How to Write a College Application Essay

Putting together a college application can feel like an impossible task. After all, this is your future we’re talking about. There’s a lot at stake here.

But here’s the good news: you’re more prepared than you may think. All of those writing assignments you completed throughout high school have provided you with the experience and skills needed to write a killer essay. More than that, these past writing tasks have likely introduced you to an abundance of tools and resources to support you along the way.

So before you go off into full panic mode, take a deep breath. You’ve got this. Here we’ll introduce you to a few tips and tricks to help you get started on a stellar college application essay.

Choosing Your Topic

Keep in mind that college application essays should be personal. Admissions offices want to hear about you; they want to get a better understanding of your personality, your goals, and any challenges you’ve faced so far.

But before you begin typing up your life’s story, make sure to check for any special instructions or requirements stated before or within the essay prompt. Failing to include these in your essay can lead to it being immediately disqualified. You don’t want your work to be ignored over a technicality, so read the instructions carefully for every school you’re applying to!

In many cases, there will be a prompt or question you’re expected to cover. Be sure to answer it fully; however, don’t be afraid to use a little creativity in doing so. This will help your essay stand out. Remember, the admissions people are likely reading through thousands of essays, so it’s a good idea to put a unique twist on yours.

If a prompt isn’t provided for you, it’s time to start brainstorming. There are many ways to develop an essay topic. First, create a list of any ideas that come to mind after reading the prompt. Write down anything and everything you can think of, no matter how silly or stupid it may seem. Be sure to include any personal stories, experiences, moments where you’ve learned something of value, and anything else you can think of. This stage is about opening your mind up to creative thinking. And who knows? One of your silly ideas might lead you to a stronger topic later on.

If you find yourself with a case of mental block, trying heading over the endless outside source: the Internet. Try researching a few college essay prompts and look through some essay examples to help you spark some ideas.

Sites that make for fantastic brainstorming tools include AnswerthePublicGoogle Trends, and Kibin.

Finally, don’t forget that the people around you can be an invaluable resource at this stage. Parents, teachers, and friends may be able to provide some insight on which direction you should take on your essay.

Once you do finally land on your topic of choice, the next step will be to develop an outline. This will help you make sure you’ve included all the required factors, and show what gaps you need to fill with more information or even research. After that, it’s time to start writing!

Building Your Application Essay

The good news about a college application essay is that there’s a lot of freedom in how you put it together. This is really a chance to tell your story, your way. With that said, there are a few items that must be included in your essay. For instance, every essay needs to have an introduction, a body, and a conclusion.

A key piece of the introduction paragraph should be your thesis statement. At this point, you have surely learned about the importance of a strong thesis in your high school classes. For your essay, your thesis should typically have the direct answer to the prompt given, and provide the reader with your essay’s main idea.

The body of your essay should break down your main idea into smaller pieces, including very specific examples. Ensure that your body paragraphs are organized very clearly, in a way that your reader can easily follow along. Finally, don’t forget about a conclusion. This is an essential piece of your essay that helps bring the reader back to the main idea that you started with.

Once your paper is written, it is critical that it is free of grammar and spelling mistakes. In the editing phase, make sure to look back through the essay instructions to see if there’s a note of formatting requirements such as MLA or APA. Be sure to read carefully through any requests such as “no contractions” or “Must be written in the first person”. Again, you don’t want your essay pushed to the side simply because you didn’t read the instructions carefully enough.

Since this application essay is a very important step in your admissions and academic career, it is highly recommended that you have someone else edit your paper. Someone with extensive knowledge in all aspects of writing and grammar, such as an English teacher, will usually be more than willing to help. Older students who have already successfully submitted a college application essay are another great resource.

If you can’t find anyone in person who can help, there are several online editing resources. In addition to full proofreading services, these sites often have tips to help you organize and write your essay.

What Not To Do

So far, we’ve focused on elements to include and actions you should take in order to write an outstanding college essay. But now, it’s time to take a quick look at the things you should avoid during this process:

  • Do not fail to plan ahead. Deadlines creep up quicker than expected, and there is quite a bit of work that goes into a formal college application essay. Don’t underestimate the amount of planning and time needed to finish the full process. Get started early, so you don’t send yourself into a panic.
  • Do not make your essay impersonal. These colleges are wanting to learn about you and how you would answer their prompt. Make your essay unique, add your own twist, include your own personal anecdote. Do anything you can do make your paper specific to just you.
  • Do not copy an idea. We have listed some great online sources that you can use to help inspire your essay and help you with revisions. However, do not take advantage of this. There are many application essay prompts that are used again and again, so there is a good chance similar essays can be found online. But that means professors and admissions have found them online too, so even if you aren’t copying and pasting the entire paper. Make sure you aren’t stealing someone’s unique idea either.
  • Do not fail to have someone else read your essay. It is also necessary to have a fresh pair of eyes read your paper, as they will almost always catch something that you did not see after reading the same words for the 50th time. You wouldn’t want your hard work to be discredited by a bunch of typos or grammar mistakes. This element is critical.

All in all, the most important tip is this: do not panic. You have written plenty of essays in your academic career so far. Brainstorm ideas, write a draft, have someone revise it, and polish a brilliant final copy. Remember, colleges want to know about you. Reflecting who you are and your personal (yet still grammatically correct) writing style is the most important thing.

Contributing Editor: Jennifer Miles

via essayexamples.co

24 Comments

  • yeezy boost
    Posted December 31, 2017 8:12 pm 0Likes

    An interesting dialogue is worth comment. I feel that you should write more on this subject, it might not be a taboo topic but usually individuals are not sufficient to speak on such topics. To the next. Cheers

  • nike lebron 15
    Posted December 31, 2017 11:46 pm 0Likes

    I’m just commenting to make you know of the awesome discovery my princess went through viewing your web site. She realized a good number of things, not to mention how it is like to possess an amazing giving heart to make many people with ease thoroughly grasp various problematic subject areas. You actually did more than visitors’ expected results. Many thanks for distributing the interesting, trusted, informative and in addition easy tips about this topic to Tanya.

  • a
    Posted January 1, 2018 11:38 am 0Likes

    Wow, awesome weblog structure! How lengthy have you been blogging for?
    you made blogging look easy. The overall glance of your website
    is magnificent, let alone the content!

  • michael kors outlet
    Posted January 2, 2018 5:31 am 0Likes

    I wish to express my respect for your kind-heartedness giving support to those people who actually need guidance on your study. Your real dedication to passing the solution throughout ended up being really productive and has made many people just like me to attain their objectives. Your personal helpful instruction can mean a great deal a person like me and substantially more to my peers. Thanks a ton; from each one of us.

  • nike air zoom
    Posted January 3, 2018 2:08 pm 0Likes

    I have to express my passion for your generosity for those people who need guidance on this subject. Your special dedication to getting the solution all around had been pretty significant and has all the time permitted employees just like me to get to their endeavors. Your new important hints and tips can mean much to me and somewhat more to my peers. With thanks; from everyone of us.

  • kobe basketball shoes
    Posted January 4, 2018 11:22 pm 0Likes

    Thank you a lot for giving everyone remarkably wonderful possiblity to read critical reviews from this web site. It is often so kind and also packed with fun for me personally and my office friends to search your web site at minimum three times in a week to read the new guidance you have got. Of course, I am just actually impressed considering the beautiful information you serve. Some two points in this posting are unquestionably the finest we’ve had.

  • yeezys
    Posted January 6, 2018 5:31 am 0Likes

    It is best to participate in a contest for one of the best blogs on the web. I will suggest this web site!

  • nfl jerseys
    Posted January 6, 2018 9:13 am 0Likes

    I definitely wanted to construct a message so as to thank you for the precious solutions you are sharing on this site. My considerable internet lookup has now been recognized with reliable points to write about with my pals. I would admit that most of us visitors are rather endowed to exist in a superb network with very many special people with great guidelines. I feel really blessed to have seen your website and look forward to many more cool times reading here. Thanks a lot again for everything.

  • yeezy boost
    Posted January 7, 2018 9:55 pm 0Likes

    I enjoy you because of all of your work on this site. My mom delights in engaging in investigations and it is obvious why. Many of us notice all concerning the dynamic mode you provide simple steps by means of your blog and as well as boost contribution from other people on this content and my princess is really becoming educated a lot of things. Take pleasure in the rest of the year. You are carrying out a glorious job.

  • lebron shoes
    Posted January 8, 2018 3:18 am 0Likes

    Thank you so much for giving everyone a very remarkable possiblity to discover important secrets from this web site. It really is very nice and as well , packed with a good time for me and my office friends to visit your web site minimum three times in one week to read through the fresh guides you have. And indeed, I am at all times satisfied concerning the amazing guidelines served by you. Certain 1 facts on this page are basically the most effective we have all had.

  • Pingback: Sakong Online
  • Pingback: emergency locksmith business richmond va
  • Pingback: diyala engineer
  • michael kors handbags
    Posted January 9, 2018 2:35 pm 0Likes

    I must show my appreciation for your generosity giving support to people that really need help with this important subject. Your personal dedication to passing the solution throughout appeared to be especially effective and have allowed professionals much like me to achieve their desired goals. This informative guideline entails a whole lot a person like me and extremely more to my office workers. Thanks a lot; from all of us.

  • yeezy
    Posted January 10, 2018 7:18 pm 0Likes

    I have to get across my admiration for your kindness supporting folks that should have assistance with that matter. Your real dedication to passing the solution up and down appeared to be definitely productive and has allowed employees just like me to attain their pursuits. Your own insightful tips and hints denotes much a person like me and substantially more to my colleagues. Thanks a ton; from all of us.

  • hermes birkin
    Posted January 10, 2018 10:44 pm 0Likes

    I’m also writing to make you understand of the helpful discovery our girl found studying your webblog. She realized many details, including what it’s like to have a marvelous giving nature to get other folks with no trouble completely grasp various complex matters. You undoubtedly surpassed visitors’ expectations. Thanks for producing these good, healthy, explanatory and in addition cool thoughts on the topic to Mary.

  • site seoextremo
    Posted January 11, 2018 8:55 pm 0Likes

    Usei nofollow sim. Estes programas são chamados de robôs.

  • links of london
    Posted January 12, 2018 9:14 am 0Likes

    I wanted to put you a tiny remark to be able to give many thanks yet again for your incredible suggestions you have featured above. This is quite particularly generous of people like you to present easily all that a lot of people could have made available as an e-book in order to make some cash on their own, notably considering that you might have tried it if you ever decided. Those creative ideas as well worked like a good way to be sure that other individuals have the same dream like my very own to know more around this issue. I’m sure there are some more fun periods in the future for people who browse through your website.

  • yeezys
    Posted January 13, 2018 3:33 pm 0Likes

    I and my guys were found to be checking out the best pointers on your site and suddenly got a terrible suspicion I never thanked the website owner for those techniques. My young men are actually warmed to see all of them and now have in reality been using those things. We appreciate you turning out to be indeed considerate as well as for deciding upon variety of outstanding tips most people are really desperate to understand about. My very own sincere apologies for not expressing gratitude to sooner.

  • nmd uk
    Posted January 13, 2018 5:45 pm 0Likes

    I truly wanted to write down a brief word to be able to thank you for all of the awesome solutions you are giving at this site. My particularly long internet lookup has at the end been compensated with professional tips to exchange with my good friends. I would assert that many of us readers actually are truly blessed to exist in a decent place with so many brilliant people with insightful ideas. I feel pretty fortunate to have encountered your webpages and look forward to so many more amazing moments reading here. Thanks a lot again for all the details.

  • Pingback: house for sale
  • prada glasses
    Posted January 15, 2018 3:09 am 0Likes

    I wanted to post you one very small remark so as to thank you over again on the breathtaking pointers you have provided on this page. It has been simply surprisingly open-handed of people like you to deliver unreservedly what exactly many individuals could have advertised for an electronic book in making some money on their own, notably seeing that you might have done it if you ever decided. These techniques as well worked as a easy way to fully grasp the rest have the same desire like mine to find out somewhat more with reference to this matter. I know there are a lot more enjoyable periods up front for those who read your site.

  • yeezy boost 350 v2
    Posted January 16, 2018 1:53 pm 0Likes

    I want to express my appreciation to the writer just for bailing me out of this particular issue. Because of looking throughout the internet and obtaining tricks which are not beneficial, I figured my life was done. Living devoid of the approaches to the problems you have solved through your good guideline is a crucial case, as well as ones which might have badly affected my career if I had not encountered the website. That understanding and kindness in maneuvering everything was important. I’m not sure what I would have done if I had not discovered such a subject like this. It’s possible to at this point relish my future. Thanks a lot very much for this reliable and sensible help. I won’t hesitate to recommend your blog to anyone who desires guidelines on this topic.

  • moncler jackets
    Posted January 16, 2018 3:35 pm 0Likes

    I simply wanted to thank you very much all over again. I’m not certain what I might have done without the strategies discussed by you over such industry. It actually was a very daunting situation for me, nevertheless finding out a specialized style you handled it forced me to weep with delight. Extremely thankful for this service and even believe you really know what a powerful job you were putting in educating many people using your web site. More than likely you’ve never got to know any of us.

Add Comment