Justison

20+ year homeschool mom and curriculum developer for Fred's wife. Writing, drama, music, blogs, kids, shoes, coffee, & books in varying orders on various days. He is God, He is good & He loves me.

3 Replies to “Articles and Essays to Read in High School”

  1. Dear Sabrina:

    I lost a reader that I read in h.s. it contained a compilation of essays. There was an essay in it about a college student who was a jester in a school play and his mother had sewn on bells on the costume which rang at the wrong times . It was so funny that it made me laugh out loud every time I read it. Do you happen to know it?

    I graduated in 1967.


    • Hi Isabelle,
      This is a new one to me, but I did a little research and think you are referring to R. L. Burdette’s Chimes from a Jester’s Bells published in 1897. If you Google his name and the title, you should be able to find places from which you can order a copy. I didn’t find a free text on the internet, but I didn’t dig very deeply, so it may exist somewhere in cyberspace. Hope that helps!

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