How to write an essay in college: steps you should follow


If you are assigned a paper in college there are a few steps you should follow in order to write the perfect essay. Below you will steps that can be used for any course. When you are writing your essay, you may find the introduction and conclusion to be a challenging piece to complete. Frequently, the introduction and conclusion portion of an academic essay demand a great deal of your attention. A solid introduction will do the following:

  • Identify the topic
  • Provide the reader with context
  • Indicate the focus of your essay
  • Engage the interest of the reader

A good conclusion will do the following:

  • Provide closure
  • Place your concepts in a larger context
  • Stimulate further thought on the topic (in some cases, such as a research paper)

Because no two essays will be the same, there is no scientific or mathematic formula you can use to generate your introduction and conclusion, but there are guidelines you can follow to construct something suitable for your academic writing.

Advice on introductions:

There are some students who are unable to sit down and write the body of their paper until they have perfected the introduction. Be cautious of sinking into this trap. It can lead to far too much time dedicated to the introduction and not enough time channeled into planning the body of the paper and the support for the argument.

  • If you are the type of writer who wants to explore and think on the topic before you write the introduction that is perfectly fine. But you need to remember to compress your introduction at a later date.

  • It is perfectly suitable to leave your introduction writing until mid way through the writing process. Some students write their introduction only after the rest of their essay is complete. Others write it at first, but then rewrite it once they finish the body of the text.

  • The introductions for almost all academic essays can be written effectively in just one paragraph which occupies one half to three quarters of a single page. Your introduction might be longer than that if the length of your paper is beyond fifteen to twenty pages. The size of the introduction is related to the overall complexity and length of your paper. Obviously, a five page essay needs a shorter introduction than a twenty page paper.

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