College Essay Examples: Some Useful Tips How to Start

Ready or not, there comes a point where every student is faced with writing their first essay.

Preparing to Write: College Essay Examples

The old saying goes, “Those who fail to prepare prepare to fail.” Why spend time and energy cleaning up a mess when you can avoid making one in the first place?

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  • Make sure you understand the purpose. There is no shame in asking your professor for clarification. Your success depends on understanding what she wants. Here are some ways to ask for clarification.
  • Explore and create a basic outline as you go. Combine your research and initial description process in one easy step. As you explore, create an informational dump – a bulleted list of topics you want to cover. Add article links and citations as needed so you can refer to them easily.
  • Find out what you want to say. What is your main argument or idea? You must know before you start. In order to make a point, you must have one.
  • Create a classic, canonical path. Once you have a clearer understanding of your main idea or argument, it’s time to organize an information dump. Delete anything that is irrelevant and organize your outline into a classic structure.

College Essay Examples: Drafting

By the end of the research and planning process, you will feel energized and ready to write about all of this interesting material that your research (or the brainstorming process if your essay requirement is more personal) has found. Use this energy to write a draft. Here’s a tip: don’t spend a lot of time pre-designing your intro. Often the article itself informs about the introduction, and you won’t know what your introduction has to say until your essay is finished.

College Essay Examples: the Parts of it


Your introduction tells the reader what to expect from your essay. Think of it as a short roadmap that starts with an intriguing introductory line, includes a summary of the topic and ideas you will present, and ends with a thesis.

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Opening Hook

It’s important to draw your reader in from the very first sentence.

Summary of Your Topic, Ideas, or Argument

Your introductory paragraph should present the subject and the points you intend to do. They should provide some background information to support the theses you will make at the end of the introduction.

Thesis Statement

Your thesis comes at the end of your introduction. Here’s a thesis from the Skyline College example above. It indicates the main meaning of the essay, which the author intends to substantiate.


The introduction states what is at stake and the body presents the evidence. In the case of a reasoned essay, the evidence can be research. In a more personal essay, it may be drawn from the author’s own experience. Write the body in a logical order. Some essays work well in chronological order, where events are presented in the same sequence as in time. Argumental essays are often emphatic, with the least important points presented first and escalated to the most important.


In your conclusion, you will wrap everything in neat packaging. Rephrase your thesis clearly, without repeating it word for word. Leave your reader to take away or think something.

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