Essay Writing Techniques

The adjustment from high school to college involves coping with a number of different processes from one level of education to the next. Getting used to not having your parents around to help you with decisions or things like doing the laundry can be difficult. Professors are very different from high school teachers, as they will not continually remind you about the assignment that is due in two weeks. It is your responsibility to prepare for exams and hand in work on time. The curriculums themselves are taught in a different style than most high school courses. You are expected to read your textbooks prior to attending a lecture and come prepared with questions regarding the material as opposed to the process in high school where teachers spoon-feed answers to you.

Writing Intensive Courses are Quite Normal

The biggest shock for a student transitioning from high school to college may be the increased amount of writing that they must do. In high school, it is quite rare to be assigned an essay to write that should be longer than two or three pages. In college, this is generally considered a short paper that is done in one day. The reason that college courses may assign long essays that range from five to thirty pages is that the curriculum teaches more concepts to students. The more a student learns, the more potential there is for writing about the subject matter. This is not meant to scare you, but to alert you about these assignments and prepare you to handle them properly.

Plan Ahead for a Paper

Since papers that are assigned in college or university might be expected to have double-digit page numbers, it is important to plan regarding writing the paper. As soon as you are assigned the essay, make a schedule for creating the essay that gives you ample time to complete the assignment properly. Here is an example for a ten-page paper:
• Research - 3 days
• Outline - 1 day
• Page 1-2 - 1 day
• Page 3-4 - 1 day
• Page 5-6 - 1 day
• Page 7-8 - 1 day
• Page 9-10 - 1 day

Conduct Your Research

Before you start writing your essay, it is important to conduct research regarding the subject you are writing about. It is not a good idea to look up information while you are writing your essay as this may cause you to miss many important facts. Having a thorough investigation of the subject prior to writing will also make it much easier to create the essay as you will have a grasp of your arguments and the evidence supporting them.

Create an Outline

A great way to organize your thoughts and make it easier to write your paper is to create an outline. This is a short document that details the arguments you will make, the order in which they will be made, and your conclusions. It is structured in a way similar to this:
• Introduction
o Thesis
• Argument 1
o Details
• Argument 2
o Details
• ...
• Conclusion


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