Academic Writing in High School vs. College: What’s the Difference?

It’s not uncommon for the transition from high school to college to leave students’ heads spinning. Suddenly there is a huge array of new and exciting experiences everywhere, but keeping up with college’s tougher academic demands can sometimes get lost in the shuffle. Here are some key differences between high school and college writing to help first-year students make a successful switch to the stricter academic environment.

Persuasive Writing

A key difference between high school and college is that students are suddenly required to make clear and persuasive arguments in their writing and support these claims with facts and other information.

Professors are looking for:

  • A thesis statement that is interesting and makes them want to know more
  • Well-chosen evidence that supports the claim
  • Insightful understanding of inherent limits to your claim or potential objections that readers may present

Using argument effectively in writing isn’t the same thing as fighting with your girlfriend or boyfriend; college-level essay writing demonstrates mastery of a subject. A good persuasive essay displays an amiable means of expression of opinion and answering to opposing views.

Understanding Expectations

Successful writing at the college level often requires that students have a firm grasp on their professors’ expectations. This is where some students run into trouble. Sometimes teachers aren’t entirely clear about their expectations – this may be intentional or unintentional. Professors have different standards: some want students to stick strictly to the specific instructions for writing an essay while others are looking for students to express their creativity by expounding on a more fluid topic.

The key to success may just be employing an essay writing service to help bridge the gap of uncertainty regarding professors’ expectations. Professional writers are experienced in writing papers that conform to the complex lists of requirements presented by different professors in today’s changing academic field. Professional essay writers know how to look beyond what the professors say in the assignment guidelines to help understand how to approach each unique assignment for the best possible grade.

Here are things to look for when trying to determine what your teacher really wants:

  • “Discuss” – does the professor want you to start with opposing ideas and weigh the two viewpoints?
  • “Compare and contrast” – does your teacher want you to explore the way two ideas are similar and dissimilar?
  • “Analyze” – sometimes assignments that ask you to “analyze” a particular idea or theme in reference to a specific work are the most fluid and left up to interpretation; is this what your prof is looking for?

Using the key buzzwords above and others like them helps professional writers tackle any custom writing assignment that you can throw at them. If you’re lost with regard to all the specific requirements for good college essay writing, it may be time to consider whether professional writing services may help make a difference in your academic life.