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Writing an Essay: the College Way

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Writing an Essay: The College Way
One of the many tasks expected of college students is to know how to write well organized and developed essays. Writing an essay is not simply going about a certain topic. There are particular rules a student must apply when writing in order to submit an acceptable essay, which if they are not met, the student may face strict consequences that could even lead to expulsion. Students will learn the different techniques of writing a professional essay, like the differences between quoting, paraphrasing and summarizing. In an essay, the student must use the correct types of citation required and know the importance of citing sources properly and the consequences of citing improperly.
Many of the courses at the college level require students to write an essay at one point or another. In the process of writing these essays, students will often use quotations to reinforce the argument or position presented in the essay. Quotations must be worded exactly as extracted from its source, and credit must always be given where it’s due. However, sometimes students may use paraphrasing as another way to support an idea. Paraphrasing is basically taking the information from a chosen source and expressing it in one’s own words instead of just repeating it word by word. On another note, summarizing will also be used whilst writing an essay. Instead of including an entire article to back up one’s position, a student can summarize that article by stating the most essential ideas portrayed in a concise manner. It is also a way to go over all the important ideas discussed in the student’s essay and come up with a clear and broad conclusion in order for the reader to grasp the most essential message from the essay.
Quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing require different types of citations. For paraphrasing and summarizing, one must only cite the author’s last name and publication year in the in-text reference. For example, “According to Jones (1998), APA style is a difficult citation format for first-time learners”. On the other hand, short quotations require the author’s name, year of publication and the page number preceded by the letter “p.” As For long quotations, according to Driscoll and Brizee),
Place direct quotations that are 40 words, or longer, in a free-standing block of typewritten lines, and omit quotation marks. Start the quotation on a new line, indented 1/2 inch from the left margin, i.e., in the same place you would begin a new paragraph. Type the entire quotation on the new margin, and indent the first line of any subsequent paragraph within the quotation 1/2 inch from the new margin. Maintain double-spacing throughout. The parenthetical citation should come after the closing punctuation mark. (Driscoll, 2013)
An example of long quotation citing is shown above while quoting directly from the Purdue OWL website.
While citing sources can be a tricky matter, it is an inevitable responsibility for all students, no exception. Failing to do so will result be violating college conduct and will result in serious punishment. According to the Maricopa Governance Online Policy Manual, section 2.3.11, called Academic misconduct,
Plagiarism is a form of cheating in which a student falsely represents another person’s work as his or her own it includes, but is not limited to: (a) the use of paraphrase or direct quotation of the published or unpublished work of another person without full and clear acknowledgment; (b) Unacknowledged use of materials prepared by another person or agency engaged in the selling of term papers or other academic materials; and (c) information gathered from the internet and not properly identified. (Maricopa Governance, 2014)
Therefore, any student who fails to cite references properly or fails to cite them at all will be accused of plagiarism, which is taken extremely serious by college officials. Moreover, a student being accused of plagiarism can be reprimanded on an academic level and a disciplinary level. Academically, the student will receive a warning, along with the deduction of grades, extracurricular assignments, or even failing the course altogether. On the other hand, a student can also be reprimanded on a disciplinary level, which can include disciplinary probation, college suspension, or even worse, college expulsion.
In conclusion, it is every college student’s responsibility to be aware of the rules and regulations of writing a professional essay. There are different techniques for delivering information whether it be quoting, paraphrasing, summarizing, or all three of them, and a student must never forget to properly cite whenever using an of these methods. Citation is meant to give credit to the original authors, otherwise it will be considered as stealing the idea of another person and using it as one’s own. This form of stealing is called plagiarism, and it is not tolerated at college, university, or the workforce, and a student accused of plagiarism will face severe consequences. College is a transitional phase between school and the real world, and students are taught the disciplines needed to survive in the workforce. That is why every college student must always write with passion, stimulation, and most importantly, integrity.


Online policy manual. (2014). Retrieved from Driscoll, D. L., & Brizee, A. (2013, February 15). Purdue Owl: Quoting, Paraphrasing and
Summarizing. Retrieved from

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