What makes college essays so hard to complete?

College courses have high writing standards, and most professors who assign essays have lofty expectations for those essays. Instructors can be rather difficult to please and their reputation is well-known on campus, striking fear into the hearts of students who are committed to getting good grades.

Producing a fabulous college essay can be difficult even for the student who was a great writer in high school. Why is this so? There could be a number of reasons, including:

  • A student is usually away from home when going to college, and loves the taste of freedom. Being tied down for hours each day for days on end doing research and writing an essay is not their idea of freedom.
  • Guidelines for essay writing are much stricter in college than high school. The writing must adhere to a specific format, APA format for example.
  • A detailed reference or citation list is expected.
  • It’s harder to fool a college professor with shoddy writing.
  • A college student’s written work will either impress or dissuade the instructor, which has an effect on future placements.
  • The competition between students for good grades is much stiffer in college.
  • There are many social distractions at college that take the student’s focus away from completing their essay.
  • The assigned prompts or topics may not harbor any interest for the student, making it difficult to put passion and meaning into the words when writing.
  • Some students have had a lack of proper training for the process of essay writing, including scheduling time for the work, research, taking notes, making an outline, writing a captivating opening, summary and references.
  • The pressure from other class assignments and projects may be so time-consuming that the student has little time to dedicate to completing their essay.

It becomes a difficult balance for the student, and that’s why it’s so hard to complete their college essays. There are so many other things making demands on their time, energy and resources that the essay often falls by the wayside until the deadline is very, very near. At that point, the stress of knowing the essay must be written in such a short time and yet be of high quality can cause the student to have writer’s block and just not know where to start. This kind of stress can cause students to procrastinate the work even further or just plain give up.

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