10 tips on how to write a college essay from scratch

10 tips on how to write a college essay from scratch

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The hardest part of writing an essay is getting started. How do you go from a blank page to a finished paper? The answer is by knowing how to put your best ideas into words. In order to make this process a little easier for you, we’ve compiled a list of tips on how to write a perfect essay from scratch.

  • Read the prompt carefully

  • There’s a reason why almost every writing manual starts with this step. You need to understand the assignment in order to complete it correctly. What associations spring up in your head when you read the prompt? Take time to think about the topic and what you have to say about it.

  • Define your argument

  • Most prompts are conveniently phrased to incite a reaction from students. Here’s one: 

    “Some people prefer to live in the country rather than a big city. Which do you think is better?” 

    Upon reading this, you probably already have an answer or at least some original ideas roaming around in your head. That’s great! Now, you need to shape them into a thesis statement that answers the prompt and tells your audience what the essay will be about. This is crucial because when your professor reviews your paper, they’re going to assess your ability to fully explore the topic and stay on point. Basically, don’t go on too much about globalization if the main idea of your paper is how country living is better.

  • Do your research

  • If you’ve read the prompt but still have no idea what to write, perhaps you need to gain more knowledge on the topic. After all, it’s hard to discuss something you know little about. That’s why professors give you a list of required readings—so that you can get all the material you need. Of course, you can always use the internet to find quick background info.

    If you don’t have enough time for research, you can outsource it to essay writing services like Ca.CustomWritings.com. These companies provide all sorts of academic assistance, and one of them is creating quality summaries of your required readings. Some of these custom writing companies even let you buy the sources.

  • Brainstorm ideas

  • Let your imagination roam free and write down everything you would like to include in your essay. You can also brainstorm in the company of friends and give each other advice. Another alternative is using an online writing service like the ones mentioned above. As a customer, you can describe the topic of your essay and ask for an expert to offer you some ideas.

  • Choose reputable sources

  • By the time you’ve done your research, you must have a long list of works you can reference in your essay. But you can’t possibly cite all of them, so how do you pick the best ones? Well, here’s a list of criteria you should consider:

    • How current is the information? Some sources are timeless, while others have a limited shelf life. Make sure yours aren’t outdated.

    • Is your source relevant? If you’re writing about rising divorce rates in the USA, UK statistics are pretty useless unless you’re comparing them or want to show international trends.

    • Does the writer have the authority to speak on the topic? Was it published by a reputable publication or website?

    • Is the information accurate? There’s no use in citing factually incorrect sources. 

    • What is the purpose of this information? Why did someone feel compelled to put it out into the world?

    If you can answer these questions and get satisfactory answers, congratulations, you’ve got a top-quality source on your hands! As you review your research, think of how you will incorporate it into the paper.

  • Start with an outline

  • Any professional writer will tell you that this step is the key to a well-written paper. You probably already know that a typical essay structure includes an introduction, the main body, and a conclusion. The number of paragraphs in each section depends on how many pages the assignment requires. However, the introduction and the conclusion usually contain one each, while the main body consists of three or more. So, take a list of your ideas and organize them into an outline. Add some evidence and transitions here and there, and you’re good to go. From this point on, your essay basically writes itself.

  • Make room for evidence

  • Each of your body paragraphs must present a well-developed argument supporting the main idea of your essay. You also need to provide evidence for these statements, such as common knowledge or properly cited information. Some assignments explicitly require you to cite a certain number of academic sources, while others don’t but can still benefit from a couple of references. In other cases, you don’t need to use any sources at all and instead have to rely on your own judgment.

  • Keep writing

  • Follow the outline, and you’ll finish your paper in no time. It’s much easier to put your ideas into words when you know what you’re going to say next. However, writing is very hard for you, for the love of God, please don’t buy cheap pre-written essays because they’re almost 100% certain that they’re plagiarized. Instead, use a custom writing service that can help you with anything from English essays to dissertations. Submit your order and get personalized assistance from writers in your field.

  • Some things take time

  • The process of writing a paper isn’t always strictly sequential. It’s okay if you get to a certain part of your outline and can’t figure out what to say. You can skip it and return to it later. Starting an essay often seems difficult because you think you have to do the introduction first, when in fact, it’s much easier to write it after you’ve completed the main body.

  • Always proofread the final draft

  • Reviewing your paper allows you to identify the smallest mistakes you might’ve made while hastily typing in a flurry of inspiration. You can use an AI-powered grammar checker to help you, but remember that machines can’t always recognize errors in a tricky context, or they may find false positives. Therefore, you still need to reread your draft.

    Final thoughts

    We hope the knowledge you’ve gained from this article will help you with any writing assignment that comes your way. And remember, the purpose of writing academic papers in college is to consolidate and demonstrate the material you’ve learned, so make sure to complete your required readings on time!

     

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