College Essay Writing Tips

Throughout your college career you’ll be asked to write a handful of essays and papers on a variety of topics. Writing an academic, college-level essay is definitely more challenging than writing a high school book report or a casual blog post. College instructors expect students to heavily research the given topic in order to write a clear, thoughtful essay. Here are some additional tips to help you write a college paper or essay.

1. Read through the requirements given to you by your professor. If you are confused about the requirements, ask your professor what is expected of you.

2. Outline the essay by writing down key points you want to address in your paper. In doing this, your paper will be more concise and organized. 

3. Once you’ve outlined your essay and researched the material, write out your essay with clean and direct language. If you’ve done enough research, you’ll have no problem making the page requirement without adding extraneous language.

4. Look to reading materials given in your class, but don’t be afraid to branch out and use external sources from your school library or the Internet.

5. Pull direct quotes from your reading material to display that you’ve done your research, and be sure to add a footnote crediting the source.

6. Professors check for plagiarism, so be sure your essay is 100 percent original. Plagiarism is taken seriously in college and the punishment is often dismissal from college.

7. Proofread your essay. Make sure all the information is clearly written, and edit any fluffy language that does not help get your point across. Spend at least one hour proofreading your college paper, and even send it to a friend to look at. Often times they can catch errors that you may have missed.

8. Always put a heading on your paper with your name and what class the essay is for, and include a bibliography at the end of the paper if your professor requires it.

College essays take more effort than reports you may have written in high school. Succeeding in college requires a greater time commitment as well as attention to detail, but writing a thorough college essay can be done easily and efficiently. In short, remember to do the pre-work, be concise, use sources, and be original - and a good grade just may fall into your lap!

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