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09/04/2019

What do COLLEGE professors look for in a good writing assessment / diagnostic?

QUESTION
What do COLLEGE professors look for in a good writing assessment / diagnostic?
My high school teacher is giving us a writing prompt tomorrow and we’ll be allowed 30 minutes to complete a 5 paragraph persuasive essay. I asked specifically about college, because I’d like my essay to stand out. I know this is what he’ll be using to judge us on whether or not we’re fit to be in his class. He grades on a scale of 1 – 6, 6 being the best. So, what are some general pointers on what can turn a 3-4 grade to a 5-6?

ANSWER
You’ll rarely have to write an essay in 30 minutes in college unless its for a midterm or final. Those short timed essays are going to be more about answering whatever question the professors asks than any specific writing technique.

Real college essays are not the short timed 5 paragraph ones you’re doing now.

Most college essays are measured in pages, not paragraphs and you’ll usually have at least a week to work on it. Usually it’ll be a term paper or a project of some sort and you’ll know about it well in advance.

College professors look for logical arguments supported with properly cited facts and data. They like for you to show that you understand the other side of the argument and that you know how to use facts and citations to refute the claims of the other side.