Tips for Writing a Winning College Application Essay


how to write a college application essay

Jan 22,  · Most colleges and universities require a college application essay. Crafting this essay is either an exciting exercise to share something meaningful about yourself, or a terrifying exercise in academic purgatory. In either case, The Quad has tools to help make your essay the best that it . When you apply to college, you’ll need to complete an essay as part of your application. This is your opportunity to show admission officers who you are and to provide information about yourself that didn’t fit in other areas of your application. Apr 25,  · While it's important to be thoughtful and mature, you don't want your college application essay to be too heavy. Try to lighten up the essay with a clever metaphor, a well-placed witticism, or a little self-deprecating humor. But don't overdo it. The essay that is filled with bad puns or off-color jokes will often end up in the rejection pile.

Crafting an Unforgettable College Essay | The Princeton Review

Your college admissions essay is one of the most important parts of your college application. It's a chance to introduce yourself to the admissions officer reviewing your file and to set yourself apart from the other students applying.

By carefully brainstorming ideas, drafting, and editing your essay, you can write a college admissions essay to be proud of. To write a college admissions essay, start by coming up with one or two life experiences related to the prompt.

Then, choose one topic and focus on it, like a situation in your life that made you challenge your beliefs. Also, try to begin your essay in a unique way to grab the reader's attention, like by turning it into a story.

Next, use a few detailed examples to show the skills you have, such as leadership, rather than using lots of different ones. In the conclusion, make a statement on your main theme without repeating yourself. For tips on how to edit your essay and what to avoid when writing it, read on! This article was co-authored by Alexander Peterman.

Alexander Peterman is a Private Tutor in Florida. Categories: Application Essays. There are 15 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. Spend some time thinking about the question. Most admissions essays come with a prompt or a question you need to answer. Read the prompt or question carefully and then give yourself some time to think about it. Don't just go with the first idea that comes to mind when you read it. Consider writing down a list of ideas that how to write a college application essay to you after you read the question or prompt.

Once you've written your list, look it over and see which topics or ideas jump out at you as something you could write about. Some colleges or programs will give you several questions or prompts to choose from, or even give you the option of responding to more than one prompt. Choose the question s that you think you can answer the most effectively. Avoid reusing essays for other applications. If you're applying to colleges, you're probably writing a lot of essays.

Resist the temptation to just rework an essay from another application to fit the new prompt. It will be obvious to the admissions officer reading your essay if you're answering a different question. Just make sure that your essay effectively addresses all aspects of the prompt. Think how to write a college application essay what makes you different. When you're brainstorming ideas for your essay, think about the things that have made you stand out: what are your strengths?

Your best personality traits? What types of compliments do you receive the most from your friends and teachers? These are good things to build an essay on. Emphasize this in your essay by writing about a time that those qualities helped you in your day-to-day life.

Don't just how to write a college application essay extracurriculars. When you're thinking about possible themes for your essay, don't just list all of the extracurricular activities you took part in during high school. A lot of other applicants will have participated in the same groups and organizations, and it's hard to set yourself apart using the same exact things other people use.

Just don't make them the focus on your essay. Tell them something new. Your essay also shouldn't just repeat things that you've how to write a college application essay listed elsewhere on your application, how to write a college application essay. Tell the admissions officer something they can't learn about you from the other paperwork you've filled out.

It's okay to expand on points you only mentioned in passing in other parts of the application, but make sure you are adding new information and presenting it in an engaging, creative way.

You could also explain how you overcame a particular fear. Tell a story. If you can tell a story in response to the prompt or question, how to write a college application essay, do so. Telling a story will be much more engaging or interesting than just listing a bunch of reasons why you want to go to college. Admissions officers are often looking for students who can engage their audience, and the more interesting your essay is, the more an admissions officer will want to read it. A personal story can also help the reader connect with you on a personal level and learn something about who you are as a person.

Focus on one topic. Once you've brainstormed a list of ideas, choose one as the theme of your essay. Focusing on one theme helps keep your essay organized and to the point. Like any essay, the college admissions essay should have a clear thesis that summarizes your main ideas and presents your theme in an engaging way, how to write a college application essay. Recount an incident in your life when this happened to you, and reflect on how the experience changed you.

Start with a few lines that introduce the topic of your essay in a compelling and personal way. Have a great opener. The person reading your essay will be reading stacks of them, so getting their attention right away is a great way to get the reader's interest immediately. You could start with a quote, or a piece of advice you once received, or even a provocative way of setting up the theme of your essay. For example, maybe your essay is on how you're pursuing biology because you've always been how to write a college application essay in how things grow and survive in adverse conditions.

I love it. Write in your own voice. Don't try to copy someone else's tone in your writing. You don't have to sound like anyone else, you just have to sound like you. Don't use phrases that you've heard repeated over and over, unless you can put your own, creative spin on them. Write a first draft. Once you've chosen the topic for you essay, how to write a college application essay, write a first draft.

Don't worry about making it perfect, just write down everything you can think of that relates to your topic. Show, don't tell. When you're writing your essay, provide examples to support the things that you're saying about yourself.

Anyone can say they're a good leader or they love to learn, but what can set you apart is demonstrating how those things are true in your life. Don't embellish. It's tempting to embellish or overstate what you've done when you're trying to make yourself stand apart from others. You should not do this in your essay under any circumstances. Don't say you've done something or been somewhere you haven't. Don't overdo the humor.

You might be tempted to try to make the admissions officer who is reading your essay laugh. Humor is a great way to make friends or break the ice with someone new, but you should try not to rely on it in your admissions essay. You have no way of knowing what the admissions officer's sense of humor is like, and you don't want to run the risk of a joke falling flat or, even worse, offending someone.

Use a positive tone. College can be difficult, and one thing that admissions officers might be looking for is evidence that you've overcome obstacles and been able to work through hard situations.

Using a positive tone in your essay helps emphasize that you've been able to get through and learn from difficult situations. For example, if you're writing about a time when you helped a friend through the loss of a parent, part of your essay will obviously be sad.

But you can also strike a positive tone by saying something like "It was one of the hardest things I've ever done, and it changed my friend in a lot of ways. But I also learned that you can never take a single day for granted and what it means to really be someone's friend. Appeal to your readers' emotions. Be honest and open about what getting into college means to you, personally. This will help the admissions officers connect with you how to write a college application essay your story on a personal level, and will make your essay stand out, how to write a college application essay.

Don't exaggerate; just be sincere and earnest. I'm always happiest when I'm working on a technical problem or surrounded by people who share my passion. When I toured the Big State U. Tie it all together at the end. A powerful closing statement is just as important as a good opener. Look for a way to connect the ending of your essay to the themes you presented at the beginning. Use a few sentences to make a final point that underscores your main theme without repeating what you've already said, how to write a college application essay.

For example, maybe you started your essay by talking about how a teacher inspired your love for a particular subject. You might end by sharing something meaningful that that teacher said to you, or briefly summarizing how you grew as a person after taking their class. Give yourself some space. After you've drafted your essay, walk away from it for a while. This could be for a few hours or a few days. Once you come back to it, it can be easier to see where it needs editing, what you can keep, and what just doesn't work.

After writing it, you'll have a better idea of what you actually wanted to say. It will be obvious after some time away where you're saying what you mean and what areas need work.


Writing the Successful College Application Essay | LiveCareer


how to write a college application essay


Learn how to write a successful college application essay using the three-step process for writing your personal college admissions essay.   Gaining entrance to just about any college or university continues to get harder as more and more applicants are applying for a limited number of spaces. Six samples of College Application Essay Format are available, which can help the students to write the best college application essay. It is important to follow a certain template in order to get an idea about the contents, which should be a part of the final college application essay. Jan 22,  · Most colleges and universities require a college application essay. Crafting this essay is either an exciting exercise to share something meaningful about yourself, or a terrifying exercise in academic purgatory. In either case, The Quad has tools to help make your essay the best that it .