Skip Nav

How to Write a College Application Essay: In 3 Easy Steps

1. Get to know your prompt

❶Take a minute and think about the college or university admission officers who will be reading your essay.

2. Brainstorm




Weave in other examples from your life where you have applied what your learned. Some students do a great job sharing a personal story, but spend too much of their essay on those details. Make sure at least half or more of your essay explores Step Two and Step Three. Now, you can either get cranking and learn how to crank out all these steps, or read on to see exactly how and why this approach works.

To review, here is how you will knock off all the requirements for writing an effective college application essay:. If you include Step One in your essay, you will give it a sharp focus by only showcasing one defining quality or core value and you avoid one of the worse essay pitfalls: And you will make sure your essay is engaging at the start by using an anecdote.

As long as your anecdote or personal story includes some type of problem, you will show your grit. When you go on to analyze and evaluate what you learned in the process, you will showcase what you care about and value, as well as your ability to learn and grow. If you include Step Three in your essay, you will reveal how you are able to take a life lesson beyond how it affected you, as well as your ability to think critically and reflectively. If you include other examples from your life where you applied this life lesson, you will naturally share other specific parts of your life.

If you express how you intend to use what you learned in your future goals and dreams, you will present yourself as someone who is forward-thinking, ambitious and idealistic. The best news is that you can develop each step by reading the related blog posts the blue links , and within a couple hours of reading and writing, crank our your own killer college application essay.

Hi Thanks for sharing so much wonderful info. He has begun the process but needs help narrowing down the topic or perhaps finding another one. Hi Adele, I do tutor students on essays. Please check out the Services page of my web site for details.

You can contact me directly by sending me an email at: My name is Janine Robinson. Around this time last year I read a couple common app essay articles on essayhell. Honestly, I wish this article had been around a year ago since the advice is even more helpful, but I appreciate the work you did and continue to do.

Thanks for all of the help. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge! I am always trying out different ways to get my students to open up and be more self-reflective. Thanks again for sharing! Hi Rebecca, So glad you found this helpful! When I found essay hell, it was a delight for me to be able to find a resource that could help push me to write about a topic. This and looking at example essays helped me spur my own essay, and I really appreciate that you provide this free service for students.

Thank you very much! I was also wondering if you could help me on another matter. I am writing about my identity as an Indian, the kinds of stereotypes that come up, and how I have countered the stereotype. I am having a bit of trouble, however, on trying to get step 3 in. I think I might want to talk about how I could defend other parts that make up my identity, but I am struggling a little bit. However, any information that could give me a little push would be much appreciated!

Thank you so much Your advice really helped me in finding a topic for my common app essay [prompt 7]. Your email address will not be published. As a professional writing coach, I help students, parents, counselors, teachers and others from around the world on these dreaded essays!

Learn about my in-person and online tutoring, editing, workshops, books, and online courses, They have a plan. The rules for writing a good essay are no different. Create an outline that breaks down the essay into sections. By now you know exactly what you will write about and how you want to tell the story. So hop on a computer and get to it.

Try to just let yourself bang out a rough draft without going back to change anything. Then go back and revise, revise, revise. Before you know it, you will have told the story you outlined—and reached the necessary word count—and you will be happy you spent all that time preparing! You have worked so hard up until this point, and while you might be relieved, remember: A single grammatical error or typo could indicate carelessness—not a trait you want to convey to a college admission officer.

Writing the college essay takes time and effort, and you should feel accomplished. When you submit your essay, remember to include your name, contact information, and ID number if your college provided one, especially if you send it to a general admission e-mail account.

Nothing is worse than trying to match an application essay with no name or, worse, an e-mail address such as donutsarelife domain. Make sure to keep copies of what you sent to which schools and when—and follow up on them! Be certain the college or university you are applying to received your essay. Looking for more college application essay help? We have tons— tons— here , including lots of real-world examples! What did you end up writing your college application essay about?

Leave a comment or get in touch here. Get to know your prompt Ease yourself into the essay-writing process. Then, read them one more time. Is this essay prompt asking you to inform? These pieces rarely showcase who you are as an applicant. Brainstorm Get your creative juices flowing by brainstorming all the possible ideas you can think of to address your college essay question.

You have years to draw from, so set aside time to mentally collect relevant experiences or events that serve as strong, specific examples. This is also time for self-reflection. Choose three concepts you think fit the college application essay prompt best and weigh the potential of each. Which idea can you develop further and not lose the reader?

Which captures more of who you really are? You should have enough supporting details to rely on this as an excellent demonstration of your abilities, achievements, perseverance, or beliefs. Shape your story so that it has an introduction, body, and conclusion. Following this natural progression will make your essay coherent and easy to read. How are you going to open your essay? Try to identify what the tone of your essay is going to be based on your ideas.

Stick to your writing style and voice. Put the words in your own voice. A Step-by-Step Example 4. Write the essay Once you are satisfied with your essay in outline format, begin writing! Start with your main idea, and follow it from beginning to end.

Bring something new to the table, not just what you think they want to hear. Use humor if appropriate.


Main Topics

Privacy Policy

Get insightful tips on how to write an effective college application essay and set yourself apart from other applicants.

Privacy FAQs

Many college applicants make the mistake of trying to include all of their accomplishments and activities in their application essays. Such essays read like what they are: tedious lists. Other parts of the application provide plenty of space for you to list extracurricular activities, so save your.

About Our Ads

Not only is the college essay a place to showcase writing skills, it's one of the only parts of a college application where a student's voice can shine through. "The essays are important in part. After working with thousands of students from all over the world on writing the dreaded college application essay for the last eight years, I’ve finally been able to boil down the process to three simple steps.. Yes, just three steps.

Cookie Info