8 tips for writing a great college essay

Writing an essay is probably one of the most important skills you need not only in college, but will also be beneficial in other areas throughout your life.

We at peerTransfer have compiled a list of tips and tricks for writing a great academic paper.

1. Choose a topic

Unless it has been given to you, make sure to make your topic very specific. For example: Instead of writing an essay about Brazil, write about the Soccer World cup 2014 in Brazil, or better yet, choose one of the cities it’s being held at: Rio de Janeiro.

Writing a college essay

2. Gather research

Before you start to write, read as much as you can about the topic, making yourself an expert. You can do research using the internet, academic databases and the library.  Take lots of notes and try to really engage in the subject.

3. Analysis

Now that you have a decent understanding and knowledge base, analyze the arguments of the articles and essays you are reading. Determine the claims, evidence and write out the reasons; define weaknesses and strengths of logic and try to learn writing essays by analyzing other people’s essays.

4. Outline

Plan our your essay before writing it out.  You can use bullet points for each paragraph and map out a structure of your argument, making sure each paragraph is cohesive.

Writing a college essay

5. Introduction Paragraph

This is probably one of the most important parts of an essay, as it gives the reader a clear overview of what the essay is about.  It should grab the reader’s attention, set up the matter and neatly lead into the essay’s argument.

6. Main Body

This should consist of several paragraphs explaining the main idea with examples. Support your assertions with evidence and explain your ideas in the most clearest way you can.

7. Conclusion

One paragraph that summarizes and ends the essay in a graceful way, ending on some memorable thought, maybe a quotation or a call to action.

Writing a great college essay

8. Format and Proofreading

Make sure your essay’s format is according to the correct guidelines for citation. Don’t forget to include a reference page at the end listing the details of your sources.  And last but not least, read your essay over carefully and check for typos and spelling and grammar errors.  It may also be helpful to have a friend, who hasn’t yet seen it, proofread your essay. Four eyes see more than two 😉

Happy essay writing.  Let us know if you have any question, or would like to share some more tips and tricks!

One Response to 8 tips for writing a great college essay

  1. Other tips:
    Choose good topic sentences for your paragraphs.
    Every idea should have a paragraph of its own.
    Make your sentences simple, clear and to the point.
    Write your essay in one tense throughout.
    The nouns should be capitalized and your subjects and verbs should agree.

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