How to Write a Great College Application Essay


While grades and test scores may play a pivotal role in college admittance, a well written essay can also be a great contributing factor as well. The college application essay allows applicants to share what is most important to them socially, personally, and academically. They give insight into the person who is behind the file by revealing unique and intimate information. You can implement your voice and values in your writing as the prompts might cover mundane subjects, outstanding achievements, or life-changing events. While many students will dread this part of the application process, writing an excellent composition can easily be accomplished by implementing the following structure and tips.

Brainstorming A Topic

Creating an essay that will wow the admission offices is the goal of all applicants, but many will find the task difficult and challenging. Luckily, students have one of the most trusted methods of informal idea development available to them, and that is brainstorming. By brainstorming, applicants can jot down the academic influences, and personal attributes that they would like to include in their article. Then by working backwards they will be able to find an essay prompt or topic that will help get those points across. Here are some topic suggestions to help with the process:

Overarching topic: What is your passion?

In this topic, you must discuss an issue that is of personal, national, or international concern and importance to you. The admission officers will want to uncover your abilities, character traits, and passions within the essay, and not a political lecture.

Storytelling topic: What has been your most life changing experience?

This subject asks that you evaluate significant achievements, experiences, or ethical dilemmas you have faced then discuss the impact that situation has had on you. This topic will also explore the depth of your critical thinking capabilities as introspection, and self-analysis are all important here.

Offbeat topic: What is your Favorite Word?

Offbeat topics are meant to be fun and engaging. Remember good essays on this topic will do more than just describe they will dig deep and allow admission officers to see your humorous and creative side.

Writing First Drafts

You can begin writing your first draft after you have chosen a topic to discuss. You will not perfect your essay in this step, but rather you will be creating a platform of information that you can use to build your prose on. Write freely without stopping to make corrections on punctuation or grammar as these actions may halt your creative flow. Include relative information and facts about your topic and only stop once you feel that you have no more information to add. Then let the content sit for a few hours or days. When you return to your draft, read it over and try to make it more focused. Eliminate content that is irrelevant to the issue, if it is very wordy shorten it, if it is too short add more examples and details.

Get Advice

When your in need of advice regarding your essay it is best to seek the help of either a professional, a friend or a family member. While teachers and counselors will be able to address your questions or concerns, friends and family members can help you characterize yourself. Both groups can also contribute substantially by proofreading and making sure your work is free of typos or grammatical errors. The information below can also help to enhance and improve your writing content.

Natural tone and flow

When you create your piece, it is best to convey your message by using a natural tone and flow. Aim for clear, natural wording that accentuates your topic. Steer clear of wordy technical jargon that will only confuse those who read the essay.

Use first person narrative

First person narrative will describe how important a particular topic or subject is to you and the admission officers. As this form of writing is much more personal and will sound much more compelling.

Offer plenty of details

The best essays will include writing that is descriptive, specific and has plenty of details in it. Instead of saying that you like something, be descriptive and add content that will accentuate and expand the sentence and its meaning.

Avoid bad lingo

Avoid cliches, generalities, and philosophical babble when writing your essay. Instead try to stick to concise sentences that accurately describes what you’re discussing. Essays with this type of jargon will end up receiving negative feedback.

Rewrite, Review, Repeat

Even the best editors have to go through the daunting process of rewriting. After finishing the updraft it is time to rewrite it again, but this time you must reorganize your presentation, refine your purpose, and review your evidence. You will also have to check for logic, spelling, and punctuation marks during this phase. Once you are completely satisfied with the prose its time to have someone proof read it. Then you should repeat this entire process again in order to shape your draft into the essay you envision it being.

Five tips to keep in mind

1)Be honest about your experiences.

Admissions officers will be expecting to receive writing based on honest and accurate experiences that are reflective of the applicant’s character. They want to hear how you truly feel regarding particular issues. It is best to express these feelings in a manner that highlights the positives of the situation.

2)Use Personal Humor Carefully

Mixing some humor with a seemingly mundane experience or event can have a positive impact on the quality of your essay. While playful banter can indeed captivate your audience, it must be used responsibly and not include any foul language, sexually suggestive situations, or extreme violence.

3)Check and double check your grammar

Inspect your essay to make sure that it is free of spelling and grammatical mistakes. An improper use of words can negatively stick out on a college application more than errors. Run your work through spell check or a program like grammarly to make sure it is free of any issues. Then have your content proofread for optimum results.

4)Present yourself in an appealing way

It’s only natural to make yourself look great on your essay, but try not over do it. Accentuate your positive aspects by discussing any situation where you showed leadership or a willingness to take risks. Initiative and a high sense of social responsibility are characteristics that admissions will also look for the most.

5)It’s okay to be controversial

Discussing controversial subjects is okay on a college application essay. As long as you demonstrate a respective tone most admission officers will love to hear about the issues that spark great emotion in the their applicants. Some controversial topics include religion, politics, and social issues.

Submit Your Essay

After you have perfected your essay, it’s time to submit it for review. Most colleges that you are applying to will offer ways to either send it in electronically, in person or by mail. Make sure to reference the university you are applying to for information regarding their submission practices and policies before attempting to send anything out with your personal information on it.