High school vs. college

For those who have just crossed the threshold of college, the difference between highschool and college essay may be unclear. In general, becoming a first-year student is an exciting transition in the lives of many adolescents. Many have anticipated it while at high school. Still, this is also a challenge as one becomes responsible for his or her academic future. One needs to turn in numerous papers on time. These works should be perfectly written and all the requirements should be met. At the same time, freshmen have to adapt to the new environment and find new friends. So, this is a difficult period for many students. And the situation is complicated by the fact that the level of writing and structuring essays, which was enough for high school, is not enough for college.


So, how can one successfully adapt to the new environment, higher academic demands, and difficult tasks? Let us consider the main differences in terms of requirements to written works. The one who is familiar with the basic aspects of academic writing, knows how to structure an essay, which sources to use, and how to format the entire work following the required citation style, is likely to get high grades.

What Do College Students Face?

First, it is very important to know how to complete a presentable paper and in order to do this, the student should know how to use different academic formats. Second significant thing is to know how to make effective research when working on paper writing. Finally, each student should be able to find positive peer networks to assist with integration into college student life.

High School vs College Essay: Know the Difference

When a student enters a college in the US, he/she is often confused with differences in requirements to writing a college essay in comparison with high school assignments. No wonder, the essays that received positive feedback in high school are extensively criticized in college. Do not fall into despair! It is not your writing that changed. This is because college essay requirements are more complex than those for high school essays. So, high school vs college essay: what is the difference?

Making an Argument

High school essays aim to show what a writer has understood from the studied material (for example, a summary, a book review, etc.). College writing requires much more effort. First and foremost, these essays and papers require making an argument. As such, college professors do not want you to retell what you have just read. Instead, they want you to make a critical judgment based on this information. This argument is often called a thesis statement and it should be clearly stated in the essay’s introduction.

Providing the Evidence

When the argument is stated, a college student has to prove it by providing credible evidence. This evidence is usually taken from relevant sources, which contain unbiased experts’ opinions. If you, for instance, are analyzing some poem, a meaningful line from it can serve as evidence. Searching for the sources that accurately fit the topic is also an essential part of college essay writing. Professors value thorough work with sources, and if you want to get the A+ grade for your paper, you have to spend much time in the library.

Analyzing the Topic Properly

When reading your paper, the professor should not have questions like “But what if..?” “Have you considered this opinion…?” “What about..?” It means that when writing a college essay, you need to present your topic from different perspectives.

High School vs College Essay: Improve Your Practice!

Without any doubt, college essay writing is a much more complicated process than high school writing. However, it enables you to develop your writing and research skills, which is particularly important for your academic performance. Work on your mistakes and you will see the progress. Just keep in mind that there is no winner in the struggle of the high school vs college essay. All in all, in both educational institutions, to become a better writer you need to practice a lot.

Writing Formats

The differences between highschool and college essays are not limited to requirements and the overall level of writing. For instance, high school teachers do not require learners to format papers according to a specific style. Even if some aspects of formatting are discussed and stressed, no one decreases the grade for incorrect margins on all sides of the document. Meanwhile, in college, the grading rubric includes such criteria as document and figure formatting. So, the student has to follow a specific referencing style, presenting the correct margins, line spacing, font size and type, heading/page numbering, and text alignment. The sources should be cited correctly in the body of the paper and on the bibliography page.

The most common citation formats are APA and MLA. In most cases, citing sources in a paper becomes a bewildering process. There are various requirements for citing books, encyclopedias, webpages, newspaper articles, etc.

Not everyone knows how to format the paper properly. However, you are free to use online assistance. For instance, EssayLeader.com is the best web resource that provides solid help in terms of  academic formats. Here, you will find hundreds of useful tips on using MLA, APA, Chicago, Turabian and other writing styles. The sooner you become good in writing any college essay or other paper, the better! Remember that the best time to learn something new was yesterday, but since yesterday is gone, the second-best time to learn is today.

Best Resources to Use

One more difficulty that freshmen at college often face is conducting thorough research for their papers. You do not even imagine how many students try to use Wikipedia as a reference! If you want to succeed with your college essays, you must use good scholarly resources. The best resources to use are peer-reviewed books, textbooks, encyclopedias, and journal articles. Old books can be easily found in second-hand bookstores and libraries.

However, when writing a college essay, you may use several web resources that have scholarly peer-reviewed articles and even the whole books that can be read online. The two of such websites are Google Books and Google Scholar. The second one offers a huge amount of peer-reviewed journal articles for free. One more advantage of this service is that you can click on the “cite” option and automatically get the correct citation for the chosen article in MLA, APA, or Chicago style.

High School vs College Essay

High School Essay Sample PDF

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College Essay Sample PDF

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