Learning how to write a college paper quickly and easily seems to be an elusive art for most college students.
But it doesn’t have to be.
In this article, you will learn the first steps to take when it comes to writing a compelling, quality college essay.
Are College Papers that Big a Deal? The Answer is YES
Let’s start with why it is so important to learn how to write a college paper.
Well, submitting dozens, if not a hundred or more papers throughout your college career is inescapable if you want that degree.
Unfortunately, many students resort to hiring a ghostwriter – sometimes for a hefty fee.
But is the risk of doing so worth it?
Did you know that you could be expelled from your college just for being caught once?
And colleges do it because this practice is real plagiarism, no matter how much those writing services will try to convince you that their essays are “plagiarism-free.”
On the other hand, there are so many positives to mastering how to write excellent college essays yourself.
Not only will you be empowered, but you will open many more doors while attending your college without even knowing it.
When I was in college, whenever I needed a letter of recommendation from one of my professors, I always approached a professor for whom I had written a good paper previously.
A person who knows your writing knows your level of intellect and will happily give you a recommendation.
And this is so important in today’s world of employment market volatility.
Think about it. Too many students out there will be hiring ghostwriters because they don’t know how to write a college paper.
Alternately, they don’t put in enough effort, either because they started too late or just lacked the motivation or the knowledge of how to go about writing an effective essay.
However, you will stand out from the crowd simply by expressing your ideas clearly and with conviction.
Your lecturers and professors are going to be grading dozens if not hundreds of papers.
Getting your voice heard through all that makes an impression, which in turn makes all the difference in the long-term.
Thus, your writing skill as well as knowing how to write a college paper can give you a chance not only to excel academically, but to succeed professionally as well.
After all, you will go to the same professors for letters of recommendation when applying for your dream job.
So, How Do You Begin to Learn How to Write a College Paper?
Let me give you a simple, three-step formula on how to write a college paper that will get you started.
Here are the steps:
Step 1 – Choose your topic and take a stand.
Step 2 – Write your thesis statement
Step 3 – Write the body of the essay
If you learn how to complete these steps, then you are confident say that you know how to write a college paper.
These are the 3 Simple Steps You Need to Know on How to Write a College Paper
Step 1. Choose a Topic and Take a Stand
Choosing a topic when you learn how to write a college paper seems like a pretty obvious first step.
However, making sure it’s something you care about, are personally interested in, or are keen to let people know more about, makes a world of difference to the quality of your essay.
Let’s look at an example. Say, for example, that you’re assigned to write an essay about gender equality.
You are passionate about gaming in your free time.
You could specifically choose to talk about gender equality in gaming and lend insight in your essay that would be missing in a general paper about the topic.
This helps your essay stand out, and makes it more likely that you will enjoy the process of researching and writing the paper.
Next, What Do We Mean By “Taking a Stand”?
The topic is really what you’re writing about.
For example, if you are writing about ‘College Life,’ then college life is your topic.
However, you will also need to take a stand and decide what exactly you are trying to say about college life.
In learning how to write a college paper, this is the vital step.
Now, I know that this sounds pretty basic but, believe it or not, most college writers never really complete this step.
In other words, they kind of try to get away without deciding on the main point. But being able to create a crystal-clear main point is critical in learning how to write a college paper.
So, what stand can you take about ‘College Life?’ You could say that it Rocks. Or that it Stinks. But you must decide.
Now, a word of warning here.
I know that it sounds limiting to have such a narrow view of something – that it is either totally great or totally bad.
But when you are just beginning to learn how to write a college paper, you should always put a definite plus or a minus sign on your subject.
It’s just much easier to do it this way as you learn how to write a college paper.
Step 2. Write Your Thesis Statement
Once you take a stand, this step becomes really easy.
The first sentence of your thesis statement should simply be the stand that you just took, i.e., “College life rocks.”
And now, to make the thesis statement complete, you should give several reasons why you believe this is true.
Let’s take the logical number three and provide three reasons. (In teaching my students how to write a college paper, I call this the Power of Three.)
And this is what we have as a result:
“College life rocks. First, classes are more interesting. Second, professors are fun. And finally, extracurricular activities abound.”
This would be a perfect thesis statement, if excessively simplified.
But when you are just starting to learn how to write a college paper, stick to simplicity.
Later, you’ll be able to write far more complex and exciting essays.
Step 3. Write the Body of the Essay
If you’ve completed steps 1 and 2 well, then this step is infinitely easier than ever in your experience.
And this is because now that you have a complete thesis statement, you already have the outline of your entire paper.
This is one of my secrets in teaching how to write a college paper.
In the body of the essay, you will provide evidence – point by point – that college life rocks because of college classes, professors, and extracurricular activities (in that order).
Remember the formula “Point – Example – Explanation”.
You’ve already stated out your three main points in your thesis statement. These help keep you on track.
You’ve started your essay with the body planned out, which prevents rambling or waffling when you are writing.
So, start off with your first point. Then back it up with a convincing example.
For instance, for the point “classes are more interesting,” you can say that an enjoyable factor is that you got to choose which class you’re taking, unlike in school where you have a set curriculum.
Then explain this point.
You can mention how studying what you find interesting makes you more likely to get better grades.
Where possible, back it up with any previous research or literature that you can find, like citing a study that has found students perform better when they are interested in the topic.
And there you go! 3 simple, straightforward steps to get you started on how to write a college paper.
Over time, these steps will evolve, and you will be able to write more thought-out, insightful, and sophisticated essays. It’s only a matter of getting started!
Drop a comment if you thought these tips were helpful or tried them out yourself! I would love to hear from you!
Philip Saparov is an e-learning professional at TutorPhil.com and StopEssayPain.com He teaches college students all over the world how to achieve academic success and enjoy the process. His expertise ranges from writing research papers and reading difficult texts to achieving higher levels of confidence in the academic setting. At his site, StopEssayPain.com you can find out more about how to write a college paper.
[ Updated – October 15, 2020 ]