What Is the Difference Between A-Level and University Essay?

Colleges and universities offer different types of educational activities. Both differ greatly in terms of complexity, causality, courses, and time of completion of degrees. Attendance, disciplines, and punctuality are major issues that affect the A-levels students more than the university students. Apart from these, we can also differentiate college and university life based on essay writing practices. At A level, you have to make less effort to write an essay, but as you move on to university, the teacher’s expectation to receive good essay content increases many folds. This is only one difference between A-level and university essays. This article will discuss a list of differences between the A-level and university essay writing. Let us first briefly discuss essay writing for the developing better conceptual understanding.

Essay writing:

The word essay is derived from the Latin word ‘exagium’, which roughly means to present one case. This Latin word explains that an essay is a short piece of writing in which the author presents one side of an argument. Essays are of many types based on structure and purpose of writing, such as argumentative essays, cause and effect essays, compare and contrast essays, narrative essays, and many more. It is the topic of discussion that helps us decide which type of essay can best clear a writer’s position on a situation. Therefore, most students prefer hiring the best essay writing services to bring perfection in their essays. In this article, regardless of the type of essay, we have shared the following some general differences between university and A-level essays.

Differences based on structure:

Whenever we talk about A-level and university essays, the most apparent difference between the two is in structuring methods. The structure of an A-level essay includes the division of the content into three main parts: introduction, body paragraphs and conclusion. However, to draft a university essay, you can select any type of structural organisation to clarify your stance on a topic. In short, A-levels essays revolve around the typical essay structure, while university level essays’ structure revolves around the needs of topics of discussion.

Differences based on making arguments:

An A-level essay establishes a one-sided presentation of a topic. You can use examples to prove your thesis statement. Moreover, the conclusion restates the thesis statements. In contrast, University level essays more resemble a conversation. University and advanced levels need you to develop a balanced argument based on facts. Thus, the type and practice to develop arguments differ greatly in both types of essays.

Differences based on audience:

College or A-level essays address a general audience. These essays are usually written so everyone can read and understand them. Conversely, writing a university essay aims to address a particular audience. In short, the sole purpose of school and college-level essays is to evaluate the argumentative or other writing skills of a student. Instead, in the majority of cases, students write essays in Universities for publication; thus, knowing the audience matters a lot.

Differences based on length of an essay:

One of the most prominent differences between A-level and university level essays is the word limit. At the college or school level, the suggested word count often does not exceed 800 to 1000 words. In comparison, the word limit for essays at higher education levels often exceeds 10 pages. Thus, to write an essay for University, you must have a better conceptual understanding of the topic and good research abilities to find the best quality content for a long essay, which is not as necessary at A- level.

Differences based on writing standards:

In university, professors not only check your sentence structure, grammar and vocabulary, but a number of writing skills, such as the critical evaluation approach used to logically connect different ideas and abilities of students to prove a claim in the light of the evidence and theories count at the university level. In contrast, the use of such writing techniques in A-levels essay is preferable but not compulsory.

Differences based on a number of paragraphs:

As described above, the structure of an essay is typically divided into three main parts (introduction, paragraph and conclusion). There is no hard and fast rule for selecting an essay’s structure. You can download any template that resembles the topic of your interest and rewrite it with your own content. For an A-level essay, you can write a short paragraph to introduce your topic and end the introduction with the thesis statement. Furthermore, all you do is to use the thesis statement to form three to four topic sentences and collect evidence related to them. Three to four short paragraphs are more than enough for an intermediate or college-level essay. In conclusion, explain the thesis statement in light of the topic sentences. Contrary to this, the number of paragraphs in the university essay depends on the suggested word count. The introduction and conclusion must not exceed 10 % of the total word count. Based on the word limit, you can easily select the number of body paragraphs (each paragraph must range between 150-200 words)

Differences based on originality:

A-level essay aims to teach writing practices to students; thus, professors compromise on the originality of content to some extent. Paraphrasing and using direct quotes with thin critical discussion are acceptable in A-levels essay. Contrastingly, the originality in the content of an essay is mandatory for university students. Stealing someone else’s ideas is a serious research misconduct and is strictly prohibited in university essays.

Differences based on the selection of topics:

During college life, students are expected to select a broad topic for their academic essays. The selection of broad topics helps them to effectively handle a large pool of data and arrange them in such a way that even a lame person can understand it easily. In contrast, university students should select a clear and narrow topic to develop balanced arguments on a topic.

Final thoughts:

Students have to use slightly different approaches to write an essay for different educational levels (such as A-levels and university). Your transition from college to university demands you to take extra care of many additional things as well. For writing a university essay, you need to make more efforts on the topic of interest, increase word count and other quality writing standards (use more credible evidence and sources). All in all, the basic standards such as grammar and sentence structure remain the same; however, quality and research standards increase many times as you move from college to universities.

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