Simple rules for Writing College Essays

Essay Writing

A lot of times, I am asked by many college students if I would proofread their college essays to help them understand their grammatical errors. By doing this, the student can quickly identify and correct their errors before submitting it for a grade. From reading dozens of papers, I have come to realize that most of the time it is not the content of their paper, but rather it is the simple grammatical mistakes that contribute to their essay failures.

Understanding College English can be challenging. Unlike math, where there is either a right or wrong answer, the subject of English is more ambiguous and opinionated. It all depends on the style of the teacher as to how your essays will be graded. However, if you will take the time and follow these simple rules, I am positive that it will contribute to your college success.

Essay Rules

The Paper

  1. Whether your paper is one page or twenty pages, always have an introduction, body, and a conclusion.
    1. Introduction
      1. is the first paragraph of  your essay that describes what your paper is about.
      2. Try to include a thesis sentence that consist of the main ideas of your paper
    2. Body
      1. Is the main portion of your essays. it consists of all the paragraphs in the middle. These paragraphs need to consist of the content of your essay.
    3. Conclusion
      1. Always end your paper with a conclusion. This is the paragraph that sums all of your main points together.
      2. Always have a conclusion sentence that reiterates the thesis sentence.
  2. Use transitional phrases to begin the first sentence of every paragraph.
    1. A good resource for finding transition words and phrases can be found at http://www.smart-words.org/linking-words/transition-words.html
    2. Examples of transitions being used in a sentece
      1. First, America is instrumental in leading humanitarian efforts
      2. Second, America’s military is one of the most advanced armies in the world.
      3. Third, America is known by other countries as being a world power
      4. In conclusion, America is clearly one of the greatest countries in the world.
  1. Avoid using the words I & you.
  2. The thesaurus is your best friend. Words can have a lot of impact on how the reader perceives them. You may have a word that closely matches the description that you are looking for, but does not seem to fit the sentence. This is where a thesaurus is needed.
    1. A thesaurus helps you find words that are similar to what you are trying to describe.
    2. For instance, the word articulate can be written several different ways.
    3. In other words, the word articulate can be written as clearly, understandable, and well-spoken
      1. Keep in mind that the thesaurus is a great guide to developing new words and ideas to add to your paper.
      2. A great thesaurus can be found at thesaurus.com
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