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How to Write a College Application Essay

November 15, 2017 Types of essays
How to Write a College Application Essay

The College Application Essay is a great chance for the aspiring attendee to present their best qualities. Also, it is a great opportunity to show the admission committee what makes you stand out from the crowd of other applicants. In this type of writing, you need to reveal your hidden personality and show them that you are not only capable of earning good grades and test scores. Show them the person that is sincere and constructed of interesting parts.

To complete this type of writing effectively, you will need to:

  • Understand the prompt
  • Brainstorm ideas
  • Create an outline:
    • Introduction
    • Body
    • Conclusion
  • Write a rough draft
  • Proofread
  • Write the essay

Dealing With The Prompt

Ensure that you properly understand the questions being asked. This step is important because after you finish writing, you need to make sure that you have specifically focused on the prompt! College essay prompts commonly require you to focus on one or two main ideas/topics. They can alter from personal to trivial, but still, their aim is to challenge you and inspire some creativity. To deal with this step, read the questions and/or prompts, then formulate an idea of what you are going to write about.

Brainstorming Ideas

This step may be more exhausting and tiresome than the writing process itself. The purpose of this step is to properly organize your thoughts, figure out what you want to focus on and get all possible ideas out of your head and onto paper. Make a list of everything you could write about. If it asks you to discuss a significant life challenge, you could write about switching schools or joining a sports team. After you have get this far, you can probably come up with an idea of what are you going to write about.

Click on the picture down below to explore College Application Essay Prompts.

College Application Essay Prompts

College Application Essay Format

Whether you’re sending your college application essay online or through a paper application, it’s important to get familiar with formatting. We will go through some basics formatting rules to give you a clear understanding of how it should be formatted.

If You Are Going to Copy And Paste Into a Text Box:

First and foremost, when you are copying and pasting into a textbox, you will need to check two or better three times that everything transferred correctly.

  • At first, make sure that your essay wasn’t cut off while transferring!
  • Because of the weak textbox formatting word count may be messed up, so you might need to make small adjustments.
  • Paragraph spacing may be messed up as well when you copy and pasting into a text box. Check that all your paragraphs are separated.
  • Most of the time font will be standardized, if it’s not, choose a standard one like Times New Roman or Arial.

If You’re Uploading a Document:

If you’re attaching a document, things are getting more serious. You will need to be more concentrated and attentive because such things like margins and spacing become more important.

  • The best option is to use one-inch margins because it’s standard and easy to read.

  • Separate your paragraphs accordingly. It’s ok to use single tab at the beginning of the paragraph.

  • You probably want your essay to be easy to read. If you do, then use an appropriate font like Times New Roman, Arial, Calibri, etc. Do not use fonts like Gothic, Pristina, etc. Use 12 pt. font.

  • It’s important to mention that you will need to submit your essay in a specific file format. To meet such requirement, it’s highly recommended to check the instructions or ask someone who is responsible for supporting applicants.

Crafting An Outline

An outline serves a guide for your essay; its main purpose is to save you time. Here is an example.

Introduction

The ingredients of a great introduction are:

  • A killer first sentence. This sentence must grab attention and stimulate the reader’s desire to read the full story.
  • The point you want your story to carry.
  • The background history that your paper will uncover.

Do not overload your introduction with unnecessary information; stick to the main points.

Body

In this section, your main goal is to give a more detailed explanation of the points that you have stated in the introduction. Make sure to clarify that you are a real human being, not just a liar trying to tell them what they want to hear. To do that, write in your own manner and just be yourself.

For example: Write that if they give you an opportunity to study at their college, you will go out to the world after graduation, and do meaningful things with it.

Conclusion

It should be concise; do not ramble on after you have made your point. Show them what are you going to do if they will accept you or what you are excited about. I did mine like: “That’s why I’m so excited about MIT.”

Writing A Rough Draft

Once you are satisfied with your outline, it’s time to move on and create a rough draft. It is a transition, one that brings you from note-taking and outlining your essay to the act of writing. Write what comes to your mind, but remember that since this is a college application letter, make sure that you sound like a person who is ready for college.

Keep the focus on the content and the flow of information rather than on little details such as punctuations, grammar, spelling, etc. Keep in mind that your rough draft is just a paper that you will continue to shape, edit and strengthen. When your draft is ready, it is time to turn on your inner spy and detect all small grammar and other mistakes and show them where the exit door is.

Go Get What Belongs To You

Congratulations, you have finally finished writing your college application essay, but before submitting it make sure to:

  • Check the clarity: since the purpose of a college application essay is to show to the admission committee why they should accept exactly you to their university, you need to be confident that your essay is not about something else but this.
  • Get A Second Pair Of Eyes: your essay may seems the best for you, but that doesn’t that other people will understand it as good as you did. Ask your friend, family, teachers to read your essay and leave a feedback.
  • Reread It One More Time: try to spot incorrect word usage and small grammatical mistakes, because if you leave them in your paper, they might just kill the eloquence. Make sure that everything flows smoothly.

Essay Writing Advice From Our Professional Team

The article does a great job summarizing how to write a college application essay. However, it doesn’t articulate one critical point: target audience. What are the values of the school that you’re applying to? If you’re applying to a school that values integration and care for your society, then your essay should talk about how you volunteered at a local animal shelter or held a charity auction. If the school values things like creativity, then emphasize that aspect. While writing your application essay, in particular on the CommonApp, my advice is to have different essays for different kinds of schools. If needed, a general one that shows you in a good light will suffice, but if you have more time to personalize each essay to the particular school then by no means do so. This is a good solution for people who have multiple things that they can be proud of from their high school career. If you’re a math whiz but also a soccer champ, you can write about both of those qualities in different essays.

Dr. Silla, online essay writer from EssayPro

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