Writing a College Essay | The Most Comprehensive Guide
You’re not the only one who finds it difficult to express ideas in writing. Hopefully, this issue has been studied thoroughly. And here is the simplest guide to essay writing.
How to Write a College Essay
Just the thought about the need to write a paper is quite daunting, making many students postpone their homework until the last minute. Of course, writing brilliant papers is not easy but quite possible. So, how can an ordinary student end up having an excellent grade for a college essay?
Step-By-Step Instructions for Writing a Great Essay
Below are the steps you need to go through in order to create a meaningful and well-organized paper:
Choosing a topic
If your professor didn’t specify any topic for you, choosing it on your own may be troublesome. Ask yourself these questions to find the most appropriate topic for your paper:
- What is the purpose of the assignment?
Do you need to explain a notion, describe your personal experience, or convince the reader to change their opinion towards something? The answer to these questions defines the type of an essay you are supposed to write.
- What are the topics you can write about well?
These include the subjects of your personal interest or those lying within your circle of competence. Just look around and think what you are really good at.
- Which topics can bring you a high grade?
After you write down a number of ideas, you should analyze each in order to understand which one is more suitable for an essay that will get you an “A”. If any of the potential topics make you passionate and evoke numerous ideas about it, that’s your perfect choice.
If your professor did give you an individual topic, you won’t have much difficulty moving on to the next step. However, keep in mind that you may need to make the topic more specific and make up a catchy title for your essay.
All essay writing guides tell you to stick to a strict structure – that is, you have to write down the key points of your plan and a few sentences that express the main idea of each structural element. While for some it does work, others may find it too constraining. If you feel that you need more freedom, you shouldn’t follow these guidelines. Let your flow of ideas out on a paper in a free form first so that you would have them all in front of you. Then you can start working on their organization into a typical essay structure.
Writing a thesis statement
Once you have a better idea of what your paper will look like in the end, it will be easier to start writing. The part you should begin with is a thesis statement. This is where you introduce the topic of your essay in a captivating and clear manner, showing the reader what it is all about and making them want to read more. Make sure you’re not using such a plain structure as “This essay is going to be about…”. Instead, mention the key idea you will discuss or defend as if you were asked to fit your essay into one sentence.
Writing the body
Place the outline you’ve already created right before you and take a look at the main points you’ve prepared to explain your topic. At this stage of writing, you will have to turn these points into separate sections of your essay. Each main point needs a couple of supporting ones. Depending on the size of an essay you were required to write, these could take from several sentences to several paragraphs. Basically, the structure of each section is the same:
- first, you state the main point;
- then, you explain and develop it;
- and finally, you come to some conclusion.
Each section’s conclusions altogether lead to your paper’s conclusion. Keep this in mind in order to avoid excess information and confusion.
Writing the introductory and concluding parts
You may have noticed that after writing a thesis statement, you were suggested to immediately proceed to the body part skipping the intro. That’s because working on the introduction and the conclusion is more effective at the end of the overall work on your college essay.
At the beginning of the text, you need to include an attention-catching part, which can be as long as several sentences. Stating an interesting, unknown fact, joking, asking a provoking question, and giving a citation related to your topic are the best ways to draw the reader’s interest. After these few sentences, you should use a few more to explain them, creating something like a bridge between that attention grabber and your thesis statement.
As for a conclusion, it’s a part where you summarize all your ideas and review the information presented to the reader earlier. Writing this part is good when the body is already written because this is the only way you can ensure that your flow of thoughts is consistent. Read your body paragraphs and use your logic to understand where a natural closing line is.
When the major job is done, it’s time to check everything and make final edits. Here are the key points you should pay your attention to:
- consistency and paragraph order;
- spelling and grammar;
- references if any.
In addition to all of that, you should get back to the purpose of your assignment and make sure that your paper corresponds to it. There are numerous tools to make the final step easier. These range from online grammar checkers to text analyzing apps that underline overused words.
No matter how difficult your essay assignment may seem to you, keep in mind that you can always buy college papers and focus on other home tasks while a professional writer is doing this one for you. You don’t need to strain yourself too much if you feel like writing essays is not really your thing. Apply your skills where they are more efficient. After all, there’s nothing wrong in delegating.