Writing the college essay is a matter of answering a series of questions, of following a sequence of steps towards creating a coherent written document that explores a topic for greater insight and understanding.
It is a time-tested rhetorical technology meant to focus the writer’s inquisitive and curious mind towards an engaging, rational, and academically-sound discussion. Initially, we will explore the six basic elements of this very specific, yet adaptive, format:
- Thesis driven
- Primary pattern of development
- Coherent, unified paragraphs
- Strong, clear introductions and conclusions
- Proper use of relevant, authoritative sources
- Properly formatted (MLA format)
Please refer back to this book as needed for help with crafting specific elements of your assignments. There are many other websites, nonprofits, and academic institutions who have published readily available materials on the academic writing process. Students and faculty should feel free to explore the options available to them and employ the ones that resonate the most.
The Purdue University Online Writing Lab (OWL), for instance, is one of the oldest and most reputable college writing websites available to anyone with an internet connection. The point is not to follow one specific “Golden Road” to success in college writing.
Rather, we hope to become aware of the purpose and relevant structures of the model and apply them to our own critical and creative thinking processes in ways that make writing assignments more productive, engaging, and fun. This will translate to your reader, improve the substance of your writing, and inevitably elevate your grades along the way.
Here you can find most, if not all, of the technical material you will need to write competent, engaging college-level essays. But the content of your writing will be determined by the particular class or assignment and the special areas of interest that make you the person you are and contribute to personal and transformative nature of your education.
As needed, this ebook will be updated with new materials and relevant links as the author continues to curate the collection.