Academic Writing 101: Tips and Tricks for College Students

College life is a mix of exams, fun, and assignments. You need to submit a lot of assignments when you are in your college. Some assignments may involve writing long essays and others may need to solve some practical questions. One such assignment that you need to submit at the end of your course is the dissertation. Every dissertation and long writing assignment taken in any of the educational institutions is part of academic writing. It is vital to have information on every aspect of it. Thus we will help you to get familiar with academic writing.

Quick Takeaways

  • Academic writing involves all the types of writing included in universities and colleges.
  • Dissertations, research papers, assignments, etc are all parts of academic writing.
  • You must try to focus and stay away from all kinds of distractions while writing academic writing.
  • Try to take breaks while writing so that you can get refreshed and look for new ideas that you can involve in the content.

However, you must read till the end so that you do not miss any of the crucial information on academic writing. 

How to focus while writing?

When you are writing anything you need to focus on how to write it-

  • You must always try to focus on and stay away from all distractions. Try to keep your mobile away from the area where you are studying.
  • There are various voice cancellation tools that you can use while writing the research paper if you are in a place which is full of noise.
  • To write a good research paper you must be able to manage your time. You must divide your time for different factors in writing the research paper.
  • You must take a lot of breaks while you are writing the paper. It will help you to refresh and help to get new ideas for it.
  • Another way of focusing on writing is by trying different ways by which you can improve your writing speed. Some of the methods by which you can improve the speed are by writing the introduction at the end.
  • Try to create an outline before starting the final assignment. The outline will help you to know where to start and what kind of things to include in it. 

Although now you know how to focus while writing, let us look at different types of assignments that you will be taking during college or university time. 

What are the different types of assignments that you will be doing in college?

Following are the different types of assignments that you will have to do at the university-

1. Research Paper

A research paper is a type of academic writing in which you give a deep understanding of a topic you have chosen. In a research paper, you will have to evaluate what you have studied based on the evidence. The length of the research paper varies with the educational institution in which you are studying. This means that how many pages and the number of words will be used in your research paper will depend upon the educational institution. When you are writing a research paper you must make sure that the content you have included is original. 

You must not include plagiarism in it and thus should use Safeassign. Plagiarism in a research paper will result in losing your own credibility and you may also get punished for it. Though you must not involve any plagiarism, your professor may allow giving 10% of plagiarism in it. Also when you are writing the assignment you will be dividing the content into different paragraphs. Thus how many paragraphs you will have to involve will depend upon the length of the paper and the sections.

There are different sections like literature review, introduction, etc in the research paper. Thus what is the length of your paper will also depend upon the literature review. Around 40% of the content of the paper is for literature review. Also, it will depend upon the type of paragraphs and the rules and regulations of the institution. 

2. Thesis

A thesis is a statement of the topic which you will have to interpret the statement. Writing a thesis is just like a literature review. You will have to look for all the facts related to the thesis statement you have given. However, one thing that is different from the research paper, is the length of it. When you are writing a thesis it is very much shorter than a research paper.

Again the length of the thesis will depend upon the institution you are studying in. When you are writing a thesis statement you must make sure that you are only capitalizing the words that are important. Try to avoid capitalising helping words in the thesis statement. In it also you will be writing the literature review. Sometimes you may need to write a mini-literature review.

3. Comic Research Paper

The comic research paper is just like a research paper but has a more humorous nature in it. You will have to involve different humorous aspects in it. The first thing is to decide which topic will you involve in the paper. You will need to create a story that revolves around your topic in a more fun manner. The length of the paper again will depend on various factors like rules and regulations, length of the paragraph, etc.

4. Video Essay

A video essay is a type of essay in which you will have to provide information to the students with various visual images and audio in a form of video. Usually, this type of essay is 3-4 minutes long. They are created in such a manner that you are depicting a story to the people. When you are creating a video essay, you will first have to decide on the topic and look for different sources for creating the video essay. 

5. Essay Writing

When you are writing essays as your assignments you must make sure that you are starting it by writing an introduction of the topic. There are many other ways for starting the essay like starting with a related quote or by asking a question. You can start with a lot of amazing facts related to the topic on which you are writing. 

Depending on your speed, the time taken for completing the essay will vary. While writing the essay, there are many terms which are hard to understand. Thus you should try to define the word in the content. Furthermore, when you are writing the essay, you may also need to involve various headings. Make sure to capitalize or italicise where needed and do not forget to capitalize the essay title. You must also take care of what type of essay you are writing in the assignments. Following are the different types of paragraphs which can be included in the essays-

a. Compare and contrast essays

Compare and contrast essays are the ones which help you to compare the features and different aspects of a particular thing. In this type of essay, you will have to write different aspects of both facts. You will need to look for a niche, get the related data, and collect the evidence. After that start writing the essay by writing facts about both sides.

b. 2-paragraph/ 5- paragraph essay

A 2-paragraph essay is a short-based assignment that you will be taking during the normal class time. In most cases, you will have to write 10-15 lines in 2 paragrams. However, it is very difficult to write a 2- paragraph as you will not be able to include all the important facts in it.

A 5-paragraph essay on the other hand is an assignment in which you will be writing the content within 5 paragraphs. Again you will write all the related content in the 5-paragraph. In this type of essay, you must keep the first and last paragraph for the introduction and conclusion respectively. The middle three paragraphs should involve the content which revolves around the topic.

c. Argumentative essay

An argumentative essay is one in which you will have to include all the crucial facts and information in it. You must make sure that whatever you are adding to the content has evidence of it. When you are writing this essay you will have to look for a statement also known as a counter which will help you to explain to understand what is all about the essay. You may also involve dialogues in these essays to make them easier to understand for various readers. 

Further, these essays again include different paragraphs like the claim paragraphs. They are the paragraphs that help to support the main topic. It is a very important part of it as you will have to write things in the support of the topic and against it as well. Further, it also involves a definition paragraph that means defining the topic.

d. 5-Page paper

A 5-Page paper is one in which you will need to complete your research within 5 pages. All the research you do must be completed in it. This is again like a short assignment which you will be getting during college or university life. Again the number of paragraphs depends upon the types of the paragraphs and the content in them. To get a good 5-page paper you need to select the topic, do proper research, and structure the content.

6. Term Paper

A term paper is again like a dissertation which you need to give at the end of your semester. It helps to check how much content you have understood throughout the semester. To write it, you will need to start by thinking of the topic and doing proper research. You will need to start by writing an introduction to it and then include the related content in the body. Make sure that you are adding the original content and is not copied.


Academic writing involves different types of writing which generally takes place in colleges or universities. It involves all the writing assignments, dissertations, research papers, thesis, etc. While writing the research paper and thesis you must make sure that the content you have chosen revolves around your topic and also you are not including any kind of plagiarism in it. As it may result in punishment and loss your credibility. 

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