Type: College Essay
Language Style: Formal
Typical Formatting Guide: MLA
Purpose: An essay given at during college years with the purpose to promote education and sharpen students' skills
A college essay, as its name suggests, is a short piece of writing, which is dedicated to a specific topic. While in high school, students are required to write a considerable number of essays, which prepare them for writing their college essays. College essays, in turn, are geared towards further promotion of writing, research and critical skills of students. College essays are like bricks, which lay foundation for larger research projects - master's and/or PhD dissertations. Writing college essays is different from course to course and from school to school. For example, a college essay in Literature and/or Arts will have very little similarity to a college essay on Chemistry or Mathematics.
Nevertheless, writing college essays has its own features, which are typical for an essay, - and they will be covered later on. In the meantime it is important to lay emphasis on the process of writing a good college essay.
As in just about anything you do, preparation is the key to success. If you take thorough preparation steps, research the question you are going to write about, you can seriously consider you are half way through your paper. Studying your topic, doing the necessary background research is of tremendous importance to writing a strong college essay. During this stage any source of information is good - it can be information obtained from the library, the Internet, your textbook, your notes etc. It is important to remember that college professors will be getting increasingly demandive towards the quality of your references. They will elevate the requirements for your college essays, cutting off unreliable sources like Wikipedia and leaving only purely scientific, peer reviewed works from reputable sources.
The second important step is analysis of the gathered information and points you are going to argue or support. While writing your college essay you will have ask yourself: what aim am I pursuing with this college essay? What is the ultimate question I am supposed to answer? Keeping these aspects in view will help you come up with a strong, well-structured and a clear paper, which easily conveys the message across to its readers.
Brainstorming (Thesis & Rough Outline)
Once you are done with the first two steps of writing a college essay, it's time to move over to brainstorming, i.e. finding best ways to support your thesis. You might have to take a few walks while information gets crystallized and settles down as ideas for your paper. It's best to give it some time to chill, - spending a day or two thinking about your college essay is generally a good strategy. For this particular reason rushed papers are not encouraged - in this case their quality is likely to get compromised. While brainstorming for your college essay, you (most likely) will prepare a thesis statement - the main point you are going to make in your college essay; the main point which you are going to support or argue. In this respect it can be merged with brainstorming, as forming a thesis is an unalienable part of brainstorming. Another part of brainstorming is forming a rough outline - by the time the actual writing commences you should already know what you want your college essay to look like.
Ok, so now it's time for the writing. Remember, you are half way through your college essay. All you have to do is to put your thoughts and ideas on paper. Remember that a college essay should contain the following mandatory elements: an introduction (with a thesis statement), body of the paper (this is usually three to five paragraphs pertaining to the core question of your college essay), and a conclusion (close your essay with a statement, which sums up the entire paper - usually it echoes with your hypothesis).
Having put your college essay on paper, let it chill. Get back to it in a day or two to give it a couple of editing passes. Make sure it flows and conveys the intended message correctly. Voilia, as the French say! You are ready! It is understandable that your first college essays might be quite a challenge, especially if you are working on them for the first couple of times. However, things will straighten out for you after a while and after some time you will find yourself able to write on any topic in any given subject!