How to write a good college application essay – 10 college application essay tips

How to write a good college application essay – 10 college application essay tips

Most colleges require one to write an application essay as part of your application. The prudent thing to consider underlies every aspect of writing. This rule has nothing to do with grammar and mastery of vocabulary, rather than simply passing information.

The core purpose of an application essay is to make an impression on the given college.

It seems like a chore but those 500 words can be a crucial boost at decision time. Whether acceptance or rejection.

Take it as a chance to reveal who you are and the beliefs you hold. Everyone is unique in their own way. Just take time to package yourself in an engaging and compelling demeanor.

Simply put, what sets you apart from all the other equally talented students?

It’s not easy though, especially with the excitement and hype of going to college, but you already know what you want to say.

A budding scholar just needs to master a few college application essay tips to create an impressive college application essay.

10 simple steps on how to write a good college application essay

Step #1: Take time and think

Why this course in particular?

Why this university? What is the shared vision of this college?

What am I striving to achieve?

What incidents in my life have led me here?

Step #2: Carefully read the instructions and ensure you answer the question being asked

Read the instructions carefully. Underline any keywords and ensure you answer what they ask. If you fail to follow the instructions, the admission committee will wonder how will you be able to cope with their program.

It can be an answer to a general question or several questions requiring specific answers. The instructions will guide you.

Make sure you follow the page and word count.

Remember the competition is cut-throat, why would you want to get kicked out of a mare silly mistake?

Step #3: Ensure you start with an engaging introduction

Start with a bang. The first paragraph sets the tone and direction for the application essay.

The admission officer has a lot of applications to go through. No time to waste reading what doesn’t captivate him/her.

It’s easier to write the introductory paragraph after you have written the draft of your essay. This will warrant an uninterrupted flow of thought. It ensures the punchline you start with perfectly correlates with the rest of the essay.

From experience, it’s usually intimidating to jolt those first words. You can work on the draft and body of the application and finally enhance it with the introduction and conclusion.

Step #4: Don’t just recount. Reminisce

Writing is one of the best ways to connect with people. Concentrate on a passion-filled topic as this will draw the raw emotions required to not only write but write from the heart.

Don’t just use your head but your heart and soul too. Remember this is your dream come true. Use those emotions to your advantage. In this state, eliminate perfection, and just let the words flow, let your writing be vulnerable. You will edit it later.

Colleges are looking for authenticity and uniqueness. Your genuine beliefs will be portrayed when you let loose.

Step #5: Avoid stereotypes. Take a risk or two

Remember admission officers go through countless application essays over time. You need to distinguish yourself from the crowd.

Take risk

Spark an emotion, move your reader. A smile, a chuckle, a nod, a tear or a sigh; make the admission officer feel something.

You might have noticed I didn’t mention checking out samples anywhere. This is to ensure your approach is original, untainted by the norm. Once you are done you can go through some samples just to gauge yourself and make a few tweaks.

Step #6: Support your ideas with relevant instances in your life

Remember this admission essay is a glimpse into your mind. How you reason. What influences your character and the choices you make in life.

For the principles you consider paramount, it’s only relevant to support them with real experiences. It clearly shows who you are and the thought process that led you to where you are.

Don’t merely state facts, use your experiences to bring those facts to life.

Step 7#: Ensure a simple flow of ideas

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. More information, more choices is not better. If you are not careful it can cause the audience to disengage.

Studies have shown (In the book Paradox of Choice) that too much information can cause misunderstanding and confusion. The admission committee might forget who you are or miss your point entirely, simply because you overcomplicated everything trying to be smart.

Don’t try to write every creative idea you get. Organize your ideas and avoid contradicting yourself. Choose one major idea and build around it.


If you notice, an admission essay is usually around 500 words. Just enough to get a picture of who you are. You need to ensure the picture you portray is simple and clear.

Step #8: Start early and don’t just write one. Follow the same instructions and write at least three

It’s not easy to summarise your life or personality in 500 words. Initially, as we had indicated in tip number 5. Write and let your thoughts flow. You will have enough content to structure several drafts from.

Have at least three admission essays to choose from. Each with a different, simple but clear thought process.

Step #9: Get someone to proofread all of them and get several reviews

Once you are done reread, editing and correcting all the typos, grammatical errors, sentence structures, or any inconsistency in the flow of ideas. Once you reread it several times you will tend to believe everything is okay.

Get someone to review

Next, you will need fresh eyes. Probably your teacher, parent, or mentor to notice any errors you might have overlooked. Use them to gauge your admission officer’s reaction. If they are moved, so will he/she

Step #10: Finally, Make your choice

From the reviews, adjustments, and personal preference, you have more than enough to direct you to the BEST of the essays you have.

With all these data you can hardly go wrong.

Good luck.