Top 10 Tips for College Level Essays

I noticed that many students in college come out of high school unprepared to write academic essays, so I wanted to provide many simple tips.
The Top Ten
1 Cite sources

Quote authors and other relevant sources. You need to source them and give them proper credit or you may be accused of plagiarism.

Moreover, having quotes from people who are experts on a specific topic shows that you are discussing a legitimate academic topic and not just talking about whatever you feel like.

Paraphrasing is also optional, but as long as you don't modify the main topic and cite the author you should be fine.

2 Keep a neutral tone

Unless it's a personal essay, don't try to be funny, witty, sarcastic, sad, angry, or joyful in your essay writing.

Essay writing is not creative writing.

Keeping a neutral tone is the key to keeping people looking over your essay neutral

3 Follow the assignment

Read the assignment at least 3 times and read it carefully.

You need to give the teacher what he/she wants. If your paper is brilliant but doesn't answer the questions, then it's not a good essay. You can't just write about whatever you feel like writing about.

4 Use specific words
5 Improve your vocabulary

Well, it'll suck if your college professor can't read unfamiliar/unheard words in your essay because unless if a private one-in-one tutor, it's a waste of time to research a word's definition as other essays. They also take a while to be thoroughly read, especially if it's an important assignment. But improving vocabulary can "justify" your intelligence while being concise with your points.

6 Follow the length

Don't go under the required length, but also don't go over it either. Many teachers are busy and resent having to read more pages than they need to. Also, more doesn't mean better. A teacher isn't going to be impressed by a longer length.

7 Don't use the same word too often
8 No personal pronouns

No "I" or "You", unless you are quoting someone.

9 No absolutes

Avoid words like "always", "never", "all", "none", because there are exceptions to many rules. Instead, use words such as "often", "rarely" "almost all" and "almost none".

10 Use proper MLA or APA format

Look it up online. Create a sample page in MS Word (or whichever office suite you use) with the proper font, header and spacing. Also, learn how to cite sources correctly.

The Contenders
11 No contractions

I use this to make my essays seem longer because I struggle with typing essays that are over 3 pages long.

12 No immature content

In other word, don't use acronyms or stuff that you would write to a friend or family member while texting. Don't use swear words either.

13 Don't go over the maximum number of sources required in the assignment
14 Don't be repetitive
15 Don't cite or use Wikipedia
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