How to Write an Essay in College


Many students find themselves wondering how to write an essay in college. The truth is, there is no one right answer to this question. Every student and every essay is different. However, there are some general tips you can keep in mind to make the writing process a little easier.

In this article, we’ll go over some of those tips so that you can get started on your next college essay!

Step 1 Brainstorm to Find Topics Important to You


The first step to writing a great college essay is brainstorming topics that are important to you. What are your passions? What topics do you find most interesting? Once you have a list of potential topics, it’s time to start narrowing them down.

Think about what makes each topic unique and interesting. Why would someone want to read an essay about that particular subject? Once you have a few good options, it’s time to start thinking about thesis statements.

A thesis statement is the main argument of your essay. It should be clear and concise, and it should be something that you can support with evidence.

Once you have a good thesis statement, the rest of your essay will fall into place more easily. You’ll know what points you need to make to support your thesis, and your essay will be much more likely to stay on track.

So don’t underestimate the importance of brainstorming – it can make the difference between an average essay and a great one!

See Also: How to Write a Great College Application Essay

Step 2Allow Research to Guide Your Topic

When you sit down to write an essay in college, it can be tempting to just choose any old topic and start writing. However, if you want to get the most out of your college essay, it’s important to choose a topic that will allow you to do some research and delve into the subject matter.

One of the best ways to come up with a good topic for your college essay is to allow your research to guide you. This means that you should start by doing some preliminary research on potential topics. Once you’ve narrowed down your options, you can then start thinking about what angle you want to take on the topic.

Your research doesn’t have to be overly complicated or time-consuming. Just a few hours of reading and note-taking should be enough to give you a good sense of what’s out there on your chosen topic. From there, you can start to formulate a thesis statement and develop an outline for your essay.

If you take the time to choose a good topic and allow your research to guide you, writing your college essay will be a much smoother process. You’ll be able to focus your energies on crafting a well-written and thoughtful piece, rather than struggling to come up

Step 3Be Specific

This is another great factor to consider if you want to learn how to write an essay in college.

When it comes to writing an essay for college, it is important to be as specific as possible. This means that you should focus on a single topic or idea and develop it in as much detail as possible. The more specific you can be, the better your essay will be.

Of course, being specific doesn’t mean that you should neglect the other aspects of your essay. You still need to have a strong introduction, body, and conclusion.

However, if you can focus on one particular aspect of your essay and flesh it out, your essay will be all the stronger for it.

See Also: Undergraduate Writing: Sample Paragraphs

Step 4Don’t Skimp on the Outline

One of the most important steps in writing a successful essay is creating a strong outline. This will give you a roadmap to follow as you write, and will keep your thoughts organized. Without a good outline, it’s easy to get lost or stray from your main argument.

Spend some time brainstorming what you want to say before you start writing. Once you have a general idea of what you want to talk about, start creating an outline.

Write down your main points and sub-points, and arrange them in a way that makes sense. If you get stuck, don’t be afraid to ask for help from a friend or professor.

Creating a detailed outline will make writing your essay quicker and easier, and it will also ensure that your essay is more cohesive and well-organized. So don’t skip this step – it could make all the difference in your essay!

Step 5 Start With a Bang

No matter how much you may hate writing, essays are an unavoidable part of college life. Whether you’re taking notes in class or completing a final paper, the process is always the same: start with a bang.

Your opening paragraph should be your best work. It should grab the reader’s attention and make them want to keep reading. If you start with a weak opening, your essay will never recover. So how do you write a great opening paragraph?

Here are some tips:

  • Start with a strong hook: This could be a provocative statement, an interesting anecdote, or even a shocking statistic. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s something that will pique your reader’s interest.
  • Follow your hook with a brief overview of the main points of your essay: This will give your reader a road map of what to expect and help them follow along as you develop your argument.
  • Be concise: Your opening paragraph should be no more than three or four sentences long. If it starts to drag on, cut it off and move on to the body of your essay.

With these tips in mind, you’re well on your way to writing a great opening paragraph for your next Essay.

Step 6Show Instead of Tell

One of the best ways to improve your writing is to show instead of telling. In other words, don’t just tell the reader what happened, show them what happened. This makes your writing more interesting and engaging.

To do this, you need to use strong verbs and vivid adjectives. For example, instead of saying “I walked to the store,” you could say “I strolled to the store.” This small change gives the reader a better sense of what you did and how you felt about it.

Here are some other examples of showing instead of telling:

  • Telling: I was bored.
  • Showing: I tapped my foot impatiently as I waited for the bus.
  • Telling: I was angry.
  • Showing: I clenched my fists and gritted my teeth as I confronted my brother.
  • Telling: I was happy.
  • Showing: A smile spread across my face as I opened my birthday present.

See Also: 27 Outstanding College Essay Examples From Top Universities 2022

Step 7Revise, Revise, Revise

After you have written your first draft, it is important to revise your work. This is where you will look for ways to improve the argument of your essay, as well as the clarity and organization. Here are some tips on how to revise your essay:

  • Read your essay out loud. This will help you catch any errors or awkward phrasing.
  • Ask someone else to read your essay. They may be able to point out areas that need improvement.
  • Take a break from your essay. After you have worked on it for a while, it can be helpful to step away and clear your head. Come back to it later with fresh eyes and you may see things that you didn’t before.
  • Make sure all of your evidence supports your thesis. If not, remove or revise the offending material.
  • Double-check for grammar and spelling errors. Nothing will weaken an essay quicker than technical mistakes.

By following these tips, you can be sure that your essay is as strong as it can be before you submit it to your professor.

Step 8Care About the Conclusion

Your conclusion is your last chance to make an impression on your reader. It is important to end your essay with a strong and convincing conclusion. Here are some tips for writing a great conclusion:

  • Restate your thesis.
  • Summarize your main points.
  • Leave your reader with something to think about.
  • End on a strong note.
  • Edit and proofread your essay carefully before submitting it.

Step 9Don’t Forget Your Style Guide

There are a lot of things to keep in mind when you’re writing an essay for college. But one of the most important things is to make sure you follow the style guide for your school or department.

Every college has its style guide, and each one is different. So you must find out what the style guide is for your school and use it consistently throughout your essay.

If you’re not sure what the style guide is, ask your professor or TA. They should be able to tell you what it is and where you can find it. And if they can’t, they can probably point you in the right direction.

Once you have the style guide, make sure you read it carefully. Pay attention to things like punctuation, capitalization, and how to format titles and quotes. These may seem like small details, but they can make a big difference in how your essay looks and reads.

If you follow the style guide, your essay will look more professional and be easier to read. So don’t forget about it when you’re writing your next essay!

Step 10Watch Your Length

This is the last factor to consider if you want to know how to write an essay in college. When it comes to writing essays in college, one of the most important things to keep in mind is length. Your professor will likely have strict guidelines for how long your essay should be, and if you go over that limit, you may be penalized.

Even if the length isn’t specified, a good rule of thumb is to aim for around 500 words. This should give you enough room to cover the topic fully without going overboard.

See Also: What Makes A Good College Essay – 4 Fundamental Elements


Hope the article has thought you a lot about how to write an essay in college. writing an essay in college is a challenging task, but it is possible to succeed if you follow the tips and tricks outlined in this article. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your professor or TA, and make sure to proofread your essay before you submit it.

With effort and perseverance, you can write an essay that will impress your professor and help you get the grade you want.

Frequently Asked Questions


How do you start a college essay?

Make sure you start with a strong “hook” or “grabber.

What are 7 great tips for writing a college essay?

  • Read the Prompt Carefully
  • Brainstorm in Detail
  • Tell a Story
  • Focus on Reflection
  • Be Yourself
  • Write Multiple Drafts
  • Seek Guidance

How do you start a college letter?

Start the letter with a salutation, such as “To Whom It May Concern” or “Dear Sir/Madam.”

How do you start a college application essay about yourself?

Start your essay with a creative introduction that will make the readers want to continue reading your essay.

Are 350 words good for a college essay?

If no range is given, remember to stick to 400-600 words.


  • – 10 Simple Tips on Essay Writing for College Students
  • – How to Write a College Essay
  • – Writing tips and techniques for your college essay

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