How To Write At The College Level
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Student Life

How To Write At The College Level

Don't let your writing be "vanilla."

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How To Write At The College Level

When I wrote my first collegiate paper for a history class, my writing was mechanically sound, my descriptions were accurate, and I was using big words! A paper that would have won me praises in high school wasn’t “quite there yet.”

It’s easy to predict that standards at college are going to be higher than in high school, but what I found was that it wasn’t necessarily that professors ask for something better, they ask for something different.

One way I matured as a writer is connecting to the notion of joining in on an academic conversation as a writer, for in high school I would limit myself to regurgitating and explaining the work of others to satisfy a prompt.

It is important to have confidence in a thesis statement that has tension. Don't be afraid to assert something controversial or out of the ordinary. Learn to support it with argumentative skills.

Pretend you are having coffee with the sources you use in your papers. Engage with them. In reality, would you just nod your head and agree with someone else in a conversation? No! Take pride in your thoughts and opinions. You have reached the college level - you are thoughtful, unique individual with important thoughts to share!

When your professors assign you prompts, they obviously know the "vanilla" responses you could come up with. That might earn you a C or a B if you are lucky. Make your professors think! Just because they are more established academically than you doesn't mean you cannot work together to engage in intellectual stimulation.

The academic rigor of college is challenging but should not be entirely intimidating. It is time to learn and grow as a writer and thinker as our generation grows to be the leaders of tomorrow.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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