If you are attending college soon, maybe you are now preparing to write your college application essay. Most selective colleges require an essay or personal statement as part of the application process. If you think you can do this easily because you already know how to write an academic essay, well, you need to think again because writing a successful college application essay is different.
Writing a college application essay is not just about starting with an introduction, throwing in a thesis statement, composing about three paragraphs of evidence, and wrapping it all up with a conclusion. You need to keep in mind that your essay needs to breathe life, and it should capture your genuine personality. Your college application essay is your way of explaining who you are beyond your grades, test scores, and school activities.
Most college applicants worry that their essay will not stand out since they are competing with lots of other applicants who have a similar background to them. If you have the same dilemma and you’re feeling nervous about your essay, then we’re here to help you. Today, we are giving you tips on how to write a successful college application essay.
1. Get to Know the Prompt and Analyze It Thoroughly
Before you start writing your essay, you need to take time to understand the prompt or question asked. It’s because your essay should adhere to the prompt. College essay questions usually suggest one or two main ideas or topics. These can be personal or trivial, but will all seek to challenge you to show your creativity and as well as insight.
Some of the common prompts can be about your personal story, solving problems, challenging a belief, or sometimes they will let you pick a topic of your choice. You can also search online for ideas about your essay topic. For example, if you chose an essay about diversity, then you can check out some good diversity essay for college online for more ideas on what you can write in your essay.
2. Write in an Organized Manner
Writing in an organized manner can help you save stress and frustration. Therefore, when you write your college application essay, it’s better to have a good writing plan. This can simplify or maybe eliminate the need to do major rewrites. You can first do some brainstorming, then form a rough outline showing how long each paragraph will be so that your essay would stay within the word count limits. After that, figure out when you are going to write. Will it be one paragraph a day? Or is it something you’d do the whole weekend? Having a schedule will also help you get your brain in motion.
3. Write the Essay when You’re Ready
When you’ve thought about what to write in your essay, and you’re satisfied with the outline you created, then it’s time for you to start writing. Remember, when writing an essay, you need to keep its focus narrow and personal. Begin with your main idea and follow it from start to end.
Another thing to remember is to be specific. Do not use cliché and predictable phrases. Remember that when writing a college application essay, you need to be yourself. It’s because admission officers tend to know the difference between an original story and a recycled academic essay. Try to bring something new to the table instead of writing what you think they want to hear.
Lastly, be concise. Application essays usually have a suggested minimum of 250 words and no upper limit. However, you need to keep in mind that admission officers read lots of essays every day, and some of them might only want to spend a couple of minutes on each. Therefore, if you write a more extended essay, you might restrain their patience.
4. Proofread Your Essay
Once you’ve finished writing your college application essay, it’s not yet time to submit it. It’s because you also need to proofread what you’ve written first. This way, you will be able to check your work for some grammatical errors or typos. Before you proofread your work, give yourself some time first after you finish writing it. Because it’s better to approach it with a fresh perspective for you to be able to focus on the actual words you’ve written.
5. Let Other People Read Your Essay
You can also have another person read your essay. It can be your teacher, a friend, or maybe your parents. This way, you can make sure that your message is clear to any audience. But limit the number of people to two or three, because asking too many people for feedback might confuse you and might lower the quality of your essay when you follow all their advice. It’s better to choose those who have background and expertise in writing a college application essay.
6. Don’t Forget to Include Important Details
Before you submit your college application essay, make sure that it includes all the important details such as your name, contain information, and ID number if you have one. This is very important, especially if you will be sending it to a general admission email account. Also, keep copies of what you sent to schools and make sure that they received it by following up.
Writing a college application essay indeed requires hard work, but it will be worth it when you make it to your dream university or college. We hope these tips will help you write an excellent essay for your college application. If you are working on an essay about diversity for your college application, then you can check out these good diversity essays for college for more ideas.