Helpful Tips on Writing a College Application Essay
One of the most important college assignments is the college application essay. And this type of essays is absolutely different from all those you used to write throughout high school. It is not like a persuasive or argumentative essay, a college application essay allows you to be more creative and show yourself through writing. In this case, you will have to create not just a good essay but a really excellent one. But don’t be scared at once, everything is not that complicated. Thanks to the following guide, we are sure you will be able to master those skills as soon as possible.
The Definition of a College Application Essay
Sometimes, a college application essay is called an admissions essay, personal statement (statement), application essay, or purpose. The applicants are frequently asked to write several such essays, though some institutions might ask you to write just one. As a rule, you will be asked to complete just one question selected, though it’s possible to choose from several ones, too.
The topics can be really specific or vice versa, very wide to write on. Most often, the essay statements are connected with three topics – talents of the applicant, the significance of the chosen area of expertise, and mutual benefits.
If you are assigned a college application essay about the applicant’s talents, you should write about your life experience and why you are a serious candidate. You will have to share your dedication to art or sports, overcoming various obstacles, etc.
If you are assigned a college application essay on the importance of the chosen field, you will have to share your academic pursuits and goals to show how ambitious you are.
Mutual benefit questions should show why you would benefit from admission and why the college would benefit from such a student as you.
Your main task is to give a unique answer to question and show your best sides.
Format of a College Application Essay
As a rule, college applications are being written online, so you will have to create your essay in a text box. At first, it is necessary to type it in Microsoft Word (or other compatible programs) and paste it to the text box. Make sure to check if everything is spaced properly to avoid various cutoffs.
There is no certain structure set for formatting a college application essay. Some teachers insist that it’s necessary to follow the five-paragraph structure; however, it is not mandatory at all.
Your essay has to be well-written and unique. And writing it in a five-paragraph structure won’t help you be accepted to college. Your essay should have an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. However, it might consist of four, five, or even six paragraphs in total. All you need is not to forget about the word limit.
How to Write a College Application Online
- Read the task and write down your ideas on paper. Here there is no need to restrict yourself, just let your ideas flow from your imagination and answer the question the best way possible. You might write your best answer from the very first idea, and it might take some time to think and choose the best answer. Keep in mind that the most unique, honest, and the attention-capturing answer will be the best one.
- Create a hook, which is the first sentence that will grab the reader’s attention and will be relevant to the prompt. Your essay doesn’t have to be one of the thousands of those essays the members of the admission committee read every day. It has to stand out from them all!
For that reason, it is the most important sentence of your entire essay, while it promises your reader that the rest of the writing is really smart, interesting, and worth his or her time.
Do not reply as hundreds of other applicants, but write something unpredictable, something vivid and something that will make your reader keep reading your writing.
- Once you have finished with the hook, it’s time to write an introductory paragraph, which will make the reader acquainted with the subject. The last sentence contains an overall thesis. You won’t have to prove the thesis here like when writing other types of essays. But a single point orbiting around is mandatory for a college application essay.
If you are asked why the college will help you reach your goals, you will have to address this question in your introductory paragraph final sentence writing something like: In my opinion, this college will help me reach my top dream helping people by becoming a great dentist.
However, it is not too unique and interesting. Instead, it’s better to write something like: I have always been concerned about human suffering, so I believe educating studying to become a dentist at such a great university is the best way to help people cope with their pain.
Each body paragraph has to start from a very strong topic sentence and contain good examples to support your unique or life perspective. And your final paragraph has to link the reader to why you exactly need to study at that school.
- Create your first draft. Once you have your opening sentence, good outline, and an overall imagination of what you want to say in your body paragraphs, start to write. It would be perfect if you could take a one-hour or even more break and after that, read it again. When rereading your draft, you should underline everything that seems too weak to you, eliminate the repetitions and misspellings. The draft should flow very smoothly and sound engaging, so can rewrite it as many times as necessary.
- Now you can ask your family member, friend, or any other trusted person to read it and give their feedback. Ask for honest feedback from them, so they could tell you exactly what part is weak or boring. If necessary, make revisions. Now you can even put it away for a couple of days and only then reread it. once you feel comfortable with it, you can submit it online.
Topics for Your College Application Online
As a rule, students are being assigned a particular topic, but sometimes they may ask you to choose from five or seven topics. There are even cases when the college asks you to write on your own topic you feel comfortable with.
Below, there are some topics to choose from and make them your own:
- Describe the biggest challenge you’ve overcome.
- What was your biggest failure and what lesson you took from it?
- Have you ever disappointed someone you love or care for and what lesson you took from it?
- What profession do you consider to be the noblest and why?
- They say every family is weird. What about yours? How the weirdness of your family made you grow into a better person?
- Who of the public figures you would like to interview and why?
- What lesson did you take from one of your flaws?
- What childhood memory embodies the best who you are today?
- What social issue is the most compelling for you and why?
- Is there any law you would like to change? Why?
The college application essay is one of the most challenging and important assignments for any student. And an average student often finds it very complicated and scary. And it happens for some good reasons, while a great essay will open lots of doors for you.
If you are not sure about having good skills to write your best college application essay, you can use our tips and make them yours, as well as read some of the college application essay examples to get a better idea of how it’s better to create the essay of your life.
Remember that your future might depend on your college application essay, so it’s necessary to put some efforts and get some special skills to show your best self to the commission!