Looking for College Essay Help? Here Are Your Options
  • 8-minute read
  • 8th August 2023

Looking for College Essay Help? Here Are Your Options

You have your first college essay to write, so what are your options for getting help? You knew where to get help back in high school, but college is a whole new hockey game. Should you pay someone to write your essay? Should you talk to your professor? Your roommate?

Fret not, because we will outline your options for getting help with your college essay.

In this post, you will learn:

●  Where to go to get help with essay writing.

●  Our take on essay writing services.

●  Advice for using AI to help you with essays.

While college teaches you to be fully independent, that doesn’t mean you have to figure everything out for yourself. Even the most independent college student needs help sometimes, so you should never feel ashamed for needing help.

Writing an essay is no easy task. Knowing your options will get your essay off to a great start, (and you want to avoid the cardinal sin of college writing: academic plagiarism).

Your Options for Help

1. Consult Your Professor

While meeting with your professor seems counterintuitive, they can offer the best advice for tackling an essay. After all, they will be assessing it. Many students avoid asking their professor for help, as they feel that the professor will view them as incompetent. Of course, this isn’t true. The professor will be glad you’re seeking their help; it shows you’re a serious student. The best time to catch your professor is after class, or during their office hours.

We recommend following this plan:

1.  Make an appointment to see your professor during their office hours (this way, they will block time for you). 

2.  Come to the appointment with questions like “What ideas or themes should I specifically focus on in this essay?”

3.  Thank them for their time.

Professors will offer suggestions and ideas but won’t revise your essay draft. That’s your job. Think of it this way: A professor will give you fuel to get the fire going; it will be up to you to keep it burning.

2. Consult Your Teaching Assistant

A teaching assistant, or TA as they are colloquially known, is another helpful option. They’re often current graduate students, so they can relate better to you than the professor. Remember that they’ve been down the road you’re traveling, so they’ll have plenty of essay-writing experience.

If you’re attending a small private university, you probably won’t have a TA for any of your classes. However, if your class does have one, we suggest consulting with them before speaking with the professor.

As a TA is also busy, we urge you to take the same approach as you would when meeting with a professor. You’ll get an optimized help session with them when you make an appointment.

3. Visit the Writing Center

You might have been introduced to the university’s writing center during orientation. Did you know that a writing center is an excellent option for essay help? Current students majoring in English and creative writing studies often work as writing center tutors. You can be assured that writing center tutors are passionate about writing. Before visiting the writing center, you’ll need to have some ideas about how to tackle the essay. Therefore, we recommend consulting your professor or TA first.

Students often have a misconception of what falls under the scope of a writing center. Some students leave a writing center session disappointed with the services they received. Therefore, we want to clarify what a writing center does and doesn’t do.

A writing center will:

●  Work with you one-on-one, taking you through the assignment and the steps needed to complete it.

●  Help strengthen your thesis statement.

●  Provide feedback to clarify your ideas and express them more effectively.

●  Aid in developing or improving self-editing strategies.

●  Help you identify your writing strengths and weaknesses.

A writing center will not:

●  Write the essay for you; that’s your job.

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●  Tell you how to write the essay from the introduction to the conclusion.

●  Fix grammar errors, typos, and word choice in an essay.

A writing center will inspire you to get cracking on the assignment; the rest will be up to you.

4. Consider a Podcast

Are you a Spotify addict? Do you often listen to podcasts? If so, why not listen to podcasts catered to students needing help with college essays? There are a variety of student-related podcasts to choose from. However, you’ll need to listen to a few to find one that strikes your fancy.

You can listen to them while you eat dinner in the cafeteria, work out at the gym, or commute to and from campus. However, we don’t suggest listening to podcasts during class lectures – you’ll miss out on key pointers for exams!

5. Find a Tutor

You can find a tutor through your university or engage another student. The former will usually be free. If you prefer the latter, you can usually find advertisements around campus. We suggest asking them a few questions before setting up a session.

Working with a tutor will take some time, as you must get to know each other first. An advantage of a private tutor is you can get one-on-one time; there might be other students in your tutoring session if it’s through the university. The advantage of university-organized tutoring is that their tutors have been interviewed and you can be assured that these tutors specialize in their subjects.

If you’re anxious to get going posthaste, a tutor may not be the best option for you.

Should I Use an Essay Writing Service?

Some students pay an essay writing service to write the essay for them. However, you should be aware of the pitfalls of using them.

Common pitfalls include:

●  The writers may not be experts on your topic.

●  You won’t have an opportunity to view the writers’ credentials.

●  Someone else is writing the essay, leaving you wanted by the Plagiarism Police.

●  You will not learn anything (the whole point of university is to learn).

Professors expect you to write an essay using your own words and ideas. Additionally, they can distinguish your writing from someone else’s. Furthermore, many universities subscribe to plagiarism detection software such as Turnitin.

The consequences of plagiarism can be quite severe, ranging from automatically failing the assignment to being expelled from the institution. Sometimes, you can receive a particular failing grade indicating you were caught plagiarizing. This grade cannot be erased from your student record.

While essay writing services are tempting, we believe they aren’t worth jeopardizing your student career.

Should I Use ChatGPT to Write My Essay?

Students are increasingly using AI to help them with their essays. Popular AI platforms such as ChatGPT can save you valuable time. However, the world of academia is catching on to AI-student interaction. Using ChatGPT to write an essay could land you in plagiarism trouble if you simply copy and paste the entire AI-produced text. Universities are currently finding ways to detect essays written by ChatGPT, so don’t think you can fool your professor.

We encourage you to use ChatGPT to help you with the topic rather than use it to write the entire essay. Like professors, your TA, and the writing center, AI can get the fire going. Here are a few ways in which ChatGPT can help:

●  Provide anecdotes about the topic.

●  Suggest interesting facts and issues about the subject.

●  Suggest an outline for the essay.


You have more essay help options than you realize. Becoming a fully independent young adult doesn’t mean that you don’t need help sometimes – we all need help from time to time. We recommend consulting your professor, TA, and your school’s writing center. When seeking help, we advise you to understand what the essay asks of you. And above all, don’t expect someone else to write the essay for you.

We urge you to use AI to help with your essay’s topic rather than using it to write the essay from scratch. Misusing AI could result in plagiarism—the cardinal sin of academic writing!

After you’ve written your essay, we strongly recommend proofreading it. All your hard work can sometimes leave typos, extra spacing, and incorrect punctuation. You shouldn’t rely on your word processor’s spell-check tool to catch them all. Proofreading can be challenging, so we recommend asking our proofreading experts to review your writing. They can check that the paper is clear and concise. Additionally, they will ensure perfect grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Consider submitting a 500-word document for free!

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