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Help for College Students with Writing a Composition Paper

Most students are required to take English Composition in their freshman year at college.  This class is designed to give students practice under the guidance of an expert as a means to prepare students for ongoing future writing.  Students practice writing different styles of essays and longer full-term papers. Here are beneficial points regarding help for college students with writing a composition paper.

Know what Your Professor Expects in Composition Writing

  • Your professor is looking for two related abilities.  The first is to see if you are able to organize your thoughts in a coherent manner, and the second is to see if you can take those thoughts and organize them in writing.
  • This may seem simple, but it does require practice.  In writing a composition paper (or any writing) think of what you are trying to say.  Ask yourself what your main points are, and then write those main points the way you speak. (Of course, the way you speak in perfect English grammar, meaning no slang and such.)

Don’t Struggle with Coming Up with Topics

  • While your papers should be original and interesting, don’t feel you have to come up with topics that are unknown to humanity.
  • Oftentimes, students put unnecessary pressures on themselves thinking that they must come up with topics that blow their professor’s mind, such as topics that really only a seasoned writer with decades of experience could write.
  • This line of thinking induces needless stress and creates writer’s block.  Give yourself a break and take it down a notch.  Choose topics that you know about or could easily understand with little research.  Your job is not to awe anyone with your topic and overall writing relating to that topic.  That’s for the writers of Nobel Peace Prize winners.  You are not there yet.

Realize that Writing is a Series of Small Steps

  • You are not expected to write your compositions all at once.  For instance, your first draft is not the perfect paper, ready to turn in, written perfectly from start to finish. Rather, it should involve a series of small steps.
  • Take the time to follow these steps, and you will have an easier time with your compositions.  First, write notes on your topic and what you want to say about it.  Then, organize your notes into a detailed well-structured outline.  Next, begin writing your first draft based on your outline.

Writing compositions in college is different from writing compositions in high school.  The difference is that there are higher expectations in college where you are expected to learn how to apply your thoughts to writing.  Use this as a tool to help in writing college composition papers.