College Level Essay Writing
James D. Regehr, Ph.D.
“College Level Essay Writing” is a skill that can be learned. Once the basic skills are
understood, good college-level essays are able to be written with relative ease.
There are eight skills that are necessary for writing a good college-level essay. These
skills are: Research; Organization; Transition, Engagement; Inspiration; Citation; Accuracy;
The first skill necessary to write a good college-level essay is Research. Research is
acquiring relevant information. Whether the primary source of information is from a library,
as is the case for an academic research paper, or if the primary source of information is the
thoughts of the author, as may be the case for a college-level essay, research is the acquisition
of relevant information.
In order to identify relevant information, from irrelevant information, a clear focus of
research is necessary. A clear topic or question must need to be addressed directly in order for
the research to be deemed relevant. The more directly the information addresses the question or
topic, the more valuable that piece of research becomes to the author of an essay.
During the researching for an essay, many pieces of information are acquired. Once the
information is in hand, it needs to be sorted to begin determining if all the aspects of the topic or
question are going to be addressed. This is why the second skill necessary to write a good
college-level essay is Organization.
Organization is the skill of sorting. Sorting relevant information is perhaps the
single most crucial skill necessary for writing a college-level essay. Already in the research
phase of an essay the sorting of relevant from irrelevant information is beginning. In the
organization phase, further sorting is necessary. Only that information that is most directly
relevant to the topic or question is to be included in the actual text of the essay. Additional, less
relevant but supportive, information is to be included