College Application Essay Writing Tips That Work

Most colleges require an application essay as a crucial part of the college application process. Therefore, anyone who wants to get enrolled must know how to write it.

A successful application essay is the only way to introduce yourself beyond test scores, GPA, courses, academic achievements, and extra-curriculum activities. Yes, those sides are significant, but will they show your personality?

Why does presenting your individuality matter? If you aim at applying to a university with excessive entry competition, your personal statement should be strong enough to distinguish you from other applicants.

If you are among high school seniors, you will need to know how to write a winning application essay and impress the admission committee. That way, you will have better chances of entering the college or state university of your dream.

We will share simple tips that can help you write your college admissions essay and get noticed. Besides that, you can always request one of our professionals to help you with your paper. Our experts have vast experience of helping students with all sorts of admission processes.

What is a college application essay?

An application paper (also called a statement of purpose or a personal statement) is written for the sake of applying to a college, a university, or a graduate school.

Some colleges want you to write one or more essays, while others may not ask you to do it at all.

Each college is free to suggest its own list of college admission topics. Some universities try to come up with fresh questions every year, while others accept common app prompts requiring common application essays. If you are using the Common App to apply for college admission, you will have 250-650 words to respond to one of the offered prompts. Nevertheless, do not expect these prompts to be short answer questions. Colleges want to give you the freedom to write whatever you want to impress the admissions officer with something new and memorable.

Not everyone excels at writing. Many students even find it intimidating. But the good news is that you can improve your writing skills and write an application essay that gets noticed.

6 Steps in Writing an Outstanding Application Paper

1. Prepare

Writing a good college essay is a time-consuming and demanding task. You need to brainstorm, write a draft, and then edit it. All those activities can take many hours to create a high-quality and convincing admissions paper. If you don't want to fail just because you can't manage your time, here are more tips on how to get prepared for writing.

  • Create a chart with the college's name, requirements, application deadline, and prompts to keep all the necessary information in one place.
  • Start at least two months before your deadline. We would recommend beginning with an extended essay and then moving to shorter personal statements, if any.
  • Look for examples of other student's works that succeeded and note down things that you think might have helped them.

2. Study the prompts

Analyze prompts carefully to understand what you are expected to write about and whether you have what to share. But, that doesn't mean you should write about something because you think the admissions committee will like it. Take your time to discover the right topic if there isn't a list to choose from.

  • Read the essay topics and questions several times.
  • Analyze carefully what's being asked of you.
  • Define the goal of the essay prompt: to inform, support, depend, or expand upon your point of view.
  • Ask yourself, "How can I apply this to me? What admissions officers expect to learn about me?"
  • The essay questions can become a good starting point, but do not feel limited by them.
  • Most topics are general, so narrow that down and make it fit the question.

3. Correlate the prompts with your personality and experience

Brainstorm relevant experiences or events that serve as a strong statement for your essay. This is the time to use specific details that shaped you as a person. Think of your childhood, family traditions, hobbies, extra-curriculum activities, and other facets of You. Consider the personality traits you want to highlight and recollect the situations in which you exhibited them.

  • Jot down all your ideas. Just sitting with a laptop and trying to note all the ideas in one sitting may not work. Sometimes great ideas come out of nowhere, so make sure you have a notebook at hand or create a list of notes on your phone to record everything that springs to your mind.
  • Narrow down the list to three or five strongest points you think would fit the essay and describe your personality best.
  • Pick the type of situation that has enough supporting details to demonstrate your achievements, abilities, and convictions.

4. Structure your essay

Create an outline — a map of your story. It will help you decide what you will highlight in your essay. Without a proper structure, you may end up with randomly ordered sentences that do not make a personal statement strong enough to tell anything worthwhile about you. So, before writing your story, think through all the steps.

  • Shape your story so that it has an introduction, body, and conclusion.
  • Think of a strong first sentence and how you want to open your essay — with a question, quote, anecdote, joke, or something else?
  • Find your individual writing style. When you are writing an essay about yourself, it's important that your voice is clearly visible.

5. Compose your first draft

Everyone writes in a different way. Writing the whole story from the very beginning till the end in one go is OK. If you feel more comfortable jumping from one paragraph to another, writing sections, and then making up a coherent story, that's also fine. It doesn't matter how you do it. What matters is the result.

  • Regardless of your writing skills, you should edit your first draft and edit a lot. So, don't aim at writing the ideal essay on the first try. Concentrate on transferring your ideas on paper rather than not making wording or grammar errors. You will review those later. The main point here is to make sure you don't miss important points.
  • Be specific. The person reading your essay knows nothing about you nor about the things you are writing about. Even if they do, it is unlikely that their views, knowledge, and experience on the subject is the same as yours. So, ensure to add enough details to make everything understandable.
  • Be concise and to-the-point. Include what is absolutely important to tell your story.
  • Focus on feelings instead of events. Do not just describe the situation but explain how it made you feel and what you learned from it.
  • Don't worry about your essay's length at first. Include all the facts you think are relevant to support your ideas. You will be able to remove redundant sections when editing.

6. Edit, edit, and edit

You worked so hard, but your application essay is still not complete. That is absolutely fine — editing is an indispensable part of the process.

  • Put your essay aside for an hour or two before you proofread it. That will help you get a fresh perspective and concentrate on the wording.
  • Correct logical and structural errors in your essay.
  • Fix grammar and spelling errors — you can use online tools to speed up the process.
  • Read your essay out loud to make sure it flows smoothly. You might also ask somebody to read it for your or even use Google Translate's "listen" function.
  • Ask someone you trust to look over your essay — your parents, teacher, college counselor, or friends. Other people might spot things you missed.
  • Edit the draft as many times as needed until you are happy with the final version.

Writing an application essay is an important part of the college admissions process. However, if you find writing an essay tedious, you can check these college essay examples with admissions committee comments. Get inspiration and hit the ground running.

Get professional writing help

If you feel like you can't cope with writing a college application essay on your own, a helping hand of our consultants might save your day and enrollment. By using our help, you will get a unique common app essay. It will show all your strengths and your ardent desire to study at a college of your choice. Take advantage of our professional writing help to get nominated by the admissions committee and reach your academic goals.