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College Writing Strategies

written by: Noreen Gunnell•edited by: Amanda Grove•updated: 11/1/2011

For many college freshmen, writing papers is a challenge. Writing assignments are part of almost every college course and are in formats unlike those of most high school essays or papers. Preparation, time-management, and some helpful tips make the transition to college writing smooth.

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    Get Ready To Write!

    Computer keyboard 

    Writing is essential in college courses and incoming freshmen need to be prepared to handle many different types of assignments. College writing goes beyond the basic book reports or summaries of many high-school assignments. Explaining, supporting an argument, and analyzing information are just a few of the expectations college students will need to meet. Using proper citation and formatting papers correctly are also important aspects of writing in college.

    College Writing: Types of Writing Assignments A College Freshman Should Expect And How To Tackle Them.

    The assignment itself holds clues as to what your professor expects. Knowing the implications of being asked to explain, evaluate, or compare is one of the first steps in writing an informative and well-structured paper.

    Academic Writing VS. Informal Writing

    There is a difference between informal writing and academic writing. What is fine in a casual email or creative short-story can lead to a disastrous grade in an academic paper. Before beginning your college papers and essays, make sure you understand the difference between academic writing and ordinary speech (informal) writing.

    Understanding The Types Of Essays Assigned In College

    Familiarize yourself with six basic essay formats used in college assignments. Knowing what they are and the elements they need to contain is the first step in receiving a good grade.

    Breaking Down The Steps And Setting A Schedule

    This goal setting activity is not designed solely for writing and will work well with many types of projects. if you’re not sure where to begin or how you will find the time to complete that paper, this system will show you how to break it down into steps and schedule time for each one.

    Improving Your Reading And Writing Skills In College

    College is a whole new playing field and subjects that seemed easy in high school come with unfamiliar challenges and expectations. Analyzing, critiquing and developing an argument become part of your daily educational life, especially when it comes to writing. Developing sound writing skills in college begins with establishing good reading and note-taking habits.

    Reading And Writing Tips And Strategies

    Learn to read with a purpose when in college; know your ultimate writing goal and read with that in mind to guarantee helpful notes and thoughtful analysis. Employ time management and proofreading as well.

    A College Level Book Report, A.K.A.-Critical Review

    Being asked to critique a book can seem like an intimidating task. Structuring your critical review properly will go a long way in diminishing the intimidation factor. Reading the book thoughtfully, and perhaps more than once, is a given. A thorough appreciation of the material will give you the background needed to compose a strong thesis and concise summary with an eye towards the all important analysis.Books 2 

    Steps To Writing A Critical Essay

    Just as with a critical book review, writing a critical essay starts with reading the material analytically. An outline of your essay is the next step followed by composing a rough draft and then, proofreading, editing, rewriting and proofreading again.

    College Lab Reports

    Complete a lab experiment by writing an outstanding lab report. Each section of a lab report contains certain information and has its own format. Achieve a high grade by including detail and writing for a scientific audience.

    What Is A Character Analysis?

    If called upon to write a character analysis in a college course, ensure you understand why authors use characterizations in their stories and the different types of literary characters used. Writing a character analysis is not difficult if you begin with this foundation and compose an analysis that includes an introduction, analysis, and conclusion.

    Drafting A Great Debate Paper Or Argument Essay

    A strong debate paper is grounded in a well-formed thesis statement and good organization. Examples of clear thesis statements and organizational approaches will help you create an exceptional debate paper.

    Case Studies

    Focused on an individual or group, case studies are often required in psychology courses. Case studies contain descriptions of the individual patient's history, current mental and physical state, and any diagnostic methods used. Written in the APA style, case studies include possible outcomes given different therapeutic approaches.

    Understanding And Using The Various Citation Styles

    Don’t ruin all your hard work by using the wrong citation method or using the correct one improperly! The most common citation methods are reviewed and information about which is appropriate for your major is included.

    Software To Save You Time And Help You Write And Store Your College Writing Assignments

    Spend more time on your research, writing and editing with helpful software. Familiar software such as MS Word as well as voice recognition and citation assistance software are reviewed.

    The Benefits Of College Writing

    Learning the skills needed to become adept at college writing has benefits that go beyond your college years. These writing skills will help you both professionally and personally in your post graduation years. Remember, many graduates may even be asked for writing samples when interviewing for jobs after college.

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    From preparing for the array of assignments awaiting you to citing sources correctly, having the "write tips" for college writing assignments will help you throughout your college career. And you can take comfort in the fact that all of your effort will result in writing skills applicable to post-college life. The usefulness of a writing acumen honed in college does not expire on graduation day!

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