How to Write a National Honors Society essay

A membership at the National Honors Society provides you with numerous benefits such as teamwork and leadership skills development, experience gaining, as well as general aid in preparing to your college journey.

However, you, first of all, need to become a member of the NHS. And one of its admission requirements is the National Honors Society essay.

If you have no idea how to compose this essay, then this material is for you.

What is a National Honors Society essay?

As part of the application process to the National Honors Society, you are required to submit an essay that would introduce your personal characteristics and academic achievements to the NHS. There aren’t any specific prompts or formatting requirements for a National Honors Society essay, but the goal is the same for anyone: demonstrate to the NHS that you are a fitting candidate for their values and mission.

The National Honors Society criteria

The selection process of the National Honors Society is based on the following four criteria:

  • This criterion refers to your academic achievements, in particular, honors and grades.
  • Needless to say, this criterion refers to your ability to serve as a leader.
  • The NHS requires its candidates to have passed some kind of community service. If you have ever volunteered and have performed community service at your school or other organization, you’ve performed community service.
  • The character criterion refers to your personal traits that are going to benefit the National Honors Society’s mission.

Ultimately, your goal is to describe yourself fully based on these criteria. You need to show to the admissions committee that you have the experience, knowledge, and personal traits necessary to become a member of the National Honors Essay.

National Honors Society essay outline

Any essay has some kind of a structure to it. Some essays have a stricter structure, while others may be written in a freer way.

One could say that a National Honors Society essay falls in the middle. You shouldn’t give yourself too much freedom while writing it, on one hand. On the other hand, you are free to structure your text however you want.

But to make sure that your essay is easily readable and clearly conveys your ideas to the reader, you do need to think about its structure. To provide you with a starting point, we are going to give an example of a National Honors Society essay format.

Your essay should consist of three sections – an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. Let’s go over each section so you understand better what to include in them.


First of all, state your main reason to become a member of the National Honors Society. Mention your most significant advantages to catch the attention of the reader. In addition, demonstrate your interest in the National Honors Society and include a couple of facts and/or achievements you like about the organization. This way, you’ll show that you are indeed interested in the National Honors Society.


In the body, your task is to present your academic goals to the admissions committee, and also describe yourself from the point of view of the four criteria we mentioned above – scholarship, leadership, service, and character.

In fact, do not limit yourself with general statements in regard to these criteria. Be specific and exemplify the required qualities. Make sure to bring real-life examples: you may mention that you’ve taken all the honors in school (education), was a youth leader at your schools dance club (leadership), worked at a home for the elderly last summer (community service), and that you value the ability of mutual understanding and cooperation in people the most (character).

Needless to say, you need to mention examples that are true to your life path and your personality. Add whichever achievement of yours you think is going to most vividly demonstrate that you meet the criteria.

It may also be a good idea to talk about your weak sides and how you are going to work on them. This will make your essay more personal, as well as will demonstrate your honesty.


Restate why you desire to join the National Honors Society. Highlight the reasons why the NHS will benefit from accepting you. However, don’t just repeat what you’ve written in the introduction: write the conclusion in an original way so that you tie your essay together.

Tips on writing your National Honors Society essay

Be concise

Do not overcomplicate your paper or make it excessively long. Do not unnecessarily use complex-sounding words or write sentences without a point. If you do this, the admission committee will most likely think that you are compensating for the lack of substance to your essay.

Instead, move directly to the point. Make sure that your every phrase serves to emphasize the qualities that the NHS requires. At the same time, make sure that the text flows smoothly by using transition words.

Have a unique story

Hundreds or even thousands of people may apply to the NHS at the same time as you. And the thing that you want the least is to be generic and similar to others.

Stand out. While describing how you meet the criteria set by the NHS, refer to specific experiences that are relevant to the point of the essay. As we’ve said above, make use of real-life examples. You will make your essay not only compelling but also more unique from the others.

Use a strict style

Do not exaggerate with creativity when writing your NHS essay. You should follow a strict writing style: the admission committee probably won’t appreciate jokes too much.

This doesn’t mean that you should restrain yourself from expressing emotions relevant to the required criteria. On the contrary, they will reinforce your story and make it more personal and unique. You shouldn’t give yourself too much freedom, but you shouldn’t go to the other extreme and be too boring as well.

Write with perfect grammar

This tip is probably the most overlooked one, but it is no less important than all the others. You should not only create a compelling story about yourself but also do so in a literate way.

Do make sure to thoroughly proofread your National Honors Society essay before submitting. You may also have someone else read through your essay to spot the mistakes you have missed, as well as assess whether or not the essay is true to the real you.