Basic tips for writing a college essay

Essay writing is an everyday activity in colleges. Yet, students see it as the most annoying part of academic life. If you study social science course, slot time to write at least two essays in a week. Here are some tips to help you write your college essay.    

  1. Follow instructions

The first step to succeeding in essay writing is obeying your lecturer’s guidelines. Each assignment comes with expectations depending on its purpose and topic. Ensure you understand the requirement before you start writing.

Read the assignment several times to understand everything. You won’t grasp the entire content by reading the instructions hurriedly. You need to read microscopic and in-between lines. But it takes two to three reads to comprehend the information.  

Ask your tutor for clarification. It won’t cost you to contact your lecturer for further instructions. Students fear talking to their tutor as if they will deduct their marks. The worst your teacher can do is to be unresponsive.


Most of your trainers will be happy to see your effort to write a quality essay by asking questions. So, they will respond to your question. Who knows, maybe they will give you extra tips on your homework writing?

Research your essay topic

Don’t assume you know everything about the given topic. The biggest mistake among students is to write general knowledge in their essays. They think their mind has all the information they need for their assignment. It’s good to know the topic, but it won’t help you get past fifty percent of the marks.  

Use the internet to get content for your essay. Most scholars have free websites where you can get information for your topic. For instance, Google scholar and research gate have dozens of books, pdfs, and peer-reviewed journals.

Avoid using nonacademic materials and websites. Some internet sources, such as blogs, do not provide the information needed for an essay. They have exaggerated and nonscientific information. But, you can use the government’s posts and school websites.  

  1. Format your paper

It’s the most neglected area of essay writing. Students do not comprehend the seriousness of unformatted paper. Assume you are the lecturer, and you have to mark over fifty essays a day.


You come across an assignment with no cover page, no page numbers, and different fonts and spacing. What will you do? You will probably grade it blindly to get off your table.

Formatting your paper improves your grade. The marks you get in your essay are not only for the content. Some are awarded for including all elements of an essay. Whether the lecturer has included points awarded for formatting in the rubric or not ensures your paper is clean.  

  1. Edit and proofread your assignment

Don’t be among the students who submit their assignments with error. Editing and proofreading your work is part of the assignment. It’s better to submit your work late than to hand in unedited work.    


Use editing tools to help you edit your work.  Sometimes you may not see all the errors in your paper. Having a third eye to look at your paper will clean all fluffy and wordy contents.


Use Grammarly to edit your assignment. It’s an application that removes grammatical errors and uncomprehensive sentences. You can get it for free and correct general mistakes or subscribe to the premium package, which sweeps all unnecessary content from your essay.


Read your work after editing to ensure you have refined the paper.  The editing tool may leave mistakes in your essay or replace essential words. Go through the assignment again to confirm that the assignment is ready for submission.

  1. Start your assignment on time

 Another challenge with students is working on their assignments on time. Most wait until few days for the submission to work on their paper. They end up submitting incomplete work that will not earn then more than twenty-five percent.

Make it a habit to start your assignment immediately. It’s easier to complete the paper if you adopt this method. Ideas present in your class are still fresh in your mind.  


The more you delay, the more you risk submitting your work late. You may get an emergency or be committed in the coming days. So, saying that you will work on your assignment later is a risk.

  1. Submit original work

It’s a crime to submit copied work. Ensure you paraphrase any content from the internet. Your paper should have a maximum of three percent similarity from the internet.

The above are excellent tips to help you work on your assignment. Use them to get higher grades at the end of the semester exam. The takeaway from this article is that you should ask for help. Don’t write blindly.


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  1. author
    27 Aug 2019
    Tomas Mandy

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    1. author
      27 Aug 2019
      Britney Millner

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  2. author
    27 Aug 2019
    Simon Downey

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