Differences Between High School Writing And College Writing

Last Updated on March 19, 2022 by QCity Editorial Stuff

College writing is a more advanced form of high school writing. In college, students are expected to go beyond the basics and write with sophistication. Writing in college also requires an understanding of different genres, such as research papers and essays. This blog post will break down some of the major differences between high school and college-level writing so that you can be prepared for the demands of your future classes.

It’s not uncommon to see people struggling in their collegiate courses because they don’t know how to handle the increased difficulty–and it doesn’t help when professors throw out difficult assignments without any warning or preparation time. When faced with these challenges, many students often ask themselves “What’s wrong with me? I’m smart!”.

In the world of academia, there are two major types of writing: high school and college. The difference between these types is not just a change in difficulty level, but also a change in the type of audience you’re writing for. In this post, we’ll go over some of the key differences between high school and college writing so that you can know what to expect when you start your first semester at an undergraduate institution.

Comparison Between High School Writing And College Writing

Parameters of ComparisonHigh School writingCollege Writing
Memorization High school writing is about memorizationcollege writing is more about analytical thinking.
Focus In high school, you’re often graded on grammar and spellingthe focus is more on argumentative essays
Papers Shorter Longer 
Standard Less standard More standard 
Eassy Shorter Longer 

What Is High School Writing?

What Is High School Writing

What is high school writing? It’s an important question to ask, because the answer may surprise you. High school writing can be anything from a five-paragraph essay about why your dog should not go outside unattended to a two-page analysis of Romeo and Juliet. The point is that it all depends on what you’re studying in high school English class.

High school writing is a type of academic essay that has different requirements than other types of essays. It typically focuses on the author’s personal experience or observations rather than ideas, and it typically takes up to three pages. The beginning paragraph should introduce the topic, while the conclusion should recap what was discussed to provide closure for readers who may have skipped around in your paper.  High school writers are often required to present their perspective with an opinion, which sometimes means they need additional support from outside sources such as statistics or quotations from experts. I hope this blog post helped you understand high school writing a little better.

What Is College Writing?

What Is College Writing

What is college writing? It’s not just about learning how to write in high school, but it’s also about the different types of assignments you will receive. College-level writing includes essays that are long and complex with a lot of research involved. You’ll need to be able to present your ideas effectively through cohesive paragraphs while citing sources correctly to earn good grades in your college courses. If you want more information on what college-level writing entails, keep reading.

College writing is a term used to describe academic and formal writing. College students are expected to write in this style because it reflects their educational attainment, demonstrates their skill set, and sets them apart from other writers. Writing college papers requires research skills, critical thinking abilities, and an understanding of the assignment requirements. 

10 Differences Between High School Writing And College Writing

1. High school writing is about memorization and rote learning, while college writing is more about analytical thinking.

2. In high school, you’re often graded on grammar and spelling, while in college, the focus is more on argumentative essays.

3. College papers are longer than high school papers.

4. In high school you have a teacher who grades your paper and gives feedback for improvement, while in college it’s all up to you to improve your skills. 

5. The average length of an essay in high school would be 1-2 pages long with 10-12 sentences per paragraph; whereas the average length of an essay in college would be 3-5 pages long with 15-20 sentences per paragraph.

6. High schools teach students how to write formal essays that follow a certain format or template – such as 5 paragraphs with 4 body paragraphs each – but colleges don’t do this because they want their students to learn how to think critically and come up with their ideas rather than following someone else’s pre-existing rules.

7. In high school, you’re told what to write about and how to write it.

8. In college, you’re given a prompt and then asked to use your own words.

9. High school writing is usually shorter than college essays.

10. College papers are graded on the quality of their arguments while high schools focus on grammar and spelling errors.

Interesting Statistics Or Facts Of High School writing

1. In a study conducted by the National Writing Project, researchers found that students who write more frequently are better at reading comprehension.

2. Research shows that writing can aid in memory retention and problem-solving skills.

3. Students who take notes on their laptops or tablets tend to have lower grades than those taking handwritten notes.

4. The average person writes about 2,000 words per day, which is equivalent to a 50-page book each year.

5. One of the most common mistakes made by high school writers is using “I” too often.

6. Studies show that people with dyslexia may be able to read faster when they write out their thoughts first before typing them out.

Interesting Statistics Or Facts Of College Writing

1. The average length of a college essay is 2500 words.

2. College essays are used to evaluate the applicants’ writing ability, critical thinking skills, and knowledge of the subject.

3. Most colleges require at least one essay on your application.

4. Essays are graded based on content, organization, grammar/punctuation usage, and style (most important).

5. There’s no “right” way to write an essay – it can be in first person or third person point of view; however some schools prefer that you don’t use first-person point of view because they want to know how well you would represent them if accepted into their school.

6. Colleges typically want 250-500 words for each essay question asked on the application.

Conclusion About The Differences Between High School Writing And College Writing

When you are writing in college, it is important to remember that everything will be read by your professors. This means being more specific with your word choice and examining what you are saying carefully before committing anything to paper. Avoid using contractions because this may not be appropriate for the academic setting. Choose words wisely, as they should have a clear meaning without any confusion or ambiguity. Make sure you understand all of the requirements for each assignment so that there is no question about expectations when submitting assignments on time.

High School writing: Students are taught to write in a bland, straightforward style. They do not have the opportunity to explore many different styles of writing while they are still learning how to establish their voice and find what genre suits them best. -College Writing: After high school students graduate, they will be exposed to a more complex sentence structure that has multiple clauses within it. This type of sentence is often called an “Oxford comma” or “serial comma” because it requires both commas before joining two sentences together with just one conjunction word like “and.” For example, instead of saying “I ate bread,” you would say “I ate bread and butter”. College writers also get opportunities for creative expression through academic papers where the focus is on the idea or argument rather than grammar rules or sentence structure. 


Resource 01: https://literacyideas.com/high-school-writing-skills/
Resource 02: https://www.umgc.edu/current-students/learning-resources/writing-center/online-guide-to-writing/tutorial/chapter1/ch1-01.html

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