How to Write a College-Level Essay

Updated April 17, 2017

Step 1

Select your topic. Identify important points to be addressed within the essay and develop an outline. Research facts, statistics and academic writings that relate to your topic through your school library or Internet.

Step 2

Formulate a strong thesis statement. The thesis tells readers what your essay is going to be about. The thesis sentence is generally located in the final sentence of your introduction.

Step 3

Write your introduction. The introductory paragraph should provide a preview of what you're presenting in your essay. Explain what you're arguing and how you're going to argue that point.

Step 4

Create the body of the essay. Present each of your points in a separate paragraph and include a topic sentence (and explanation of the paragraph) at the start of each one. Cite facts and data to help strengthen your argument.

Step 5

Write the conclusion. Provide a short summary of the essay and tie it all back to one final argument. The conclusion should be the most powerful part of the essay.

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  • To avoid typos, grammatical errors and misinformation, create several drafts of the essay before submitting it.


  • Plagiarism, or the act of taking credit for someone else's work, can often result in expulsion and legal action against you.

About the Author

Matt McKinney has written professionally since 2008. His work has appeared in publications such as "The Knox Student" and "Diminished Capacity," his campus literary journal. McKinney is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing at Knox College.