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A tutorial on how to write a perfect college essay


Writing the perfect college essay is a pretty tricky business; you have such a diverse array of research resources, so many primary and secondary sources, that getting your comprehensive point across, with evidence, can seem a tall order. But, an essay is not about knowing everything, it is about demonstrating that you can find a topic that is original and interesting, and that you can argue a point in academic language. Easy!

Select a Doable Project

To write a perfect essay, or at least a great one that demonstrates your academic acumen, you need to have a very clear idea of what you will argue, and it itself should be relatively simple. Write, for yourself, one sentence that summarises what your essay will do: ‘I will argue that X is directly responsible for Y’. Simple.

Think About Your Argument

An essay is a structured argument. It is a simple as that. So, now that you know what you are going to demonstrate, take some time to consider how best to express that, in a convincing way. This is not the plan drawing stage, but the stage where you conceptualize how you would convince someone of the fact that ‘X causes Y’.

Find Evidence

Now that you know what you are going to prove, to argue, you can find evidence, in primary or secondary sources, which supports the claims that you will make, or which at least engages with the points you will discuss. Good evidence makes your research, and essay, look solid.

Plan that Argument

Depending on the length of the essay, plan a definite number of paragraphs that will be steps in your argument that will follow as smoothly as A (intro), B (what is X, with evidence), C (what is Y, with evidence), D (how X results in Y, with evidence and referring back to B and C), E (conclusion).

Try to Find an Existing Theory

If possible, find some piece of theory that is sophisticated yet applicable and which can be threaded through your essay. For example, a theory of causality could add a dimension and depth to the essay exampled here. A perfect essay is one that has a clear thesis, which has an argument, which evidences its points, and which, fundamentally, makes the reader say ‘now I see’! Follow these steps for that result!

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