By: Dorothy M.
10 min read
Reviewed By: Melisa C.
Published on: Jan 3, 2023
If you’re a high school graduating student, you’re probably looking into various colleges for admissions. When you're applying to college, the essay is one of the most important components of your application.
It's your chance to show the admissions committee who you are and why you'd be a great addition to their school. Hence, it is important to write an essay that stands out from the rest.
However, writing a compelling essay can be tricky. It's not easy to summarize your life story or share your unique personality in just a few hundred words.
That's why we've put together this blog post to help you write an outstanding college application essay.
We'll provide a complete guide on how to write an essay for college application effectively. Also, we'll give you examples of essays that scored high marks from admissions officers.
So keep reading to get started on writing a great essay!
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A college application essay is an essay you write to apply for a college academic program. It provides admissions officers with a glimpse into your life. It allows them to better understand your unique personality and why you would be the perfect fit for their school.
College essays are used to determine a student’s ability in logical reasoning and sentence structure. The best part about them is that they give you an opportunity for creative expression as well. You can talk about your expertise and the things that would make you stand out from others.
“How long should a college application essay be?”
College application essays are typically between 250-650 words in length.
Common App, a popular college admission application platform, suggests keeping a word limit of 650 words.
Longer essays can lose the interest and attention of the readers and shorter essays might lose in terms of depth. Hence, 650 words are adequate enough to create an interesting and engaging college essay.
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There are three popular types of college application essays. They are as follows:
The “You” essay is a popular type of personal statement for college applicants. It requires you to write about yourself.
It's for admissions officers who want to know more about their future students. This type of personal statement asks applicants for honesty and creativity but most importantly their personality traits or interesting facts.
2. “Why Us”
The “Why Us” essay is a type of personal statement that tells the admission officers why a particular applicant wants to attend this particular university.
Hence, it's better to research the institute a little bit so you can give valid reasons for why you want to join them.
A “Creative” essay is an opportunity for students to show off their creativity. It is a great way for admissions officers to evaluate the applicants’ ability in writing and thinking outside of the box.
It also provides the applicants with an opportunity to share what they believe about a given topic. They are graded on knowledge and expression of the topic at hand.
Once you know what you want to focus on in your college essay application, you need to come up with a hooking start. An engaging and interesting beginning to your essay will instantly capture the attention of the reader and make him want to read further.
Here are some effective ways to start your college application essay:
1. Full Hemingway
You can start off with an image-based description that should be engaging and not explain everything at once. There is room for dialogue, actions, or details to allow the reader's imagination to engage as well.
2. Mini Hemingway
You can start with a vivid description of an event or moment that is short yet captivating and captures the reader's attention immediately. You can then explain the event with further comments and descriptions.
You can start by talking about a particular aspect of yourself or your life to build certain expectations and emotional responses. Then, take your narrative in another unexpected direction.
You can also start by asking philosophical questions that you might not be able to talk about further in your essay. This gives you a chance to show your intelligence and creativity and keeps the reader hooked on something interesting.
Another way to start to capture the reader’s attention is to admit something that others might judge you or you judge yourself for.
6. Trailer Thesis
You can also give an overview of what you will talk about further in your essay but still not give away too much so as to keep the reader hooked. This thesis statement may comprise of 1-2 sentences and is usually written at the end of the introduction paragraph.
7. Fascinating Concept
You can begin your essay with a fascinating or unusual concept or idea. Then, you give an explanation of how the idea is relevant, where it came from and why are you talking about it.
8. Random Personal Fact
Another interesting way to start is to present a random but interesting fact about yourself and then describe how it relates to your essay.
Start off your essay with dialogue to immediately hold the attention of the reader.
You can also begin by telling a short story or an anecdote.
Here are the simple steps you can follow to write an exceptional college application essay:
The first step to writing a college application essay is to choose a prompt to write on. Then, brainstorm ideas to include in your essay.
2. Creating an Outline
Once you’ve decided on a prompt and gathered your idea, it’s time to organize. Create an outline to plan and structure your ideas in your essay. Divide your essay into different sections where each section will focus on one main point or idea.
A standard college application essay outline has three components:
Now that you have your outline, you can easily start writing your essay.
End with a conclusion paragraph that wraps up everything previously said while restating why the school should admit you into their program. For an effective conclusion to your essay, talk about what you’ve learned from the experiences you discussed prior and how it will contribute to college and practical life.
The closing of an essay should be in the same tone and theme as its introduction. Include some final thoughts for the readers. These can include questions aimed at encouraging deeper thought about certain topics
The final step is very crucial. It is pertinent that you proofread your essay a few times before submitting it. Your paper should be organized and flow well.
Ensure that your sentences have varied lengths so they don’t seem too choppy. Look for grammatical and punctuation errors as well.
Have a look below at a college application essay template to write your own
Once you’re done writing your essay, look at the questions below to make sure that you have included all the important elements in your college application essay.
Have a look at them and see if there are any questions left unanswered.
“How to format college application essay?”
If you’re confused as to how to format a college application essay, follow the guidelines mentioned below.
Now that you know how to write a college application essay, let’s take a look at some examples of successful essays that scored students' scholarships and admission into top schools.
“What are some good college application essay ideas to write about?”
Check out our list of some interesting college application essay prompts to write about below:
Along with a complete writing guide, we’ve also compiled a few tips that you can follow to ensure your essay is top-notch. Have a look at them below:
So, here’s a comprehensive guide on how to write a good college application essay. It can be intimidating to think about writing a personal statement. However, with our writing guide and examples, you can put together an essay that will make you stand out from the crowd.
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If all of this sounds like too much work or you just don’t have time, reach out to SharkPapers.com for college application essay help. Our essay writer offer professional writing services that can take the hassle out of the entire process and guarantee you a top-notch college admissions essay.
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Here are some topics to avoid when writing a college application essay:
With over five years of experience writing content for an extensive variety of clients, Dorothy M. has perfected her craft to ensure that each customer's project is not only completed to their satisfaction but also resonates with their target audience. Her efforts to personalize the work are what really sets her apart and make her one of the favorite writers among clients.