A college application essay is a subtype of a reflective essay. It is similar to reflective essays because it requires its author (i.e. the applicant) to tell the application committee about himself or herself, describe his or her inner world, tell how a significant person or an event has impacted him or her to contributed to his growth as a personality – and do it all within 500 words or less.
The five hundred words of a college application essay can make a difference in the decision process, so this is a task that has to be done right the first time. Your story should sound natural while being convincing. If you are serious, write in a serious tone; if you have a good sense of humor, insert a joke here and there – the main point is that your college application essay should sound neither too grave nor too funny.
Top 3 Tips on How to Write a College Application Essay
TIP 1. Use of quotes and wise sayings is generally discouraged. Speak in your words, not someone else’s.
TIP 2. Don’t go too deep into philosophy, make your essay simple and easy to understand.
TIP 3. Keep it simple. Try to use simple sentences; avoid making them too verbose and unclear.
The general rule of thumb is – in your college application essay you should: write naturally; explain the process of your personal growth; tell how an event or a person has affected and changed you; how you can contribute to the teaching institution.
At many competitive colleges, the college application essay is a very important part of the application process. The college application essay gives the application committee a chance to know the applicant a little better and gets insight that may not be available elsewhere on the application.
Yet understandably, high school students frequently have a lot of questions about the college application essay. How should I get started? What should I write about? What are colleges looking for? In what format or style should I write?
We have got resources to help you answer all of those questions and to guide you through the process of putting together a great college application essay.
7 Steps You Should Take to Write a Stunning Essay
Step 1. Be prepared
Before you start the essay-writing process, learn everything you can about the college application essay.
Step 2. If possible, meet with someone
Schedule a meeting with your guidance counselor, if you have one, to talk about what essays you will need to write and how to approach them strategically. If you do not have a counselor, or he or she is unlikely to help with the essays, you should look at some college application (including the common application) to give yourself an idea of what you are up against. If you are thinking about hiring an outside application consultant or essay assistant, we suggest you order an essay with us, so that you can also get help with the brainstorming process.
Step 3. Find a topic
This is arguably the most important part of the essay-writing process. Your topic selection will say a lot about what is important to you and will determine how meaningful, interesting, impressive, and intimate your essay can be.
Step 4. Think about essay planning and essay structure
Once you have got a topic, you need to decide how you are going to set up your college essay. Some of this may come as you write, but it makes sense to have a plan before you start writing.
Step 5. Write your first draft
Once you are ready to write and understand how you are going to approach your college application essay, the next step is to actually write. Let your creativity run the show, but do not forget about the basic principles of good writing. Put a draft down on paper and see how you do. If you are happy with it, and you have time to spare, you should probably put your college application essay in a drawer for a while and forget about it. This will help you have a fresh perspective when you are ready to revise and edit.
Step 6. Revise and edit
However good your first draft may have been, it should get a lot better with some serious revision. Pay attention to grammar, usage, and punctuation, of course, but do not forget to look at the content and other, more substantive, issues. If anything in your college application essay does not strike you as great, work on it until it is!
Step 7. Get some essay writing help!
Whether or not you are going to use a guidance counselor or outside counseling service, you should get someone to look over your essays - preferably someone who is a great writer and has some experience with the application process.