For many people, their adult, independent life really begins when they apply to college and succeed. And it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that this independence is expressed not only in physical separation from parents and other members of family, but the fact that now they are treated seriously and should treat themselves likewise. The same goes with writing – now they are on their own and have nobody to blame for mistakes but themselves.
Some of the distinctive features of writing at this level are as follows:
- College essay may be 1000 words long or even more and the topics both chosen by you and imposed by your tutors are supposed to be generally controversial, so you should be ready not only to describe things and express your own opinion, but also prove that you are right.
- It should be based on solid research; no writing off the cuff about things you have no idea of. These essays are to a very large degree to test your research skills, not to let you show how awesome a person you are.
- Plagiarism is not an option. By that time you should completely and utterly understand that borrowing materials word-for-word is a very bad idea in our age of online plagiarism-checking software. In high school it was unpleasant enough; in college it may harm you severely.
- By the time you get into college, you should already know that not only writing, but also the way it is presented matters. Formatting is the thing you should master in order to get good marks or, in fact, to get any marks at all. Depending on the subject you have chosen, you may deal with different styles of formatting; be sure to study a corresponding manual before you set about to work.
When you are at college, your teachers expect you to be independent not only as a person, but also as a writer. The fact that you are at college means that you have already taken some decision of what you are going to do with your life and you are not a random person in your selected vocation.
You are supposed to be interested in your studies, in these topics, to deepen them and offer your own personal opinion and perception of them. Don’t recite that textbook. Use your brain.