Studying in college requires writing numerous papers. As a college student, one of the first things you are likely to learn is that writing for college is different from writing for high school. Surely you won’t have to give up all writing skills you acquired in school; as before, you will have to write clearly and correctly, have interesting thesis, construct focused paragraphs, write coherent conclusions, etc.
Still, many students enter college and keep using old high school writing strategies that are no longer relevant for college writing. For example, such techniques as five-paragraph scheme, are not flexible enough to provide universal and appropriate structure for college writing. Also, many of the old tricks, such as repeating yourself to meet ten-page requirement or using elevated tone for expression will let you down in your research paper.
So how is it possible to make swift and successful transition from high school to college in regards of writing?
The first thing that you need to realize is that college writing implies in most cases particular type of writing, called ‘academic writing”. There are three main points that different academic writing from high school level writing.
First of all, academic writing is conducted by scholars for other scholars. Do not think that this definition leaves you out from competence of academic writing. Studying in college, you become part of scholar community. As a student, you get involved in activities that traditionally comprise scholars’ competence: you will think about, read about, argue about, and write about great ideas. Of course, as you are scholar, you should think, read, write and argue about ideas in definite ways. You education will assist you in understanding rules, convention, and expectations of scholarship. As you keep on reading, so will our articles ;)
Secondly, academic writing is aimed at covering questions and topics that are interested to academic community. When you write academic paper, first of all, you must find appropriate topic or question for you work. But how can you know if the topic is appropriate? First of all, listen to you professor. He or she should provide you with context of possible research. Secondly, keep in mind that your topic should be interesting to other students and scholars. Academic paper should provide more than personal response to certain question. You must write something that might be useful for your readers. To put it differently, you should write something that helps readers to understand your topic or look at it in different way.
And finally, academic writing is intended to present the reader with an informed argument. To make informed argument, you should first of all differentiate you knowledge on the subject from your opinion on it. First, you will have to consider what is known on the topic and then define what you think about it. If you paper neither informs nor argues on the definite topic, it fails to meet requirements of academic writing.