College Students: A Writing Resource Guide

College Students: A Writing Resource Guide

Writing papers in college is difficult and intimidating for many students. Our writing resources can help make the job easier.

A college-level paper is much more difficult than any of the papers you wrote in high school. In college, an academic essay needs to make a claim in the introductory paragraph and then spend the next several paragraphs backing up those claims with research to support your theory before leading the reader to a conclusion. The best way to do this is to start by creating an outline to help you organize your thoughts and make sure that your paper always from paragraph to paragraph in a logical manner. Then, do multiple drafts to ensure that you can be proud of the finished project you hand in.

Aside from taking the time to outline, write multiple drafts, and do your research, there are plenty of other important tips you should follow to put your best foot forward while writing a college paper.

  • Your papers should always use correct grammar and standard English. This is where it can be beneficial to write multiple drafts; that way, you can catch errors in an earlier draft and fix them before you hand in your final essay.
  • Don’t use jargon, slang, or symbols in your writing. Try to keep your tone formal, and don’t emphasize words with all caps, underlines, bold, or italic lettering. However, that doesn’t mean you have to overuse flowery language or big words to sound more formal. Keep your words clear and concise so your reader always understands the point you’re trying to make.
  • Make use of resources such as your campus library, your school’s writing lab, your professors, and the Internet. The writing lab has tutors who can review your paper to help you make sure you’re handing in the best project possible. The library and the Internet are perfect places for finding more sources to cite for your research, and of course, your professor is a well of information to answer any questions you may have about your assignment.
  • Start your essay early to make sure that you have a strong understanding of the topic and to give you plenty of time to brainstorm and find all of the sources you need to make a good argument. Extra time means that you can easily write a few different drafts of the essay to ensure that you clearly and precisely make the point you’re trying to make without bogging down your essay with unnecessary information. It also means you’ll have time to have others read it, such as a friend, classmate, or writing tutor, so you can implement their feedback in another draft.
  • Don’t plagiarize. When using other people’s work in your essay, always make sure to cite your sources appropriately. While it may be easy to claim an idea as your own, it’s not honest, and you risk getting caught and possibly expelled. You can use other people’s findings and talk about them, as long as you give credit where it’s due.
  • Always save your work in multiple places so you don’t risk losing it and running out of time to start over.
  • Most importantly, believe in yourself: That’s half the battle of writing any paper!

Additional Writing Resources

  • Nine Basic Ways to Improve Your Academic Writing Style: These tips from the UC Berkeley Student Learning Center are designed to help you improve your writing for academic papers.
  • Writing Tips and Techniques for Your College Essay: Writing papers to get into college can be just as stressful, if not more stressful, than the papers you write in college. This list of tips can help you relax and figure out what needs to go on the paper.
  • Writing Rescue Guide for College Students: This guide breaks down the different writing styles, how they’re used, and what topics they address as well as common problems students have when they write college papers.
  • How to Write a Comparative Analysis: Comparative analysis papers are some of the most common types of college papers you’ll encounter. This guide breaks down how to do them well.
  • A Guide to Plagiarism and Paraphrasing: More than 60% of undergraduate students admit to cheating on writing assignments, but plenty of those students get caught and face serious consequences. This page explains how and when to cite sources and how to avoid plagiarizing accidentally.
  • Academic Writing Guide: Good academic writing is an important skill to have, and there are strategies you can use to make the process easier.
  • Six Ways to Improve Your Writing Skills: Writing is one of the oldest forms of communication still in existence, and being able to use that skill wisely is a great achievement. These tips can help improve your writing skills.
  • Eight Tips for Writing Your College Essay: College essays, or personal statements, are a common part of the application process, and they give colleges a good idea of where your writing skills are before classes start.
  • College Essay Writing Tips: Use these tips as well as common do’s and don’ts to write winning college essays that show just how skilled of a writer you are.
  • Point of View in Academic Writing: This page includes a chart to help you understand the appropriate pronouns for your essays.
  • Five Tips to Make Your Writing More Exciting: Academic writing doesn’t have to be boring to read. A few different word choices can help to liven up your writing.
  • Tips for College Papers: What makes a great college paper? These essential writing tips give you a breakdown of what every successful paper must include.
  • Basic Steps in the Research Process: Writing requires research to create a well-constructed paper. Here are some of the basic steps you should take while doing research for your paper.
  • Writing in College: This in-depth guide walks you through everything you need to know about writing for college and how it differs from writing for high school.
  • College Essay Writing Tips: These tips will help you narrow down what you want to get out of a college admission essay to put your best foot forward.
  • Tips for Writing College Essays With Dyslexia and ADHD: Writing a good paper is tough enough for college students, but when you add dyslexia or ADHD, writing a paper can be even harder. These tips can help students find their motivation and put their thoughts on paper.
  • Essay Tips: These tips can help you write a strong essay that shows off your writing prowess.
  • Ten Tips for College Writing: When you’re writing college-level essays, it’s important to place value on the words you use. This guide gives some great tips on how to choose valuable words.
  • ADHD and College Writing: ADHD can make writing college papers more difficult. This page offers tips to make the process easier so papers feel like a less daunting task.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

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