Now that you are in college, you are sure to face plenty of obstacles that you had pretty much no idea about. Learning how to overcome them as you cruise through college will be one of the best experiences in life that you can possibly have. One such obstacle comes in the form of writing an essay. Sure, you may have written dozens of them when in high school, but this is college, folks. The expectations from professors and the standard of academics here are pretty higher than the one you would normally see in an average high school.
In college, you must put your best foot forward so that you stay ahead of the rest of the class. This is precisely where you start to feel the heat of scholarly competitiveness. If you are not prepared in advance, you might not get another shot at proving your worth. To make the most of your college life, you must thus arm yourself with some of the must-have skills that can help you handle things by your stride.
That is precisely the reason why we have brought you an in-depth how-to guide to writing fabulous essays that impress your professors and peers alike. This post does not only have a guide to writing an essay but examples too. Here is how you can master the art of writing an immaculate college-level essay.
The pre-writing phase
Writing an essay perfectly is no mean feat. There has to be a considerable amount of preparation to bring out the best of the writing acumen in yourself. Some of the ways to do it is taking a great stance after choosing the topic and conducting background study thoroughly. Here is how you can prepare for writing an essay that leaves a lasting impression.
- Select an intriguing topic
Pick a topic that piques your interest. If the essay is about something that you enjoy reading about, it will be easier to write. It will also have better chances of getting you a great grade for you will actually like writing about it. Don’t forget to narrow down vast topics. Choose a stance that sets your essay apart from others.
The second step is to conduct thorough research on the topic. You can make use of the libraries and archives for accessing existing literature on the topic. Digital resources such as Google Scholar will also help you access a hoard of information on myriad topics.
Create an outline of the essay using the main points or factors that you want to mention in your essay will help you when it is time to compose it. Jot down the main arguments in a journal (online or offline) along with the supporting evidence to back up your claims. Prepare an outline of the essay following a traditional essay structure containing an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.
The writing phase
When you have an outline for your essay, writing it becomes a whole lot smoother. Writing each section of the essay requires you to focus on the elemental bits of them closely. From creating a compelling introduction, composing coherent body paragraphs, and concluding the essay in style, each section of the essay requires attention to detail. The following is a guide to writing the separate sections of an essay along with a sample essay to elucidate things a little further for you.
Top tips for writing an introduction are to keep it simple, short and very intriguing. Using shocking stats, an anecdote or a quote are some of the most powerful hooks that draw readers from the very first sentence in your essay. Here is an example of a well-written introduction for an essay on technology.
“Technology is a useful servant but a dangerous master.”
- Christian Lous Lange (Norwegian historian)
As the renowned historian proclaims, technology has both positive and negative sides to it. The development and use of technology are thus best done keeping all ethical considerations in mind. People from a few generations before did not grow up watching smart televisions and computers or have a PlayStation at home. They did not spend countless hours each day looking at what the activities of their virtual friends on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Instead, they used to enjoy going out with friends, played soccer, or simply took a walk in the newest trail in the woods. But, of course, they didn’t get to pay for ice creams using credit cards or book movie tickets online.
- Writing the body paragraphs
Moving on to the body paragraphs, they should take a cue from the main idea brought forth in the introduction. Elucidating them further would require splitting them into three or more body paragraphs, with one idea or argument per paragraph. Here is how you can structure the body paragraphs for continuing the essay on technology.
Advancements in technology have brought us online banking, smart cars, super-fast computers, and the newest kid in the block: virtual reality. However, technology has also enabled cyber crimes such as hacking and identity theft, online harassment and stalking, and cyber terrorism as well. Additionally, the long-term impact of misuse or dependence on technology and the latest gadgets are causing people to get lazy, insensitive, and more intolerant by the day. It has also sounded a death knell for cool hangout places of yesteryears such as the library. People are satiating their quest for knowledge using the Internet nowadays and are replacing real-life interactions with virtual ones.
E-bikes have replaced bicycles, rollerblades have made way for electronic motor skates. Sure, they are super-fun to use. No point arguing with that. But the advent of gadgets that are making everyday life a lot smoother is also causing this generation to become over-dependent on technology. Studies conducted all around the world show the alarming decline of teen IQ and compassion due to the popularity of violent video games and similar agents available through the Internet. A whole generation is suffering from poor mental and physical health issues.
Of course, it is because the technology that we have been able to explore the deepest parts of the ocean and have made our journeys to space and beyond the solar system. Technology has also helped in reducing crime rates in some places and has helped in making education accessible for a large number of people. There is no denying the fact that it contributes positively to helping save thousands of lives every year with advanced medical tech. However, the use of technology is the most important factor to consider here. Using it with impunity will only lead to the downfall of humankind.
Finally, conclude your essay with a wrap-up paragraph to summarise the main points elaborated in your essay. It is best to finish the essay with a rousing call to action that helps in leaving a mark in the readers’ minds. Here is how you can conclude the essay on technology.
To sum it up, we must admit that it all depends on how you choose to put technology and its boons to use. To stop its rampant misuse, people must be made aware of the negative effects. There need to be strict laws for using it in ways that are not beneficial for humankind. If people united globally over the cause, championing it will not pose to be a huge problem. It is thus best to use it in ways that only make our lives easier, rather than complicating it with health and other problems.
The post-writing phase
As you saw in the example essay, composing each part of an essay separately makes the writing phase a whole lot easier. But you cannot turn in an essay without revisions, right? Some studies say that around 40% of an essay’s quality depends on how well it is edited. We don’t disagree at all. Revising your essay will help you identify the crucial errors that would have otherwise crept in your copy, resulting in grades lower than you had expected. At the post-writing phase, there remains one last step to complete before you can turn it in.
- Editing and revising your essay
After you have finished writing your essay, set it aside for a few days. Come back to edit it with a fresh outlook after a few days. Editing will be a hell lot better this way. Also, it is imperative that you learn the difference between editing and proofreading. Editing is a thorough check on every segment of the essay and rewriting portions that need so. Proofreading is a final check on the essay before turning it in. The elemental mistakes that you should watch out for when editing your essay are:
- Use of active verbs
- Sentence structure and presence of transition sentences
- Use of voice, tone and mood
- Punctuation and redundancies
Stay focused on your goal and there is little that you cannot achieve. Follow our guide closely. We would advise that you learn from the essay example we provided to master each step of writing an engaging essay to perfection.
One word of caution though. The essay that we provided along with this guide should ideally be used just as a reference. Do not submit this essay to your professors for you do not want to face the unpleasant consequences of plagiarism in academics. Take it as an example and frame your similar to it. Good luck with your essay!
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