How to Teach High School Students to Write Well-Researched College Essays

As an educator, you understand how important it is for your students to be good writers. Their writing skills will organize their lives both in and out of the classroom. Soon, they will graduate high-school and start a new chapter of their stories. A chapter that is impossible without critical writing skills.

Without writing, a student would not be able to succeed in any discipline, whether it be English or Biology. Recently, the learners’ habits and priorities have started to shift towards technology. And sure, the new technology may ease all our lives, but it’s still important to teach students to write without any assistance.

All teachers want to ensure that the learners’ transition from high school to college or university occurs with the most ease. In this article, we have brought to you some tips on how to teach your students to do research and write academic papers.

First Steps

There are multiple kinds of writing assignments that your students will need to tackle, apart from essays. Explaining it to them should be the first step in teaching them how to fulfill those tasks. Let them know about the four types of academic writing and make sure the difference is clear.

Sometimes, learners may not have the time or energy to write an assignment. That is when they turn to websites like where expert writers offer extra assistance. Your main task is to teach them in such a way that writing does not feel like a burden. They should be able to handle homework without assistance.


Probably the most important part of academic writing that first-year college students often skip is writing an outline. It is extremely helpful to write out a plan of what the essay is going to include. The final product might significantly differ from the outline, but writing it is crucial to structure one’s thoughts and opinions.


Students often underestimate the importance of research. They may think that the information given to them in class is enough to cover a small essay. However, the education system is built in a way that lots of material is left for the students to learn independently.

In the process of researching for an essay, an inexperienced student may find themself wasting time on non-credible websites or those that do not have the information they need. When it comes to research, you need to let them know that the textbooks will probably have sufficient information on the topic, and unless instructed otherwise, they should use primary sources.

In a case that the coursebook lacks the information, or a student wants to deepen their knowledge, they are free to use the internet. Teach them the basics of digital literacy, what links to open and which ones to pass on, how to use search queries with maximum efficiency.

Aim and Purpose

One of the biggest mistakes students make is writing aimlessly. As you read such an essay, you can tell it has been written without a drive, and the student barely understands the topic. Often learners have to write on topics that do not spark joy in them. But the assignment is obligatory and there is no way to avoid it, that’s when the bland essays appear.

It would be best if you educated them on the importance of the essay purpose, on how to find it and use it for one’s benefit. When a student has a clear understanding of the aim and purpose of their writing, they will make an outline and write the paper with much less trouble, in spite of the topic.


Students need to receive feedback regularly in order to improve. It is vital to pay enough attention to everyone ensuring they are on the right track. Feedback has to be educative and constructive. You must evaluate students in such a manner that they don’t feel discouraged after the class.

No two students are alike, and this is probably the hardest part of the teacher’s work. Finding the right approach for every student and encouraging them to keep trying is a vital skill for every educator.

But assessing the whole class can be challenging for a single teacher. Dividing students into pairs or small groups and having them evaluate each others’ work is a clever way to free your desk from all their homework. Make sure you are pairing the right people, though if you don’t want them to fight in class.


There is no single recipe for a perfect essay. Hard work, consistency, and diligence may be the main components, but the rest differs depending on a student. Teaching them the basics of academic writing is the least you can do to prepare them for higher education. One cannot overestimate how hard the first years of college will be.

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