From biology to political science, essays are used in nearly every field of study to express research and ideas. A college-level essay presents complex material in an easy-to-follow format without oversimplifying the content.
Essays come in many shapes and sizes at the college level. For students, it could be a term paper or in-class exam. For professors, it could be departmental research. Whatever the case, college-level writing is simple. It just takes some work. Identify important points to be addressed within the essay and develop an outline. Research facts, statistics and academic writings that relate to your topic through your school library or Internet. Formulate a strong thesis statement.
Make sure that your sub-points clearly and convincingly argue on behalf of your thesis, then add a concluding paragraph summing your arguments or suggesting future research or action. Use formal language in your essays and avoid colloquialisms, slang and first-person pot of view. Unless you're told otherwise by your professor, don't begin sentences with "I think In narrative essays, less formal language can be appropriate, particularly when you're quoting others, but your essay should not read like a text message to a friend.
Read your essay aloud to ensure that each sentence makes sense and is written in clear prose. If you use sources and don't cite them, you're committing plagiarism. Not only must you credit each source, you also must use the citation style your professor requests.
You'll need to provide in-text citations for direct quotes and should clearly separate your ideas from a source's ideas. Van Thompson is an attorney and writer. Basically, I would get to do what I love for the rest of my life. He laughed and told me that it was a nice change that a seventeen-year-old knew so specifically what she wanted to do. I smiled, thanked him, and left. But it occurred to me that, while my desired occupation was decided, my true goal in life was still to become a Fixer-Upper.
I'll do one thing during the day, then spend my off-hours helping people where I can. Instead of flying like Sue, though, I'll opt for a nice performance automobile.
My childhood self would appreciate that. Bridget takes a somewhat different approach than Stephen, but her essay is just as detailed and engaging. Let's go through some of the strengths of her essay. The essay is arranged chronologically. Bridget starts each paragraph with a clear signpost of where we are in time:.
I wanted to become a board-certified behavior analyst. It helps that the metaphor is a very clear one: Every childhood Fixer-Upper ever. Ask your parents to explain the back row to you. This essay uses many techniques that make Bridget sound genuine and make the reader feel like we already know her. The second technique is the way Bridget coins her own terms, carrying them through the whole essay. It would be easy enough to simply describe the people she imagined in childhood as helpers or assistants, and to simply say that as a child she wanted to rule the world.
The third technique is to use sentences of varying length, syntax, and structure. Most of the essay's written in standard English and uses grammatically correct sentences. However, at key moments, Bridget emphasizes that the reader needs to sit up and pay attention by switching to short, colloquial, differently punctuated, and sometimes fragmented sentences.
The last key moment that gets the small-sentence treatment is the emotional crux of the essay. As we watch Bridget go from nervously trying to help disabled students to falling in love with this specialty field, she undercuts the potential sappiness of the moment by relying on changed-up sentence length and slang: The best essays convey emotions just as clearly as this image. Explain the car connection better. The essay begins and ends with Bridget's enjoying a car ride, but this doesn't seem to be related either to the Fixer-Upper idea or to her passion for working with special-needs students.
It would be great to either connect this into the essay more, or to take it out altogether and create more space for something else. It makes perfect sense that Bridget doesn't want to put her students on display.
It would take the focus off of her and possibly read as offensive or condescending. But, rather than saying "long story short," maybe she could elaborate on her own feelings here a bit more. What is it about this kind of teaching that she loves? What is she hoping to bring to the lives of her future clients? How can you use this discussion to better your own college essay?
Here are some suggestions for ways to use this resource effectively. Make a note whenever you find an essay or part of an essay that you think was particularly well-written, and think about what you like about it. Does it help you really get to know the writer? Does it show what makes the writer unique? Once you have your list, keep it next to you while writing your essay to remind yourself to try and use those same techniques in your own essay.
When you figure out how all the cogs fit together, you'll be able to build your own All of these essays rely on connecting with the reader through a heartfelt, highly descriptive scene from the author's life. It can either be very dramatic did you survive a plane crash? Either way, it should be personal and revealing about you, your personality, and the way you are now that you are entering the adult world.
Let me level with you: And in order to have time to rewrite, you have to start way before the application deadline. Let it sit for a few days untouched. Then come back to it with fresh eyes and think critically about what you've written. What is in the wrong place? What doesn't make sense?
Don't be afraid to take it apart and rearrange sections. Do this several times over, and your essay will be much better for it! Interested in learning more about college essays? Working on the rest of your application? We've written a guide for each test about the top 5 strategies you must be using to have a shot at improving your score. Download it for free now:. Anna scored in the 99th percentile on her SATs in high school, and went on to major in English at Princeton and to get her doctorate in English Literature at Columbia.
She is passionate about improving student access to higher education. You should definitely follow us on social media. You'll get updates on our latest articles right on your feed. Follow us on all 3 of our social networks:. How to Get a Perfect , by a Perfect Scorer.
Score on SAT Math. Score on SAT Reading. Score on SAT Writing. What ACT target score should you be aiming for? Anna Wulick Jun 1, Visible Signs of Planning Building out from a narrow, concrete focus. Stellar Execution A killer first sentence. Want to build the best possible college application?
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A college-level essay presents complex material in an easy-to-follow format without oversimplifying the content. Essays come in many shapes and sizes at the college level. For students, it could be a term paper or in-class exam.
College Writing Samples This page will feature a series of papers submitted in Colby College courses. The papers may not be entirely free of errors, but overall, they represent excellent student work at the college level.
By the time you begin college, your professors will expect you to know the basics of sentence structure, grammar and paper organization. While you'll have to follow basic rules of good writing, there's no standard college-level essay. Your essays in college will range from argumentative essays, which require. Crafting an Unforgettable College Essay Most selective colleges require you to submit an essay or personal statement as part of your application. It may sound like a chore, and it will certainly take a substantial amount of work.
Essay Structure. Writing an academic essay means fashioning a coherent set of ideas into an argument. Because essays are essentially linear—they offer one idea at a time—they must present their ideas in the order that makes most sense to a reader. A common structural flaw in college essays is the "walk-through" (also labeled . Using real sample college essays that worked will give you a great idea of what colleges look for. Learn from great examples here. or maturity level. Knowing how to tell a story. Some of the experiences in these essays are one-of-a-kind. But most deal with the stuff of everyday life. Please note that some of these college essay examples.