Per Exempla Ad Astra: Where to Find the Best College Essay Samples for Better and Faster Writing
What would you do when facing a hard choice, namely:
- Stay awake all night long and keep trying?
- Ask a friend to join you?
- Pay a 'specially trained' person to satisfy your needs?
So, what would you opt for once you find yourself in a drastic need to resolve issues with writing academic papers – be it inspiration vacuum, the complexity or unsavoriness of the assignment, or even full-scale writer's block? Would you try to complete the mission single-handedly anyway? Or would you address your peers or parents for help, hoping that they might give you a much-needed push? Or would you compromise on the principles of academic integrity and find a person or service to do the job A to Z for money? A quite narrow range of choice, isn't it? However, there is one more option…
We've come up with this post to remind you about the power of example, which, as you know, is way better than precept. What we're trying to say here is that having a high-quality, relevant, expertly crafted sample essay in front of you could make your life much, much easier. In terms of being a reliable source of topic or content presentation ideas and cues to choosing the right format or building a proper structure, a good example paper is second to none. Putting the old Latin saying in slightly different words, we'd say Per exempla ad astra, meaning that by learning from the best examples, you can write better and faster and, eventually, become a more successful student. Ultimately, this led us to the idea of compiling a brief overview of the top currently active paper sample databases that might come in extremely useful to students of all levels and specializations.
Sample databases aren't something new on the Web. However, they gained a second wind nowadays as high schools, colleges, and universities raised the banner of academic integrity, investing a lot of effort into the fight against plagiarism and contract writing assistance. While hiring online writers becomes dicey, a continually increasing number of students turn to example-based writing. The market reacted, and today not only can one easily find plenty of free collections but also a number of paid sample directories. The latter ones can, in some cases, boast an impressive range of services on par with established online writing labs. We've selected the three most prominent representatives in both categories based on the samples' quality and quantity, as well as supporting services and tools – get in there right now!
NB Keep in mind, though, that, with all positive things sample databases can bring you, they are a no-go place if you lack time. The thing is, looking for relevant academic essay examples takes time, and then you will need more time to put together your own piece. So, if you need a paper crafted overnight… Well, see available options at the beginning of this post.
Most Notable Free Essay Example Directories
First, let's get our heads around free databases of sample academic papers. Mainly, there are two types of them: stand-alone websites and directories affiliated with companies that provide other paid services. Both publish full text samples, but, remarkably, the latter option can be even more attractive for students. The matter is in the different approaches to the texts' quality and keeping the database up to date.
As a rule, open-access databases are made by parsing certain segments of the Web and compiling already published samples (up to half a million) from different sources into one package presented as something new. Creators try to make some money on such resources by selling ads and organic traffic they generate. Rarely (if not never) updated, such websites are designed not for users' benefit but for their webmasters' profit.
In turn, free sample directories related to paid services are meant to demonstrate the quality of texts prospective clients could get for their money. That's why usually such databases are not big and contain up to several hundred entries (of course, there are a few huge exceptions to the rule), but contain really good college essay examples or even university level projects. What's more, these directories are continually updated with papers on hot topics crafted by staff experts according to the best writing practices and relatively fresh data on the subject.
Without further ado, let's have a look at 3 free directories that offer near perfect combination of samples' quality, paper types variety, and topics covered.
WowEssays.com: Writing service-affiliated directory with almost 100K 100% free essays
One of the biggest free sample directories in the class, with a volume that steadily approaches 100.000 entries. The thing is, this database is a part of the huge WowEssays.com portal – a custom essay writing service. While making money on crafting academic papers for money, this company apparently can allocate enough resources to maintain and constantly extend the already huge sample database. Due to this fact, the variety of presented papers ranges from simple essays and research papers to admission statements and theses, while the quality of examples we've checked is remarkably high. Commonly for free essay databases, samples in the WowEssays directory are not downloadable, and search results cannot be filtered (these options are implemented in the paid database that also made it into our list). However, convenient categorization by paper types and topics, as well as sample search by keyword(s), should minimize the time you spend looking for a relevant piece. Automatically generated citations in all possible formats and over a dozen of free writing assistance utilities (i.e., grammar and readability checkers, topic generator, grade calculator, and others) come as icing on the cake.
- Main features: almost 100K samples; remarkable quality; convenient categorization; free writing tools
- Drawbacks: wish there were even more search filters
- Bonus: Get 11% off on the first order of essay writing services from WowEssays.com with the promo code "WEDOWOW"
PaperHelp.org: Yet another directory of free essay examples by a writing company
A free sample database by PaperHelp.org is a vivid illustration of the 'less is more' concept. It contains several hundred entries, but their quality is arguably the highest among all open-access directories we've come across and could easily qualify for subscription-based websites. As PaperHelp claims, the presented works were crafted by the same professional writers (many with verified academic degrees) whose main occupation is custom writing academic papers for money. And based on what we've seen and read, we tend to believe it's true. It's also worth noting that here you can find such rare occurrences in free sample directories as capstone project or infographics.
- Main features: outstanding quality; written by degreed staff experts; 11 categories
- Drawbacks: a small number of samples; no search by keywords
- Bonus: Get 11% off on your first 'write my paper' services order from PaperHelp.org with the promo code "LESSISMORE"
SpeedyPaper.com: Few yet downloadable essay writing examples
Once again – a free sample directory featured by a paid writing assistance and research company. It's actually quite hard to tell how many entries their database includes as they never mention it on their website. The papers in the directory are categorized by topics, and one sample might be included in several categories simultaneously. For example, we've found several items attributed to Health and Social Care, Personality, and Psychology categories at the same time. At a rough guess, the total number of samples doesn't exceed 2-2,5 thousand. The quality of papers we've picked randomly varies from impressive to poor. However, this database has a feature other free directories cannot boast – all their samples are downloadable! Isn't it ironic that you waste time to find a decent paper among examples of irregular quality and then save several minutes on copy-pasting and formatting thanks to downloading entire texts? Anyway, SpeedyPaper is worth your attention if you have time to look for a really good sample. If only they had built-in search…
- Main features: downloadable samples; categorization by topic only
- Drawbacks: no search by keywords; no categorization by types; ads and selling points everywhere
- Bonus: Get 11% off on the first order of writing services from SpeedyPaper.com with the promo code "Y6B4ChOL"
Which Paid Online Sample Essay Database to Pick?
Despite the rising popularity of sample essay databases, such websites with paid access are still a rare breed. Perhaps, the idea of paying for already written and published scholarly materials hasn't yet found its way to broader segments of the student community. Their loss! Instead, students who go for it get a virtually unlimited source of learning materials at a fairly low price. For example, a month's access to huge databases costs $20-$40; you'll pay the same money once for 2-4 pages of custom writing by an unknown writer.
Because paid databases, unlike free directories, make money on subscriptions, they are vitally interested in retaining customers. They mostly try to do that by offering a wide variety and decent quality. Subscription-based sample resources may include hundreds of thousands of entries, offering a startling choice of academic papers of all types, shapes, and sizes. Their quality is distinctively higher than that of free samples – at least in directories with years of continuous operation. The thing is, they harness particular people to edit or even craft up-to-date samples from scratch to keep the overall quality up to the mark.
When picking a paid database to subscribe to, apart from its size and price, you should also consider two more aspects. First off, check out the website's search engine and filters it has to refine search results – the more filters there are, the more relevant results you would get while wasting less time. For another thing, figure out whether the service lets you download samples and how many – being able to receive a .docx/.doc file on your device in seconds is a really convenient and time-saving feature.
Now when you're familiar with the main nuances of choosing a paid sample database, let's check out the most noteworthy of them.
WowEssays Premium: The largest sample essays database ever
Putting WowEssays Premium (examples.wowessays.com) on the first spot was easy – it's the largest sample essay database you can find on the Web, with over 1 MILLION items. What's important in this context, as a project affiliated with a long-established professional custom writing service, WowEssays Premium ensures consistently high quality of the presented entries. By the way, they are all downloadable. Also, add proper categorization by paper type, topic/subject, and adequate search engine with multiple filters. Finally, access to all free resources of the parent website (for instance, the above-mentioned free online writing assistance tools) comes as a matter-of-course. All in all, every feature of a great sample database is in place at WowEssays Premium. Once you decide to subscribe, you can choose between 7-day, 1-month, 3-month, and 6-month periods.
- Main features: over 1M samples; unlimited downloads; robust search with multiple filters; free writing assistance utilities
- Drawbacks: samples are available for download only in text file formats
- Pricing: $9.99 - $89.99
Bartleby.com: Small but high-quality college essay sample directory
Bartleby.com is a part of the Barnes & Noble publishing empire – that has to tell you something about this website's respectability. Likewise, you can expect a great quality of the presented samples, although there are just 1 thousand of them. Actually, high quality of writing is virtually the only thing that drags the Bartleby sample directory into our list as it only has categorization by topics, with no search by keywords in sight; plus, samples are not downloadable. Subscription is available only for 1 week, 1 or 3 months. Overall, the sample database looks like an unwanted but required element of a well-established online studying portal that makes money on other services – Bartleby Learn, Bartleby Write, and Bartleby Find a Tutor.
- Main features: 1K samples; high quality
- Drawbacks: no built-in search engine; no categorization by paper type; no downloads
- Pricing: $7 - $59.85
123HelpMe.com: 400K essay examples for college and university students
123HelpMe.com is a well-known and large paid sample database with over 400.000 academic papers of most various types – unfortunately, non-downloadable. Among the service's advantages, one can freely name convenient and detailed sample classification, search by keywords, as well as unique features like grammar/spelling and some plagiarism check included in the subscription cost. By the way, it takes time to figure out that 123HelpMe is a paid service as there are no respective indicators on the website's homepage. Instead, on any occasion they represent themselves as a free directory, and only when trying to open a full-text sample do you face the necessity to pay for it. Along with filter-less search, this leaves mixed feelings about 123HelpMe's user-friendliness. Well, at least the samples' quality is predominantly good. You can purchase a subscription for 1 week, 1, 3, or 12 months.
- Main features: 400K samples; grammar and some plagiarism checks included in the subscription cost; convenient categorization
- Drawbacks: no search filters; no downloads; pricing policy obscurity
- Pricing: $7 - $119.40
Writing with Paid or Free Essays Online Is Not a Silver Bullet. But It's Legal and Works in Most Cases
Okay, let's draw a bottom line based on what we've discovered. Amidst the rising popularity of sample databases, the Internet can offer an interested student a broad choice of both completely free essays online and paid subscription-based services. The best of them will offer a vast selection of most various papers, handy categorization, customizable search options, downloads, and even utilities to improve your writing. Regardless of whether you choose paid or free essay directory, you can use it to your learning advantage in several ways, namely:
- Draw overall inspiration along with interesting topics and content presentation ideas.
- Spot writing practices and structuring techniques used by experienced writers, copy and adapt into your own work.
- Find a relevant example essay, study the sources used to craft it, and use them for your own research or add them to your reference list.
Anyway, you must understand that using already written materials as templates or models to follow may reduce the overall time you need to come up with the completed piece, but it will still require hours, if not days. This approach is hardly suitable for students who prefer simple, one-time fixes like paying someone to get the job done urgently. On the other hand, learning by great examples will eventually help you write better and faster and pay off multifold. If you are ready to invest your efforts and, in some cases, some money; if ordering custom papers for money is not an option for you for legal and/or ethical reasons – then an online sample database with high-quality papers is your right-now go-to place!
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