General Rules for Writing a College Essay

    Writing an essay is no brain surgery. Still, very often this type of academic paper becomes responsible for college students’ pain in the neck.

     If you’re also struggling to craft a strong essay, you want to follow some general rules outlined below. But if you feel stuck at any stage, feel free to contact writing PapersOwl professionals who know how to do your essay. You’ll make your writing process more efficient and pleasant and will impress your teachers with a well thought out and immaculately organized essay. 

    Make Sure You Understand the Task at Hand

    Lots of experienced students who approach essay writing responsively spend devote much time to reading the essay prompt and figuring out what exactly is expected of you. It’s a good idea to underline the key terms, phrases, and specific words to fully understand the topic and answer the questions properly. You want to take any highlighter and go ahead and underline any words you think you should pay extra attention to. Once you’re done, you may want to review your notes carefully, search the Internet, and have a look through your textbook to make sure you have a good grasp on the topic.

    Create a Plan

    Most students merely ignore writing an outline for their essay if it’s not a mandatory requirement. But we highly recommend that you take your time and come up with at least a simple plan. Crete a point opening up the discussion and introduce the thesis. Jot down some ideas you’ll be discussing throughout your body paragraphs. And finally, think about what you can say in the introduction section. 

    Structure Your Paper Properly

    One really useful way to structure your assignment is to adhere to the standard structure. Ensuring you maintain a proper academic structure is very important, because you want to make sure you essay is introduced clearly, flows logically, and is well-organized. 

    Five-paragraph structure

    You probably know that every essay has the same structure, regardless of the kind of essay you’re writing. Whether it’s an opinion essay, comparison/contrast essay, or narrative essay, will always have the introduction, body, and conclusion. When we’re talking about the traditional five-paragraph structure, we imply that our essay has one introductory paragraph, one concluding paragraph, and three body paragraphs. But, in fact, your essay may have any number of paragraphs. Technically, you can include four, six, or more body paragraphs, if need be. But if you’re dealing with an average 2-3 page essay, you want to adhere to the good old formulaic essay structure.

    Introductory paragraph

    The introductory paragraph can be split into three parts. The first part is what we call the hook. And all that means that the opening sentence of your paper should engage the reader, grab their attention, and introduce the subject in an interesting way. Students often think that the best way to do this is to ask a question at the very beginning of the paper. If you’re also planning on doing the same, let us dissuade you right away. That’s trite and overused, while you need something more original and fresh for your essay to impress your audience. We recommend using a strong statement or a surprising fact.

    Once you engage the reader with an effective opening sentence, it’s about time you proceeded to give some background information. It means any information essential for the reader to have to understand your main idea or your topic. This could be context like “where” and “when” or a brief history of the topic under discussion.  

    After you’ve given the background information, it’s time to give your thesis, which is single most important sentence of your entire essay. It’s always the last sentence of the introduction and main idea of your essay.


    Once you’ve presented your thesis, move on and create your body paragraphs. They are meant to support your thesis with development such as argument, details, examples, description, or narration. It depends on the kind of the paper you’re working on. Longer papers may include expert opinion, quotations, secondary sources, etc. If you’re writing an essay for a test or a short paper that doesn’t exceed 250 to 300 words in class, you probably won’t need to rely on any secondary sources.


    Done with the strong body? Then you can wrap up what’s been told in your paper. In this section, you need to summarize the main points and restate the thesis. It’s important to think of your reader as a person with a short memory. So, at the end of your work, you feel like reminding them of those main points you were making throughout your paper. You also want to end your essay with as strong a statement as you started. Make sure the final comment or statement emphatic or interesting in some way.

    That’s the basic structure of the essay.    

    Edit and Revise

    Now that you know how to structure the academic paper, you can get down to writing your essay. It’s a good idea to write the rough draft first and see how the whole essay writing process will work out. Don’t bother to make your first draft ideal. Allow your ideas to flow. Maybe you’ll even want to do some freewriting first and then get some professional help with putting your thoughts together and present them appropriately in a written form.

    Once your draft is ready, take care to edit and revise it. Fix all grammar, stylistic, or punctuation mistakes. Improve your style and make sure your argument flows organically from one point to the next. Note that proofreading is not just adding the finishing touches to your draft. It may take you up to several hours to read over your writing and check over your spelling, grammar, and structure. If time permits, let set your work aside for a couple of days. When you come back to it, you’ll be able to view it more objectively.

    Article courtesy of PapersOwl

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