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How to Write an Essay for College or University

If you don’t know how to write an essay, going back to college or starting a university course can be a daunting prospect. If it is years since you have done any type of studying, let alone essay writing, don’t worry – most colleges, including online universities – have study skills information, including homework study tips and essay writing guides.

So if you are concerned about your writing skills, consider getting some help with things like paragraph structure, punctuation and grammar and spelling. Most colleges provide this free and you will also be able to find many free resources online. The first thing you need to be clear about before you start your essay is the type of essay you will be writing.

There are many different essay styles and it is crucial to know what is expected of you. Universities, colleges and individual tutors will tend to have their own preferences and so it’s important to make sure you know the right formula for your course. You can find a lot of information to help you online, but do check everything with your tutor or writing support tutor before you go ahead with writing your essay.

Types of Essay

There are many different types of essay and the names may vary according to where you live. These include argumentative essays, academic essays, cause and effect essays, descriptive essays and narrative essays. You might also have to write an admissions essay if you are applying for a place at university or you could be asked to write an essay for a scholarship. Other types of essay include comparison essays and research essays. Knowing the type of essay expected will help you to come up with the best format. If you are new to essay writing, ask your tutor to explain.

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Understanding the Essay Title

This is one of the most important aspects of essay writing. You can write a brilliant essay, but will get very low marks and probably fail your assignment if you have not answered the question which was asked. So before you put pen to paper make sure you have interpreted the title correctly. If you are asked to choose your own essay title, it is a good idea to check with your tutor that it is suitable.

Brainstorming Once you have a firm essay title and are clear what it means, you can have a brainstorming session to come up with as made ideas as you can which relate to your essay title. If you have a lot of ideas, the next stage is to narrow them down to the most important and most relevant points.

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