academic paper writing for students
College Research Paper Outline & Writing Guide

College Research Paper Outline & Writing Guide

Writing excellent college papers entails a lot of things, including ensuring the paper is well-detailed. Also, whatever thoughts or knowledge you convey in the paper must be clear, concise, and cohesive.

At the very least, that college paper you are writing must make an argument and support a claim or claim. It should lead readers to an inevitable conclusion based on facts from credible sources. This is undoubtedly a skill, and you can learn to do very well just by giving it what it takes.

Types of papers in college you will likely encounter

There are four main college paper types, each with specific language features and purposes. They include descriptive, analytical, critical, and persuasive papers.

  • Descriptive papers

This is the simplest type of college paper and academic writing; it aims to provide facts or information. The instructions for this type of college paper include a report, define, identify, record, and summarize.

  • Analytical papers

When it comes to college paper writing, you will only find a descriptive paper; it will also involve some analytical essays. This paper includes instructions such as analyzing, comparing, relating, examining, and contrasting.

  • Persuasive papers

Persuasive papers feature all the properties of analytical writing with the addition of the writer’s point of view. The point of view can include an argument, interpretation of findings, recommendation, or evaluation of other authors’ works.

  • Critical papers

Researchers, postgraduate students, and advanced undergraduate writers often use critical writing. This type of writing is the most complex; it requires strong writing skills and a thorough understanding of the topic and its issues. It combines persuasive writing but combines it with at least one point of view.

Collegiate writing: practical tips for writing papers in college

Writing a college paper can be tough for the newbie, but having the right tips makes all the difference. Below are some practical tips to guide you on how to write a college paper:

  • A clear and concise thesis statement; should convey your topic and stance in one sentence.
  • Support your thesis with strong and reliable secondary sources to give it merit, preferably research and scholarly articles.
  • A strong outline helps you write a great paper that will flow logically from one paragraph to the next. Also, having an outline helps you see where you need to adjust and amend when you’re done writing.
  • Create a rough draft before writing the final paper so you can see and correct errors, inconsistencies, and typos.
  • Although the introduction comes first, you should write it last after all your arguments and evidence have been organized.

Writing in college: how to head a college paper

A few simple rules guide college paper headings; once you learn the rules, you’ll be doing it automatically. How you head your college paper may differ slightly from how you did it in high school. Below are some tips for heading a college paper:

  • Depending on your field, you can use APA, Chicago or MLA format for the paper. These are the three most common writing styles used in writing college papers.
  • For instance, if you’re using MLA, your heading should be in the upper left part of the page. Use a recognizable font type like Times New Roman and 12-point font size.
  • Your first and last names should appear on the first line, with double spacing for each heading line.
  • The next line is for your professor’s first and last name, followed by your course title and code on the next line. The next and final line will carry the date.


Many students find adjusting to college life challenging; it’s a whole new experience for them. Writing a college paper doesn’t have to be hard; you need the right writing guide such as this to put you through.

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