Differences Between School Essays and College Essays

by in Education

The transition from school to college is a challenge for every student worldwide. They have to go out of their comfort zone and meet different people. Further, expectations are different in college than in schools. 

It is reflected in the way they write articles, essays and research papers. 

Schools are the first step towards the academic field, where we learn about different writing styles. It is the place where we first come in contact with essays. 

Teachers often spend hours teaching – 

  • What is an essay?
  • How to write an essay/
  • What is the right to write a well-defined essay?  

All these questions define the nuptial stage of learning, where mistakes and excitement entangle with each other. Thus, it is the stepping stone toward writing a well-designed essay. 

College is different. It is mature learning where you have a sound knowledge of academic writing. 

In the college, teaching focuses around – 

  • What to write in an essay? 
  • How to present an article? 

The whole mature stage of learning narrows down writing for a particular audience. 

Therefore, understandably there are differences between school and college essays: the writing format and adjustment around word count changes. Similarly, the presentation segment of writing also changes.   

Let us discuss them – 

Features Of School Essays 

As discussed earlier, schools are the step towards learning. Here are a few features of school essays – 

  • Personal Touch: Students must add their personal touch. In this way, they can state their understanding of the subject.
  • Word Limit: In a school, a fixed amount of words to convey your messages. Word count ranges from 500 to 1000 words. If you fail to comply, then marks are deducted.
  • Style: In schools, students teach how to write in a certain manner, using the right words and grammar. In the primary stage, choice of words, sentence construction, and grammar are important during essay writing. 
  • Structure: Generally, when students are in school, they are taught to follow a certain system. It teaches them the writing format and the way to divide paragraphs.

Suppose you’re looking to know about school essays. You can visit the website of Fresh Essays.

Features of College Essays 

College is different, as the emphasis lies on quality and audience. It is where students start interacting with the vast academic world and sources to enhance their essays.

Therefore, here are a few features of a college essay – 

  • Reflective: when you enter the college’s boundary, professors teach about reflective essays. It is where you reflect on the learning process.
  • Descriptive and Engaging: College students must write long essays and describe events in great detail. They learn how to write an engaging article during the writing process. 
  • Honest: It goes a long way in connecting with professors. Teachers tell students to add open statements in essays to make them more authentic.
  • Unconventional: Having a unique sense of selecting and presenting topics is important. It helps students get good scores in college. 

Hence, after getting to know the different features of college and school essays, it is understandable that they are different. 

Let us know – 

Difference In College And School Essays 

The features show certain differences in how college and school students write essays.  

Here are a few of them – 

Structural Difference 

In school, some structures are mandatory for every student to follow. Generally, a school essay is divided into three parts; introduction, body, and conclusion. 

Therefore, students have to adjust their content within that edifice. Within that given structure, they have the thesis statement, explain them, and provide the relevant data to increase the article’s accuracy. 

Finally, the article ends by summarising points written in the report.  

This is not the case for college essays. There is no given structure allotted to students. Rather, the students have to create the frame around the available content. 

College students have to build the tower around the topic and add relevant information to increase the validity of the essay. 


School essays are written in a one-way direction. They take one side, write statements accordingly, and then conclude it—a simple way of writing argumentative essays at rudimentary levels.  

Further, the conclusion is similar to the thesis statement, which is reinstated. Thus, making it easy for young students to write. 

The writing gets complex once you enter the mature form of education, where you must present different perspectives. Colleges teach you their distinct voices, which one has to add to the essay. 

This way, you can present an article holistically and make the readers think about the event. Your perception is added in the conclusion, where you reflect on the situation and put your opinion. 

Neutrality is important in presenting arguments. One focuses on writing unbiased articles. 

Disclaimer: length of the article matters in college, as you have to write a ten-page essay, which is trickier than school essays.  

When it comes to rewriting, school essays focus on grammar and punctuation. For college essays, it is arguments, choice of words, citations, and structure. 


Before writing a composition, you should know the audience you are approaching. The reader must decide on the writing’s quality. 

Therefore, essays written in school are for everyone. Anyone who chooses to read can open the article and read. 

First, they are simple and, secondly, easily summarized. Hence, teachers, students, or even outside readers can read and understand the topic.  

When it comes to college, the audience is more sophisticated. Consequently, students focus on complex topics and use high-quality evidence to increase the authenticity of the composition. 

They have to visit various academic sources to collect and pen information. This way, they can make their content readable to professors or other authors. 

College essays excel in high-quality writing with zero grammatical mistakes, well-researched information, and the right choice of words. For that reason, it is more difficult to write college essays than school essays. 

In The End 

In conclusion, writing college essays is easier than writing school essays. Multiple factors affect college students, and they must consider that writing a long paragraph text is different from school. 

Yet, focusing on the school curriculum is important, as they teach students how to counter college difficulties.