College Essay

Everything You Need to Know about College Essay Examples

“All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” – That’s what Ernest Hemingway told, when he was asked how to create the best text. In order to write a brilliant college essay, you don’t need to bleed at all. But for some reason, many students feel discomfort by just hearing about a term paper; if you are one of them, do not hesitate to turn to us for college essay writing assistance, help with essay topic formulation, or advice on structuring! Don’t get into despair with numerous failures of writing and drafting the college essay; we are convinced that it is absolutely useless, and we’d like to offer our own approach how to start writing a college essay.

Entrance Advice on College Essay Topics: Keep the Format Clean

Strict formal requirements for the course sometimes repels and frightens students. In fact, all these seemingly strange standards are due to the usual logic and specifics of the work (essay, diploma, etc.).

An essay where everything is well nuanced, where you keep your grammar and syntax clean, is a guarantee to get a good evaluation. However, there are teachers for whom the presence of brilliant content and ideas are not enough. So, if there is no slash in the right place, or the first paragraph has more sections than the second (and they should be equal), then you cannot even hope for an ‘A’.

And don’t forget about the styles! One of the most used ones are MLA and APA which have their own specific features worth mentioning.

MLA Style and Scope of Its Application

MLA style (Modern Language Association Style) is the most widely used form of execution of documents and citing sources in the humanities. It was developed by the Association of Modern Languages. Academic style of MLA is used in the United States, Canada and other countries to create written works in English language, English literature, spelling, studying of other modern languages and literatures, including comparative analysis, literary criticism, media studies, cultural studies, and related disciplines. Published in March 2009, the seventh edition of “Handbook on MLA for writers of research papers” is mainly addressed to students of secondary schools, college, university professors and their students. This is the latest update of the handbook at the moment. In addition, there is a “MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing” offering examples of the overall presentation of MLA research, in-text citations, endnotes and the “References” page.

  • The document is typed on a computer and printed on standard white paper, size 215,9 x 279,4 mm (8.5 x 11 inches).
  • Between the lines, there is to be double-spaced interval. It is necessary to apply an easy to read font (for instance, Times New Roman). Whichever font is chosen, the Modern Language Association recommends that normal and italic fonts are easily distinguished. Font size should be equal to 12 points.
  • After the sign at the end of sentences you should put only one space, as well as after other punctuation marks.
  • The width of document fields should be equal to 2.54 cm.
  • The indent of the first line of each paragraph from the left margin should be 1.27 cm. The Modern Language Association recommends using the Tab key.
  • Pages should be numbered consecutively in the top right corner of the header after the indent of 1.27 cm from the top edge of the sheet, but without departing from the right margin. (Note: If the institution has no other instructions in this regard).
  • If there is an end reference, they must be listed on a separate page before the page containing the list of references.
APA Style and Scope of Its Application

APA Style (American Psychological Association Style) is used for execution of work-related social sciences. APA style was developed by sociologists and scientists studying the problems of behavior, for the application of it in term papers, research reports, technical and economic analysis reports, literature reviews as well as methodological articles.

  • The document is typed on computer, the interval between the lines needs to be double-spaced, starting with the cover page and ending with a list of sources used.
  • You can use any readable font, but the American Psychological Association recommends that it was preferably Times New Roman size 12.
  • Each paragraph should begin with the indent of 1.27 cm from the left margin.
  • The width of all fields is equal to 2.54 cm.
  • Header must be present on each page. Page numbers are indicated without indentation from the right margin. “DOCUMENT TITLE” is typed in the header without left indentation entirely in capital letters.
  • The footer contains a shortened version of the title of the document, which cannot exceed 50 characters, including spaces and punctuation.
  • Document typically consists of four main sections: title page, summary, the work itself, the list of sources used. The main text is divided into sub-sections such as introduction, methodology, results, and discussion. No need to subtitle sub-sections that way, it is rather a conventional division.

There are differences in format requirements between the two styles.

- Quote in brackets

Quotation in parentheses is the quote that appears in a work that gives credit to the original source. In the MLA style, the format requires the name of the author and the number of the page where the quoted part can be found. In addition to these two pieces of information, the APA style also requires the date of publication.

- Authors and Publishers

MLA requires that the names and first names of the authors and publishers be written on one of the works cited on Bibliography page. However, if there are more than 3 authors or publishers, MLA requires that the first three to be included and the others to be called “et al.” APA requires the last full name and only the first initial, but it also requires that all authors and publishers are listed in this format no matter how many they are.

- Titles

MLA requires that the first letter of each important word in the title of a quoted piece be capitalized. On the other hand, the APA style only requires that the first letter of the first word of the title be written in uppercase.

Steps to Follow for Successful College Essay Writing

There are also other differences between these two styles you can find on the internet. Our tips are to carefully follow standards for writing college essay offered by affiliated institutions and/or your teacher.

Step 1: develop a plan

So, all the requirements are thoroughly studied, the title page is framed by the best traditions from the methodological prompts, but ‘Word’ reveals horrific “Pages 1 of 1”. How to write next?

So, everything’s getting more and more interesting. You need to choose a theme and develop a plan. But this is not easy. The ideal thing to do is choose a topic that is really interesting. A pragmatic thing to do is to choose a theme on which you can easily find a lot of information. The ideal and, at the same time, most pragmatic thing to do is to turn to the subject with which you have already worked on (for instance, you have already worked on your own articles, papers, other essays, which can be used).

The plan must conform to common structure:

  • introduction;
  • the main part (minimum 3 sections with sub-sections);
  • conclusions (which can be followed by aftermaths as well);
  • extra applications (do not neglect this part because graphs, charts, tables, and statistics are to make your college essay more understandable and richer);
  • references (at least 10 sources; it would be really good if at least some are not from Wikipedia, but some other sources).

Tips: Be sure to go to the teacher with a plan and a list of references about two weeks after receiving the task of writing essay. Ask for some additional literature, maybe they may also recommend you extra materials. Don’t behave as a nervous freshman through the ignorance of all the specific process. Graduate students thus demonstrate the seriousness of their research intentions and will surprise the teacher with a tremendous college essay.

Step 2: Look for the necessary information

Now you need to find information for each item of the plan. Feel free to add blank pages to your front page (only headers): while working with sources, you will fill them. The text of the college essay should be placed according to the sections. Copied information should be thoroughly reformulated and paraphrased. Remember that next to pieces of text you have to indicate where you it comes from (along with a quote). Guided by this principle, making a list of sources is a very simple task for a college application essay.

If you are working on a college essay for more than one day, get a special pad or a notebook and fix any ideas, or highlights and talking points, in other words, whatever comes to mind. ’Filtered’ ideas also make your essay relevant to the section. Such brainstorm stimulates unexpected discovery and allows to consider and think over the smallest details which perhaps will provide the high quality of your work. Look thematic videos, there are many helpful resources, for example, videos on TED. Something useful can be found even on YouTube. Capture your ideas that you do like, and do not be afraid to refer to those sources in your college essay.

Tips: Try to avoid using your own ‘I’. The more your use phrases like ‘we believe,’ ‘we consider,’ ‘our point of view is’ (‘we’ stands for a student and their supervisor), the more subjective and the less argumentative your college essay will seem to be.

Step 3: write the entrance and conclusion

It remains only to write an introduction, conclusion (maybe followed by aftermaths) and finalize references. This part your college essay is appropriate to be saved for last. In the introduction you should note the relevance of research goals and objectives of the work, subject, basic studied concepts and notions, and structure of the work.

Conclusions are, in fact, a somehow completed and detailed introduction. It is necessary to confirm or refute the hypothesis provided, and mention the prospect of further study of the topic. You can finish your work by stimulating further reflection asking a spectacular (philosophical or existential) question.

Introduction and conclusions are always read, and by every teacher. An uninteresting entry increases the chances that your college essay will not be decently appreciated. So try to make this part of the work really intriguing. In any case, pay special attention to the level of coverage of the relevance of your topic.

Last prompts: writing a college essay may also be fun. It always depends on you, how interesting can be the process. And it is always up to you how long should a college essay be.