College Writing Tips and Tricks
Don’t anticipate college the way most high school graduates do – don’t assume that college will be just a slightly more difficult form of high school. Comparing the college experience to your previous academic life is like comparing apples and oranges. The freedom, responsibilities and coursework offered in college vastly outdistance anything encountered in secondary school. Despite this night-and-day difference, most students will still be able to excel in their first few years at college. However, others find the transition far more difficult – especially when it comes to writing assignments.
Tips for College Writing
College writing will expect much more from students than traditional secondary school assignments. This can be highly intimidating to many students, but the trick is not to panic. There are a few tips and tricks that any student, regardless of their proficiency in essay or paper writing, can employ to improve the quality of their written assignments. These tips include:
- Clarity. In high school it was easier to get away with essays that skirted the question or didn’t establish a focal point. This is not the case in college. Make sure that the purpose of your essay, your argument, or whatever points you’re trying to make, are clearly and effectively stated. There’s nothing worse than turning in a messy essay that doesn’t ever come to a solid conclusion or stay on the main point.
- Organization. They tried to teach you about outlines in high school but you didn’t want to listen – don’t make this mistake in college! The key to composing coherent, effective paper is organizing the information first. This will definitely come in handy when you’re drafting up huge research papers and term papers.
- Using Relevant Support. It’s no secret that student’s struggle with communicating good reasons for their answers. In college, you need to make sure that every claim or argument has some data or research to back it up. This isn’t the era of opinion; it’s the era of proof. If you agree with the legalization of marijuana, use research data, surveys and studies to back up your claim – not your own opinion.
- Drafting, Editing, Revising. This is the most overlooked step by nearly all students, and it’s a mistake that should not be repeated in college. Editing and reviewing work in college is the easiest way to improve your writing. You can catch grammatical and spelling errors while reading for sense and clarity. Revision also allows you to put relevant points and information together while preening unnecessary sections.