High-School VS College: Forget Everything That You Know About Essays

Student Life

People don`t change. That`s an idea that has been circulating in society for centuries. But I don`t believe in it, I believe in facts and I`ve seen many people who have been changing throughout their lifetime. Science is here to back me up. There are several psychological theories about changes that may occur in someone`s personality.

One of them is that people change every seven years. Their views and beliefs are being polished by society, personal experience and all that trash that we call life. The hardest time is in the period from 14 to 21 and from 21 to 28. That`s when a person becomes an adult. Yes, nowadays kids don`t grow up very fast and they still have childish tendencies even if they are 25 years old.

Another theory is that people go through important changes basically every year. That`s why some companies in the USA make their employees take a personality test each and every year. Sociologists believe that nowadays the lifestyle of people changes so fast that certain work environment that was suitable for us this year won`t be as nearly pleasant the next year.

But let`s get back to the first theory and create a new one. I suggest we divide lifeline into the pieces that will indicate the stages of education. So, high school and college. The differences are just massive. That`s why it`s important to remember that your style of studying in high school will never work in the university. Many college professors complain that freshmen aren`t prepared for the hectic studying techniques that are applied in the system of higher education. So, your personality in college and in high school are very different. Therefore, essays that you wrote in high school can`t have anything in common with the ones you write in college. Everything changes indeed.

We want to make that important shift less painful and shocking so we have prepared some tips for you on how to write a college essay in a different way. Basically, you`ll have to drop some knowledge that you have gotten at school. But that`s for your own good.

The First Thing That Comes to Mind

A Lamp over a Head

Usually, at high school teachers realize that your personal views on life are just being in the state of formation. You can`t think as an adult human being yet. You can`t consider all the possible factors so it`s important to give you an opportunity to speak out. That`s exactly what you do in an essay. You express your opinion on a certain matter and if a teacher likes that opinion (or should we say if it falls under the usual beliefs accepted by society) then you get that well-deserved A plus.

However, if you try to pull it off in college, you can`t hope for a good grade. As a student, you have to have an opinion that will be based on certain facts and analysis of those facts. Guess who `s going to do all the analysis? That`s right, it`s you! So the source of your work won`t be your opinion, but the research that you`ve made. Of course, it`s much more complicated!

I`d say that this is the biggest mistake the freshmen usually do while writing a paper in college. Yes, your ideas can be rather interesting and creative but all the opinions on this planet are subjective and biased. In order to avoid that and to teach you to think critically and analytically the professors would require some serious work from you. The research may take even a couple of days and nights. Yes, my dear, you`ll have to spend that much time to prepare just for one work but it will totally worth it. Back up your opinion with some facts from history, literature, science and voila, you get an excellent grade.

Have You Heard of Past Perfect Continuous?

When it comes to grammar, schools aren`t so strict on this matter. Obviously, you have to know the basic rules of spelling and punctuation. Your grade will depend on the quality of your grammar but not that much. If you write an extremely creative essay in high-school but make a couple (or even a couple dozens) of mistakes, a teacher may actually let it slide due to the all-in-all artistic presentation of the work. However, it`s far from being that easy in college.

Grammar is absolutely crucial. Even if your course has nothing to do with English studies and literature, still always remember the grammar rules that definitely can`t be ignored. We had incredibly strict rules at university when it was about spelling, punctuation and the whole stylistics of text. Also, back at school you probably could use some spoken language to make it more laid-back and even more relaxed style of writing was fine.

But when you enter the college it`s nothing like this. Scientific style of writing has to be used neatly and accurately. And this kind of writing has to be everywhere. Of course, it`s not like a rule of thumb and some professors would indeed appreciate your extraordinary creative style but academic papers and the graduate work have very strict grammar rules. Ignoring them may cost you many points.

Why Does the World Have to Be So Organised?

Very Organized Person

Having a plan for life is important. Having a plan for an essay in high-school is really not. Of course, if you had a super strict teacher you were supposed to follow a certain pattern while writing your work but, trust me, it was nothing like the rules of organizing an essay that you face in college. Again, the creativity could save you any time in school. If you have some deep thoughts on a certain matter and you compartmentalize those thoughts in a somewhat that can resemble an order, then you`re a mastermind among all senior pupils.

In college, however, the plan for an essay isn`t optional. And it`s not just a vague pattern, it`s a set of actual rules like for an academic paper. There has to be an introduction, a thesis statement, a general statement and a conclusion. Oh, the references! Never forget about the references. Besides, you have to be attentive to the number of arguments and paragraphs. And it often happens that a professor at university gives you an assignment with the plan that you have to follow. So less freedom here.

There is so much more to consider actually. The number of words is strictly defined and it will never save you if you write a lot. I remember back at school you could just write more than a teacher required and get the additional points because it looked like you had put extra effort into this work. But it never works at college though. There are some other rules that aren`t really applicable in college. You should learn them yourself. That`s what experience is all about.


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