Writing is an essential skill for any college student. Even if you’re a biologist or a mathematician, you still need to write lab reports and proofs. Every college student has to take at least one writing-intensive course. College level essay writing doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Here are five tips that’ll help you write better essays:
1. If you haven’t read the book, take good notes in class, and discuss the points covered in your notes.
In an ideal world, every student would read every book and turn in every assignment. In reality, that’s not what happens. Things come up. Certain classes begin to take precedence over other courses. You may find yourself having to juggle different assignments in such a way, that one slips through the cracks. Don’t panic. If simply don’t have anytime to finish reading that thousand page Dostoyevsky novel, you can still turn in a quality essay. If you have to sacrifice reading the book, then you better go to class and take out-of-this-world notes. Wrap your mind around the important historical, philosophical and thematic issues, and discuss these topics in your essay. Mine the book for two or three quality citations, and you’ll be fine. This method should only be used as a last resort, because when you turn in essays in this fashion, you might make the grades, but you’ll lose out on your education.
2. If you have read the book, extract an original take from it.
Don’t just regurgitate what you read, analyze it and develop a unique way of discussing the issues covered in the book. In a college essay (or any essay for that matter) you are free to argue whatever point you want, as long as you can back it up with supporting evidence. Don’t write something that you think your teacher wants to hear, and don’t spit your professors’ opinions back at them. Develop your own distinctive opinion, and argue it thoroughly.
3. Try to combine multiple ideas from the course.
Tie in what you’ve learned. Think outside of the topic and weave together different threads from the fabric of the class. Reference your lecture notes, and previous reading materials. Make connections in the curriculum. Professors love that kind of stuff.
4. Include historical perspectives.
Whatever you are writing, you can always find little tidbits of interesting historical facts to throw in. Type your essay topic in an Internet search engine and follow the term with the word ‘facts.’ You will be presented with pages of fact sheets that you can mine for valuable trivia. Whenever you want to add thickness to your argument, couch your claims in a relevant historical context.
5. Don’t ever plagiarize.
Plagiarizing is lazy, useless and dangerous. You want to strive for originality in whatever endeavor you undertake. You should never want the opinions of others to be confused with your own unique takes. Furthermore, plagiarizing can get you in serious trouble. If you haven’t done the work, take evasive action and buy more time. It’s better to turn in an excellent tardy paper than a worthless on-time essay.
College essay writing isn’t a mystery. You need to read your materials, take good notes during your lectures and pick an essay topic. Then you organize your ideas, craft a cleverly worded thesis statement, and set about proving your assertion with supporting evidence. That’s it. Just be original, think outside the topic and always remember to answer the question entirely.