August 27 2010

How to survive freshman English

by Barbie in Writing

For most college freshmen, their first semester includes an English course. Here are a few ways to survive the course:

Know grammar basics.

Understand comma basics, parallel structure and “that” vs. “which.” Avoiding classic freshman English mistakes will make your paper stand out. Your instructor can focus on your content and give you constructive criticism rather than simply marking up grammatical errors.

Read The Elements of Style.

This classic resource is a must for novice writers. Even though your high-school curriculum surely included some writing, Strunk and White’s book will prepare you for more intensive college writing.

Think beyond the five-paragraph essay.

Your high-school English teachers probably guided you through the five-paragraph essay time and again, but college writing calls for a more elaborate structure. Many freshman English instructors will push you to think beyond this structure to spark your creativity, so have an open mind and uncover paper formats that are more elaborate.