6 Reasons College Essays Have So Many Rules

If you want to know why college essays have so many rules, stick along and read our article until the end. We’ve collected the many potential reasons for this, and knowing them can be crucial to you as a student. 

With that in mind, if you need any help in writing and are wondering, “Can someone write my essay for me right now?” then just visit Studyfy and hire a writer who can do that for you ASAP. Now, let’s move on to the article at hand. 


Academic Writing: College Essays 101 

College essays fall into the academic writing category, the type of writing students practice and try to master during their college/university years. So let’s clarify what it truly signifies. 

Academic writing is a formal style of writing, and this type of writing is present in journal articles, books on academic topics, college essays, research papers, and so on. It’s different from the writing you encounter in news articles or blog posts since it is much more formal, and the words used in academic writing are more difficult and obscure.

College essays, like most academic writing pieces, serve a purpose when completed. They typically need to be: 

  • Unbiased and formal 
  • Correct 
  • Consistent 
  • Well-structured and coherent 
  • Concise and clear
  • Resourceful and well-backed up by evidence

Most students know that college essays follow many strict rules. Before submitting a paper, students need to adhere to all the requirements to pass and obtain a good or stellar grade. But why do college essays have so many rules, to begin with? What’s the purpose? 

We do remain neutral in our opinion as to why a paper should adhere to so many rules since academic papers can be extremely obscure and not at all concise or clear for the majority of readers. However, there are some reasons for this, which is what we’re going to go through. 

  1. The Rules Have Not Been Updated or Reduced

College essay rules follow rules that are quite old and unchanged. This is one of the main reasons why academic writing has so many rules that need to be followed. It’s always been done like this, and it’s stayed. College essays are graded heavily on how much students can conform and stick to the tried and “trusted” format.

The way we communicate and write in modern times has surely changed dramatically because of internet speech and technology. However, academic writing has, for the most part, not been affected by modern times at all and remains rooted in old rules. 

  1. Standards Require A Specific Manner of Writing

College essays require very formal writing, but it is not far from the genuine observation that the language used is sophisticated. Still, the meaning of the content would remain the same even if a student chooses to write in a more simple and accessible way. However, college essay writing standards do require you to write in this haughtily formal and sophisticated manner. 

The word count also requires students to be concise and technical, especially for research papers or STEM major reports. To do this, students are again required to follow a strict set of rules. So, whether in the social sciences or STEM, you are obliged to write in a specific manner, or your paper will be rejected or not considered at all. 

  1. Research Excellence Framework 

A more concrete example of why there are so many rules to academic writing is the Research Excellence Framework. College student researchers who want to secure funding must submit research papers that adhere to the Research Excellence Framework. Funding is vital for the development of any research team’s project, so of course, they’ll need to follow the framework.

A consistently strict writing standard is seen in many departments in higher education. Our question is, why stick to such rules when they could simplify things? It’s because most institutions and the authorities who run these institutions want to abide by these traditional rules to demonstrate their prestige. 

Perhaps in the future, some of these traditions will change, but in the meantime, this is the truth regarding a plethora of rules in academic writing. 

Credit: Laura Chouette
  1. College Essays Are For A Close-Knit Community

College essays are reviewed and received by peers in a close-knit community since this only includes your classmates and your professors for the most part. This is probably why there are so many rules. However, the community itself has established and maintained them without question.

Like many established communities, a set of rules almost always emerge and become the “norm.” 

  1. Consistent Formatting Equals Clarity And Organization 

Consistent formatting found in college essays and academic papers, in general, help maintain order, clarity, and organization. Without the formatting for each type of paper, it would be easy to confuse the different types of articles. 

We all know that the different types of essays have slightly different rules. The different formatting helps professors categorize and differentiate the papers being submitted. Papers being reviewed can be distinguished through their formatting as well.

  1. Professors Expect More Sophisticated Writing And Understanding

By training students to follow more strict and specific rules, professors also expect students’ writing capabilities to become more refined. They also expect students to fully understand the topics they write about in an in-depth way rather than in a superficial way. That’s also why students need to provide evidence for what they claim so that they can truly learn about a topic.

Final Thoughts

We will never truly know all the reasons why college essays and academic writing comes with so many rules, but hopefully, we’ve enlightened you a bit with the reasons we did find in our article. 

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