College Writing Guide
The writing required in college courses may be different than anything you've encountered before. English classes huide in middle school, and sometimes in the early years of high school, provide the basics, but many students lose these skills before they begin college.
In addition, for nontraditional students who haven't studied English in a while, making the transition to academic writing can be difficult. Professors in all majors colllege students to enter their courses with high-level writing skills. A gap in skill level is often met with remedial English courses in the first semester of college.
Use this guide to refresh your knowledge of basic grammar rules, and to understand what you need to know and apply in your college classes. This resource can also serve as a reference as you complete your first written college writing guide. There are different writing styles, writign with a different purpose or audience.
There are situations in which one style will be more appropriate than another, and there is a variety of strategies you can use to approach the work. This section of our guide provides an overview of the writing types you will likely encounter as a college student. Assignments that require you to support a position, claim or opinion involve a persuasive writing approach. These papers are framed with a thesis statementwhich introduces a focused assertion. Examples include: "Fast food consumption is linked to heart disease in low-income communities," and "The chemicals used in pesticides pose the most significant threat to our health in the 21st century.
Tips for writing argument papers include:. Research papers can take multiple forms, depending on the purpose and specific requirements of your class assignment.
This format can be used to describe the methods used in your own research project, present the results of a research project and to describe the research that has already been completed in an area of interest. Some assignments teacher letters of recommendation examples a combination of these approaches. These papers typically include formal sectionssuch as an introduction, review of existing research literature, analysis, discussion of results and conclusion.
Tips for writing research papers include:. Similar to argument and persuasive essays, expository papers require you to research an montge or concept and provide supporting evidence. This type of writing includes a thesis statement, as well as the logical presentation of sources that address the idea you are exploring in your paper.
A five-paragraph format is typical for expository essays: 1 introduction paragraph, three body paragraphs, 5 conclusion paragraph.
This form of writing is often used to evaluate your knowledge of a topic and can be included in exams. Tips for writing expository papers include:. Professors often use written exams to measure your knowledge of a specific topic, understanding of a complex concept or comprehension of course reading and collegee.
These essays can include components of argument and persuasion, research and exposition, as directed by your instructor. The first step in preparation for essay exams is to complete all of your course reading assignments, participate in discussions and organize your notes and study time. This should take place throughout the course, not just in time for the exam date. Tips for exam essay writing include:. Academic proposals are typically written as part of grant applications or for professional conference presentations.
They often outline a research plan or project idea with a goal of gaining support from another group. This type of writing is more common in graduate-level study, but may be encountered by undergraduates involved in collaborative research projects with professors and other students.
Tips wroting writing academic proposals include:. The proper use of grammar increases the clarity of your writing, and creates an easy flow of words and ideas for the reader to follow. Common problems occur when using the passive voice, incorrect punctuation and confusing word options.
The examples in this section provide easy-to-remember tips to avoid these errors in your own writing. Active voice is generally preferred in most forms of writing. It places emphasis on the subject of a sentence and the action taking place. Active voice usually requires fewer words than passive voice and communicates action more clearly to the reader. Some of the most common forms of punctuation are listed below, along with tips for sriting them to use. Commas divide sentences into separate components, which improves readability, creates a personal insight example and connects thoughts.
They may be used with conjunctions e. A colon is primarily used to introduce something in a sentence, but it can also draw attention to a list, example, quotation, noun or phrase. Semicolons separate items in a list when one or more of the items includes a comma. They are also used to join two sentences or independent clauses. Hyphen guidelines are writjng as strict as those for other types of punctuation.
Primary use includes connecting two words to create a compound adjective when they come before a noun in a sentence. They are also used with some prefixes. Periods are used to end sentences, college writing guide in some abbreviations. Check your style guide e. Many college students struggle with some of the most common punctuation and grammar mistakes.
Review the words listed below, along with tips for proper usage. Collee words all sound the same, but have different meanings. They're is the contraction of they and are ; their is possessive as in, it belongs to them and there is a location as in, here or there. Two is a number as in, one, two, three. Too is used to say "also" or as an alternative to "very.
Its is a possessive pronoun. It's is the contraction of it guude is. If you yuide confused in your writing, try replacing the word you want with "his" or "her. Weather is a reference to the atmosphere and conditions like rain and snow. Whether introduces alternatives and is similar to the word "if. The use of alot is usually considered an error. Use a lot two separate words to indicate a large number or many.
For additional assistance with grammar and punctuation, try the following writing tools and resources:. Citations provide a way for you to give attribution to the authors collehe inform your writing, and help you avoid plagiarism.
Citations should give credit to those whose ideas or concepts you include in your work, direct quotations and paraphrasing. Style guides provide a structured way to format citations so that they are consistent and verifiable.
There are many style guides to college writing guide from, but the three presented in this section of our guide are widely used by colleges and universities. Check with your instructors to make sure you are using the preferred style guide in your classes. The Modern Language Association MLA writing guidelines are used by a wide range of schools and professional publications. Students in English, foreign language, cultural studies, literature and arts programs typically use the MLA style for their written assignments.
See the examples below:. Allen, Darryl E. Saint Mary's University, Twickenham. Online video clip. Accessed on 24 Nov. According to Allen and Idlebird "the format of the statement of cash flows did not affect students' accuracy" MLA style recommends in-text citations as illustrated above.
However, longer, explanatory notes may be included as footnotes placed at the bottom of the page on which they appear or endnotes listed on a separate page at the end of the document. These options provide readers with additional resources and background information not necessary needed in the main text of the paper.
Footnotes can also be used instead of the parenthetical in-text citations described in the section above. Check with your instructor to confirm what is expected for your assignments. It has been adopted for use primarily in the fields of psychology and education, as well as many social science disciplines.
Allen, D. Depreciation's effect on capital budgeting metrics needs more educator focus. American Journal of Business Research 7 1 Saint Mary's University, TwickenhamJuly 5. Research methods for educational enquiry: methodological approaches for small-scale research [Video file]. According to Allen and Idlebird"the format of the statement of cash flows writnig not affect students' accuracy" objective for resume for student. APA writint recommends in-text citations as illustrated above.
However, longer, explanatory request a letter of recommendation sample may added as footnotes. These notes provide readers with additional writung and background information, which may not be included in the main text of your paper.
APA style does not include the use of endnotes. Check with your instructor before adding footnotes to your written assignments. The Chicago Manual of Style is published by the University of Chicago and is currently in its 16th edition. It is often required for students in the humanities, arts and social sciences. This guide is one cillege the most comprehensive writing manuals, providing detailed formatting instructions for a wide variety of writing situations.
Accessed November 24, July 5,
Why don't five-paragraph essays work well for college writing? Writers who follow the five-paragraph model tend to repeat sentences or phrases from the introduction in topic . We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback. Writing is an important, and unavoidable, part of being in college. As a student who is pursuing a higher education, one can expect to draft countless numbers of. Sep 18, - This writing guide breaks down the types of writing you'll be expected to execute while pursuing your undergraduate degree.