Yes, the college essay is a step up from high school and yes, it can be stressful but like most things it isn’t as hard once you come out the other end as you undoubtedly thought it would be going in. Three pieces of advice will help you to go from high school level essays to proficient college essay writing.
All students at post-secondary level must produce professional standard college essays and that means constantly maintaining academic composure. Academic composure means using reliable and current references, writing and presenting with veracity and always from an unbiased point of view. This is best achieved when information is presented in an impartial tone.
Tutors will expect college essays to present information without bias in well-rounded impersonal arguments. For example, a student might say the data shows that his or her theory is true and that theory A is false, rather than, “I think my theory is true because I found that argument convincing.” This isn’t easy for many people and one trick to getting it right is to write your college essay in a first draft in whatever way feels natural. Then convert every ‘I’ to a point presented or a proven argument. This will transform the work into a more professional college essay and eventually writing objectively will feel natural.
When writing a college essay you must not use pejorative language or slang. This is simply one of the most unprofessional things a student could possible do in a college essay. Any personal opinions a student has about any person or group has no place in a college essay. Any respect for your argument or presentation will be lost if you don’t remember this point and present your college essay without prejudice.
After the initial draft, you must begin the task of accumulating, interviewing, surveying, recording, cataloguing and assessing the data obtained. This will probably be the lengthiest stage of any college essay so allocate adequate time at the beginning of the project to give this part of the college essay full attention.
Revise and edit
Verifying information, statistics and sources is also an important part of writing the college essay. Although these should be reliable even at the outset, it is important to ensure that data has not changed and to reassess the accuracy of all college essay assertions. One wrong set of variables can ruin an entire college essay.
Collect and confirm the data and then present the college essay in a well-exhibited, easy- to-read way. Conclusions should be clear and where possible support the information presented with accurate graphs, charts and statistical data. Present the written information so that it is easy to follow in well-written English prose.
Find ways to alleviate stress
Students have a lot to juggle and the right frame of mind is important to the success and completion of the college essay. Some students thrive on the pace and pressure while others battle. School counsellors are there to help but the unfortunate truth is that many students do not seek help. In fact, statistics show that only 54% of university entrants in the U.S. come out with a graduate degree. Don’t let this be you, look for help and manage your time from the start, so that the workload doesn’t become overwhelming.
Time management is critical to student success. Keeping a schedule or diary is an excellent way to organize commitments and free up some mental capacity for other things. Online diaries will also alert you to upcoming deadlines. Although it might be an effort, schedule class and revision time first and then figure out how much time remains for work and pleasure.