The Traps of Assuming High School Writing Will Suffice in College. High school is the time of your life, but when it comes to writing skills in college, you should reconsider. As a fresh-faced freshman, you may be thinking that your A+ essays from high school will transfer to college.
Finally, this is where things can get thorny. College-level writing requires more than good grammar and a well-constructed thesis statement; it demands different skills and techniques. In this blog post, we’ll explore the pitfalls of assuming high school writing will suffice in college and what steps you can take to improve your essay writing service to succeed at the next level.
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Assuming that high school writing will suffice in college is a dangerous trap. College writing is a different beast than high school writing, and students who need to take the time to learn the ropes are in for a rude awakening.
Here are Just a few of the Ways College Writing Differs From High School Writing
1. College essays are usually much longer than high school essays. This means that you must be able to write concisely and clearly while providing enough detail to support your argument.
2. College professors expect you to use sources to support your claims. This means finding and using trusted sources and being able to cite them correctly in the appropriate format.
3. The structure of college essays is often more complex than the structure of high school essays. In college, you must write multi-paragraph essays with clear introductions, well-developed body paragraphs, and strong conclusions.
4. College writing style is often more formal than high school. This means avoiding contractions, using proper grammar and punctuation, and choosing words carefully for maximum precision and effect.
If you are prepared for these differences, your college experience will be manageable, not to mention frustrating! So start learning how to write like a college student before you get to college to start learning how to write like a college student; Start preparing now by brushing up on your writing skills and familiarizing yourself with the expectations of college-level writing.
Types of College Writing Assignments
Assuming that high school writing will suffice in college is a common pitfall for students. After all, they’ve been doing it for four years and getting good grades, so why wouldn’t it work in college? Unfortunately, college writing is quite different from high school writing. In college, you are expected to write more analytical and research-based articles than you are used to.
Here are Some Common Types of Writing Assignments You can Expect in College
1. Research Papers
These papers will require extensive research and presenting your findings in a well-organized document.
College essays are often longer and more detailed than the ones you wrote in high school. They may require you to analyze a text or problem or develop an argument based on your research.
3. Lab Reports
If you take a science class, you must write lab reports. This type of writing requires you to describe the experiments you conducted and the results you obtained.
4. Oral Presentations
Many classes will require you to give an oral presentation at some point during the semester. This could be anything from a 5-minute speech to a 20-minute PowerPoint presentation. Get ready to practice your delivery and interact with your audience!
5. Group Projects
College is usually the first time students have to work on group projects.
Writing Expectations in College vs. High School
Assuming that writing at the high school level will suffice in college is a common pitfall for students transitioning from high school to college. Writing expectations are significantly higher in college than in high school, and students who need to take the time to adjust their writing style and level of detail to meet these expectations will likely have a hard time keeping up with their classmates.
Here are some specific ways in which the expectations for college-level writing differ from those in high school:
In college, papers are usually much longer than in high school. While a five-page paper may have been the longest assignment you ever had to write in high school, it’s not uncommon for college professors to assign 10- or 20-page papers. This means that you will need to be able to develop your ideas more fully and support them in greater detail.
College professors expect you to use outside sources to support your ideas, whereas, in high school, you might have gotten away with using only your opinion or experience. When incorporating outside sources into your writing, cite them correctly (more on that below).
Your grammar and spelling must be impeccable at the university level. Teachers may have been more forgiving of minor errors in high school, but even a single typo in college can make your work look sloppy and unprofessional. Be sure to review your work carefully before submitting it.
Common Mistakes of Assuming High School Writing Will Suffice
Assuming that high school writing will suffice in college is a common misconception. College writing is a whole different animal, and expecting to be able to breeze through college-level assignments using the same skills you used in high school is a recipe for disaster. Here are some of the most common mistakes students make who assume writing in high school will suffice in college:
1. I Need to Take the Time to Understand the Homework
College professors often assign very different jobs than you may be used to in high school. It is important to take the time to read the assignment carefully and ask questions if you need clarification on what is expected of you.
2. I Need to Research More
In college, your professors will expect you to go beyond the textbook and incorporate outside sources into your papers. This means doing more research than you were used to in high school.
3. You Need to Give Yourself More Time to Write
A common mistake students who are used to preparing their papers at the last minute make is assuming they can do the same thing in college and still get good grades. Unfortunately, this is often not the case. College jobs require more time and effort, so it’s important to start early and give yourself plenty of time to write quality papers.
4. Remember to Proofread or Edit Your Work
Another common mistake made by students who are used to getting by with minimal effort is skipping proofing and editing.
Tips for Adapting to New Expectations
Assuming that high school writing will suffice in college is a common pitfall for students transitioning from high school to college. The reality is that college-level writing is quite different from high school writing, and students who need to take the time to adjust to the new expectations will likely need help. Here are some tips for making the transition:
1. Remember to Consider the Importance of Good Writing Skills
Your ability to communicate clearly and effectively in writing at university will be tested regularly. Make sure you brush up on your grammar and punctuation before college.
2. Be Prepared to Write Longer, More In-Depth Articles
You are expected to produce thoughtful, well-researched, multi-page articles in college. This is a far cry from the short essays you’ve written in high school, so make sure you have plenty of time to write each.
3. Be Comfortable With Using External Sources
College professors will often require you to use external sources in your papers, whether it’s data from a study or a quote from an expert on your topic. Feel comfortable researching and incorporating outside sources into your writing early on.
High school writing and college writing are two very different beasts. College writing is much more challenging and demanding than high school writing, and assuming that your high school writing skills will suffice in college is a sure way to get yourself into trouble.
If you are transitioning from high school to college, you must take the time to learn about the expectations and requirements of college-level writing. Once you understand what is expected of you, you can start working on honing your skills and refining your focus to ensure you are ready for success in college.