How to Write a College Essay: Format, Structure, and Content Flow Guide for Getting A+

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How to Write a College Essay: Format, Structure, and Content Flow Guide for Getting A+

Writing assignments have always been (and will be) one of the most effective ways for the students to show that they have processed the gained knowledge and can complete their tasks on their own. There are many types of written assignments, ranging from college application essay of argumentative origin all the way to writing a college paper of some sophisticated and tangled topic.

Those papers are usually divided into subclasses, like the previously mentioned argumentative essay, persuasive, expository essay, and many others. Among them, the research type of a written assignment stands out being the most popular, as it requires deep research from the student alongside with showing good analytical and systematic skills.

What is a research essay and how to create one

Classic assignment – write a research essay on given topic have many advantages for the teacher and the student; the major ones are as follows:

  • the research essay is not dependant on the subject (like for example, a literary essay can be done only on Literature classes and so on);
  • almost any topic can fit this type;
  • the student has to do an actual research to achieve higher grades;
  • it is easy to check this type of the essay for plagiarism;
  • information can be easily found in the libraries on Internet;
  • simple structure;

As you might have already understood – the research essay is the universal essay type, that can be used for many purposes. Its rather simple structure allows to include this type of the essay on almost every stage of the educational process. You will be asked to write one when entering a college, during your studying process and on its completion. In fact, if you search for the examples of a college paper, you will find out that most of them belong to the research type.

The first and the most important thing about any essay is its structure. Usually, the teachers provide students with strict requirements regarding the components of the essay that are to be included at all costs. Average research essay must include following elements:

  1. introduction:
    • topic introduction;
    • statement of the essay thesis;
    • a brief description of the key points used for proving or negation of the essay thesis;
  2. main body:
    • topic sentence 1;
    • support for the topic sentence 1,2,3..;
    • topic sentence 2;
    • support for the topic sentence 1,2.3..;
    • and so on;
  3. summary: overall conclusion of the essay topic;
  4. references.

Those are the classic structural elements of every essay or сollege research paper. The example shown above is to be followed, to create the feeling of the natural flow throughout the essay (obviously, you cannot put the conclusion of the whole essay in the middle of it). But the important thing about this list is the understanding of every point and how it should be written.

The introduction helps you to get your reader interested in what you are going to tell him. This is the “hook” of your essay, and you have to but a good bait in this section. It is a good practice to establish the main concept of the essay and hint on its possible solutions, that are to be explained in the further part – the main body.

The main body is the “meat”. Nobody like dry meat – neither will your teacher or whoever will be checking your paper. Thus, try to juice up your main body with interesting facts, important information regarding the main essay topic and persuasive arguments, that support your idea, issued in the introduction. What is most important here: the order of your topic sentences.

The order is to be established in the introduction: for example, you have listed the reasons for the global warming, and you cannot start the main body from explaining the second reason. In order to keep your essay consistent and organized – follow the order announced in the introduction.

The conclusion of your essay should be short and effective. The term dry cannot be applied here also, as after establishing the main key points you are to express your personal opinion regarding the paper thesis.

Some of the teachers require additional elements, such as providing an outline. Typical college essay outline is actually a map of your essay or a detailed plan of it. Usually, you should include every element of your essay with a very brief description. It’s quite simple for most of the times, and your teacher usually is able to provide you with a lot of tips on how to write a college paper outline correctly (especially for the college papers, as they are more complex and include more elements to them. that have to be addressed).

The positive use of the examples of college essays

The worst thing that can hunt you down is the writer’s block. This is a nasty problem when you just cannot start writing your essay, as if out of any inspiration. In this case, it is recommended to check samples of essays, that have the similar thesis. Those are easy to find on the Internet. The reviewing of the sample essay will give you the image of your own essay, “the destination” you have to take in writing your own essay. However, this requires you to have strong college-level writing skills, as using any part of the sample essay will be considering plagiarism.

The example often will provide you with the inspiration needed to start writing your own essay, especially in terms of its structure. With all those requirements that are posted for, basically, any essay nowadays, it is easy to get lost in them. Checking the example will help to make yourself familiar with recommended essay structure, the content flow, and its overall organization.

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