Advice for Beginning College Students

Advice for Beginning College Students (Portfolio)

  • Answers the question: “What is something important that first-year college and university students should consider as they get started?”
  • The essay will go in your portfolio and, along with the thinking about reading and writing presentation, is part of the group activities you will write about in your collaborative reflection.
  • The essay requires research and must include a minimum of 4 outside sources cited in the text and in a works cited section at the end of the essay. Refer to the MLA eighth edition style guide for formatting questions.
  • Your audience is beginning college students.
  • The essay should be 4 – 5 pages, including images, and be double-spaced with a 12 pt. font. The works cited should be on a separate page following the essay. 
  • The essay must be posted in the CIDocs folder, Advice for Beginning College Students.

Draft Due Week 6

Portfolio Due Week 14

  • Topic selection should be something of interest to beginning college students. Topics might include: living in the dorm, studying, collaborating with classmates, handling alcohol and drugs, applying for financial aid, navigating sexuality, etc. Use your own experience as a guide.
  • Choose only one topic to investigate and discuss. The essay should not be a list or a series of quotes addressing every college challenge.
  • The essay needs to be an argument, not just informational. The essay should have a clear main idea that reasonable folk could disagree about.
  • The document should be informal. Personal pronouns and contractions are appropriate.
  • The document should be graphically interesting for your audience. If copyrighted images are used, create an images cited section in addition to a works cited.


The following articles/book are written to beginning college students, the same audience you’re writing for. They are offered as a reference or models for content, style, language use, visuals, etc. When looking at these pieces, focus on how they try to reach their target audience.