There are different types of college essay prompts you might encounter on test days or during college applications. Depending on the type of essay you're writing, you may be asked to do different things. Here's a quick overview of each:
- Narrative: In a narrative essay, you will be required to tell a story. This can be a personal story, such as an experience you had, or a historical story, such as an event you witnessed. Either way, the goal is to write an engaging tale that draws the reader in and helps them understand your point of view.
- Argumentative: An argumentative essay will want you to take a position on a controversial issue and defend that position with evidence. When writing an argumentative essay, it's important to be aware of both sides of the issue and present a fair and unbiased argument.
- Expository: An expository essay prompt will ask you to explain something. This could be a concept, an event, or an idea. When writing an expository essay, your goal is to explain the topic clearly and concisely.
- Persuasive: In persuasive essay writing, you are required to convince the reader to see things your way. When writing a persuasive essay, you'll need to present a strong argument in favor of your point of view and use evidence to support your case.
- Comparative: In comparative essay writing, the writer is required to compare two things. This could be two people, two events, or two ideas. When writing a comparative essay, you'll need to find similarities and differences between the two things you're comparing.
Tips for Approaching Each Prompt
Now that you know the different essay prompts, let's take a look at some tips for how to approach each prompt.
- Narrative: When writing a narrative essay, it's important to be creative and use your imagination. Don't be afraid to use descriptive language and to really bring the story to life. Be sure also to include a moral or lesson learned from the experience you're sharing.
- Argumentative: Argumentative essays can be tricky to write, as you need to find evidence to support your position. However, with a little research, it's possible to find data to back up your argument. Be sure also to present the other side of the issue and refute their arguments.
- Expository: When writing an expository essay, clarity is key. Be sure to explain the topic in a way that is easy for the reader to understand. Use examples and illustrations to help make your point.
- Persuasive: To write a convincing persuasive essay, you'll need to have strong evidence in favor of your position. Find data and statistics that support your argument and use them to convince the reader to see things your way.
- Comparative: When writing a comparative essay, it's important to find both similarities and differences between the two things you're comparing. Be sure to use specific examples to illustrate your points.
It doesn't really matter what kind of college essay prompts you're addressing. Keep these tips in mind as you write your essay, and you'll be sure to create a strong, well-written piece. If you need more help, there are plenty of resources available to you. There are books, websites, and even college paper writing services that can help you improve your essay-writing skills.
If you choose to go with a college paper writing service which, incidentally, is one of the best options, you will get help with the entire process, from choosing a topic to editing and proofreading your essay. College paper writing services have experts on staff that can help you with every step of the essay-writing process.
If you're unsure where to start, try looking at some sample essays. There are several places you can find sample essays, including online databases and college websites.
You can also find many essay writing guides that will give you step-by-step instructions on how to write an essay. A simple Google search like what is an essay prompt should open up plenty of resources you can use. Whatever you do, don't give up. With a little practice, you'll be writing essays like a pro in no time.
Mistakes to Avoid when Answering Essay Prompts
Now that you know how to approach a college essay prompt, let's look at some of the mistakes you should avoid.
- One of the biggest mistakes students make when answering essay questions is not taking the time to understand the instructions. Ideally, you cannot honor the essay's word limit if you do not understand what it is asking. Before you start brainstorming or even writing anything, make sure you understand the requirement. A great way to do this is to break down the topic into smaller questions. For example, if you're asked to write about a time when you faced a challenge, you could break that down into smaller questions such as: What was the challenge? Why was it a challenge for you? How did you face it? What were the results of your actions?
- Another common mistake is not proofreading or editing your work. Once you've finished writing your essay, be sure to take the time to revise and edit it. This includes checking for grammar and spelling errors and ensuring that your essay flows well and makes sense. A well-written essay will be far more effective than one that is poorly put together.
The Bottom Line
College essay prompts are a great way to get students to think critically about a topic and develop their writing skills. However, it's important to avoid making common mistakes when answering prompts. Be sure to take the time to understand the question, be specific in your response and proofread and edit your work.