How to Write a College Level Essay

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  • Date: 12 Oct, 2017
  • Posted by: Emily Brown
  • Category: Writing

As a new college student, you’ve surely written more than a few essays. However, if you aren’t earning A’s and B’s, you could have a real problem. Chances are good that you simply aren’t doing the things that boost your essays from high school to college level. Fortunately, there are several tips and tricks that you can use as you learn how to write a college essay.

Learn The Difference Between Good Sources And Bad

While you probably weren’t allowed to use Wikipedia, there’s a good chance that your high school teachers gave you quite a bit of leeway when it came to the veracity of the sources that you used when writing essays.

This won’t happen in college. You will be expected to verify and double verify the sources that you use. In many cases, you will be expected to stick to academic resources, accepted studies, and original source material.

Let’s say you are trying to write a college essay. Your topic is the recent mayoral election in your city. You search the topic and come up with a great newspaper article. It mentions that there was only 20% voter turnout. This is a great fact that really bolsters your argument. So, you should use the article as a source, shouldn’t you?

No, you shouldn’t. The article isn’t the source of that fact. They got that fact from another source. You have to drill through the links used in the article to cite the facts they use. Eventually,  you will find the original source of that data. If you find an article that doesn’t link to its sources, it simply has no place in academic essay writing. Don’t just read - analyze.

Simplify Your Language

‘Hence why’, ‘whom’, ‘therefore’, ‘herewith’; these are just a few examples of pompous words and phrases that students add to their writing needlessly. If this is you, stop doing that. It doesn’t make your writing more interesting. Your professors won’t think you’re any smarter. In fact, many students seeking college essay writing help are often advised to simplify, simplify, simplify.

Instead, focus on clarity and brevity. Download the Hemingway app. It will help you to identify snooty and simpering prose. Also, as you learn how to write a college essay, work on avoiding buzzwords and technical jargon. If you must use them, explain them and provide some context.

Gather More Evidence/Examples Than You’ll  Need

As you are taking notes for your essay be sure to take down as many examples or pieces of evidence than you think you’ll end up using. Never blow off a good piece of information because you don’t think you’ll use it.

You just don’t know how your writing will shake out. It’s better to have notes that never make it into your final essay than it is to wish you had just one more point to make.

Put a Lot of Thought in Your Intro And Conclusion

The rule of primacy and latency states that readers are most impacted by the first and last things that they read. This is why the college essay introduction and conclusion are so important. For your introduction, open with a compelling fact, story, or question. Then, use that to build up to a great thesis statement.

Your closing paragraph can be even more challenging. Don’t simply repeat the arguments you made. Instead, demonstrate how the sum total of those arguments prove your point.


In order to write effective college essays, you’re going to have to take your writing game to a new level. The tips above should help you get a great jump start. Soon, you’ll be creating the kind of essays that will wow your professors.

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