How to Write a College Essay (MLA, APA, Chicago Styles)

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To write a college essay in MLA, APA or Chicago styles, start by brainstorming ideas, research the topic, write a first draft with paragraphs focused on thesis statements, and reference quotes and research material appropriate to the style. Format a college essay according to MLA or APA standards with help from a writing instructor and former classroom teacher in this free video on essay writing.

Part of the Video Series: Reading, Writing & Education
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Laura, from, and I'm going to talk about how to write a college essay, in MLA, or APA style. When you're writing an essay, begin by pre-writing, so putting together some ideas, perhaps in a brainstorm mine map, where you cluster your ideas around the topic. You might also do some research, to make sure that you have some sources for your essay. You then begin with a first draft, putting your ideas together, organize it with a thesis statement, and then each paragraph will support your thesis statement. Write a concluding paragraph, where you sum up your thesis, and restate the thesis, sum it up, and then conclude with a statement about whether your thesis has been proven or disproven. The MLA or APA styles, are something that you can find many references for, and go back, and make sure that as you're doing a second draft, and revising your essay, make sure that you're following a specific formatting standard, of MLA, or APA, so those are some ideas about how to write a college essay, in MLA or APA formatting.


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