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Starting a Good College Essay

The idea of writing a college paper already sounds intimidating and casts a shadow over students’ confidence in their skills. But sooner or later there comes a time when learning to write coherently and persuasively is a must.

To ensure that you really learn and build up skills, we have created this tutorial on papers for college and included everything you need to know to write a good paper time after time. If that’s not enough, we also provide best college papers for sale, so you have come to the right place anyway.

A key to delivering a good college paper is finding a topic that means something to you. Or, if a topic is given, you should find a slant or a viewpoint within it that appeals to you or reflects your personal beliefs. It really facilitates writing because you actually write what you think anyway. Plus, you should be able to find plenty of peer-reviewed sources to supply evidence. So do the research first.

Then you just go the path of a typical paper: decide on a thesis, create outline, write the first draft of the paper, polish it, provide references and format the paper. We will further explore it in details.

So basically everything will be like in typical school papers, but for more time and work invested into research and actual writing. So it all is about better preparing to writing than about learning some completely new tricks and methods.

From the very start be careful not to make typical mistakes of planning and writing a college paper:

  • taking non-debatable thesis. If there are no specific points to prove, what will you write about?
  • Not taking a clear stand. Just decide exactly if you are for something or against it and select points that support your stand.
  • Not getting enough material. You cannot write if you do not have things to write about.
  • Lack of evidence and explanation. You cannot build a paper around empty claims and assumptions. Do your research thoroughly and use evidence from class readings and additional materials as much as possible
  • Not allowing oneself enough time to research and write. You cannot write something good if you do not have time to prepare and write in peace. Period.

College Paper Examples for Students

Not to throw around empty commonplace tips, we have picked some really worthy college essay samples. They are from different fields of knowledge and have different layouts so that everyone could find a pattern to follow.

Students do use example papers often since these samples guide them through writing process in real-time mode. These examples are illustrations of things we said above, but they are also inspirational and serve as kinds of cheat sheet when you need an instant prompt in vocabulary or writing style.

college essay format

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College Essay Format

college paper examples

This is only a sample, to get your own paper you need to:

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College Paper Examples

college paper format

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College Paper Format

college paper heading

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College Paper Heading

college paper outline

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College Paper Outline

college paper

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College Paper

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So read carefully what is said about paper structure, and then trace how it is applied and developed in actual papers.

  1. Read the piece and name the topic. Find the thesis. See how many debatable points it has (usually they are 3, but may be 2 to 4 maximum).
  2. Proceed to the main body. Read it. Note the number of paragraphs. See if each paragraph reflects a separate idea.
  3. Read carefully though paragraphs. See how evidence is blended with and supported by explanations, citations and conclusions of a writer.
  4. Take note of transitions, connecting words, type of words used in paper (humorous, simple, complex, scientific vocabulary).
  5. Get to the conclusion. See how the thesis is reworded. Note what key points are restated and what is omitted. Read the last sentence. Is it witty, sad, hopeful, calling to action?

That’s the proper use of college essay samples.

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College Paper Outline, Format and Heading

Now you have set to writing your own essay, what goes into it? This essay includes the same parts as a school paper: introduction, main body, conclusion and references.

Now let us walk this path step by step.

  • Selecting a proper topic is already half a success. But what is a proper topic? It is a topic not too wide and not too narrow, interesting to you as a student, preferably not banal or offering a new look at the existing issue. Look at the knowledge area where you are to find a topic and opt for something that looks easier or more appealing to you. Then you will come up with a decent thesis.
  • Introduction sets the background and hosts the thesis.
  • This is a backbone idea of your paper. It helps you focus your writing and avoid writing blocks. You just look from time to time at your thesis and see if you talk strictly about points mentioned in it. So set up a thesis that is debatable and interesting to you. ‘Debatable’ means providing some space for proofs and possible objections, not just some plain fact.

Even ‘obesity is harmful for health’ is not a flat fact, it is a fully debatable point. Just write it differently: obesity is a cause of heart diseases, diabetes and flat-footedness in both adults and children, so it is very harmful to human health. This thesis includes specific points for proving and debating, so now you are free to throw in hips of facts and evidence supporting these points. Thus create a thesis that includes some specific points, like ‘this is so because of this, this and this’, and you can consider your paper half done.

  • Outlining. Just stick to your thesis, build topic sentences around specific points, add evidence to use. This really facilitates final writing and pulls you through all possible blocks and moments of inspiration lack.
  • Drafting. Look at your college paper outline and write in details. You do have what to say, and you have a roadmap, so use evidence, explanations, maybe some cases of your own experience and build a fortress of your arguments. Try to look behind the surface of things and find some patterns, theories at work or implications of happenings. Most topics do host such underwater currents. College papers are about spotting them and bringing them to surface.
  • Do not forget about conclusion. Reword your thesis and some key facts and claims of the paper.
  • References. Never leave ideas you use uncredited. Cite every source you use, both in text and in the end page. Formatting rules are easily found in formatting samples on the web.
  • Writing final paper. After drafting just let the paper sit aside for about 20 minutes and see if there are any inconsistencies or omitted things. Mind that one debatable point from the thesis may be covered in 1 paragraph, but it may take 3 to 4 paragraphs as well (in big papers). Change some wording or remove something if necessary. Just try to keep within word count limits.
  • Checking carefully. Absolute must. No spell checker can fix auto-correction replacements that are normal in general but bluntly wrong in the given context. Just read carefully through, please, or even better, ask a friend or a relative.
  • How to format a college paper? Formatting is easier that it seems because it complies with one of few universal formats and you can find plenty of detailed samples on the web. Just read the instructions carefully to see the type of formatting.
  • Heading or title. Write it after you have written the paper, since the final version may prompt you a witty and informative paper name that you haven’t thought of at the beginning.
College Essay Sample
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College Essay Example
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