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8 Tips That Will Make Writing College Papers Less Terrifying

No matter where you are along the writing spectrum, all writers struggle with many of the same obstacles.

From student to professor, novice to expert, young or old, effective and interesting essay writing always presents its fair share of challenges.

Whether it's crafting the perfect college paper or writing a creative piece, every writer can enhance his or her writing skills. Tips regarding topics and thesis development, idea building, writing strategies and resources are out there for all writers.

Writing a college paper is an essential part of the college application process. Even if your field isn't necessarily in writing, colleges still expect you to excel on your paper for any given school.

Here are eight of those tips that will help you write a better college paper, no matter where on the writing spectrum you lie.

1. Determine what you will be writing about.

The main subject of your paper should always be well-defined. Don't make the judges guess what your topic is. Instead, make the first sentence in your essay to start strong.

You have to make sure that the topic is intriguing enough to make the judges keep wanting more.


2. Organize your writing process.

Once the topic is chosen, create an organized map to guide the writing process. At first, this organization map will be messy since all your thoughts will be in it. But once you have noted a few ideas, you can start organizing your thoughts.

Getting ideas down quickly helps advance the creative process and develop a topic.


3. Create a thesis.

This should let the reader know what the thesis is meant to accomplish: convince or inform the reader about the subject.

Most of the time, you need to make a claim that others will dispute. Then, you need to back this claim with supporting evidence; this is usually a single sentence that is located in the introduction to present your argument.


4. Use helpful writing resources.

Every writer, from student to published author, should take advantage of writing tools to perfect his or her craft. Before you start writing your essay, check these writing resources available to ensure success:

ReadWriteThink: This site provides “Essay Maps” to guide the writer toward success. Simply put, you put in the topic, and prompts will guide you toward details surrounding opinions or arguments to support your thesis.

Outline Generator: This tool guides the writer through forming a thesis and essay outline. The writer inserts his or her topic of interest and supporting statements, and this tool will generate a thesis statement.

AskPetersen: An educational blog where you will find essay samples, helpful writing tips, guides and resources collected by, Julie Petersen, an English language tutor who taught at Stanford for four years.

NinjaEssays: A tool that will provide you with pieces of advice on essay writing, editing, correct word usage, correct common writing mistakes and arrange information in a logical, clear manner.

For an extra bonus, check out their information blog for writing tips and infographics.

PlagTracker: A fast, easy and convenient tool you can use to check your paper. This site offers proofreading and editing assistance, and identifies unintended plagiarized content.

Writing.com: A website helpful to all writers and all skill levels. This site provides writing tools, online forums and portfolio storage and allows the writer to gain feedback from others about their work.


5. Compose a catchy introduction.

After you have grabbed the attention of the reader, you have to keep up the momentum with the introduction. Include a quote or a thought-provoking question — anything that grabs the reader's interest and pulls him or her into the paper, wanting to read more.


6. Provide strong support for your thesis.

This is the part of the paper in which the writer must support the thesis. The writer must provide statements, facts, proof or a logical discussion that supports the thesis. The reader should be left with a feeling that he or she understands the writer's perspective, even if the reader disagrees.

The body should contain three to five paragraphs of clearly written information that explains — in detail — what you, the writer, wishes to convey. All facts should be proven through valid, respected references.


7. Summarize without repeating.

In this part of the essay, one needs to make sure all the key points of the essay are summarized. Do not just repeat what your body paragraph says, but finish those thoughts with clear explanations. Make sure that the topic is answered and no knots are left untied.


8. Edit and proofread.

Always check written work! It's helpful to have others read the paper and correct misspellings, grammar and other details. Does the paper make sense? Does it flow easily? The writer should ensure the paper is clear, well-written and logical.

Essay-writing is a skill, a craft and a work of art. Every piece of writing that requires a well thought argument, persuasion or conveys information must be thorough, logical and concise. The usage of writing resources will benefit you a hundred times, like the use of editing and proofreading. Online tools and online services are available to provide you with access to the best editors and proofreaders.

Together, these tips and resources serve to enhance an essay, bringing it up from average to amazing.

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Julie Petersen

Contributor

Julie Petersen is a private English language tutor and a content marketing specialist. She is the author of AskPetersen.com blog.
Julie Petersen is a private English language tutor and a content marketing specialist. She is the author of AskPetersen.com blog.

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