Write an essay that explores the “key” to college success. In other words, pick the most important cause to college success. Is it grit? High expectations? Test scores? Support? Faculty mentors? Is it something else? If you would like, it might help to narrow your focus by choosing a particular group of students, i.e., students of color, women, community college students, lower-income students, etc. In addition, you may narrow your focus by how you define “college success”—it could be specific to a particular major or group of majors, or how many graduate college with a degree, or how many obtain jobs or go on to graduate school afterward, etc.

Writer’s Guidelines

Cause-and-Effect Analysis:

        I have written a thesis statement that mentions my topic, my assertion and, the overall cause and an overall why.

        Each body paragraph topic sentence breaks down the overall cause or effect from the thesis into a more specific cause or effect. Each particular cause or effect can be directly connected to the thesis.

        Topic sentences of cause or effect are followed by details—specific explanation, examples, description, or narration (show and tell).

        I have not assumed that an event was necessarily caused by an earlier event.

        I have considered that an event likely has multiple causes and effects.

        Where needed, I have used transitions, especially of effect and addition.

        I have written a consequence- and solution-oriented conclusion that ends the essay in a satisfying way


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