Home » Writing

How to Write Better College Essays and Termpapers

Sep 12, 2008
Anyone can write a college essay or term paper, but not everyone can do it correctly. Even the best students can find themselves paralyzed by writer's block or unaware that their essay or term paper is too difficult to read or follow. My eight tips will jumpstart your essay writing process.

1. TIMING IS EVERYTHING.

Leave yourself plenty of time to write, edit and rewrite. Plan to complete your essay one day, or one week, whichever is fits your schedule, in advance; then you can run it through a spelling and grammar checker - and ask someone else to read it. You term paper or essay may look and sound perfect to you, but will other readers agree?

2. CHOOSE THE RIGHT TOPIC.

Choosing the right topic or approach to an assigned topic counts for a lot. Find something you know well and love. Be sure you understand the assignment; if not, ask questions until you are sure you do.

3. MAKE YOUR WRITING UNIQUE.

Make your writing unique. Let your "why" shine through. Communicate why you chose to write about this topic; why you love this topic; and why your topic is important - not in so many words, but put your passion into your writing.

4. WRITE FOR A DIVERSE AUDIENCE.

Write for the widest audience. If you are writing to your professor because he requires you to do so, then your writing style will show it. Imagine a real-world audience, one that wants to hear what you have to say, and write for them. Your audience might include employees reading a training manual, a foundation's Board of Directors reading a grant proposal, newspaper or journal subscribers, and so on. This will give your writing purpose, focus and clarity.

5. USE RESEARCH TO AID YOUR WRITING.

Learn how to find and use popular academic search engines such as the Academic Index, Ebsco Host, Virtual LLC, or the Wilson Web. Ask your college librarian to assist you.

6. ALWAYS PLAN.

Plan what you are going to write before you type the first word. Say it as briefly and clearly as you can. Figure out and outline the purpose of your paper, and decide how you plan to substantiate your claims. Then flesh it out. Writing more words isn't necessarily better, so write what you think is necessary to get your points across.

7. PAPER AESTHETICS.

Break your paper into reasonable-length pieces. Keep your paragraphs short. Use subheadings.

8. DON'T COPY FROM OTHER PAPERS.

Don't plagiarize; when in doubt, cite your source. Ask your professor if he prefers a certain citation method. Otherwise, use in-text citations if your essay is relatively short; use footnotes in longer papers.

If you are using the Internet, know your sources well. The Internet breeds a lot of rumor, opinion and plagiarism. If you are writing your own ideas or what is common knowledge, then you don't need to cite, but you do if you are paraphrasing.

Read sample essays and papers to understand the concepts of theme, approach and writing style, but don't copy an entire essay and submit it as your own, as this is plagiarism. Not only will you deprive yourself of learning necessary writing skills, but also most professors know how to check for plagiarizers. It's never worth the risk.

Armed with my eight tips, you can shake off writing paralysis and submit that masterpiece essay or term paper.
About the Author
Brian Scott is a contributing writer for http://www.LousyWriter.com, a free website on how to write better. He recommends college students visit http://www.MasterFreelancer.com for manuscript formatting software to help format your essay or term paper.
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 317
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Accounting
    • Credit
    • Currency Trading
    • Debt Consolidation
    • Insurance
    • Investing
    • Leasing
    • Loans
    • Mortgage
    • Mutual Funds
    • Personal Finance
    • Stock Market
    • Structured Settlements
    • Taxes
    • Wealth Building
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Babies
    • Collecting
    • Elderly Care
    • Genealogy
    • Hobbies
    • Parenting
    • Pets
    • Pregnancy
    • Woodworking
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Causes and Organizations
    • Environment
    • History
    • Holidays
    • Men's Issues
    • Nature
    • Philosophy
    • Politics
    • Women's Issues
    • World Affairs
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors