Get to know your prompt Ease yourself into the essay-writing process. Read them again. Then read them one more time. Take some time to think about what is being asked and let it really sink in before you let the ideas flow. Is this essay prompt asking you to inform?
Expand upon? These pieces rarely showcase who you are as an applicant.
Brainstorm Get your creative juices flowing by brainstorming all the possible ideas you can think of to address your college essay question. You have years to draw from, so set aside time to mentally collect relevant experiences or events that serve as strong, specific examples. This is also time for self-reflection.
Narrow down the options.
Choose three concepts you think fit the college application essay prompt best and weigh the potential of each. Which idea can you develop further and not lose the reader? Which captures more of who you really are? Choose your story to tell. You should have enough supporting details to rely on this as an excellent demonstration of your abilities, achievements, perseverance, or beliefs.
All good stories have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Shape your story so that it has an introduction, body, and conclusion. Following this natural progression will make your essay coherent and easy to read. How are you going to open your essay? With an anecdote?
A question? Use of humor? Try to identify what the tone of your essay is going to be based on your ideas. Stick to your writing style and voice. Put the words in your own voice.
Write the essay Once you are satisfied with your essay in outline format, begin writing! Start with your main idea, and follow it from beginning to end.
Be specific. Be yourself.
Bring something new to the table, not just what you think they want to hear. Use humor if appropriate. Be concise.
Try to only include the information that is absolutely necessary. Proofread The last step is editing and proofreading your finished essay.
Give yourself some time. Let your essay sit for a while at least an hour or two before you proofread it. Approaching the essay with a fresh perspective gives your mind a chance to focus on the actual words, rather than seeing what you think you wrote. Computers cannot detect the context in which you are using words, so be sure to review carefully. They might be fine in a text message, but not in your college essay.
You already know how to write an academic essay. Now, forget all that, because learning how to write the college application essay is different. The college application essay is your chance to show schools who you are. Learn how to write a college essay that sets you apart.
Have another person or several! You know what you meant to say, but is it clear to someone else reading your work? Have these people review your application essay to make sure your message is on target and clear to any audience. Read your essay backwards. This may sound a bit silly, but when reading in sequential order, your brain has a tendency to piece together missing information, or fill in the blanks, for you. This forces you to read each word individually and increases your chances of finding a typo. Check for consistency. Avoid switching back and forth from different tenses.
Also, if you refer to a particular college in the essay, make sure it is the correct name and is consistent throughout the piece. Tie up loose ends Celebrate finishing what you started. Correct spelling, grammar and punctuation are critical.
Never use text-style abbreviations or rude or profane language. After the essay is submitted, check your email and voice mail daily to make sure you see and respond promptly to messages from admissions staff members. Many students check only texts and sometimes miss emails asking follow-up questions or requesting an interview. What will make you the most interesting contributor to that dinner table conversation? What will make you help everyone else have a more interesting experience? Log In.