How to write a college application essay
Getting ready for college application essay
Things to avoid
Things to do
Understanding the instructions
Be careful about the instructions of your application. Make sure to check if you’re given any prompt and/or a set of questions to be answered. Also, check if you are supposed to write in a particularly given format (APA, MLA, etc.).
If you are not given a specific format, the following is generally preferred as default:
College application essay best practices
Pro tipBe sincere, conclusive, and exact. Don’t understate or overstate yourself.
Once again, you don’t need to use any references. Simply focus on the best practices above.
Step 1: Create a flow and tell a story
Designing a storyline for your essay is always a good idea. Reading a paper that mentions random parts of a story might be hard to understand. So it’s always better to follow an outline or flow.
Therefore, make sure to structure your essay, from “specific to general” or “general to specific”. This way, it will be much easier for readers to understand.
Below, you’ll see some paragraph examples for each part of your college application essay, don’t forget to have a look at them before writing.
Step 2: Introduction
The first paragraph of your essay is always the introduction. In this part, you are expected to introduce yourself, your educational background and professional experiences.
ImportantDon’t forget that this paragraph is just an introduction. Don’t spend all your words on this part.
You can start with a specific example from your past and open up the story. Below, you’ll see a short example.
Or start in a general manner and then narrow your story down
These two examples of an introduction explain the reader the structure of your story. As you see, it is either from general to specific or specific to general.
Step 3: Body paragraphs
In the body paragraph, you’re expected to open your story up and give some details such as your educational background and/or professional experiences.
Above is an example of a paragraph opening in the body. After such openings, you’re expected to detail your story in your studies and how you succeeded.
Pro tipThis essay is neither a resume nor a user guide for you. So instead of just listing the courses you succeeded in, talk about your experiences while you succeed in your academic and professional career.
Step 4: Conclusion
As you see, the conclusion is the part where you wrap up your story. The most important thing to keep in mind here is not to fall into repetition.
Rule of thumbParaphrasing your statements and briefly talking about your future plans is a good idea for the conclusion paragraph.
Step 5: Proofread and revise
The last step is proofreading and revising if needed. This part is generally underestimated. However, it might be the most crucial part of a successful college application essay.
Don’t hesitate to use simple language. As long as you aren’t applying to a Ph.D. program in literature or linguistics, your main concern should be a smooth and understandable essay.
Lastly, follow these steps above to make sure you did a decent proofread and keep revising if necessary.
5-Paragraph College Application Essay
Here’s a 5-paragraph perfect college application essay example. Simply hover over the essay with your mouse to see which sentence stand for what in the academic context.
From Childhood Fascination to Career Aspiration