How to start a college research essay

College research essays are a large part of the academic career of many students. However, many find that one of the hardest parts of writing the paper is getting started. It is with this thought in mind that this guide to starting a college research paper is presented.

  • Have solid understanding of the assignment. You may be tempted to immediately start writing the paper as soon as you get the assignment. However, you need to take time to read over all of the instructions several times and make sure everything is fully understood. Consider what type of essay the assignment is asking for, what the word count is supposed to be, and how much research you will need to do.
  • Understand the different types of essays. There are many different types of essays that you could be assigned. Each one has separate rules and requirements. So make sure you know what essay type works best with the assignment you have been given. If you need help figuring this out, speak to your instructor and ask for some help.
  • Define your audience. In most cases, you are writing college papers and essays and research papers for your instructor. But there may be cases where others could be reading the paper. It is therefore important to know who your audience is so you can properly tailor your writing and information to meet the needs and expectations of your readers.
  • Define your purpose. Are you trying to persuade someone to do something? Are you defending a point of view or ides? Are you talking about something that happened in your life? The purpose of your essay will go a long way in determining the information you include, the way you organize the essay, and what do and do not use for research and examples. It is important that you know and understand the ultimate goal and purpose of the paper so you can start off on a good note.
  • Manage your tone. Tone is another important aspect that many students overlook when starting their writing assignments. If you use weak and casual words you will not seem professional in your tone. If you use slang or clichés you will come off as lazy and weak in your arguments. Personal essays and stories can be for casual and less formal. So make sure you know the tone of your paper so you can start and finish strong with any writing assignment you get in college!

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