College Writing Assignments

Studying at college can be a difficult thing to do. There are many different types of assignments you need to be able to prepare within a given time period. Most of them are various kinds of papers. The following guidelines will help you get to know the most common examples of typical college assignments and features of their writing.


An essay is a sample of paper that proves writer’s opinion to be correct based on evidence. There are different types of essays: narrative, descriptive, expository, persuasive, argumentative, comparative and so on. Each professor can have his or her own requirements for writing an essay, so be sure to read the assignment carefully and follow the instructions. The most common structure of a short essay is a five paragraphs text with introduction, main body and conclusion. The scheme looks as follows:

  • the first paragraph introduces the topic of the essay and author’s opinion on it;
  • three next paragraphs provide evidences of writer’s opinion;
  • the last paragraph is a conclusion where the evidence is summarized, and final statement is given.

Term paper

A term paper is a type of a research paper that is written by students at the end of an academic term. There are two main categories of this assignment: an analytical paper or an argumentative one. The first type implies analyzing the issue, meaning breaking it into parts for better understanding, the second type requires evidence that persuade the reader to accept author’s point of view. Both analytical and argumentative papers challenge students to give their own thoughts based on their previous research. That is why the first step for any writer is to become familiar with previous studies on the topic, compare other researchers’ opinions and make his or her own conclusion.


Thesis is a type of work that is supposed to show student’s reading comprehension skills. Usually, this assignment requires writing a summary, or main ideas of a book or an article. Very often, a professor can ask you to provide personal opinion or explain some terms in your own words. Again, read the instructions carefully and follow them precisely.


A report is a written demonstration of research results. Usually, it is done after some labs or workshops. The purpose of this paper is to structure information received form an experiment or observation. The structure of a report is more or less standard: the introduction that focuses reader’s attention on the problem, the problem-solving methodology, the results of the experiment and discussion on them.