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By Thea Theresa English

How to write an effective collegiate essay

Writing an effective collegiate essay not only gets you good grades but it sharpens your critical thinking skills. There are several types of essays so it would be a good idea to talk with your professor to get an idea of what kind of essay you should write before you start the assignment.

Start with a story

When you use a personal story in the essay, you're linking an experience you've had to the topic of the essay. For example, if you are writing on the topic of food deserts as areas of a city where families cannot access healthy food options, you can discuss your childhood memories of not always being able to go to a major supermarket to buy healthy foods.

Write on relevant topics

When writing your college essays, you want to write on topics that are relevant but that pertain to the subject that is being taught in class. If you are taking a course in Latin American gender studies, you can write a comparative essay that deals with the presidencies of Cristina Kirchner of Argentina and Dilma Rousseff of Brazil. This links your course subject with current events.

Get descriptive

If you're writing a narrative or autobiographical essay, you should be as descriptive as possible. If you're writing about how your grandfather started the neighborhood's first church sixty years ago, discuss what the church services were like in detail and mention any stories you may have heard from former and current members. Descriptive language takes the reader to the era and places you're discussing.

Reduce the wordiness

Another thing you need to do is get rid of the excess wordiness in your essay because it takes away from the tone of the essay. On average an essay would be 500 words unless your professor requests the essay to be of a longer word count.

Get help when necessary

If you come across problems when writing your essay, there are several ways to get assistance. You can start by talking with your professor and then you can call a classmate for assistance. Many campuses also have writing labs where tutors can offer guidance with your essay. Pay attention to the tips they offer and incorporate it into your writing.

Don't wait until the last minute

When you procrastinate in writing your essay, you'll feel rushed in writing it and you won't produce your best work. If the professor assigns you the essay this week and it is due next week, start research and rough draft on the day you are given the assignment. This gives you enough time to work on the assignment and you won't have to cram.

Read other well-written essays

Another option is to read a few essays on the topic you're covering. It gives you a springboard to build your work on but without copying that writer's work. Look at the author's weaknesses and strengths, and use what you learned to make the essay better. With the above mentioned tips, you can write a great essay.

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