It’s one of the most despised requirements by college students: writing an essay . They vary in length, subject, citation style and format. The one constant is the general frustration and anxiety an essay can inflict upon a college student. But even before a student enters the college world, they still have to battle with essays during the application process. There’s usually at least one essay required when applying to college. Now once you’re in college, you’ll be faced with what I call “semester essays .” These are the big ones; at least 10 pages in length requiring hours of research and count for more than 20 percent of your overall grade.
Here are some basic tips that can help you get A’s on all of your essays …
1.)Research, research, research. This is essential when writing a quality college essay . You must have some knowledge about what you’re writing about. This doesn’t mean you have to know every detail or insignificant fact, but you do need to acquire a basic sense of what the subject is and where to find the pertinent material. I’ve found that doing copious Google and Yahoo searches is great to acquire such knowledge. But don’t just use the basic search engine function. Use “Google Scholar” to find academic journals. Also, take advantage of the research tools of your college’s library. They can be extremely helpful when trying to obtain information about major subjects, especially in specific fields that may not provide a lot of information on the web.
2.)Brainstorm and organize. Some people think brainstorming is so silly, but it’s extremely beneficial when creating the foundation of your essay . You must think about how you want to present your topic and the stance you want to take. If it’s a research paper, then brainstorm on how to organize the information in a fashion that will captivate your Professor. Speaking of organization, you should always write down, step by step, how you plan to write your essay . Break it down into a list, starting with the Intro then moving to Paragraph 1, 2, 3, and so on and so forth until you get to your conclusion. This will make it much easier to stay on track when writing a big essay .
3.)Make sure you are using proper citation and format. I’ve seen so many students get points taken off their essay due to simple mistakes like not formatting their paper properly and using incorrect citation. When I talk about format, I mean the text size and the spacing of your paper. The common format requirements are size 12 text, Times New Roman, and double-spaced. But this can vary from class to class, so be cognizant. Regarding citation, make sure you know exactly what citation form the professor desires. This can range from MLA, APA, all the way to Turabian/Chicago Style. Each citation has its own set of requirements when making in-text citations and creating your bibliography/works cited list, so make sure you have a firm grasp of the one required for your college essay . In-text citations usually feature (insert info here) or footnotes which feature small numbers next to your text followed by a small line of information at the bottom of each page.
Summation: If you follow those 3 steps, you should be on your way to creating a thought-provoking, detailed, and quality college essay that will truly impress your professor and land you an A+ in the class.